Saturday Is Monday, And Sunday Is Tuesday (or, “The Chinese education system’s crazy calendar”)

The Chinese educational system is…interesting, to say the least, when it comes to scheduling holidays. Wednesday of next week is the traditional Chinese holiday called “Qing Ming Jie” or Tomb Sweeping Festival, when Chinese people go to the tombs of their ancestors, tidy up the area around the tomb, and pay their respects to their ancestors.

The government has decided to give students a 3-day holiday – Monday through Wednesday – to celebrate this important traditional holiday. However, for some reason unbeknownst to every foreigner that I’ve talked to – and many Chinese as well! – the government has also decreed that the Saturday and Sunday before the holiday, classes will be held to “make up” for two of the days of the holiday.

That’s when it gets really interesting. Not only has the government decided that two of the days of the holiday need to be made up (not sure why they call it a 3-day holiday if two of the days are made up), but on Saturday students will attend classes that are normally held on Monday, and on Sunday students will attend classes that are normally held on Tuesday. So here’s what this coming week will look like: Saturday is Monday; Sunday is Tuesday; Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are holidays; Thursday is Thursday; and Friday is Friday. Whew! At least Friday is still Friday!

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