Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ukraine Declares January 1-7 Public Holidays

Sources: UNIAN and Ukraine public holidays. Yesterday, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, announced that the seven-day period from January 1-7, 2008, would be days off work in the Ukraine.

In exchange for the 3 additional one-off public holidays of January 2-4, three Saturdays will be made into regular working days; January 12, January 26, and February 9.

Panama Bridge Public Holidays Reform Law Passed

Sources: Crítica en Linea and Panama public holidays. After many months of discussion and rumour (see our various posts on the topic), Bill 351 which aims to restore the concept of bridge holidays (días puente) in Panama, has been passed after its third and final floor vote.

The law specifies that, starting in 2008, the public holidays of January 9 and November 28 will move to the nearest Monday, if they occur on a mid-week date. The law also gives the executive branch (the President) to power to make other public holidays into días puente.

Bangladesh Cancels November 7 Public Holiday

Sources: bdnews24 and Bangladesh public holidays. Late last night, after a meeting of the Council of Advisers, chaired by chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed, the interim government of Bangladesh announced that the November 7th public holiday would be cancelled, starting in 2008.

This public holiday, also called "National Revolution and Solidarity Day", was a public holiday from 1976 to 1996 and then again from 2001 to 2007. It, and the August 15 public holiday (see our post of August 6) have come and gone many times as coup and counter-coup changed the power structure of Bangladesh, since its separation from Pakistan in 1973.

The updated holidays rules database is available for download for users of Q++ Studio, and will be sent automatically to licensees of the Q++ Worldwide Public Holidays Database.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Kazakhstan Declares December 31 Public Holiday

Sources: Gazeta, Government of Kazakhstan, and Kazakhstan public holidays. Kazakhstan has declared Monday, December 31, 2007 a one-off public holiday, allowing for an extended public holidays period from December 30 to January 2, 2008. In exchange for the above, Saturday December 29 will be a regular working day for all, including financial institutions, which will be open on that day.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Brazil's Mid-Week Public Holidays Bill Waiting For Floor Vote

Sources: Bom Dia Bauru, our post of July 11, and Brazil public holidays. The bill that would move some public holidays that fall on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, to the preceding Monday, after having received the approval of the Education and Constitution and Justice commissions, is now awaiting a date for a vote on the floor of the Brazilian Parliament. Note however, that beginning in 1985, this reform was attempted many times in the past, and was always rejected.

Germany: Buß- und Bettag Public Holiday May Return To Bavaria

Sources: Bayerische Runkfunk, Kanal8, and Germany public holidays. The head of Germany's State of Bavaria, Ministerpräsident Günther Beckstein, has announced that he wishes to re-instate the Buß- und Bettag Public Holiday (Day of Prayer and Repentance) to the list of public holidays observed in Bavaria.

Currently Buß- und Bettag is only a public holiday in the State of Saxony, after being removed from the list of national public holidays, in 1995, to help fund the reconstruction of East Germany.

Monday, November 26, 2007

UAE: One-Day National Day Private Sector Public Holiday

Sources: Gulf News and UAE public holidays. Last night, the UAE's Minister of Labour, Dr Ali Bin Abdullah Al Ka'abi, announced that this year's National Day public holiday would be limited to one day, Sunday, December 2, 2007, for the private sector.

In a later announcement, issued by Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Governmental Development Sector, the public sector employees were given a second day of public holiday, on Monday, December 3, 2007. Recall that, since September 2006, weekends for civil servants in the UAE are Fridays and Saturdays, and that the private sector generally follows the same.

It was also announced that the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (ESCA) and the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) will also remain closed on December 2nd and 3rd, but that banks will be open on both December 1st and 3rd.

