Adding holidays will increase happiness

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-12-9 0:38:01

Sanctioned by "relevant departments and units," many websites recently conducted surveys on whether Spring Festival Eve should be included in the weeklong Chinese Lunar New Year holidays. Such polls are pointless, only serving to raise public hopes for more holidays, but ultimately, only end in disappointment. 

There are three official days off during the Spring Festival holidays, plus weekends. Starting in 2008, the holiday began on Spring Festival Eve, but last year "relevant departments and units" ruled the holiday should start from Lunar New Year's Day instead. Now, they are soliciting public opinion again. Instead, the authorities should seriously study the feasibility of prolonging the number of holidays, something the public really longs for. If the length of annual vacation days doesn't change, then arrangements for holidays should be as fixed as possible. Holiday arrangements are related to the pace of the life. Changing the arrangements but not extending holidays will only cause distress. 

We have long called for the government to add one or two more days to the existing number of holidays, which would pave the way to restoring the weeklong May Day holidays. We have several reasons to back the proposal.

To begin with, Chinese people are entitled to 115 days off annually, although this includes weekends. This figure hasn't changed since 2007. Arguments that the amount of holidays has reached its upper limit remain to be proven. China now is in dire need of boosting domestic demand. Restoring the May Day golden-week holidays could fuel consumption and propel tourism. Besides, to increase people's sense of happiness, nothing is better than adding one more day to public holidays. Since the National People's Congress has the final say over whether China should extend its national holidays, we hope that the proposal will garner more attention from deputies and representatives during the two sessions in 2015.

We also object to any change to the current holiday plan for the Spring Festival. Since many companies will still give their employees a half or full day off on Spring Festival Eve, this will be considered as a kind of "invisible welfare." Spring Festival Eve thus will become a holiday, but not one regulated in the official schedule. Chinese people are working too hard. Working overtime seriously erodes our daily life. The authorities should stop polling about how to redesign the Spring Festival holidays. If they have a plan to restore the May Day golden-week holidays or extend the Spring Festival holidays, they certainly don't need to solicit public opinion. The public will be behind them every step of the way.  

Posted in: Editorial

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