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Time Difference & Holidays in China

 Time Difference
China's vast territory spans five time zones from the west to the east. For convenient communication in daily life, Beijing Standard Time (GMT+8) is used throughout the country, which is 13 hours ahead of New York and two hours behind Melbourne.

Xinjiang Province and Tibet are located in far west China, creating an obvious time difference of about two hours behind Beijing. With the adoption of Beijing Standard Time in the whole country, tourists from inland China to Tibet or Xinjiang Province may feel a little strange about their style of living. People there go to work at 10:00 and have the lunch at about 13:30. If tourists want to buy something in the marketplaces, you had better set out after 9:30, especially in winter.

We have the standard time in other cities around the globe, with 12:00 in Beijing as your reference.

City Time City Time City Time
Bangkok 11:00 Ho Chi Minh City 11:00 Rangoon 10:00
Berlin 05:30 Honolulu 18:00 Rio de Janeiro 01:00
Berne 05:00 Jakarta 11:30 Rome 05:30
Bombay 09:30 Kuala Lumpur 11:30 Rwanda 05:00
Brussels 04:00 Lisbon 04:00 San Francisco 20:00
Budapest 05:00 London 04:00 Santiago 24:00
Buenos Aires 01:00 Manila 12:00 Seoul 13:00
Cairo 06:00 Melbourne 14:00 Singapore 11:30
Calcutta 09:00 Mexico City 21:00 Stockholm 05:00
Cape Town 06:00 Moscow 07:00 Sydney 14:00
Casablanca 04:00 New Delhi 09:30 Teheran 06:00
Colombo 09:30 New York 23:00 Tokyo 13:00
Copenhagen 05:00 Osaka 13:00 Vienna 05:00
Geneva 05:00 Panama City 23:00 Warsaw 05:00
Guatemala City 22:00 Paris 04:00 Washington 23:00
Helsinki 06:00 Pyongyang 13:00 Wellington 16:00

Please click here to see the Current local times around the world.


 Holidays in China

Holidays are the cream of the crop during our daily life. They offer a welcome calm and release from a long working period and allow the people to enjoy the fruits of their leisure. China's long history incorporates many holidays, which reflect the customs, religions, and hopes of the nation. Here are the most commonly observed public holidays.


New Year's Day, called Yuan Dan (means the first day of a year in Chinese), is a one day holiday. Perhaps it is not as important as the New Year's celebration in western countries, but the Chinese do have a holiday festivity that is just as big - the Spring Festival.


The Spring Festival, which normally occurs in January or February, is the first traditional holiday of the new year in China. It is a three-day holiday, encompassing joyous festivities and busy activities.


March 8: International Women's Day allows women only a half day holiday.  

May 1: Labor Day is a national three day holiday.   

May 4: The Chinese Youths' Day is a festival for young people older than 14 years old. They have a half day holiday.  

Jun. 1: The International Children's Day is a one day holiday for school children younger than 13.  

Jul. 1: The Birthday of the CCP is usually celebrated by CCP members through various meetings and some get-togethers.  

Aug. 1: The Birthday of the PLA is celebrated by the army through some get-togethers.  

Oct. 1: The National Day is a three-day holiday.  

Most companies, emporiums, recreational places, etc. opened as usual during these holidays, but some may close earlier.     


 Business Hours
Surprisingly, unlike most every other country, China strives to meet the needs of modern people's lives in regard to hours of operation. Post offices, museums, libraries, monuments, and even banks are open seven days a week. In addition to the banks being open seven days a week, one can count on most to offer 24-hour self-service. One can also bank on staying safe in China; normal hours of hospitals are Monday to Friday, opening as early as 8:00 am and closing as late as 6:00 pm, while hospital clinics may remain open past 10:00 pm. Additionally, hospital staff is available 24 hours a day 365 days a year for emergencies.

Generally, Chinese government offices, institutions and schools maintain a working system of forty hours a week, Monday to Friday. Normal working hours begin at 8:00 or 8:30 a.m. ending at 5:00, 5:30, or 6:00 p.m., with one to two hour lunch breaks. Recently, some institutions and enterprises have adopted the 'nine to five' working hours.

Travelers will find China extremely accomodating, one can visit most of the scenic spots and places of interest every day from 8:00 a.m., 8:30 a.m., or 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m., or 6:00 p.m., with some tourist attractions keeping open into the late evening. Travel agencies, hotels, cinemas, TV programs, and some shops, supermarkets, bars, pubs, restaurants in metropolitans offer 24 hour services everyday. Even the transportation in China, no matter by car, train, or plane, is available 24 hours every day and 365 days a year.

Also, surprisingly, even though China's diverse geography extends across five time zones, the time is the same everywhere in China. China operates to a single Standard Time (GMT+8) all year round. However, one will find that because of this the opening and closing times for establishments do vary in keeping with normal waking hours.