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Work restarts after festival celebration
By Liu Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-02-17 02:11

Yesterday was the first day for most Chinese to go back to work after the week-long Spring Festival holiday, which started on February 9.

Zheng Yigang, an employee at a Hong Kong company based in Shanghai, received a red envelope from his boss yesterday.

"It is a tradition for Cantonese companies to express wishes for good fortune on the first working day after the Lunar New Year," he said yesterday.

"Although the red envelope contains only a symbolic 10 yuan (US$1.20), I still appreciate it," 30-year-old Zheng said.

It is believed that to give red envelope to employees will help enhance ties between workers and employers.

In Zhengzhou, capital of Central China's Henan Province, Xie Yu'an, an official with the provincial legislature went to work at 8 am yesterday, his working day after the Lunar New Year.

"All of my colleagues were in the office on time today," he said yesterday.

In the past, some government workers failed to be at their posts during the early days after the Lunar New Year festival, the most important festival for Chinese.

"After extending New Year greetings to each other, we began to work immediately," Xie said.

According to the official, the Spring Festival this year was a more relaxing one compared with those of the past years.

"Being invited to less wining and dining during the festival, I had more time to enjoy with my family members," he said.

"As people took more care of their own health, few chose to have a lot of wine and eat a lot to celebrate the festival,"

"We also abandoned playing mah-jong du-ring the festival."

"As a result, I am energetic today to start my work after the festival," he said.

Sun Yang, a 26-year-old journalist in Beijing, already started work on Tuesday.

"The Spring Festival holiday is nearly the same as other holidays for me, when I had to start work a little earlier than others," he said.

"I worked as usual yesterday and today. But I felt sleepy and did not work as efficiently as usual," Sun said.

Zhang Xinli, a medical expert said that many suffered from negative symptoms at work during the first one to two weeks after a long festival, the Beijing Youth Daily reported.

"Many find it difficult to fall asleep at night. When morning comes, they do not want to get up to work," he said.

Meanwhile, many suffered from mental problems such as neurasthenia, depression and anxiety when going back to work after the holiday.

"This is because during the Spring Festival, the biological clocks of some people are in disorder," Zhang said.

He advised employees to adjust their mental condition as soon as possible to fit in with the working environment.

Scientific sleep and eating were also urged to adjust biological clocks to normal.

Gao Ting, a 29-year-old woman who had completed a trip to Africa with her husband during the festival, felt very tired yesterday.

"I will take several days of my annual paid holiday, now that the official week-long Spring Festival holiday ended," she said.

"When I am in totally good physical and mental conditions, then I will go back to work."

Like Gao, many employees took longer holidays than the official one-week gala to better enjoy themselves, especially in their hometowns.

According to Chinese tradition, the Spring Festival does not end until the 15th day of the first lunar month.

This year's Spring Festival celebrations began on Febuary 9 and will end on Febuary 23, also known as the Lantern Festival. In ancient China, people believed that they could use lanterns to scare and drive away evil spirits.

In less than six weeks, about 1. 97 billion passenger trips were taken in China for the Spring Festival holiday, most of them by train and bus.

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