2014 China Legal Holiday Schedule, Chinese Netizen Reactions

Firework exploding.

The following by Chinese state-broadcaster CCTV News is currently the hottest post on China’s leading microblogging platform Sina Weibo for the week, with nearly 200k reshares and 80k comments at time of translation…

From Sina Weibo:

@央视新闻: [话筒] #2014 Holiday Calendar# Formally Announced! — 1) 1 Day for New Year’s: January 1st off; 2) “7 Days” for Spring Festival: January 31st to February 6th (from the first to seventh day of the new lunar year) off with the weekend shifted; 3) “3 Days” for Qingming Festival [Tomb-Sweeping Day]: April 5th – 7th; 4) “3 Days” for Labor Day: May 1st to 3rd off with weekend shifted; 5) “3 Days” for Duanwu Festival [Dragon Boat Festival]: May 31st – June 2nd; 6) “3 Days” for Mid-Autumn Festival: September 6th – 8th; 7) “7 Days” for National Day: October 1st – 7th off with weekend shifted. Share and bookmark!

[Note: In the calendar below, red dates indicate days off while blue dates indicate working days.]

Official 2014 China Holiday Schedule showing which days are off and which weekends have been shifted.

Comments from Sina Weibo:

i冯浪:

Strongly call for the Holiday Arrangement Office make public their telephone number, so the people of the country can supervise whether or not they are working on [Lunar] New Year’s Eve. Those in agreement, ding!

ifishery:

I suggest getting rid of the Office of Holiday Arrangements. Those in support, ding me.

cnfly:

Because Young Ming had to work on [Lunar] New Year’s Eve, he couldn’t return home to eat the New Year’s Eve family dinner, was sued in court by his parents, and in accordance with the crime of not visiting one’s parents, Young Ming was sentenced to one year in prison. During his year of prison time, Yong Ming could not return home to spend New Year’s Eve with his parents, and was again sentenced to two years… In those two years, he still could not return home to spend New Year’s Eve with his parents, so… you know…. Young Ming never came out… [This comment pokes fun at widely discussed news this past year about the government criminalizing the failure of adult children to visit their aging parents.]

小龟喵的NC粉儿:

On the last day of the lunar year [Chinese New Year's Eve], I’m going to the Electricity Bureau, Finance Bureau, Health Bureau, Inspection Bureau, Culture Bureau, Civil Affairs Bureau, Public Security Bureau, Transportation Bureau… for business!! Let’s fucking see which one of them dares to close its doors to go on holiday!!!

Tiantian-潘:

Puts on a show of having the entire nation’s citizens vote [last month between 3 proposals featuring different holiday schedules for 2014], then surprise, it ends up being a 4th schedule that doesn’t have Chinese New Year’s Eve off. What is public opinion? What is a bureaucrat who does nothing? In this age where the massive population must travel from place to place, you who loftily sits in a government-provided car can never understand the crowding and exhaustion of going home during Chun Yun [the period of time around Chinese New Year/Spring Festival when many Chinese return home to reunite with family to celebrate the holidays]. This is not like your 5-minute nor short-distance car trip. This is a stupidity of those who have power in their hands yet have become divorced from the masses. I truly can’t understand this.

语不惊人-朶朶:

Chinese New Year’s Eve, 6pm, got off work. I drove my car trying to get home. My car was stuck in the parking lot for half an hour, stuck in traffic on the streets for two hours, stuck in traffic on the ring road for 3 hours… Upon opening the door [at home], my daughter lay alone on the sofa hungry and asleep, and from the television I heard “We’ll see you next year! Unforgettable~ Tonight~ Unforgettable! Tonight~~~~” Watching the harmonious and jubilant singing and dancing on TV, I shed a tear of happiness and joy -0

Car traffic on Chinese New Year's Eve.

木_易不公开:

This year’s Chinese New Year’s Eve will no longer be a legal holiday. On the morning and afternoon of Chinese New Year’s Eve on January 30th, I suggest everyone call government offices of all level to make inquiries, see if anyone picks up, and check if anyone is secretly taking time off.

