Saturday, March 31, 2007

Nigeria Declares April 2 Public Holiday

Source: The Federal Government has declared Monday, April 2, 2007 as an additional public holiday in commemoration of Moulud Nabiyu, The Prophet's Birthday.

Qatar Declares Additional Public Holiday on April 1

Source: Peninsula On-line. Ministries, state departments and all other governmental organisations will observe a national holiday on Sunday April 1, not for The Prophet's Birthday, which remains observed on March 31, but rather so that employees would be able to take part and vote in the Central Municipal Council (CMC) elections.

Tamil Nadu Declares Public Holiday on March 31 to Coincide with Bandh

Source: The Hindu. The Tamil Nadu State Government has declared March 31 a public holiday under the Negotiable Instruments Act for all State Government offices, public undertakings including the State Transport Corporations and industrial establishments. Airlines and Railways have been advised to reschedule their services on March 31 so that there is no movement between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. anywhere in the State, and Indian Airlines announced cancellation of all its flights.

Analysis: This public holiday is in fact an attempt by the government to preempt the bandh organized for the same day, protesting against a recent Supreme Court decision. The government is saying, in effect, that if there is going to be a general strike, then the government might as well declare a public holiday.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Pakistan Will Observe Prophet's Birthday on Sunday April 1st

Source: International News Network. The government has announced that, in pursuance of the announcement of the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee, the public holiday for the Prophet's Birthday (Eid Milad ul Nabi), based on the Islamic calendar's 12th day of Rabi-ul-Awal, will be observed on Sunday April 1st 2007.

South Africa Considers Adding 3 Religious Public Holidays

Source: IOL (Independent Online). The ANC, South Africa's ruling party, in preparation for its June policy conference, is considering the addition of public holidays for each of the following religions: Hindu, Muslim and Jewish. The 3 holidays being considered are, respectively: Diwali, Eid ul-Fitr, and Yom Kippur. Christmas Day, and Easter Sunday would be the holidays allotted to the Christian faith.

To compensate for these 3 new public holidays, and placate the business community which is opposed to the addition of new public holidays, there are 2 possible solutions being discussed. The first option would be to do away with Good Friday and/or Easter Monday (called "Family Day", in South Africa). The second option would be to cancel the automatic moving of public holidays that fall on a Sunday, to the next Monday.

Analysis: The June timing of the ANC's policy conference, and the 2007 timing of the holidays whose addition and deletion is being considered, makes for a particularly painless process (for voters), if it were to be adopted in 2007, as the Easter-related public holidays that are being considered for cancellation will both have already occurred in April, while the new holidays would immediately come into effect, nicely fanned-out; one in September (Yom Kippur), one in October (Eid ul Fitr), and one in November (Diwali). We will continue to monitor developments.

The Prophet's Birthday on March 31 is Confirmed in Senegal

Source: Le Soleil. The date of March 31st for the observance of the Prophet's Birthday in Senegal, has been confirmed. Analysis: In Senegal, there is generally no tradition of moving holidays that fall on a weekend to the following weekday, and no mention has been made of a day in lieu this year, either.

Burkina Faso Moves Prophet's Birthday to April 1 and Declares Day in Lieu on April 2

Source: Le The Prophet's Birthday's observance, in Burkina Faso, has been moved to Sunday April 1, 2007, and a fully paid day in lieu, for both public and private sectors, has been declared for Monday April 2, 2007.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

March 31 is Confirmed for Prophet's Birthday in Kuwait

Source: The date of Saturday March 31st, 2007, has been confirmed as the date when Kuwait will observe the Prophet's Birthday (note that weekends are Thursdays and Fridays in Kuwait).

UAE Confirms March 31 for Prophet's Birthday and Clarifies April 1 for Civil Servants

Source: The UAE Government announced in a circular, today, that Saturday March 31 was designated as a public holiday to mark the birthday of Prophet Mohammad, and that Sunday April 1st, 2007, would be a normal working day for UAE civil servants, noting that "there will be no compensation or extension of the Saturday holiday".

Analysis: This is in line with the Cabinet decision that bars compensation for any public holiday that falls on another public holiday, or in this case a weekend holiday. While the public sector will not receive a day off, some in the private sector do at the discretion of their employer.

Vietnam Confirms that New Public Holiday will Begin in 2007

This is a follow-up to our post of March 24. Source: Thanh Nien Daily. Members of the National Assembly agreed to make the amendment which makes the Lunar March 10 a public holiday, effective beginning in 2007, on April 26. The amendment is expected to be officially adopted on April 3, the final day of the ongoing house session.

