Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fiji Might Declare October One-Off Public Holiday

Sources:, Rugby Times, and Fiji public holidays. Countries in the Pacific take rugby very seriously, and following Fiji's win against Wales, thereby acceding to the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals, it is quite conceivable that a one-off public holiday might be declared in Fiji in early October 2007.

One will recall that in June 2006, a win by the Fiji 7s rugby team at the Sevens Tournament (held in London, that year), would certainly have led to the declaration of a one-off public holiday, were it for the fact that another public holiday was coming up (the Queen's Birthday) within a few days. But, the previous year, in 2005, a public holiday was declared for the then again victorious 7s Fiji team.

This year, another public holiday is also coming up, Fiji Day, on October 8, so the declaration of a one-off public holiday remains uncertain. We will, of course, continue to monitor the situation.

Update, October 1st (Niu FM) Interim sports minister, Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi, said that no doubt there'd be celebrations when the team return home and he's hinted that there could be a public holiday as well.

Spain's Madrid Region Announces 2008 Regional Public Holidays

Sources: Comunidad de Madrid and Spain public holidays. Late this week, the Consejo de Gobierno de la Comunidad de Madrid announced the list of 2008 regional public holidays in the autonomous community of Madrid. To the 9 national public holidays, were added the usual regional public holidays, and, somewhat surprisingly, the Monday after Epiphany (January 7, 2008).

This last date is a twist, similar to the one contained in the list of regional public holidays of the autonomous region of Castilla y León (see our post of September 7). As we had mentioned at the time, what is noteworthy is that the practice of moving public holidays that fall on a weekend to the next working day has so far not been followed anywhere in Spain.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Malaysia Confirms 3-Day Eir al-Fitr Public Holiday For All States

Sources: Bernama News Agency and Malaysia public holidays. Earlier today, Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, confirmed that the upcoming Aidilfitri public holiday (also know as Hari Raya Puasa or Eid al-Fitr) would last for 3 days across Malaysia, as those states whose weekend day off is Friday (Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah) would be off from Friday the 12th to Sunday the 14th, while the other 10 states and 3 federal territories, whose weekend day off is Sunday, would be off from Saturday the 13th until Monday the 15th.

The Chief Secretary re-iterated the rule that there is only one weekly day off (either Friday or Sunday, depending on the states) and that the fact that the Aidilfitri public holiday occurs on a Saturday and Sunday, in 2007, only gives a right to one day in lieu, as Saturdays are working days in all Malaysian states.

Bahamas: Discovery Day Public Holiday Replacement Delayed Until 2008

Sources: The Bahama Journal and Bahamas public holidays. Earlier this week, Minister of State for Culture, Charles Maynard, announced that although the bills were passed in parliament earlier this year, legislation to establish a system of local honours and change the name of the Discovery Day holiday to National Heroes Day won’t come into effect by October 12 (the date of this year's Discovery Day as well as the date of the proposed National Heroes' Day).

What remains to be ironed out, is whether National Heroes' Day will replace Discovery Day, or whether the day will bear a double name (as is the case in Uruguay). Another issue, should both public holidays remain is how to synchronize them, since the Discovery Day public holiday is currently a moving holiday, while the new Heroes' Day public holiday is meant to be always on the fixed date of October 12.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Australia's Melbourne Cup Public Holiday Could Be Cancelled This Year

Sources: AAP and Australia public holidays. The Premier of the Australian State of Victoria, John Brumby, has refused to guarantee that Melbourne Cup Day (scheduled for November 6, in 2007) would remain a public holiday in 2007, if this year's Melbourne Cup Race is cancelled due to the current epidemic of equine influenza (horse flu).

This current epidemic has crippled the horse racing industry in other states, such as New South Wales, where the Ballina Cup Race and the Lismore Cup Race were recently cancelled, as were the 2 local public holidays that are usually associated with these 2 races, as announced in the Government Gazette No. 116 of 7 September 2007, and the Government Gazette No. 127 on 21 September 2007).