Im-蘇亞諾:

Dammit~! Has shit entered the brains of this bunch of cunts? You fucking provided 3 proposals for everyone to see and after the votes are in, you fucking come out with a 4th plan of your own! You motherfuckers! Fuck! Everyone having to fucking work on Chinese New Year’s Eve, what the fuck is wrong with you!

萌小白系包子:

On one hand saying how you want to promote people going home more to spend time with their parents and care for the elderly, but on the other hand having parents and elderly be at home alone on Lunar New Year’s Eve! What a contradiction~ Super!

只是默默看看:

Come everyone, let’s all raise our middle-fingers to the Legal Holiday Scheduling Office and say with a smile: Fuck!

There is also a “No Day Off for 2014 Chinese New Year’s Evetrending topic on the popular social network, as well as a “#Requesting Day Off for Chinese New Year’s Eve#hashtag with over 1m discussions and the following poll…

Sina Weibo hashtag poll asking Chinese netizens if Chinese New Year's Eve should be a given a day off from work.


Poll Question:

Do you think there should be a day off for Chinese New Year’s Eve?


Red Side:

It must be a day off! If there isn’t a day off for Chinese New Year’s, can it still be called celebrating the [Chinese] new year?

93,005 votes at time of translation.

Blue Side:

Spring Festival is the first day of the new lunar year, so it doesn’t matter if there is a day off for Chinese New Year’s Eve or not.

1849 votes at time of translation.


A Chinese family together for Chinese New Year's Eve dinner.

From NetEase:

Survey Claims 84% of People Unhappy with New Year’s Holiday Schedule, Against No Time Off for Chinese New Year’s Eve

The 2014 Chinese holiday schedule was made public on the evening of the 11th and Chinese New Year’s Eve, which has been used in recent years for family reunions, was not included in the Spring Festival holiday period. To use a popular internet saying, it has been sadly expelled from the “scope of the holidays”, and this has aroused the worries of netizens.

According to the latest publicized notice concerning the arrangement of 2014′s holidays, the 2014 Spring Festival has been set as days off from January 31st to February 6th. with January 26th (Sunday) and February 8th (Saturday) being working days. This, with regards to the last day of the lunar year (January 30th) being traditionally used for family reunions, has forced many Chinese people working away from their hometowns/families into making a “difficult choice” between staying at work or taking leave from work to go home.

With regards to removing the day off for Chinese New Year’s Eve and sticking to using the shifting of weekends to assemble a “Golden Week holiday”, an opinion poll on Weibo had over 43,000 participants within two hours. Among them, 87.6% of the people opposed getting rid of Chinese New Year’s Eve as a legal holiday, while 84% of the people were unhappy with the arrangement of the 2014 holiday schedule.

Netizen Gripes Filled With Helplessness

“I thought we wouldn’t have to be tormented with shifted weekends this time, but after all this waiting, we’re told there’s no more Chinese New Year’s Eve! Who can put up with this?!” expressed netizen “melon哥”, unable to accept the change.

Netizen “f永无止境” grumbled: “No day off on the last day of the lunar year means waidiren can only spend their Chinese New Year on the rails or highways. Without these two days [Chinese New Year's Eve and Chinese New Year's Day], what Chinese New Year’s is there to celebrate at all?!”

According to reports, the National Holiday Arrangements Office publicized three proposals in November. After publicly soliciting opinions, officials selected the third proposal with the highest number of votes to be the 2014 holiday schedule.

Experts say the new holiday arrangement shows some improvements. Compared to the current holiday arrangement, the number of shifted weekends throughout the entire year has been cut from 7 times down to 3 times. This avoids the large number of problems such as shifted weekends resulting in too many continuous working days that appeared in 2013.

During an interview, Tsinghua University Holiday Reform Task Group representative and College of Social Studies Professor Cai Jiming believed that this improvement of reducing the number of shifted weekends has taken into account a lot of the public’s complaints.

