The Korea Herald


Ruling party proposes Oct. 2 as temporary holiday

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : Aug. 28, 2023 - 14:11

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The ruling People Power Party has formally proposed that the government designate Oct. 2 as a one-off public holiday.

The day, which falls between Korea's major mid-autumn festival holiday, Chuseok, and National Foundation Day, aims to provide a six-day extended break, allowing families to reunite after lengthy COVID-19 restrictions and also to stimulate domestic consumption, according to the party.

On Monday, ruling party leader Rep. Kim Gi-hyeon said at a Supreme Council meeting at the National Assembly that the upcoming Chuseok will be the first holiday since the government decided to downgrade COVID-19 to its lowest level, which takes effect on Aug. 31. Extending the holidays will provide an opportunity for people to spend quality time with their immediate and extended families as well as neighbors, he said, adding that many have not seen their parents in a long time.

He said the proposed one-time extra holiday is expected to have a "positive impact" on ensuring people's right to rest. It should also stimulate domestic consumption and decrease travel times because of more even traffic distribution, Kim said.

Kim urged the government to approve the proposed one-off holiday to avoid care gaps for dual-income couples with young children, noting that many schools and kindergartens are already treating Oct. 2 as a discretionary holiday.

Should the ruling party and the government decide to designate the date a temporary holiday, the agenda is anticipated to be presented at a Cabinet meeting presided by President Yoon Suk Yeol.

In 2017, under the former Moon Jae-in administration, Oct. 2 was designated as a temporary public holiday to stimulate domestic demand, resulting in a total of 10 public holidays straight during that year's Chuseok period.