Friday, June 11, 2010

Chinese Holiday Schedule

I'm talking to my friend in Beijing. Next Wednesday (6/16) is a holiday (dragon boat festival 端午節) in China. About a month ago, the government announced that the official holiday schedule would be from 6/14 to 6/16. However, to make up for the two extra days off, everyone has to work this Saturday and Sunday. I hear that this happens every year for each major holiday, i.e. the government decides the national work schedule at the last minute.

I guess it's good that they're trying to give everyone a three day holiday but it shows the control-freak tendency of the CCP. The holiday is supposed to be the 5th day of the 5th lunar month but they can easily "celebrate" the holiday on a specific Monday or Friday. This way, people can have a three day weekend that's actually on a weekend. Also, why can't they decide this a year in advance to give people more warning? It's not like we don't know the lunar calendar dates. Are there political implications to when to take holidays?

One consequence of this capricious holiday schedule is that people can't plan ahead for events; maybe this is seen as a feature and not a bug by the CCP. My friend is supposed to attend a wedding tomorrow that was scheduled way in advance. However, now that tomorrow (Saturday) is an official work day, a lot of people are backing out of the wedding since they can't or don't want to take a day off from work. How lame is that? Also, some people work really hard for five days straight and need the two days off to rest. Now they have to work seven days in a row, though the following week is only a two day work week. We know that the government officials don't really work that hard so they probably never considered this.

1 comment:

hogsman said...

Is it still a celebratory "holiday" if you have to work the weekend instead to make it up? Lame.