In the past the Chinese government used to announce the dates of its public holidays just a few weeks in advance, but yesterday the schedule for the whole of 2009 was published already. Good for people who want to start making vacation plans ahead of time.
Next year there will be a Golden Week during Spring Festival (from Jan. 25-31), but people will have to work the weekend before that to compensate for the holiday. Labor day will be just a one-day holiday this year (officially 3 days, but 2 fall on Saturday and Sunday) on May 1. And the National Day Holiday will be combined with the mid-Autumn Festival giving people time off from Oct. 1-8 (of course also here people have to compensate by working during the weekend before the holiday). Other holidays are on Jan 1-2 (New Year), April 6 (Qingming Festival) and May 28 (Dragon Boat Festival). No Christmas holidays in China of course.
In fact I’m very happy that some of these traditional festivals are back to this old old nation. Moreover, I’m also happy that some Christmas “air” fills the atmosphere in Shanghai in the last 2 years. My first X’mas in Shanghai was in 2002, while sitting at a soya bean cafe on Huai Hai Road, those locals were celebrating New Year’s Eve with firecrackers. No X’mas trees, no Santa Claus, nothing.