International Labor Day is referred to as “5-1” holiday in China. It is also known as May Day and Worker’s Day. This holiday, designated in December 1949, celebrates the social accomplishments of the workers.
Labour Day always falls on May 1st. Most Chinese enjoy three days off, government workplaces and banks are closed May 1-3, but almost everything else, from tourist spots to shops and restaurants will be open.
Labour Day was one of three “Golden Week” public holidays, along with the National Holiday and Chinese New Year. The Golden Weeks were designated to stimulate the domestic tourism industry, where many Chinese go on vacation around the country.
However, in December 2007, the Labour Day Golden Week was downgraded to three days, and the remaining days transferred to three other public holidays: the Dragon Boat Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival and Tomb Sweeping Day. This, of course, has limited people’s chances for international travel, and the holiday has instead become a favourite for traveling domestically within China.
Labour Day does not hold much traditional cultural importance in China. However, there are entertainment programs and talk shows where model workers are invited on TV. People spend the time with their families and visit relatives during the days off.
• Happy National Day – Chinese pinyin: wǔ yī jié kuài lè五一节快乐