Agency re­leases 2014 hol­i­day plan

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - NATION - By CHENG YINGQI chengy­ingqi@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

The na­tional body re­spon­si­ble for de­cid­ing China’s hol­i­day dates has re­leased the na­tional hol­i­day sched­ule for 2014, pro­vok­ing mixed re­ac­tions from the pub­lic.

The sched­ule, is­sued by the Gen­eral Of­fice of the State Coun­cil on Wed­nes­day, links of­fi­cial hol­i­day pe­ri­ods with week­ends, thus ex­tend­ing the num­ber of con­sec­u­tive days work­ers can take off.

The new ar­range­ment means that Spring Fes­ti­val and Na­tional Day hol­i­days will be ex­tended to sev­en­day breaks. Mean­while, the Chi­nese Tomb Sweep­ing Day, La­bor Day, Dragon Boat Fes­ti­val and Mid-Au­tumn Fes­ti­val will be­come three-day hol­i­days. How­ever, New Year will be cel­e­brated as a one-day hol­i­day.

Ex­clud­ing the at­tached week­ends, there will be 11 of­fi­cial days of hol­i­day through 2014, a fig­ure sim­i­lar to pre­vi­ous years.

“I was hop­ing the to­tal num­ber of na­tional hol­i­days would in­crease. It is re­ally dis­ap­point­ing that it didn’t go up at all,” said Cheng Jia, 30, from Bei­jing.

Another Bei­jing res­i­dent, Wei Bo, 59, said: “I do not see much dif­fer­ence be­tween the sched­ule for 2014 and pre­vi­ous years, ex­cept for the ar­range­ment for Spring Fes­ti­val hol­i­days. Ac­cord­ing to the new sched­ule, we will still have to work on Chi­nese Lu­nar New Year’s Eve — the time we are sup­posed to have our fam­ily re­union. This is so in­hu­mane.”

Also on Wed­nes­day, the State Coun­cil re­leased amend­ments to the Na­tional An­nual Leave and Me­mo­rial Days reg­u­la­tion deal­ing with na­tional hol­i­days. En­acted in 1949 and amended sev­eral times, it stip­u­lates the spe­cific days and lengths of na­tional hol­i­days.

This year’s amend­ment changed the Spring Fes­ti­val to the first three days of the first lu­nar month of each year. Ac­cord­ing to a pre­vi­ous amend­ment to the reg­u­la­tion made in 2008, the three-day Spring Fes­ti­val started on the last day of the lu­nar year.

Cai Jim­ing, di­rec­tor of the Center for Po­lit­i­cal Econ­omy at Ts­inghua Univer­sity, who leads a team re­search­ing hol­i­day sys­tem re­form, was also in­volved in the 2008 amend­ment.

He said the change will bring in­con­ve­nience to peo­ple who are asked by em­ploy­ers to work till the last minute.

His team had pro­posed to ex­pand the Spring Fes­ti­val from three days to four days, but the pro­posal was not adopted by the gov­ern­ment.

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