Note that, since this year, the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) has begun observing a public holiday on the date of the Melbourne Cup Day (our posts of April 5 and July 29), but the impetus for that new public holiday, named Family and Community Day, comes from the previous cancellation of the Picnic Day public holiday, and therefore we do not expect this public holiday to be adversely affected, whatever happens to the horse race itself.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Canada: New Manitoba Public Holiday Confirmed And Baptized

Sources: Government of Manitoba, La Presse Canadienne and Canada public holidays. Manitoba's Labour Minister, Nancy Allan, has announced that the new provincial public holiday to be held on the third Monday of February (see our posts of April 8 and April 28) would be named after the historical figure, Louis Riel.

This, contrary to earlier reports had indicated that this new public holiday would be named "Family Day", in line with the name of the third Monday in February public holiday in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Note that 2 other provinces, British Columbia and Ontario, are also considering adding a public holiday in February (see our news posts of February 17 and September 3).

Pakistan September 27 Khaipur District Regional Public Holiday

Sources: The News and Pakistan public holidays. The Khairpur district government, in the province of Sindh, announced a one-off local public holiday on the occasion of 186th Urs of Sachal Sarmast, which is being celebrated on Thursday, September 27, 2007.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

China Mid-Autumn Festival Public Holiday Back In The News

Sources: China Daily, China public holidays, Hong Kong public holidays and Taiwan public holidays. The debate that has been going on in China since the beginning of the year (see our news posts of July 16, July 1, May 11 and March 20) has been re-ignited with the arrival of this year's traditional Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, a public holiday today in Taiwan, and tomorrow in Hong Kong, but not in China.

In an attempt to pave the way for change, the municipal government of Weifang (a city in eastern China, famous for its kite-making) decided to give government employees, doctors, teachers and other people working in public institutions the day off to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, although those few (190,000 out of 8 million) who were given Tuesday off were made to work last Saturday.

Monday, September 24, 2007

India: September 28 Public Holiday In Udupi District

Sources: Daijiworld Media Network and India public holidays. The Udupi district administration has declared a regional public holiday on Friday, September 28, 2007, in the areas where the upcoming local body elections are to be held.

This will apply to government industrial institutes, Town Municipalities, Town Panchayat, Zilla Panchayats, Corporations and Boards, all educational institutions including aided schools, nationalized banks and other banks, LIC under Negotiable Instruments Act.

Note that, in India, the dates of elections are often declared "dry" days (ie. bars are closed and restaurants will not serve alcohol).

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Falkland Islands National Mourning October 5

Sources: Mercopress and Falkland Islands public holidays. Major General Sir Jeremy Moore, who commanded British land forces during the 1982 Falkland Islands conflict with the military junta, then in control of Argentina, died last weekend, and will be buried at Wells Cathedral, Somerset, on Friday, October 5th, 2007. The government of the Falkland Islands has announced that on that day, flags will fly at half-mast all over the Falkland Islands.

Note that the Falklands' War is still an extremely contentious issue in Argentina.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Peru September 24 Regional Public Holiday

Sources: Pachamama Radio and Peru public holidays. The Governorship of the Province of San Román has decreed a public holiday on Monday, September 24, 2007, in the honour of the Virgen de la Mercedes”, the patron saint of the city of Juliaca, near Lake Titicaca.

Argentina September 24 Municipal Public Holiday

Sources: La Gaceta de Tucumán and Argentina public holidays. Monday, September 24, 2007, will be a municipal public holiday to honour la Virgen de la Merced, in 5 cities in Argentina: Tucumán, Bahía Blanca, Mercedes, Chascomús, and Viedma.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Taiwan To Declare October 24 As "United Nations Day"

Sources: The China Post and Taiwan public holidays. Following yet another refusal by the United Nations to accept Taiwan as a member, Taiwan's Minister of the Government Information Office, Shieh Jhy-wei , announced that the Ministry of the Interior is planning to designate October 24 (the day when the U.N. Charter came into force in 1945) as "Taiwan's United Nations Day", although it will not count as a national public holiday.

