Note on duration and 2011 dates: Most sources in China count the total number of days off (including statutory holidays, transferred days and weekends), which is important for Chinese people working a seven-day week. E.g. a holiday on a Friday is always announced as a three day holiday (Friday-Sunday). See the references for details of transferred holidays in 2011.
In all these holidays, if the holiday lands on a weekend, the days will be reimbursed after the weekend.
The Chinese New Year and National Day holidays are three days long. The week-long holidays on May (Labor) Day and National Day began in 2000, as a measure to increase and encourage holiday spending. The resulting seven-day holidays are called "Golden Weeks" (黄金周), and have become peak seasons for travel and tourism. In 2008, the Labor Day holiday was shortened to one day to reduce travel rushes to just twice a year, and instead three traditional Chinese holidays were added.
Generally, if there is a three day holiday, the government will declare it to be a seven day holiday. However, citizens are required to work during a nearby weekend. Businesses and schools would then treat the affected Saturdays and Sundays as the weekdays that the weekend has been swapped with; the disruption to schedules is not regarded as unusual by locals, and official announcements for changes to the holidays often occur throughout the year.
The closeness of Labor Day and Youth Day resulted in an unexpectedly long break for schools in 2008 - the Youth Day half-holiday entitlement had been largely forgotten because it has been subsumed into the Golden Week.
There are public holidays celebrate by certain ethnic minorities in certain regions, which are decided by local governments. The following are holidays at province-level divisions, and there are more at lower level divisions.
^ abThe three-day public holiday began on Chinese New Year's Day itself from 2000 to 2007. In 2008 it was shifted back by one day, and now begins on Chinese New Year's Eve.
^Wednesday 2 (New Year's Eve), Thursday 3 (New Year's Day) and Friday 4 are statutory holidays. Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 are the weekend. Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 are also holidays; work schedules transfer to Sunday 30 January and Saturday 12 February. This is officially counted as a seven-day holiday (Wednesday-Tuesday).
^Tuesday 1 is a statutory holiday. The authorities count this as a three-day holiday (Sunday-Tuesday).