China observes a few public holidays, during which time various things close down. The most important is the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year), when most people take time off work for a few days, with nearly all shops and offices closing down. Banks may also operate restricted hours during these periods. As there are no set rules, the best advise is to be prepared! You can always change money at hotels if you become stuck. October 1st is National Day and International Labour Day is on May 1. In the past couple of years, the Chinese government have been promoting the travel industry and boosting consumer spending levels by introducing a seven day holiday at these times. Flights and hotels are exceptionally busy and tourist sights are unbearably crowded in these periods. The best advice is to avoid major tourist spots!