Oman Confirms Milad Al Nabi Public Holiday on March 31st

Source: Khaleej Times. In two separate announcements, one for the government sector, by Minister of Diwan of Royal Court and Chairman of the Civil Service Council Sayyid Ali bin Hamoud al Busaidi, and one for the private sector, by Manpower Minister Juma bin Ali bin Juma, Oman has confirmed that the public holiday of Milad Al Nabi (The Prophet's Birthday) would be celebrated on March 31st. Analysis: For the moment we do not have any confirmation that the public holiday will last 2 days, as is the tradition, to extend to Sunday April 1st (weekends in Oman are Thursdays and Fridays).

April 5 a Public Holiday in Many States and Municipalities Throughout Brazil

Multiple sources throughtout the country (Paraiba, Campo Grande, Rio and many others). Although Maundy Thursday, April 5, the day before Good Friday, is not an official national public holiday in Brazil, over the last 2 weeks, many states, regions and municipalities have declared it to be a public holiday locally. Analysis: We would therefore recommend that anyone planning a business trip to Brazil, consider that day as a day when business life might be severely affected.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Malta Education Sector Public Holiday on June 4

Source: MaltaMedia News. The Minister for Education, Youths and Employment, Louis Galea, has declared a public holiday for all state, church and independent schools, on June 4th, 2007, the day after Dun Ġorġ Preca’s canonization.

Armenia Day of Mourning on March 28

Source: President Robert Kocharian declared a day of national mourning, for today, March 28, 2007, following the sudden death of Prime Minister Andranik Markarian. All businesses and government offices will remain open nonetheless.

Bahrain Confirms Prophet's Birthday on March 31, but Declares Day in Lieu on April 1st

Source: Bahrain News Agency. Saturday March 31, 2007, will be a public holiday, to mark the Prophet's Birthday. But, as Saturday is already a weekend non-working day in Bahrain, a circular issued by the Prime Minister announced that the following non-working day, Sunday April 1st, would also be a public holiday. Analysis: Note that the declaration of days in lieu, when a public holidays falls on a weekend, is neither systematic, nor common, in Bahrain.

Morocco's Prophet's Birthday Holiday Moved to April 1-2

Source: Private communication from an EC correspondent in Morocco. The Prophet's Birthday public holiday has been officially moved to Sunday April 1st, 2007, for 2 days.

Costa Rica's Public Schools will Close April 2-4

Source: La Nación. All public school students, as well as teaching and administrative staff who work for the Ministry of Education (MEP), will be on holidays for 3 additional days, from Monday to Wednesday, April 2 to 4.

Analysis: Since the following Thursday and Friday (Maundy Thursday and Good Friday) are already holidays, this means a holiday spanning 9 consecutive days. Note that these 3 extra days of holidays will not be made up at a later date, as the entire Holy Week (the week preceding Easter) is already excluded from the calculation leading to the legal 200 school days a year.

Brazil Declares May 11 a Public Holiday to Coincide with Pope's Visit

Sources: Folha On Line and Ansa Latina. The Brazilian Senate has declared May 11 a national public holiday. On that day, Pope Benedict XVI, who will be in Brazil from May 9-13, will canonize Frey Galvao, the very first Brazilian saint ever. Analysis: The law, as any law dealing with public holidays in Brazil, was approved by the Education Commission of the Senate, and will not need ratification by a plenary session of the Senate, but rather will go directly to the assembly for ratification by the lower house deputies.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sri Lanka Declares April 18 Public Holiday

Sri Lanka has declared a public holiday on April 18, to coincide with the last scheduled game of Sri Lanka in the current ICC Cricket World Cup, in the Super 8 Stage, when Sri Lanka will play Ireland, in St George's, Grenada. Note that a public holidays was also declared in Sri Lanka, in 1996, when India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka jointly hosted the Cricket World Cup, and Sri Lanka won the cup.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Vatican Declares 2 One-Off Holidays

Sources: Le Vif/L'Express and Diario de Yucatán. The Holy See (Vatican City) has declared 2 one-off public holidays in April 2007. On the 16th, there will be a public holiday to celebrate Pope Benedict the XVIth's 80th birthday, and on the 19th, it will be the second anniversary of his election that will be the occasion for another one-off public holiday.