Finally, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced that usage of its Dubai public parking lots will be exempted from parking fees on both Sunday December 2 and Monday December 3, 2007, stressing in that announcement, that the exemption did not cover Saturday, December 1, which is a normal working day.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Philippines Declares November 28 Public Holiday in Sarangani Province

Sources: Balita and Philippines public holidays. Late yesterday, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (PGMA) issued Proclamation No. 1416 declaring Wednesday, November 28, 2007, as a special non-working day in the Province of Sarangani which will be celebrating its 15th Foundation Anniversary on that day.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Armenia Declares January 3 and 4 Additional Public Holidays

Sources: Armtown and Armenia public holidays. The Armenian government has announced that Thursday and Friday, January 3 and 4, 2008 would be additional public holidays, as per the "Law on Holidays and Commemorating Days". In compensation, the Saturdays of December 29, 2007, and January 12, 2008, will be regular working days.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Chile's Parliament Approves "Día de las Iglesias Evangélicas" Public Holiday

Sources: La Segunda and Chile public holidays. The bill, originally proposed by MPs Eduardo Díaz and Alejandra Sepúlveda, that would make October 31 (Día de las Iglesias Evangélicas, or Reformation Day, as it is called in Europe) a new annual public holiday in Chile, was voted unanimously in the Chamber of Deputies, yesterday. It now goes to the Senate for final approval, before being submitted to President Bachelet for enactment.

Note that, another bill, technically independent, but closely linked in the minds of Chilean deputies, would abrogate the October 12, Día de la Raza, public holiday to maintain a reasonable number of public holidays.

Panama Vote On Bridge Public Holidays Reform Postponed Until Monday

Sources: Crítica en Linea, La Prensa, and Panama public holidays. The Chamber of Deputies has postponed to next Monday, the third and last reading of the bill to move some mid-week fixed-date public holidays to the nearest Monday. Therefore, the Independence Day public holiday will be celebrated on Wednesday, November 28, this year again, as per the current legislation. For background information, see our posts of Nov-21, Nov-17, Oct-14, Sep-17, Aug-25, and Aug-8.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Philippines Declares November 22 Public Holiday In Sultan Kudarat Province

Sources: Balita and Philippines public holidays. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (PGMA) has issued Proclamation No. 1417 declaring tomorrow, Thursday, November 22, 2007, as a special non-working day in the Sultan Kudarat province which will be celebrating its 34th foundation anniversary.

Panama's Independence Day May Finally Move To November 26

Sources: Critica en Linea,, and Panama public holidays. In our post of November 17, we reported how the movement, begun in early August, to restore the moving of some mid-week fixed-date public holidays to the following Monday had been approved in commission, and passed a first reading on the floor of the Chamber of Deputies.

Yesterday, the law passed a second reading, and tourism organizations have begun to petition the President so that a Presidential decree be issued immediately, if the law is passed tomorrow or Friday.

One of the reasons for the renewed urgency is that the bill, as it now stands, would not move some mid-week fixed-date public holidays to the following Monday, but rather would use Emiliani's rule which would mean that the upcoming November 28 public holiday would be moved to next Monday, November 26, and not December 3, as was to be the case, until yesterday.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dominican Republic Announces Moved Public Holidays For 2008

Sources: Diario Libre and Dominican Republic public holidays. The Minister of Labour of the Dominican Republic has announced the list of public holidays that, in 2008, will move from mid-week to the nearest Monday. Of the 13 public holidays in the Dominican Republic, only 2, those of May 1 (Labour Day) and November 6 (Constitution Day) will move in 2008.

This announcement is in agreement with the 2008 data supplied to Q++ Studio licensees, except for an error in the newspaper article that mentions Monday, May 6, 2008, when in fact, May 6, 2008, is a Tuesday (we did post a comment on the newspaper website, so by the time you read this, they might have corrected their error).

Cuba Adds 2 New End-Of-The-Year Public Holidays

Sources: Milenio, Univision, and Cuba public holidays. Earlier today, the Government of Cuba, at the request of Raul Castro, decreed in the Diario Granma (the Cuban official gazette containing all decrees) 2 new annual public holidays, December 31 and January 2, to take effect immediately.

Although January 2 had been declared as a one-off public holiday in 2007 (
our post of December 20, 2006) and had been used to show-off Soviet-supplied military hardware before the fall of the Soviet Union, in 1992, it will be a public holiday for the first time in 2008.

Workers in the sugar cane and other "emergency" agricultural sectors will have to work on those days, but they, as anyone who works on these days for any other reason, will get double-pay.

