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2014 China Legal Holiday Schedule, Chinese Netizen Reactions

Firework exploding.

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…

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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.”

[…]

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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.

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

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