This week, I was talking to friends and congratulating them for having Golden Week, but it turns out that despite it being Golden Week, they have to work their asses off even more than usual, just because it is Golden Week. So it made me wonder what kind of holiday it is and why some (eg: Manga writers) can take a break, while others cannot. What is celebrated on Golden Week and by whom?
Alright! This is one question I have asked before and I will give the perspective for manga artists and such.
Golden Week is a week at the end of April and beginning of May. This week has a series of many national holidays strung together.
April 29, May 1 (Mayday), 3 (Memorial Day), 5 (Children's Day) are all holidays. In the previous decade it made no sense for the factory workers to start and stop the plant every alternate day and so the week was announced as Golden Week and observed as holiday.
However the normal offices usually keep the days which are not holidays as working days.
For manga writers, this is not a real holiday as deadlines do not take into account this Golden Week.
Also during this period all the leisure activities spike up. The film industry gets huge revenues during this period and makes major releases during this period (I am from India, people do the same for big festivals here too :D). So manga being a top entertainment source, I assume the mangaka have to work hard to keep deadlines in this week.
So for budding mangakas, this is a crucial time as most new mangas and a whole bunch of releases happen at the same time.
Some fun facts:
It seems that this time of the year is very pleasant and along summer. So people use this as their vacation period and travel a lot.
Even though offices observe working days in between the Golden Week, employees usually use their PTO (aka vacation days) and take the whole week off.
Golden Week is another holiday observed in China, but it's completely different and started in 2000.
SOURCE: Baku-man for giving insight into mangaka's life, my brain for storing some of the info, and google :D