With regards to netizens’ complaints about there not being a day off for Chinese New Year’s Eve, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Tourism Research Center Special Researcher Liu Simin indicated during an interview with China News Service that these complaints are in fact “unreasonable”. He points out that, without increasing the total number of holidays, whether the holiday begins on Chinese New Year’s Eve or Chinese New Year’s Day both have their pros and cons.

In fact, in the arrangement of holidays implemented before 2008, the first day of the new lunar year was indeed the beginning of the Spring Festival holiday, not Chinese New Year’s Eve as people have become accustomed to in recent years. Liu Simin says when considering the traditions of the Chinese people, the notion of “celebrating the new year” has always been from the first day of the new lunar year to the fifteenth day [15 days], not from Chinese New Year’s Eve to the fifteenth day of the new lunar year [16 days], “so changing the start of the holiday back to the first day of the new lunar year is actually returning to tradition.”

[...]

Comments from NetEase:

网易安徽省安庆市网友 ip:223.241.*.*:

No matter what, I’m definitely going home to celebrate the new year with my parents, regardless of how long the trip is or how important the work is.

紫若虚 [网易北京市网友]:

It should be 100% unhappy! Even if I’m fired, I’m going home to be with family on Chinese New Year’s Eve.

我把初夜献给党 [网易广东省深圳市网友]:

Can only say the majority of netizens are stupid cunts. Regardless of whether Chinese New Year’s Eve is legally a holiday or not, in practice, when that day comes, there won’t be people at all sorts of work places, the same as if it were a holiday. This way, there’s an extra day off at the end of the holiday; if you counted Chinese New Year’s Eve as a day off, there would definitely be one less day at the end of the holiday!

东飘飘西荡荡 [网易四川省成都市网友]:

What the ordinary common people endorse, they [the government] will never implement; what the ordinary common people oppose, they will forcibly carry out.

大山猿 [网易陕西省西安市网友]:

The most niu thing about the Holiday Arrangements Office is that it has changed the conflict between the masses and the Holiday Arrangements Office into a conflict between employers and their employees.

网易江苏省南京市网友 ip:180.110.*.*:

Nonsense survey, Chinese New Year’s Eve has always been an abnormal day of work, when bosses are also accommodating, not caring about people who leave early. Has water entered these netizen’s brains? If there is one more day [off] at the beginning, then there’s one less day at the end!

网易吉林省长春市网友 ip:222.168.*.*:

Experts, Chinese people are already smarter than North Koreans now.

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  • wes707

    I’ve heard Chinese people often state that they’re the hardest working (or industrious) ethnic group in the world (中国人是世界上最勤劳的民族 )like it’s some universally acknowledged truth. If you can read Chinese just google the phrase above. Yet, from my observation of Chinese white-collar workers and their work ethic, as well as the sheer amount of public holidays in China, I’m not so sure about that. I’m not saying public holidays are bad, but if they’re truly aspiring to be hardest working people on the planet, they should work more.

    • Chris McKenna

      My experience of Chinese is that they work insanely hard. Most of the shop owners where I lived, for example, worked every single day, except the public holidays. Likewise a lot of factory workers not only do 40+ hours a week but volunteer for extra hours so they can make extra money.. .

      • ex-expat

        My experience is that some work hard, sure, but many just work longer than is necessary. I remember coworkers would put in 12 hour days, but would often sleep at their desk and waste a ton of time. They felt that if they were seen at the office all the time, they would be perceived as 辛苦。

        • Markoff

          yeah, please don’t misplace “work” for “stay in work”, many Chinese stay long hours in work, which doesn’t mean they do any actual work

      • wes707

        I was referring to “white-collar workers,” especially not referencing factory workers who have to keep pace with world markets. I see many of companies and there are so many non-essential personnel just filling space in offices; just checking weixin, taobao, and the like. Knowing what kind of university system they come from, it is not surprising. Students attend class, the professor lectures at you, you applaud their majesty, no interaction, no effort; I know this personally. I don’t think we even need to elucidate the laziness of many government officials.

