Why you ask? Because that’s how they do holidays in China. May 1st is Labor Day in most of the world, and it will be a 3 day holiday here. But it’s not really 3 days because they make you work 7 days in a row. They move your weekend right up against that holiday in the middle of the week.
Now some people like this. You can take a longer trip out of the city, go visit some relatives, or just spend three days in a row taking it easy. I’ve never liked it, however. I’d much rather have my usual weekend, work two days, have a day off, and then work two more. It just doesn’t seem right to me to work 7 days in a row, and I think a lot of people in China feel the same way.
Most of my students didn’t like it. I’d ask them about the holidays and having to go to school for 7 days in a row. Most of them groaned. Sometimes before a particularly long holiday, like Chinese New Year or National Day, you’ll end up working 8, 9, perhaps even 10 days in a row! Then you’ll get 7 days off, but really, it’s just 5 because you’ve had your weekend moved.
They’ve been doing it like this for quite some time, and I don’t think it will change anytime soon. One thing’s for certain, they could never do that in the US or many European countries. Can you imagine the uproar from people when they’ve got to go into work on Sunday morning instead of to church? No doubt those complaints would come loudest from the non-churchgoing folks especially.
So if you’re thinking about coming to China, be aware that holidays are often interesting, and often unplanned. When you’re working in a school or training center, you’ll probably not know the exact dates of the holiday and which days you have off until a week or two beforehand. That’s just the way it is, and I’ve put up with it for 5 years. You can handle it, but it might make you groan from time to time.