BEIJING, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- It is almost time for 1.3 billion Chinese to enjoy two consecutive public holidays as long as 10 days! But wait...you must first clearly remember when to go to work and when not to.
The State Council, or the Chinese central government, has announced the arrangement for two upcoming holidays -- three days off for the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival from Sept. 22 to 24 and seven days off for the National Day from Oct. 1 to 7.
If the regular weekend holidays are taken into consideration, people on the Chinese mainland can actually have 12 days off and 11 days at work from Sept. 18 to Oct. 10, according to the plan.
But it is not that easy for people to follow.
The government has divided the long holidays in this way: people must go to work on Sept. 19 (Sunday) and 25 (Saturday) to make up for two days off during the three-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, because the festival actually only allows for one day off work.
Likewise, you must also go to work on Sept. 26 (Sunday) and Oct. 9 (Saturday) to repay the days "borrowed" from the week-long National Day holiday, because it only allows for three days off.
After the National Day holiday, people should go to work for two days and then have a day off.
"I'm bewildered when I see the holiday arrangement. It's hard to follow," said Sun Jing, an editor at the Beijing-based Encyclopedia of China Publishing House.
Such a perplexing arrangement, billed as "the most complicated holidays plan" by the Beijing Times, did not happen in the past several years as the two holidays usually overlapped.
A spokesman with the National Development and Reform Commission has told reporters that such an arrangement was based on different factors -- the legal rights of citizens to enjoy public holidays must be safeguarded while they should also refrain from working too long, therefore, the two holidays cannot be merged and spent consecutively this year.
Chinese netizens have come up with a concise sentence to remember the holiday plan starting from Sept. 18: 1 off 3 on, 3 off 6 on, 7 off 2 on, and 1 off.
"It's now much easier (to follow)," Sun said.