Czech Republic Senate Votes To Purge Public Holidays Calendar

Sources: and Czech Republic public holidays. Earlier this week, in the culmination of a long process that we first reported on in our news post of November 3, 2006, the upper chamber of Czech parliament passed a draft law abolishing some of the traditional public holidays which senators considered either historically obsolete or outright alien.

These are mostly leftover, grandstanding but hollow, public holidays from the 50 years of communist occupation of Czechoslovakia, namely International Women's Day which would be cancelled as would Family Day and the Day of Knowledge. In a similar vein, Labor Day (May 1) would be renamed as Spring and Labor Day.

The proposal now goes to the Chamber of Deputies (lower house of Parliament) where it may face more adversity as the house is split equally between the leftist and rightist forces unlike the Senate where the conservatives have comfortable majority. We will continue to monitor and report on further developments.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Lebanon September 21 Day Of National Mourning

Sources: The Daily Star, Ya Libnan, and Lebanon public holidays. Wednesday's assassination of the Lebanese member of Parliament, Antoine Ghanem, was followed, today by an informal day of mourning with banks, schools and many businesses closed. This will be followed, tomorrow, Friday, September 21, 2007, by a day of national mourning, as announced by Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

Peru Government Urged To Announce 2008 Bridge and Adjacent Public Holidays

Sources: El Regional de Piura and Peru public holidays. The Government of Peru is being pressed by the local tourism industry and business community to declare the list of 2008 adjacent and public holidays as soon as possible to enable Peruvians to plan ahead.

Recall that the list of 2007 adjacent and public holiday was published as part of the Decreto Supremo 055-2006-PCM of August 22, 2006 (our post of September 15, 2006), which means that by that reckoning, the list is already a month late.

Kuwait Parliamentarians Want 10-Day End Of Ramadan Public Holiday

Sources: Kuwait Times and Kuwait public holidays. On Tuesday, members of the Parliament of Kuwait renewed calls for the government to declare the last 10 days of the month of Ramadan (running from September 13 to October 12, 2007, in Kuwait) as a public holiday to allow people to devote more time for worship.

The government has turned down similar proposals made in previous years saying that working hours during the holy month are already reduced, while the lawmakers have repeatedly reminded the government that some neighboring countries, notably Saudi Arabia, declare the last 10 days of Ramadan as a public holiday (sic).

Apart from the fact that this last quoted statement is incorrect (Saudi Arabia starts its Eid al Fitr public holiday only 5 days before the end of the month of Ramadan), this is unlikely to pass.

Bermuda Day Public Holiday Renamed

Sources: The Royal Gazette (Hamilton) and Bermuda public holidays. Last July, Bermuda Premier, Dr. Ewart Brown, pledged to dedicate a public holiday to the memory of Dame Lois Browne-Evans following her recent death (our post of May 31).

This has now come to pass, as the government yesterday announced the renaming of the May 24 public holiday from "Bermuda Day" to "Heroes' Day", with Dame Lois Browne-Evans to be celebrated as Bermuda's first 'national hero' on May 24, 2008.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Eastern Germany In Favor Of Keeping October 3 Public Holiday

Sources: Die Welt/DPA, LVZ-Online, and Germany public holidays. In a recent survey of persons in the former eastern part of Germany, more than 2/3 of respondents said they preferred to keep the October 3 public holiday (commemorating the re-unification of Germany in 1990), while 16% would prefer to have November 9 (the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, in 1989) as a public holiday.

Meanwhile the State of Sachsen, a move in underway to make October 9 (the date in 1989 when a crowd of 70.000 participated in demonstrations in Leipzig, leading to the fall of the Berlin Wall a month later) a public holiday at the State level.

Background: This comes in the context of recent proposals that would move the October 3 public holiday to always occur on a Sunday (hence adding to Germany's productivity by effectively axing one public holiday).

Dominican Republic Announces Official List Of 2008 Public Holidays

Sources: El Nuevo Diario and Dominican Republic public holidays. Late yesterday, the Secretaría de Trabajo (SET, Ministry of Labour) announced the official list of 2008 public holidays in the Dominican Republic. The announcement confirmed that 2 of the mid-week public holidays would be moved to the following Monday, and that the day of the Presidential election would be a public holiday.

