Netizens are voicing their annoyance at the arrangements ahead of China’s nationwide May 1 holiday, or Labor Day. On paper, it looks like people will be given five days off, but the total of accumulative days tallies up to just one day.
How can that be?
Well, in accordance with China’s policy of 调休 or “transfer of rest day,” two of the five rest days for Labor Day in China take place on a Saturday and Sunday, which require make-up work days — one on the Sunday the weekend before the holiday and another on a Saturday on the weekend following the holiday.
The irony here, then, is that the Labor Holiday, a day off specifically for workers, is now resented by folks who think that this holiday ultimately comes to ruin two weekends, in favor of one stretch of five days during the holiday.
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A hashtag with the title #如何看待五一调休凑长假# (which loosely translates to “how to view the May 1 holiday transfer days for a long holiday”), went viral on Sunday, April 25, the first “transfer day” for the holiday. Thus far the the hashtag has been viewed millions of times.
This scheme of shifting weekend days off during a holiday are nothing new in China, with the government implementing the rule to treat these days as weekdays to be made up since the mid 2010s. Lengthening the May 1 holiday to a five day continuous holiday is intended to allow for workers in the country to have an extended holiday for traveling.
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The holiday is also seen as an impetus for consumer spending, with one Weibo user commenting, “It’s just to make a long vacation for everyone to go out and spend money. It’s useless for me to look at it, won’t listen to me.”
Another user commented on the crowds that are likely to descend upon cities and popular tourist sites during the holiday: “A lot of trouble, and when you go outside it’s full of people, not as good as normal. Just leave it as it is, don’t turn it upside down.”
A survey taken by Sino-Singapore Jingwei, asking whether netizens would prefer a shorter holiday without day adjustments or a longer holiday with adjustments, found of 829,000 respondents, 662,000 (or 80%) would prefer a shorter holiday without adjustments.
One user summed it up best when they said, “hard to take, you can’t call adjustment of leave a holiday.”
Cover image via Unsplash