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China Axes National Public Holidays Office

Source: Government Portal of the State Council of China (Beijing)
Posted: Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Most recent follow-up news item: December 2, 2016

China's General Office of the State Council has announced that the National Holiday Office (NHS), created in 2000, and tasked with the determination of China's annual non-working public holidays schedule, was being shutdown as a consequence of the public opinion backlash against its most recent overhaul of China's annual non-working public holidays system.

The NHS, headed by the director of the China National Tourism Administration, was a ministerial coordinating conference composed of members from 17 government ministries. Its responsibilities will be handed over to a "more senior group of officials".

The release of the official 2014 non-working public holidays in China (2013-12-11), followed a formal poll (2013-11-27) organized by China's General Office of the State Council, itself following up on a series of informal polls the month before (2013-10-12) on seven major news websites, asking the Chinese public to choose between 3 different schemes of annual public holidays, each representing a change as compared to China's last overhaul of its non-working public holidays calendar (2007-12-17). The previous overhaul of China's annual list of official non-working public holidays (2007-12-17, 2007-12-10, 2007-11-17) had also been preceded by a similar poll of citizens via the internet (2007-11-09).

However, despite polling results indicating that about 55% of respondents were against the weeklong Golden Week public holidays system instituted almost 15 years ago (1999-09-20), all 3 of the options proposed last October included a weeklong period of public holidays for the Lunar New Year, and the change that made most people angry was that the Lunar New Year Golden Week public holidays, which used to start on Lunar New Year's Eve, were set in 2014 to start only on the day of the Lunar New Year.

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