The announcement follows the text of the law governing public holidays in the Dominican Republic (Ley No. 139-97 mediante la cual los días feriados del calendario que coincidan con los días martes y miércoles, jueves o viernes serán trasladados de fecha) to the letter, and this annual announcement is more of a formality than a really suspenseful event.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Saudi Arabia Denies September 22 Public Holiday Rumour

Sources: and Saudi Arabia public holidays. The Ministry of Civil Service of Saudi Arabia has issued an official announcement to state that Saturday, September 22, 2007, would not be a public holiday.

Background: Since 2005, September 23, is observed as the National Day public holiday in Saudi Arabia. This year, the date occurs on a Sunday and this lead to widespread speculation (or wishful thinking, as it were) that Saturday, September 22, 2007, would be declared a one-off bridge public holiday to create a 4-day holiday (recall that, in Saudi Arabia, despite recent hesitations, the weekends are still Thursdays and Fridays).

It is, however, not recommended to try to conduct any type of business with the civil service on Saturday, September 22, 2007, as many civil servants will take the day off, regardless of the official status of that day.

Taiwan September 18 Financial Market Holiday

Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg, and Taiwan public holidays. All financial markets and institutions in Taiwan will be closed on Tuesday, September 18, 2007, due to Typhoon Wipha.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Panama Minister Announces Support For Return To Movable Public Holidays

Sources: La Prensa, our post of August 25, and Panama public holidays. The Minister of Tourism of Panama, Rubén Blades, has recently jumped into the ongoing debate concerning the return of the practice of moving fixed date public holidays to adjoin a weekend so as to have long weekends on the occasion of public holidays.

As is common in Latin America, the bill currently being drafted would move public holidays that occur on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to the nearest weekend, and some public holidays would be exempted from this new rule (New Year, May Day, Mothers' Day, Christmas, and Colombia Separation Day).

What is interesting is that the new law would also move public holidays that occur on Saturdays and Sundays, to the next Monday, something common in North America and Europe, but that is almost unheard of in Central America and South America.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Samoa Changes List Of Public Holidays

Sources: Samoa News and Samoa public holidays. The government of Samoa has announced that, beginning in 2008, ANZAC Day and Arbor Day would no longer be public holidays, though some commemorative ceremonies will continue to be held on those dates. In addition, also beginning in 2008, all shops will stay open on the remaining public holidays.

Tokelau Referendum To Be Held Over Labour Day Public Holiday Weekend

Sources: Radio New Zealand International and Tokelau public holidays. The Pacific territory of Tokelau will hold a referendum, next month, over a 4-day period, from Saturday, October 20, to Tuesday, October 23. The referendum is to decide whether Tokelau should become a nation of self-government, in free association with New Zealand (Tokelau is currently administered by New Zealand).

Note that Monday, October 22, is a public holiday in Tokelau (Labour Day) which means that the first 3 days of the referendum are scheduled for non-working days. Whether this means that the fourth day, Tuesday, October 23, 2007, will be declared a one-off public holiday, is not clear yet.

Togo Declares 3-Day National Mourning And Delays School Year Start By A Month

Sources: AFP and Togo public holidays. Last Thursday, the government of Togo declared three days of national mourning for the victims of recent torrential rains and floods which have washed away or damaged 22,000 hut homes, more than 100 bridges and 58 schools and colleges, along with 1,500 hectares of food crops and have left 34,000 people homeless.

In addition, on Friday, the government postponed by one month the start of the school year, which was supposed to have started on September 17.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Canada's Ontario Province Would Get 6 New Public Holidays ... If The Green Party Is Elected

Sources: Radio-Canada, La Presse Canadienne, and Canada public holidays. Presumably inspired by our post of September 3, in which we reported that, if elected, the Ontario Liberal Party had promised a new provincial public holiday, and not one to be outdone, the Ontario Green Party has now announced that if it were to be elected, it would create not one, but six new public holidays !

These six new public holidays would be: Ontario Day (the first Monday in March), Earth Day (April 22), the Friday before the August Civic Holiday, November 11, as well as the dates of municipal and provincial elections.

