What is the change? The Mid-Autumn Festival that marks the autumn full-moon harvest will be observed in China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

What does the change mean? Government and private offices will close and applicants should expect delays in work permit processing and other services. The holiday lasts one to three days, depending on the country. Offices will be closed on the following days:

  • China– Holiday occurs Sunday, Sept. 27, but will be marked as a public holiday within the “Golden Week” holiday, Oct. 1-7.
  • Hong Kong – Sept. 28.
  • Japan– Sept. 23 (Sept 21 and 22 are also public holidays).
  • South Korea– Sept 26-29.
  • Taiwan– Sept. 26-28.

Background: Mid-Autumn Festival is traditionally a celebration of the autumn harvest when the moon is at its fullest and brightest of the year. In China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, families observe the full moon while thinking of distant relatives, and eat “moon cakes” filled with sweet bean or lotus filling. In Japan, rice dumplings, chestnuts and sweet potatoes are offered as thanks for the harvest. In South Korea, families commemorate their ancestors, visit tombs and eat rice cakes and drink rice wine made from the new bounty.

BAL Analysis: Employers should anticipate delays during the holidays and file applications beforehand where possible.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in China. For additional information, please contact

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