Finally, many news commentators have remarked that the decree, while re-stating the list of Cuba's public holidays, made no mention of Christmas, which was abolished as a public holiday in 1970, and then re-instated on the eve of Pope John Paul II's visit to Cuba in 1998. However, the decree does explicitly state that it brings the number of public holidays from 7 to 9, which implicitly includes Christmas.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Germany Will Ignore 2008 Conjunction Of Ascension and May Day

Sources: and Germany public holidays. In 2008, the date of the May Day and that of the Ascension public holidays will fall on the same date; Thursday, May 1st, a conjunction that has not happened since 1913, and will not happen again until 2160.

Various European countries have reacted differently to this occurrence; Belgium declared the next day, May 2nd, as a one-off public holiday (our post of April 24), while Luxembourg will not declare a day in lieu public holiday (our post of May 15).

Recent media reports would seem to indicate that Germany will not declare a day in lieu public holiday either (although, as usual, it will be difficult to do any business in Germany on the Friday after Ascension).

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saudi Arabia: 2-Day Public Holiday To Coincide With OPEC Meeting

Sources: Reuters and Saudi Arabia public holidays. A two-day public holiday has been declared in Riyadh, for Saturday and Sunday, November 17 and 18, to coincide with the current OPEC Summit (as had been done, last March, on the occasion of the Arab Summit). This was due to security concerns, and to alleviate traffic, as many central roads in Riyadh have been closed for the duration of the summit.

China's Public Holidays Overhaul Approved By Majority Of Poll Respondents

Sources: Xinhua, The China Daily, and China public holidays. As we reported immediately, on November 9, the Chinese government released a draft plan to overhaul its public holidays system, and opened 5 public forae where people could vote for or against the proposed changes. Yesterday, after the week of online polling came to an end, the final results were released, showing a general approval rating of 60 percent for the proposed changes.

According to, the site which drew the largest number of voters (590,000):
  • 88 percent agreed with increasing the number of public holidays from 10 to 11 (this is a surprise!).
  • 62 percent agreed with making three traditional festivals (Ching Ming, Tuen Ng, and the Mid-Autumn Festival) into public holidays.
  • 81 percent agreed with retaining the Golden Weeks of the Spring Festival and the National Day.
  • 79 percent agreed with starting the Spring Festival holiday on day earlier. on Lunar New Year's Eve.
The online polling initiative was generally well-received, though one recurring complaint was that the surveys did not ask if people agreed with the cancellation of the May Day holiday.

The change thus seems almost certain of coming into being, starting in 2008. The one last uncertainty being the date on which the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday will be set. As that festival's highlight is a big evening family meal, the corresponding public holiday is sometimes set to the day after, so that people have a public holiday to recuperate from the feast (this is the case in Hong Kong, for example, but not in Taiwan).

Panama's Independence Day Public Holiday May Move To December 3

Sources: El Panamá América and Panama public holidays. As we had reported in out posts of October 14, September 17, August 25, and August 8, the re-establishment of días puente (the moving of mid-week fixed-date public holidays to the following Monday) has been a hot topic recently in Panama, and a draft law (proyecto de ley 351) went into commission in mid-October.

With the Independence Day public holiday coming soon (November 28), matters have come to a head, and an emergency session of the legislative assembly has been called to vote the law in time to move the effective date of the upcoming Independence Day public holiday, from Wednesday November 28, to Monday, December 3.

Note that the immediate application of any law passed between now and the 28th of November, could only occur if it is sanctioned by a presidential decree.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sierra Leone Declares November 15 Presidential Inauguration Public Holiday

Sources: SABC and Sierra Leone public holidays. Today was declared a public holiday in Sierra Leone on the occasion of the inauguration of President Ernest Bai Koroma. Koroma, the leader of the All People's Congress (APC) and who was minority leader in parliament prior to becoming President in last September's elections.

Uganda Declares November 22-23 Public Holiday For The CHOGM

Sources: New Vision Kampala and Uganda public holidays. Despite repeated denials (see our post of October 3) of the rumours of a public holiday on the occasion of the upcoming CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting), the government of Uganda has now announced that it had declared Thursday and Friday, November 22-23, 2007, as one-off public holidays to coincide with the beginning of the CHOGM.

