The good news: There may be more new holidays. The bad news: Some current
holidays may be shortened so as not to lose working days.
People will probably have days off on traditional Chinese festivals such as
the Mid-Autumn Festival and the Pure Brightness Festival (Tomb Sweeping
Festival), said a sociology professor who is a member of a think-tank to the
But the three seven-day "golden week" national holidays Labour Day (May 1),
National Day (October 1) and the Chinese New Year may be shortened so that the
total number of holiday days will remain the same, said Zhai Zhenwu, a professor
at the Renmin University of China, yesterday.
"The changes will probably take place from 2008," he said. "The National
Development and Reform Commission is drafting the policy."
Such arrangements aim to preserve traditions. "If people still work during
some traditional festivals, the younger generation will forget the significance
of the days and abandon related customs, which are an essential part of the
nation's intangible cultural heritage," said Liang Yanjun, a professor at
Tianjin Institute of Finance and Economy at an earlier session of the Chinese
People's Political Consultative Conference.
A call by scholars for days off on traditional festivals started as early as
Ji Baocheng, president of the Renmin University of China and a deputy to the
National People's Congress, has long advocated making four traditional festivals
national holidays. They are the Dragon Boat Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival,
the Pure Brightness Festival and Chinese New Year's Eve.
The Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar
is the fifth traditional festival waiting to be chosen as a national holiday.
(China Daily 03/02/2007 page1)