China Dials Down Earth Hour for Tibet 'Holiday'
Happy Serf Liberation Day
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2009 1:21 PM CDT
Young Tibetan students wearing traditional Tibetan costumes attend a ceremony marking the newly created "Serf Liberation Day" in Beijing, China, Friday, March 27, 2009.   (AP Photo/ Elizabeth Dalziel)
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(Newser) – The Chinese government has had a sudden change of heart about Earth Hour because the eco-conscious event falls during a new holiday celebrating the Dalai Lama’s flight from Tibet. Cities going dark won't create quite the festive atmosphere Beijing envisioned for the first Serf Liberation Day, so the government is ordering journalists and student groups to scale back their participation, the Guardian reports.

For 3 years now, people around the globe have killed the lights at 8:30pm local time on the last Saturday of March to observe Earth Hour. This year, such notable locales as the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum, the Empire State Building, and Russia’s government headquarters will go dark. But the Forbidden City and Beijing University won't be quite as environmentally aware as organizers had hoped.