Jamaica Announces December 5th Local Government Elections

Sources: Radio Jamaica and Jamaica public holidays. Last night, at a rally in Tivoli Gardens, West Kingston, Prime Minister Bruce Golding announced that local government elections would occur on Wednesday December 5th.

Although election days are not general public holidays in Jamaica, banks often do close for the day (see our post of August 31).

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thailand Declares December 24 Post-Election Public Holiday

Sources: Bangkok Post and Thailand public holidays. As we had forecast in our post of August 28, earlier today, Government spokesman, Chaiya Yimwilai, announced that following a meeting of the cabinet, a one-off public holiday had been declared for Monday, December 24, 2007, the day after the Sunday general election, to encourage people to return to their home constituency to vote.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Jordan Declares Public Holiday For November 20 Legislative Elections

Sources: The Jordan Times and Jordan public holidays. As we had speculated would be the case, in our post of August 22, late Sunday, Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit issued an official statement that the day of the upcoming legislative elections (Tuesday, November 20, 2007) had been declared a public holiday to enable people to vote, and that therefore, all ministries and government agencies would be closed on that day.

Oman Announces Dates Of 2007 National Day Public Holiday

Sources: The Times of Oman and Oman public holidays. Earlier today, the minister of the Diwan of Royal Court and chairman of the Civil Service Council, Sayyid Ali bin Hamoud Al Busaidi, issued a ministerial decision stating that Tuesday and Wednesday November 27 and 28 would be public holidays for employees working at the ministries, public authorities and other state administrative departments on the occasion of the 37th National Day.

On the same occasion, the minister of manpower, Juma bin Ali bin Juma, also issued a ministerial decision by which Wednesday and Thursday November 28 and 29 would be holidays for private sector employees.

As weekends in Oman are still Fridays (and Thursdays also for civil servants), this means a 4-day public holiday for civil servants (November 27-30), and a 3-day public holiday for the private sector (November 28-30). In all cases, work will resume on Saturday, December 1.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

USA: Possible Setback For Election Day Public Holiday

Sources: The New York Sun and USA public holidays. In our post of June 2, we reported how the seemingly defunct idea of making election day a public holiday, had gotten a new lease on life, through the support of Senators Hillary Clinton and Diane Feinstein.

But earlier in the week, New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, jumped into a debate over whether Election Day should be a public holiday, saying that he was against it and that there is no excuse why city employees have an election Day public holiday. He went on to say that addressing this issue was not at the top of his list of priorities, but that he wanted to state his feelings on the matter, for the record.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Philippines: Pangasinan Public Holiday Moved From November 13 To The 12th

Sources: Sun Star and Philippines public holidays. It has been announced that the November 13 Pangasinan Province public holiday declared by, then President, Corazon Aquino to mark the birth anniversary of the late Speaker Eugenio Perez, of San Carlos City, has been moved from Tuesday, November 13, to Monday, November 12, to allow for a long weekend. Apparently, this move was made through the request of the Office of the Governor and was approved by Malacañang through Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, but there are reports that acting Governor, Marlyn Primicias-Agabas, was caught off guard by the development.

In related news, last Monday, the Provincial Board of Pangasinan approved Resolution 228-2007, which requests a presidential declaration that January 9, 2008 (and every January 9 thereafter) will be a special non-working holiday in the province, in observance of Veteran’s Day.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Armenia Announces February 19 Public Holiday

Sources: Panarmenian Network and Armenia public holidays. The Chairman of the Armenian Central Election Committee, Garegin Azaryan, announced that Armenia would hold its next presidential elections on Tuesday, February 19, 2008, and that that day would be declared a public holiday (non-working day).

In addition, by a decree of Minister of Education, Levon Mkrtchian, Monday, February 18, 2008, is declared non-working days in educational institutions all over Armenia. Rectors and school headmasters have been assigned to ensure favourable conditions for ordinary routine of precincts located inside the institutions.

Australia: Melbourne Cup Day To Become Statewide Public Holiday

Sources: The Age/AAP and Australia public holidays. Victoria's Small Business Minister, Joe Helper, announced that legislation would be introduced into state parliament to make Melbourne Cup Day a holiday across the entire State of Victoria, beginning in 2008, except where a council outside Melbourne selects an alternative public holiday in their area.