        I think the Chinese are generally hard working people. I just get annoyed with all their sloganism; seems to be a byproduct of the Cultural Revolution.

    • SonofSpermcube

      Why would anyone aspire to be that?

    • Repatriated

      From what I witnessed, the only thing most Chinese people work hard at is figuring out how to get out of working. I mean, some will spend 2 hours trying to avoid 30 mins of actual work.

      • Nessquick Choco

        Sh1t, i got new illness, i am becoming work-avoider :D

    • mike921

      Yep, just like Japanese, they put the -hours- in, but productivity? Low, low, low. All organizations labor top-heavy. Always need 2-3X as many people to do a comparable Western job. And, by all means, NEVER delay their lunch time…..

  • Dr Sun

    another nail in the CPC coffin

  • Guest

    so many days off

    • David S.

      What days off? More than half are just weekend days or weekend days moved around a bit.

    • Markoff

      11 days of public holidays (which are btw. not paid) is many? it’s pretty normal compared to European countries, but in Europe you will actually get paid for them unlike China and nobody will fuck your weekends because of them

  • YourSupremeCommander

    Wishing all you guys a very very very happy Qingming!!!

    • Markoff

      actually Dragon boat festival and Mid autumn festival are also OK, normal 3 day weekends, we are quite lucky in 2014

      only fcked up weekends will be around spring festival, october spending holidays and labor day

    • YourSupremeCommander

      You guys don’t get the humor do you?

      • TJDubs

        Is your comment humorous because Qingming is a solemn occasion?

        • YourSupremeCommander

          B I N G O !

  • TJDubs

    The quotes on “3 days” and “7 days” are very appropriate.

  • David S.

    Someone must be working in the shadows, fomenting social upheaval and the glorious return to power of Bo Xilai.

  • Germandude

    For the first time, I think the plan is pretty good compared with all those bullshit shifts we had in previous years.
    The exception of course is the 30th of January which doesn’t affect me as a foreigner, but I can understand why it’s important to the locals. Why not giving that day off and deducting one weekend day prior or afterwards?

    • Markoff

      It’s already deducted on Sunday 26th or you would prefer to deduct also Saturday 25th and work 10 days in row? Aren’t you Chinese btw. with these great deducting ideas?

      • Germandude

        I am not Chinese btw. but I am smart enough to know that the government will use the deductions anyways. And since the 30th is important to most people, I thought….well, not my problem that you don’t get it….

  • 5,000 years of uncivilization

    I counted somewhere around a month of days off for Chinese. Am i right? Before i moved to China, i was lucky to get 2 weeks off for holidays a year. Doesn’t seem like a big deal.

    • Nick in Beijing

      Yeah, but many of those days are simply weekend days that are shifted around to “make up” for having holiday days off.

      Got a 3 day holiday? LIkely it is that one of those days is a legal holiday, and the other two days are your saturday and sunday shifted around. Then you can look forward to a 7 day work week following that, even possibly running into the next week (by working on saturday and sunday), which then becomes a 12 day work week.

      • Cauffiel

        Yeah, it blows.

        • Nick in Beijing

          It does.

          My wife had this very thing happen during this years October 1st holiday.

          • Cauffiel

            I teach English in a university, and we have to work 12 days in a row. Not much reason to complain, as its an overpaid cake job, but I think its pretty tough on the students.

            When I lived in Liaoning last year, there was a nearby town where the school administration was sacked after they were caught bussing students to another town to have classes on a holiday.

            Another thing I haven’t noticed anyone mention is that universities often do not officially announce their holiday schedule until a day or two before theyre supposed to happen, so you literally cannot plan anything. A Chinese friend of mine went to a university where hundreds of students forfeited their train tickets because the school officials changed the exam schedule at the last minute. Both situations are so shitty, and it seems that is the status quo… don’t tell anyone anything because it makes you look weak, or some nonsense like that.

