Thank goodness the shortest month of the year 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 ask? That's the local term for new year. You can't doubt the optimism the name implies.
As we saw in January, it's darn cold and dry in the north and only slightly warmer (we're talking 1-2 degrees) in central China, but also wetter.
You're still going to be pretty comfortable in the south with warmer temperatures, but there will be more rain in the south as well. Bring your parka, long underwear, rain boots, and rain jacket and you'll be covered for all weather throughout the country!
Here are some average temperatures and precipitation numbers in China's major cities to give you a feel of what February looks like up close.
- Beijing: the average daytime temp is 39F (4C) and the average number of rainy days is 3.1.
- Shanghai: the average daytime temp is 48F (9C) and the average number of rainy days is 10.
- Guangzhou: the average daytime temp is 65F (18C) and the average number of rainy days is 11.
- Guilin: the average daytime temp is 55F (13 C) and the average number of rainy days is 14.
February Packing Suggestions
- 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.
What's Great about Visiting China in February
- 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!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.
What's Not so Great about Visiting China in February
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 sometime 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.
- 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.