Currently Melbourne Cup Day is a public holiday, officially, only in metro Melbourne, though, people who have been to Australia at the beginning of November, will attest that it is hard to do business anywhere in Australia on that day.

China Unveils Long-Awaited Public Holidays Overhaul

Sources: China Daily and China public holidays. Since the last May Day Golden Week, rumours of an impending massive overhaul of the public holidays of China (see our news post of July 1) have been getting more and more precise, and earlier today, the Chinese Government released a draft plan on the Internet in order to solicit public opinion.

Some of the highlights:

  • The total number of legal holidays will increase from 10 days to 11 days.
  • As had been widely requested, the Spring Festival would begin on the eve of the Lunar New Year, rather than on the day itself.
  • The three-day May Day public holiday is reduced to one day.
  • Three new one-day public holidays are created, on traditionally important festival days: Tomb-Sweeping Day, the Dragon-Boat Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival.
  • Golden Weeks will be maintained for the Spring Festival and the National Day public holiday, by working the entire weekend previous to each of these holidays.
The only real surprise is that the government is hoping that if there a is a broad acceptance of the plan, then it could come into effect in time for the 2008 Spring Festival (also referred to as Lunar, or Chinese, New Year). Until now, all rumours had been of a change in 2009, to coincide with the next 5-year-plan as has recently been decreed at the Communist Party Convention.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said that November 15 would be the last day to send in replies to the online poll, and the results would be considered before giving the final touch to the new public holidays list.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Kenya Adds Idd-Ul-Hajj Public Holiday

Sources: Kenya Broadcasting Corporation and Kenya public holidays. Addressing a delegation of Coast Province Muslim religious leaders including imams, sheiks and Madrassa teachers at State House Mombasa today, President Mwai Kibaki has directed that Idd-Ul-Hajj (also known as Eid al-Adha or Feast of Sacrifice) will be a public holiday and further instructed the Attorney-General to make the necessary legal amendments to make it a national day.

By a happy, and totally fortuitous, coincidence, the next occurrence of this new public holiday will be on December 19, 2007, while the upcoming presidential and legislative elections are scheduled for a week later, December 27 (see our news post of yesterday).

Monday, November 5, 2007

Status Report On Australia's Melbourne Cup Public Holiday

Sources: The Canberra Times and Australia public holidays. Tomorrow, for the first time, the Melbourne Cup public holiday (first Tuesday in November) will be celebrated in 2 of Australia's states; Victoria (with capital Melbourne) and the ACT (Australian Capital Territory).

In Victoria, it has now become a habit of taking the Monday before Melbourne Cup Day off, to have a 4-day weekend. The VECCI (Victorian Employer Chamber of Commerce and Industry) estimates that that up to a third of Melbourne workers took the day off today. This often poses problems with schools in Melbourne who are supposed to hold classes on the Monday before Melbourne Cup Day, and Victoria schools outside of Melbourne, who do not even get the Cup Day off.

As we had reported on April 5, the ACT Government made Melbourne Cup day (actually called Family and Community Day) a public holiday, this year, because the federal WorkChoices laws abolished Canberra's traditional union picnic day. The ACT Government gazetted the Melbourne Cup holiday for this year only, but said it was committed to it for next year, and would reassess it in 2009. Business is pushing hard to abolish this new public holiday, but thousands have taken today off to make a four-day break, and some public service departments are expected to be almost deserted today.

Kenya's ODM Promises 2-Day January Public Holiday If Elected

Sources: The Standard (Nairobi) and Kenya public holidays. The ODM (Orange Democratic Movement) presidential candidate, and former cabinet minister, Mr Raila Odinga, told supporters at a recent rally, that he would make January 2 and 3, 2008, one-off public holidays if he is elected president in the upcoming December 27 elections.

This 2-day public holiday may very well become a reality since, as reported by the BBC, recent opinion polls put Mr Odinga more than 10 points ahead with 43-52% compared to 31-38% for Mr Kibaki, the current president, running for a second five-year term, having won an election in 2002 to replace former long-time leader Daniel arap Moi.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Argentina November 6 Banking Sector Holiday

Sources: Invertia and Argentina public holidays. On Tuesday, November 6, all banks in the Buenos Aires metro area (Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires) as well as the Argentine Central Bank and all financial markets nationwide, will be closed on the occasion of the Day of the Banking Sector Employee (Día del Trabajador Bancario).

