China set to shorten a "Golden Week" and make traditional festivals legal holidays
GOV.cn Friday, November 9, 2007

The Chinese government released a plan on Friday to shorten the "Golden Week" marking the May Day holiday and to make Tomb-Sweeping Day, the Dragon-Boat Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival legal holidays.

According to the national legal holiday adjustment research group, the new plan has been formed after more than one year of research and is released on the Internet on Friday in order to solicit public opinion.

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

The weekends on one side of the first three holidays are designated as two working days, and it is normal practice to then take those two days off during the following week so making the holidays of May Day, the National Day and Spring Festival seven consecutive days each. Chinese people gave them the name "Golden Week", as seven-day holidays gave people time to travel.

According to the new plan the total number of legal holidays will increase from 10 days to 11 days.

New Year's Day remains a one-day holiday. The Spring Festival keeps three days, but the starting time is adjusted from the lunar New Year's Day to lunar New Year's Eve.

The National Day also remains a three-day holiday. The big change comes with the shortening of the original three-day May Day holiday to one day. New one-day holidays are created for Tomb-Sweeping Day, the Dragon-Boat Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival.

The tradition of designating weekends on one side of the holidays as two working days still continues, so people enjoy two days off on the working days, making the National Day holiday and the Spring Festival holiday seven consecutive days each. 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.

The 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. All the other holidays are at fixed dates in the calendar.  

Editor: Yangtze Yan
Source: Xinhua