The Green Party is not expected to win Ontario's upcoming provincial elections on October 10, 2007.

Nigeria Likely To Declare Eid Al Fitr Public Holiday Earlier Than Other Muslim Countries

Sources: The Guardian, The Hindu, The Q++ Sun Moon and Planets Calculator, and Nigeria public holidays. While most Muslim countries began the month of Ramadan yesterday (with a few such as India and Pakistan beginning today), Nigeria began the month of Ramadan on Wednesday (as did Libya).

Since Muslim months can have either 29 or 30 days, the early start of Ramadan in Nigeria, and the fact that the New Moon will occur at 7am in Lagos with a 10-minute interval between sunset and moonset, makes it likely that Nigeria will declare the beginning of the month of the subsequent month of Shawwal (the Eid al Fitr public holiday) on October 12, rather then October 13 or 14 as will be the case for most other Muslim countries.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Taiwan Announces 2008 Government Agencies Public Holidays List

Sources: Central Personnel Administration, China Post and Taiwan public holidays. The Taiwanese Central Personnel Administration (CPA) announced Tuesday the working schedule and public holidays list for all government agencies and schools for 2008. Schools, banks, stock and other financial markets will operate in accordance with the timetable, and they will all close during these public holidays.

CPA officials stressed that the government calendar applies only to government agencies and employees, but for convenience, most companies and private organizations generally follow the same timetable, although it is not mandatory for the private sector to stick to the schedule for public servants, as long as the schedules adopted in the private sector should not violate the regulations stipulated in the Labor Standards Law governing the operations of enterprises and employees.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Saint Lucia State Funeral And Public Holiday On September 18

Sources: The Jamaica Gleaner and Saint Lucia public holidays. The funeral of former Saint Lucia Prime Minister, Sir John Compton, which was previously set for September 22 (see our post of September 8), has been advanced at the request of Lady Compton and her family, to Tuesday, September 18, 2007, and the Caribbean Media Corporation has been told that the day will be declared a national holiday.

Libya Begins Ramadan Today

Sources: Libyan Center for Remote Sensing and Space Science, Afrique en Ligne and Libya public holidays. As speculated in our post of August 28, last night, the Libyan Center for Remote Sensing and Space Science (LCRSS), declared that Libya would begin the month of Ramadan on Wednesday, September 12, 2007, a full day before almost all other Muslim countries.

Although the first day of the month of Ramadan is not a public holiday in Libya, the end of Ramadan is, and since months of the Muslim calendar can only have 29 or 30 days, the early start of the month of Ramadan means that the end of Ramadan public holiday will be similarly moved forward.

Chile September 17 Bridge Public Holiday Bill signed Into Law

Sources: El Mostrador, our post of August 28, and Chile public holidays. President Michelle Bachelet signed into law, bill 20.215 which makes Monday, September 17, 2007, a one-off bridge public holiday in Chile. The bill also extends the interdiction of opening to all stores on January 1, May 1, September 18, and December 25.

Philippines Confirms September 12 As Normal Working Day

Sources: The Inquirer and Philippines public holidays. In our post of August 22, we mentioned that the September 12, National Day of Prayer and Reconciliation would be a normal working day (ie. not a public holiday). This was confirmed late on September 11, by the Office of the Executive Secretary who said that there had been no instructions from the President to declare September 12 a nonworking holiday.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Peru Organizer Recommends 2-Day Public Holiday Before 2008 APEC Summit

Sources: Invertia/AFP and Peru public holidays. A Peruvian civil servant who will participate in the organization of the 2008 APEC summit in Lima, Peru, and who was one of the 8 Peruvian civil servants to attend the recent APEC summit in Sydney, said that he would recommend declaring as public holidays the 2 days before the 2008 APEC summit (scheduled for a weekend in November 2008).

Oman Stipulates Reduced Working Hours For Public And Private Sector During Ramadan

Sources: Khaleej Times and Oman public holidays. The government of Oman has announced reduced working hours (09:00 to 14:00) for all government employees and a maximum of 6 hours per day for Muslim workers in the private sector during holy month of Ramadan, which is set to run from September 13 to October 12, this year, in Oman.