Hungary's Bridge Holidays and Working Saturdays List Updated

Source: Hungarian Ministry of Labour. The most recently updated list of special "bridge" holidays, and corresponding "working Saturdays" is now available on the Q++ Studio web site's listing of Hungary's public holidays.

Analysis: Bulgaria, the Philippines and the Ukraine also use bridge holidays (Mondays or Fridays that become public holidays when the corresponding Tuesday or Thursday is a public holiday) that are compensated for with working Saturdays. This seems to be a growing trend in Eastern Europe.

Hungary, however, adds a refinement, and a twist, to the system, by specifying what type of schedule should be followed on bridge days and the corresponding working Saturdays. In that context, on all the working Saturdays, except that of October 27, one should follow a normal Monday schedule, while on the October 27 working Saturday, one should follow a normal Friday schedule. As for the dates of the additional bridge holidays, one should follow a normal Saturday schedule, meaning that businesses and personnel who usually work on Saturdays will also work on those days, meaning that Hungarian bridge holidays are not exactly public holidays, at least not for all.

Israel's Independence Day Moved to April 24

Source: private email received from the Knesset (Israel's Parliament). We now have an official confirmation that, in 2007, the date of Israel's Independence Day has been moved by one day, to Tuesday April 24 (instead of Monday April 23). This is a follow-up to our post of March 23.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Vietnam Adds New Public Holiday to Commemorate Legendary Founders

Sources: Vietnam News Agency, Nhân Dân and Thanh Nien Daily. As anticipated in our news story of March 8, 2007, the 11th session of the 11th National Assembly of Vietnam, the country's highest legislative body, has approved making the 10th day of the third lunar month (April 26, in 2007) a new public holiday to immortalize the Hung Kings, who, as legend has it, once reigned over what is now modern-day Vietnam.

The new public day, once officially passed, will entitle the national workforce to have a total of nine public days annually, which is still low compared to Indonesia and Thailand (13 days), the Philippines (12 days), and even China (10 days). Therefore, as the standard of living of Vietnamese keeps on rising, one can expect calls for additional public holidays in the next 2-3 years. Judging by the mood of the country as reflected by the local press, these new public holidays would probably be more traditional/religious, than modern/communist. One possible candidate for a future new public holiday in Vietnam could be the Ram Thang Bay (Day for Homeless Souls) which is the second most important festival in Vietnam after Tet, the Lunar New Year, and which occurs on the night from the 14th to the 15th day of the 7th lunar month (most often in August). Another possibility would be the Mid-Autumn Festival (15th day of the 8th lunar month, most often September) whose date also coincides with the first day of the Kiep Bac Temple Festival (one of the biggest Vietnamese festivals).

See also: follow-up post of March 29, 2007.

Sri Lanka Expected to Declare April 30 Public Holiday in Lieu of May Day

Source: Sri Lanka Daily Mirror. The government of Sri Lanka is expected to declare April 30 a public holiday to enable workers to celebrate May Day, as both the May 1 public holiday, and the Vesak Full Moon Poya Day holiday fall on the same date this year. Most political parties and trade unions have also decided to hold their May Day celebrations on April 30.

Free Tolls in Uruguay on First and Last Days of Tourism Week

Source: El Espectador. All tolls on the Uruguayan territory will be free on Saturday March 31, Thursday April 5 (Maundy Thursday) and Sunday April 8 (Easter Sunday) to encourage people to travel (and spend) as much as possible during what is called by the government Tourism Week, and which coincides with Easter week.

Analysis: This latest initiative is part of a continuing push, seemingly at all costs, by South American governments, to encourage tourism and travel on the occasion of national public holidays (Peru, for example, has Adjacent Public Holidays). What is most interesting here, is that, there are 2 "starting" dates, that of Thursday April 5, the first day of the official Easter weekend public holidays, and also Saturday March 31, the weekend before, giving semi-official confirmation to the fact that the entire Easter week in in reality a quasi-continuous public holiday.

Chile's May 21 Holiday Being Reconsidered

Source: Ercilla (Chile) and La Razón (Bolivia). The Chilean chancellery is investigating the possibility of removing May 21 (Navy Day), from the list of Chile's public holidays, to avoid re-opening old wounds with neighboring Bolivia.

