More than 70% of netizens want New Year's Eve off

More than 70% of netizens want New Year's Eve off
Countdown to 2015 - Usher in the new year 100m above sea level in Faber Peak Singapore's Celebration Cabin this year-end.

The question regarding whether New Year's Eve (by the lunar calendar) should be included in the three-day New Year's statutory holiday sparked heated discussion among the Internet users. More than 70 per cent of them said they wanted to get a day off on New Year's Eve.

More than a million Internet users participated by answering the question, "Do you think the New Year's holiday should be from New Year's Eve (i.e. Dec 30 in the lunar calendar) to Jan 2, or from New Year's day to Jan 3?".

A vast majority, more than 70 per cent, said yes to including New Year's eve as part of the three-day holiday.

According to Cai Jiming, who leads the holiday reform team at Tsinghua University, three proposals for the New Year's holiday schedule in 2014 were proposed in Nov 2013.

When the third amendment to the Decision of the State Council on Amending the National Holidays and Festive Holidays was released in Dec of 2013, the three-day New Year's holiday was changed from "New Year's eve to Jan 2 by the lunar calendar" to "New Year's day to Jan 3 by the lunar calendar".

The public expressed dissatisfaction with the cancellation of New Year's Eve as a statutory holiday.

One year later, relevant departments decided to conduct a public survey to hear what people really had to say.

Experts'take on the poll results is mixed.

"If the holiday starts on Jan 1, it will affect those who work in places other than their hometown. These people assume decent positions and are well educated. But, for those who work locally, if the holiday starts on Jan 1, they will get an extra half-day off (referring to the fact that most employers allow their employees to leave early on New Year's Eve)," said socialist and tourism expert Liu Ximin.

In Liu's opinion, the start date of the New Year's holiday does not matter that much for the 200 to 300 million migrant workers, who get their Spring Festival break nearly 40 days ahead of the New Year.

"If we look at the big picture, this change of scheduling is not so significant," Liu said.

This opinion is refuted by others.

Cai, who leads the research team that studies holiday reform, said people should get the day off on New Year's Eve because of its "cultural significance".

"According to our tradition, New Year's Eve is important because it is a day we reunite and get together with our family members. Many places in China also host traditional activities on that day. If we start the holiday from Jan 1, we are denying our tradition, so to speak."

As of 10:40 am on Dec 8, more than 1.6 million Internet users have participated in the survey conducted by Sina Weibo on the subject.

1.22 million (75 per cent) of users voted for "from Dec 30 to Jan 2", 31,995 (19.6 per cent) users voted for "from Jan 1 to Jan 3" and 8,734 (5.4 per cent) users voted for "it doesnt' matter."

Sina Weibo user Catfox in boots: The Spring Festival is not a spring festival without New Year's Eve.

Sina Weibo user shellyShanshan: I wish the holiday lasted all the way until Jan 15.

Sina Weibo user Shoujindenghuayouyixiao1971: I support not including New Year's Eve as part of the holiday. That way, we could actually get an extra day off.

Sina Weibo user CokeloverXiaoshu: I support from Jan 1 to Jan 3. Any companies that care about its employees would give at least a half day off on New Year's Eve.

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