China to Make Traditional Festivals Legal Holidays

http://www.verynan.com 2011-08-03 11:11 十分教育网

The Chinese government Friday announced a major overhaul of its national holiday system, canceling the May Day "Golden Week" but adding three traditional festivals as national holidays.

The draft proposal worked out by an special panel after more than one year's research was posted on the Internet for public discussion.

If accepted, the proposal could be enacted in time for the 2008 Spring Festival.

Chinese people currently enjoy 10 days of legal holidays. Three days each are given for the May Day, National Day and Spring Festival breaks. One day is given for New Year's Day.

The weekends on one side of the three main holidays are designated as two working days. It is normal practice to take those two days off during the following week making the May Day, National Day and Spring Festival holidays as seven consecutive days each. They are known as the "Golden Week" as the holidays gave people time to travel.

The proposal will increase the number of legal national holidays from 10 to 11 days.

New Year remains a one-day holiday. The Spring Festival remains a three-day holiday, but it will now start a day earlier from the eve of the Spring Festival, also known the lunar New Year.

The National Day golden week will remain unchanged.

The May Day golden week will be replaced by a one-day holiday.

Tomb-Sweeping Day, the Dragon-Boat Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival shall all become one-day national holidays.

The tradition of designating weekends on one side of the three main holidays as two working days still continues, so people enjoy seven consecutive days off. In future, New Year's Day, Tomb-Sweeping Day, May Day, the Dragon Boat Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival will become holidays of three days each.

Spring Festival, Tomb-Sweeping Day, the Dragon Boat Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival are all lunar holidays, so their dates vary in the calendar (if a leap month is encountered, the legal holiday will fall on the first month). All other holidays are fixed dates on the calendar.

An official of the special panel said the new plan took into account the following five principles:

-- the number of legal holidays should accord with the current phase of economic and social development;

-- the legal holiday arrangement should help pass on traditional customs and culture;

-- the arrangement should minimize any negative effect on the economy and society;

-- the arrangement should reflect social justice, allowing all citizens to share the achievements of economic and social development;

-- the arrangement should fully consider citizen's rights to rest and travel.

In the wake of economic and social development Chinese people have been enjoying more days off.

Before 1995, citizens had 59 days off annually, including legal holidays and Sundays. The government added Saturday as a legal rest day in 1995, which increased the number of legal days off to 111.

The number increased to 114 when the country introduced the Golden Week holidays in 1999. The new legal holiday arrangement, when enacted, will bring the number of legal days off to 115.