Analysis: This rethinking of the historical significance of Chilean public holidays, is part of the recent Foxley Doctrine (named after the current foreign minister) which aims to avoid all things that may irritate friendly neighboring countries. Recently that same doctrine led to the cancellation of the TV documentary Epopeya, about the pacific war or 1879-1884, on the grounds that it would irritate Peru. This doctrine, if pushed to its logical conclusion, could also lead to the re-thinking of the September 19 (Army Day) public holiday.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Mozambique Declares 3 Days of National Mourning

Source: SABC News. Mozambique has declared three days of national mourning following the deaths of 96 people in heavy artillery blasts at an armoury near Maputo's international airport. Ivo Garrido, the health minister, announced this after attending a council of ministers meeting, attended by President Armando Guebuza, this afternoon, but he could not offer further details.

Analysis: Later news reports indicated that the 3 days of mourning would be starting at zero hours on Saturday, March 24, 2007, and that during this period flags will be flown at half mast throughout the country, but no mention was made of the third day of mourning, Monday March 26, being a public holiday. So we expect businesses and government offices to function as usual on next Monday.

Reports of Conflicting Dates for Israel's Independence Day

Although the rule for the calculation of Israel's Independence Day (Iyar 5 in the Jewish calendar, or April 23, 2007) is well-known, there have been reports of a few websites listing Iyar 6 (April 24, 2007) as the date of Independence Day in Israel for 2007, and this odd date has been given out to the enquiring public by some of Israel's embassies abroad. We are investigating the subject with our contacts in Israel, but will probably not get any replies until Saturday night, after the end of the Sabbath.

See also: Follow-up post of March 25.

Bulgaria's Bridge Holidays and Working Saturdays List Updated

The updated list of special "bridge" holidays, and corresponding "working Saturdays" is now available on the Q++ Studio web page for Bulgaria's 2007 public holidays.

Analysis: Bulgaria joins the Philippines and the Ukraine in creating bridge holidays (Mondays or Fridays that become public holidays when the corresponding Tuesday or Thursday is a public holiday) that are compensated for with working Saturdays. Although this idea has not yet been tried in Latin America, it may one day be the solution to the age-old feud, in Latin America, between those who want long weekends (for people to return home and visit their families) and those who insist that fixed date holidays must be observed on the exact date of the holiday (lest they lose any religious or patriotic meaning).

Tomorrow, March 24, is not a Holiday in Lebanon

Source: The Daily Star (telephone call). We confirm that the date of March 24, attributed in many reports to a decree declaring a public holiday for all public administrations and institutions, is incorrect. The date of the observance of The Prophet's Birthday will be March 31, and it will be limited to civil servants.

See also: Our posting of March 19, and revised Lebanon Public Holidays 2007.

Bangladesh Declares April 1 Day in Lieu for The Prophet's Birthday

Bangladesh has confirmed that The Prophet's Birthday, which falls on Saturday March 31, would be observed on Sunday April 1st.

Analysis: Recall that currently, in Bangladesh, the weekend is Friday and Saturday, although there have been repeated requests by the business community to align the Bangladesh weekend with the rest of the world.

Antigua and Barbuda Declares March 27 Cricket World Cup Public Holiday

Source: India eNews. The Antigua and Barbuda government have declared March 27, 2007, as a one-off public holiday to mark the country's hosting of its first match of the ICC Cricket World Cup.

Analysis: A close analysis of the news reports of the recent declarations of one-off public holidays to mark the 2007 ICC World Cup grows in Saint Kitts and Nevis and now in Antigua and Barbuda, shows that one of the prime concerns was the fear of half-empty stands being seen on worldwide television. Therefore, as nations of the Caribbean are always eyeing each other's moves, it would not be surprising if some of the countries, that are to hold the remaining matches of the world cup, followed suit by also declaring one-off holidays. Looking at the 2007 Cricket World Cup schedule, these upcoming public holidays could be: Guyana (March 28 or 30 and April 3 or 9), Barbados (April 11, 13, 17 or 19) and Grenada (April 10, 12, 16, 18 or 20). Based on past events, the first match day for each of these countries would probably be chosen (ie. March 28 in Guyana, April 11 in Barbados, and April 10 in Grenada), unless those countries that are hosting semi-finals and finals decide to make these matches dates public holidays instead (ie. Jamaica on April 24, Saint Lucia on April 25, and Barbados on April 28). As always, we will continue to report on these events.

Saudi King Declares March 27-28 Holiday in Riyadh

Source Gulf News. A directive, issued by Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, will make Tuesday and Wednesday, March 27 and 28, municipal public holidays in Riyadh, to try to avoid traffic jams during the upcoming Arab Summit, when Arab leaders will gather to discuss a range of regional issues, including the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the Iraqi issue.