          • Nick in Beijing

            You hit the nail right on the head there with the university scheduling thing. Same thing goes on where I work.

      • 5,000 years of uncivilization

        Well then, i won’t be surprised if rioting breaks out over this.

      • Markoff

        to be honest you never work more than 6 days in row in 2014 and actually it’s only once, all other holidays are not affecting length of 5 days workweek and AFAIR I never worked longer than 7 days in row in China because of shifting weekends

    • Markoff

      if I will count 2014 public holidays which are not actual weekends or cancelled weekends which are made into working days I will end up on this:
      new year – 1 day
      spring festival – 3 days
      tomb sweeping day – 1 day
      labor day – 1 day
      dragon boat festival – 1 day
      mid autumn festival – 1 day
      commie october holiday – 3 days
      TOTAL = 11 days without making up

      which would be perfectly fine if it would be 11 days without messing with weekends (which is not), if it would be actual paid holidays (which is not, you jsut lose money even if you wanna work) and if employees had at least 10-15 paid vacation days instead of zero and using these crappy holidays instead of regular vacation

      • 5,000 years of uncivilization

        That’s a whole lot worse than before. Most of my Chinese friends had previously been taking off school or work for a week or 2 at a time around 2 or 3 times a year which was quite a bit more than most other non-Latin countries. I’m curious to see to what lengths the labor force will go to have these new restrictions changed.

        • Markoff

          not really possible, they can have two week long vacations, but these weeks are including weekends and make up days, so what is 7 days of vacation in row is actually only 3 xtra free days over normal schedule

          if your friends are lucky to have 10 paid days off they could have two two week long vacations but that’s it, most of the Chinese don’t have even 5 paid days off and they are too cheap/poor to lose income when it’s not necessary

          it would make sense if schedule for holidays would be different for each province (except spring festival) which would ease infrastructure and lower prices in hotels/sights

  • Zappa Frank

    I think the holiday plan in china is the most stupid. 1.3 billion of people that almost do not have (or have just few) free days of vacation but are forced to take weeks all together.. so that even during vacation you can’t really enjoy any place since it is crowded of people..

    • Markoff

      yet when they have option to change it in polls majority will decide to continue in tradition of make up weekends, instead of not touching weekends at all and just having real holidays
      the problem of China is non-existing paid vacation, when only gov/state workers have 5-10 days and most of private sector has 0-5 paid days which is bad joke compared to EU with standard 20-25 paid vacation days + ~10 paid public holidays + paid days to visit doctor + special paid days for vacation etc. so in Europe you will end up with minimum 30 paid days off outside weekends
      China is just bad joke, not paid forced holidays with fucked up weekends + non paid vacation…

      • Zappa Frank

        i’m not just talking about weekends, but general organization. For an average Chinese there is almost no way to can chose independently his days off.. all the country has to have the same days off, together, so much that is trivial, if you would like to visit anyplace you can be sure that will be crowded and with high prices, while the week after will be almost empty.. I can understand they all want back home for spring festival, but except for that one I see no reason to have forced days off where you’ll never do anything

      • Nick in Beijing

        One of my students actually had the audacity to say that this is the reason China is ahead of everyone else. Everyone else are lazy freeloaders who have too much free time, and take too much time off work, and on and on and on.

        The worst part was when other students nodded in agreement.

        • Markoff

          yeah and you could remind him where this lifestyle leads looking at statistics of life expectancy, no relax, just trying to get more and more money instead of enjoying life

          • Nick in Beijing

            Oh to be sure, I did say something along those lines. Her reply? “Yeah, but Chinese are rich!”

  • Cauffiel

    Xin nian kuai le.

  • Markoff

    btw. here is English version of public holidays schedule for 2014 created by China Daily, feel free to remember the link :-)
    http://dwz.cn/holidays

  • Markoff

    they don’t have any holidays so not worth mentioning them

    • Middle_Kingdum

      July and August are non grata as well.

  • Jahar

    I’m downvoting you for using the word hater.

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