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…at least this week in China.  One of the things that has changed since I moved to China in 1995 is the idea of switching days during a holiday to try and maximize days off in a row.

This is not the easiest concept for foreigners to grasp when they first come to China (and in all honesty, for some this gets under their skin and stays there long after the novelty has worn off). And while it’s often not a way that I would organize a holiday schedule if I were in charge, I usually follow the logic behind the government’s declared holiday.

But this New Year’s Day is an exception to the rule.

Because the first is a Sunday, Monday is the official holiday. To get three days off in a row, many work places are trading Tuesday for Saturday – meaning that people are working on Saturday to have Tuesday off.  As an employee, you do not get a choice, if your leader makes the trade, everyone in your place of employment will be working on Saturday.

This is where I am a bit confused on this holiday schedule: either way there are three days off. But with the trade people now have to work on Saturday! In my western way of thinking, I’d rather not work on Saturday even if it really is Tuesday.

As a good friend likes to say about China, “If you’re not confused, you’re not paying attention.” Regardless of whether your Saturday is Tuesday or not, Happy New Year to you!

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