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February in China - Weather and Event Guide

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February in China - Weather and Event Guide

Year of the Ox decorations at a Shanghai department store.

© 2009 Sara Naumann, licensed to About.com.

February Overview:

Thank goodness the shortest month is a winter month! There's not much change in February from January so the same estimation applies: brrrr. And in the midst of this chilly time, the Chinese have their annual Spring Festival. Spring, you say? That's the local term for new year! You can't doubt the optimism the name implies.

As we saw in Jan, it's darn cold and dry in the north and only slightly warmer (we're talking 1-2 degrees) in central China, but also rainer. You're still going to be pretty comfortable in the south with warmer temps, but more rain as well. Bring your parka and your rainboots and you'll be all set.

February Weather:

February Packing Suggestions:

The winter months require you to bring layers. Be sure to read my Complete Packing Guide for China for more information.
  • North: it will be cold during the day and below freezing at night. You'll probably be thankful if you bring along a long underwear, a fleece and a wind-proof or down jacket.
  • Central: it will be quite chilly during the day and cooler at night, but rarely freezing. A heavy base layer (e.g. jeans, boots and sweaters) along with a rain/wind-proof jacket will be enough. If you're easily cold, a down jacket might be better. You'll definitely see some rain so be prepared.
  • South: it will be cool and rainy. Long sleeves and pants, as well as a rain/wind-proof jacket are good.

Visiting China in February - Pros:

  • If you come to China in February, you can still catch the last few days of the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival. It officially ends on February 5, but you can still see the sculptures for a few weeks after the close. Nothing's melting yet!
  • Dry weather in Beijing and the rest of northern China makes for cold, but almost-guaranteed dry sight-seeing.
  • Cold weather in central and south China is comfortable for sight-seeing and touring as long as you've brought the right layers.

Visiting China in February - Cons:

It's February and even though most years see the "Spring Festival" (the local name for Chinese New Year happening in February, spring seems a long way off. You have to be prepared for all kinds of weather, mostly of the cold form, for visiting China in February.

What's Happening in February:

  • Many years see Chinese New Year happening some time in February. Click here for a guide to Chinese New Year to see when it occurs this year.
  • Valentine's Day is February 14th and you can certainly have your fill of chocolate in China. Find out what's happening in this Valentine's Day Guide.
  • The Harbin Ice and Snow Festival is still officially on until February 5, but you can still see the sculptures for a few weeks after the official close.

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