Analysis: This latest declaration of a municipal holiday, to clear the streets of traffic during the hosting of an international conference, is part of a recent trend by governments worldwide. Recent examples include: the Montevideo Iberoamerican Summit (Nov. 2006), the Philippines ASEAN Summit (Dec. 2006), and the upcoming Sydney APEC Meeting (Sep. 2007).

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Daylight Saving ends in Australia on March 25

Source: National Australia Bank. Daylight Saving time will end (ie. clocks move back one hour), this Sunday, 25th March 2007, at 2 am, in the following Australian states: Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, ACT, Western Australia & South Australia. Note that Queensland and the Northern Territory do not observe daylight saving.

Analysis: Note that this is the first time, since 1992, that Western Australia has implemented daylight saving, and that, it was implemented extremely late (December 3, 2006) and with very barely 2 weeks advance notice (link). The trial of daylight saving will span three summers and will be followed by a referendum. This means that while the end of daylight saving will the the same for WA as for the other states that follow daylight saving, we can expect it to begin out of step with other Australian states, and extremely late (first Sunday of December), for the next 2 years.

St. Kitts declares March 22 as World Cup half-day public holiday

Source: The Times Online. Another half-day public holiday has been declared for today, March 22, in the context of the World Cup cricket match between Scotland and the Netherlands (last Wednesday, Australia vs. Scotland, was also a public holiday, but a full-day one).

See also: St Kitts and Nevis Public Holidays and the Wikipedia entry for the 2007 Cricket World Cup.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Saipan's Commonwealth Covenant Day Moved to March 22

Source: Saipan Tribune. Government offices will be closed on March 22, in celebration of Commonwealth Covenant Day, usually observed on March 24. As that holiday falls on a Saturday this year, it was supposed to be commemorated on Friday March 23. However, it was moved to a day earlier because Friday, March 23, is a scheduled austerity holiday (when government offices will also be closed).

Analysis: While it is clear from the above that government will close for 4 consecutive days, from March 22-25, inclusively, it begs the question of what will happen to private sector employees on Friday March 23, which is not a public holiday for the private sector. Last time this type of conflict occurred, in November 2006, the issue was resolved the opposite way, by moving the austerity holiday from November 3rd to the 2nd, leaving the CNMI public holiday on the 3rd. We were able to confirm with local media sources that this would indeed be the case again; private sector workers will have Friday the 23rd off, meaning that public and private sectors will observe Commonwealth Covenant Day on different dates.

See also: Saipan Public Holidays.

March 21 a Day of National Mourning in Russia

Source: Interfax. President Vladimir Putin has declared Wednesday, March 21, a national day of mourning following three recent tragedies, and, in that context, has called for the national flag to be flown at half-mast and for television and radio companies and cultural institutions to cancel entertainment events and programs. Analysis: This will not be a public holiday, neither for the public nor the private sector.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Modifications to The Bahamas' Discovery Day Unlikely before Next Election

Source: The Bahama Journal. Prime Minister Christie recently said that more discussions are needed by the National Cultural Development Commission to determine when Bahamian history month should be observed, when and how to observe National Heroes' Day, and what to do about the name and date of the Discovery Day public holiday (currently held on October 12 to coincide with Columbus Day).

Background: After his 2002 election, Prime Minister Christie appointed the National Cultural Development Commission to determine when Bahamian history month should be observed, and consequently when and how to observe National Heroes' Day. The commission yielded two reports. The majority report recommended that Bahamian history month be observed in October, and that Discovery Day (October 12) be observed as National Heroes Day. The minority report, however, recommended Bahamian history month be observed in January, and that January 10, the anniversary of majority rule, be named National Heroes Day.

Analysis: With the next parliamentary elections in The Bahamas scheduled for May 2007, it seems unlikely that the current government will tackle this rather divisive issue head-on. We can thus expect Discovery Day to be celebrated on October 12, 2007, as usual.

See also: Bahamas Public Holidays.

China organizes charter flights to Taiwan for Chingming Festival

Source: China's People Daily, Xinhua. Although Chingming (April 5, 2007) is not one of China's official public holidays, the CAAC (General Administration of Civil Aviation of China ) has announced that, on the occasion of that traditional festival (in China) and public holiday (in Taiwan), a total of 42 chartered flights from Taiwan to China would be organized by 11 different airlines. The principal cities covered in China are Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xiamen, while in Taiwan, the cities of Taipei and Kaohsiung.

Analysis: This recent development would seem to give ever more credence to the possibility that Chingming will soon be added to the list of China's official public holidays, as we have reported on many occasions, and most recently on March 2nd, 2007.

