This year, the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on October 1st and will be on the same day and combined with National Day Holiday. As it overlaps with the festival, the holiday will be from October 1 till October 8 this time, one day longer than usual. This period is also called ‘Golden Week’, because it is the biggest week for tourism in China during which hundreds of millions of Chinese people reunite with their families, plan trips and go shopping. On this occasion Chinese factories, (government) offices, embassies and schools are closed (or factories work at half power) and all citizens enjoy one week off. Chinese New Year Holiday and National Day Holiday are the only week-long holidays in China.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is called the Moon Festival or the Mooncake Festival. It is traditionally held on the 15th day of the 8th month in the Chinese lunar calendar, which is in September or early October in the Gregorian Calendar. This festival is the second most important festival in China after Chinese New Year. Chinese people celebrate it by gathering for dinners and lighting paper lanterns, as they have long believed that worshiping the moon and eating together will bring them good luck and happiness. Mooncakes, a rich pastry typically filled with sweet-bean or lotus-seed paste, are eaten during the festival.
As a foreign company it is important to take into account this Golden Week when managing your Chinese staff, communicating with your Chinese partners, and planning your business trips and marketing campaigns. When properly executed, Chinese holiday marketing brings some of the highest revenue-driving times for brands and it can be the busiest time of the year for many marketeers. If you plan your China marketing strategy for the future, it is important and unavoidable to include the Chinese holidays and festivals into your marketing plan. In these periods, China is offering lots of opportunities for Belgian companies.
In China in general, and thus not only in a holiday period, the rapidly changing demographics, rising incomes, increased consumer spending and open business environment have all helped to make the Chinese market tremendously attractive to Western and Belgian businesses across a variety of industries. For a lot of companies, declining sales in their home markets have led to include China in the centre of their long-term growth strategies. China is a country that is constantly changing and its markets are evolving more rapidly compared to almost anywhere else in the world.
Please contact the Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (BCECC) in case you need more information about the upcoming holiday period in China in the beginning of October or about business development in China.