Spain's Ceuta Enclave Will Grind To A Halt On Monday November 5

Sources: Terra Actualidad and Spain public holidays. Although Monday, November 5, will not be an official public holiday in Ceuta, schools, shops and small businesses will all be closed to commemorate the visit of Don Juan Carlos and Doña Sofía, the first royal visit to the Spanish African enclave of Ceuta in 32 years.

Brazil's National Assembly Declares Commemorative Dates For 3 Main Ethnicities

Sources: Agência Câmara and Brazil public holidays. Late this week, the Human Rights Commission of the National Assembly of Brazil approved a resolution specifying 3 separate annual dates to commemorate each of the 3 main ethnicities of Brazil (datas comemorativas de alta significação para os diferentes segmentos étnicos que compõem a sociedade brasileira).

These are: April 19, Dia do Índio, to commemorate Brazil's native people, April 22, Dia do Descobrimento do Brasil, to commemorate the arrival of Europeans, and November 20, Dia Nacional da Consciência Negra, set on the date of the death of Zumbi dos Palmares who fought, and died, for the rights of those of African origin.

These 3 dates are not declared as national public holidays, as such, by this draft law, although individual states and localities are encouraged to declare these as public holidays, and November 20 is officially celebrated in 225 of the country's 5561 cities and municipalities, including Río de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, where it has been an official municipal public holiday since 2003.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Panama: November 6 Is A Regular Working Day

Sources: La Estrella and Panama public holidays. In the last few days, there have been reports that a four-day public holiday would be starting today, Saturday November 3, 2007. This would have meant that Tuesday, November 6, 2007 would, unexpectedly, be a public holiday in Panama.

To be sure, we telephoned the head redactor of the La Estrella newspaper in Panama, who kindly took our call, late in the night, and confirmed that our previous listings of Panama public holidays were correct, and that Tuesday November 6 would be a regular working day.

The redaction at La Estrella further submitted the opinion that the draft law changing the date of fixed date public holidays from mid-week to the nearest Monday (see our post of October 14), if it actually passed, would not pass in time for the next such public holiday, Independence Day, on November 28.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Canada Federal Services Will Not Observe Manitoba's New Louis Riel Public Holiday

Sources: Winipeg Free Press and Canada public holidays. In an announcement mirroring that recently made in the case of Ontario (see our post of October 20), Federal Treasury Board Secretariat spokesman, Pierre-Alain Bujold, confirmed that Manitoba's more than 11,200 federal government employees will not get the day off on the occasion of Manitoba's new provincial public holiday, Louis Riel Day.

A provincial government spokesman, further added that Louis Riel Day did not apply to workers in federally-regulated industries (banking and broadcast industries, railroads, buses, inter-provincial trucking, airports, airlines, grain elevators, the CBC as well as employees of federal boards and agencies). However, local spokesmen for the major banks said they would honour the new Manitoba holiday and give their employees the day off with pay.

Poland: New Public Holidays Shopping Law

Sources: Cyberpresse and Poland public holidays. A new law, forbidding stores in Poland from opening on public holidays, comes into effect today.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Chile's New Reformation Day Public Holiday Looking Ever More Likely

Sources: Gran Calama and Chile public holiday. At a recent ceremony in Chile's Congress, honouring 16 evangelical leaders, the deputy Alfonso De Urresti (PS) said that he was certain that the recently proposed law making October 31 a new public holiday in Chile (see our story of October 18) would soon be approved by the Senate.

Germany: Reformation Day Public Holiday In Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg by 2017 ?

Sources: Evangelischer Pressedienst and Germany public holiday. The Northern Evangelical Church of Germany has announced that is was mounting a campaign to push for the addition of the October 31 Reformation Day to the list of public holidays of Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg (where 65 percent of the population is composed of Evangelical Christians).

The goal is for this to pass before 2017, the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's nailing of his list of 95 points on the door of the Church of Wittenberg. Currently, Reformation Day is a public holiday in 5 of the 16 Länder (provinces/states) of Germany.