See also: China Public Holidays, Taiwan Public Holidays, Traditional Chinese Festivals, and recent articles in the China Daily and the The Shanghai Daily about the eventual inclusion of traditional festivals in the list of China's public holidays.

Punjab declares 2 one-off holidays for 2007

Source: Punjab Newsline. Yesterday, Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, declared declared March 23, 2007, and September 27, 2007, as gazetted holidays on the occasion of 75th Martyrdom Day and 100th birth anniversary of guru Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh.

Analysis: As is the case for most religious holidays in India (and these are specifically Sikh holidays), observance will vary according to employees' religion. However, with Sikhs representing a large part of the Punjabi population, these 2 dates are likely to see business life strongly affected.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sydney's One-Off APEC Holiday Update

Sources: The Daily Telegraph and the Sydney Morning Herald. The State Government's plan to give part of Sydney a public holiday while making the rest of NSW work is in disarray, with businesses refusing to close their doors and give competitors in neighbouring suburbs an advantage. In a last minute, subsequent, report, we learned that the NSW government will draft legislation to ensure no workers lose a day's pay as a result of the APEC public holiday, as "a small number of awards do not recognise a regional public holiday", provided the Labor Party is re-elected in the intervening election.

Analysis: For the moment, all the reports of businesses refusing to close are either restaurants, or local shops and convenience stores. We would still expect any business not associated with food, vicinity shopping or entertainment, to be closed in central Sydney on September 7, 2007.

See also: Australia Public Holidays 2007.

Incorrect Reports of March 24 Holiday in Lebanon

Sources: Libnanews and The Daily Star. It has been reported, incorrectly, that Prime Minister Fouad Saniora recently had a decree published making Saturday, March 24, a public holiday for all public administrations and institutions, to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, but in fact, the date should have been Saturday March 31st, as confirmed by The Daily Star (many thanks to Rajaa for her kind assistance).

See also: Lebanon Public Holidays 2007.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Pressure mounting for April 3-4, one-off public holidays in Argentina

Source: Diario Hoy and many others. Pressure is mounting, mainly from the tourism industry, to make Tuesday April 3, and Wednesday April 4, 2007, public holidays in Argentina. Combined with the April 2 public holiday, and Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, on April 5 and 6, these 2 additional public holidays would allow Argentines to benefit from 9 consecutive days off work.

Analysis : We would not expect the above to occur officially, considering we are less that 3 weeks away, and also because another, more popular, push, the one to restore Carnival Tuesday, the only Argentine public holiday, abrogated by the military junta, and not restored since the overthrow of the junta, had not been successful over the last few years. Unofficially, however, we would expect many people to take those 2 days, either as holidays or personal days, particularly as payment of monthly wages by many government agencies have been moved from the beginning of April to the end of March (link). Therefore we would not recommend that you schedule any business trip the week of April 2-6, in Argentina.

Nepal Public Holidays Update

Source: Nepalese Ministry of Information and Communication. The Nepal government has revised the list of public holidays for the year B.S. 2064. Updated list can be seen here.

Rumours of Bank Holiday in Ecuador Denied

Source: Sucre RTV. A few hours ago, the President of the Republic, Rafael Correa, officially denied the widespread rumors that had circulated all day, that he was contemplating the imminent declaration of a banks-only holiday, to stop a possible run on liquidities.

Long Weekends in Mexico

Source: La Crónica de Hoy. The PRD's legislative group in the Chamber of Deputies, is proposing to cancel the implementation of long weekends (fines de semana largos), begun in 2006, whereby the holidays celebrated on Feb-5, Mar-21, Sep-16 and Nov-20, would move to the next Monday, if they did not already occur on a Monday. Reasons given is that the moving of these holidays to a Monday sacrifices traditional celebrations in the search for economic efficiency. For the moment this is only at the proposal stage, and we will continue to monitor the situation.

Bridge Holidays in the Ukraine

Friday March 9, 2007 has been declared a public holiday in Ukraine, in addition to Thursday March 8, 2007. In addition, Monday April 30, 2007, and Friday June 29, 2007, have been declared a public holidays in Ukraine, but to compensate, Saturday April 28, 2007, and Saturday June 16, 2007, will both be a working days in Ukraine.

International Women's Day in Zambia

Source: ZNBC. The Zambian cabinet decided to add International Women's Day (March 8) to the list of Zambia's public holidays, beginning in 2008.