A crowd visit Hanoi's Tay Ho Temple during the Lunar New Year celebrations, February 10, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Kieu Duong.
A previous proposal to make July 27, the Vietnamese War Invalids and Martyrs' Day, a public holiday did not enthuse the NA delegates, so Dao Ngoc Dung, Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, chose to exclude the option and proposed that the current number of public holidays be kept as it is.
But since several delegates have expressed their support for an additional public holiday, the NA’s Standing Committee is presenting two options for delegates to vote on: to keep the number of public holidays as it is, or to add one extra holiday on June 28, the Vietnamese Family Day, said Nguyen Thuy Anh, head of the parliamentary Social Affairs Committee.
Delegate Nguyen Anh Tri, former director of the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, supported the second option, saying an extra holiday was an opportunity that families need to get together.
Tran Van Tien, a delegate of the northern province of Vinh Phuc, agreed with the addition of public holidays and recommended that September 5, currently the first day of a school year, is also declared a holiday.
"Many students feel disheartened because their parents don’t bring them to school on the first day of the school year. If we can't add both days and can only choose one, I would choose September 5," he said.
Delegate Mai Sy Dien from the central province of Thanh Hoa said the additional holiday should be around New Year’s Day, so that people can get two days off for the holiday.
"The New Year is the end of a year when people have worked their hardest. To add an extra holiday would allow workers to visit their loved ones, or go travelling," he said.
Vietnamese people now enjoy breaks on the New Year Day, the commemoration day of the Hung Kings (the nation's mythical founders) on the 10th of the third lunar month, the National Reunification Day on April 30, the Labor Day on May 1, the National Day of September 2, and the Tet or Lunar New Year holiday which normally lasts seven to nine days and includes one or two weekends.
This makes for a total of 10 days a year, excluding the Tet weekends.
In comparison, Cambodia enjoys a total of 28 public holidays, Brunei 15, Indonesia 16, and China 21.