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Hours of Operation

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Most offices are open between 9 and 6 on weekdays; most museums keep roughly the same hours six or seven days a week. Everything in China grinds to a halt for the first two or three days of Chinese New Year (sometime in mid-January through February, depending on the lunar calendar), and opening hours are often reduced for the rest of that season.

Banks and government offices are open weekdays 9 to 5, although some close for lunch (sometime between noon and 2). Bank branches and CTS tour desks in hotels often keep longer hours and are usually open Saturday (and occasionally even Sunday) mornings. Many hotel currency-exchange desks stay open 24 hours.

Pharmacies are open daily from 8:30 or 9 am to 6 or 7 pm. Some large pharmacies stay open until 9 pm or even later.

Shops and department stores are generally open daily 9 to 9; some stores stay open even later in summer, in popular tourist areas, or during peak tourist season.


National holidays include New Year's Day (January 1); Spring Festival, aka Chinese New Year (mid-January/through February); Qingming Jie (a spring festival when families sweep ancestors' graves; April 5); International Labour Day (May 1); Dragon Boat Festival (late May/early June); anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (July 1); anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (August 1); and National Day—founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 (October 1); Chongyang Jie or Double Ninth Festival, aka Mid-Autumn Festival (ninth day of ninth lunar month).