The statement for government workers was issued by the Minister of the Diwan of Royal Court, and Chairman of the Civil Service Council, Sayyid Ali bin Hamoud Al Busaidi, while the announcement for Muslim private sector workers was issued by Manpower Minister, Dr Juma bin Ali bin Juma.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Pakistan September 10 Partial Public Holiday

Sources: The Hindustan Times and Pakistan public holidays. The management of several government and private offices have announced a public holiday on Monday, September 10, 2007, amid fears of violent clashes between law enforcers and opposition workers as the government is planning to arrest returning political exile Shahbaz Sharif, at the airport, as he arrives from Saudi Arabia.

In a related development, authorities in Islamabad's historic twin city of Rawalpindi have also officially declared a public holiday on Monday.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Saint Lucia Declares 2-Week National Mourning Period

Sources: Caribbean 360 and Saint Lucia public holidays. Sir John Compton (Sir John George Melville Compton), 82, prime minister of Saint Lucia, died on Friday night, September 7, 2007. A two week period of national mourning has been declared and flags will be flown at half-mast during this time.

Update (September 10) Source: The Trinidad and Tobago Express. The date of Saturday, September 22, 2007, has been announced for the State Funeral of Sir John Compton. The date has not been declared a public holiday, yet, but it is likely that at least the afternoon will be. We will keep on monitoring events.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Spain's La Rioja Announces 2008 Regional Public Holidays

Sources: and Spain public holidays. Spain's autonomous region of La Rioja has announced the list of the 12 public holidays to be observed in the autonomous region in 2008: 1/1, 20/3, 21/3, 24/3, 1/5, 9/6, 25/7, 15/8, 1/11, 6/12, 8/12, and 25/12. To these 12 public holidays, each municipality will add 2 municipal public holidays.

Analysis: Conspicuously absent from the above list are January 6 (Epiphany) and October 12 (Día de la Hispanidad) which both fall on a Sunday in 2008. The autonomous region of La Rioja seems to have decided to follow the Spanish tradition of omitting public holidays on the years when they fall on a Sunday, a tradition which was broken by the autonomous region of Castilla y León, which chose, for 2008, to declare the Monday following these 2 holidays as a day in lieu public holiday (see our news post of earlier today).

Spain's Castilla y León Announces 2008 Regional Public Holidays

Sources: Diario de León, 20 Minutos, La Crónica de León and Spain public holidays. The Consejo de Gobierno de Castilla y León announced the list of 2008 regional public holidays in the autonomous region of Castilla y León. The list contains a new twist; Monday, January 7, and Monday, October 13, will both be public holidays, as January 6 (Epiphany) and October 12 (Día de la Hispanidad), both fall on a Sunday, in 2008. The full list of 2008 public holidays in the autonomous region is therefore: 1/1, 7/1, 20/3, 21/3, 23/4, 1/5, 15/8, 13/10, 1/11, 6/12, 8/12, and 25/12.

Analysis: This is noteworthy, as the practice of moving public holidays that fall on a weekend to the next working day has so far not been followed anywhere in Spain. This could be a developing trend, and we will keep monitoring further developments.

Background: Recall that Spanish regions, towns, villages and cities can each have additional public holidays of their own. There is a base of, usually 9, public holidays that are common to all regions of Spain, plus Epiphany and Maundy Thursday which each region can replace with one or two region-specific public holidays. Regions also have the option of adding a regional public holiday, without removing any of the common ones, or Epiphany and Maundy Thursday. The main reason why the specific public holidays for each province and municipality change every year, such as is the case here, is that these are usually patron saint days, which always occur on a fixed date. Therefore, when these fixed dates fall on a weekend, another holiday or patron saint is chosen for that year, to avoid "wasting" a holiday.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Malaysia's Sabah State Declares September 17 Day In Lieu Public Holiday

Sources: Daily Express and Malaysia public holidays. A day in lieu public holiday has been declared in Sabah State, on Monday, September 17, 2007, as the public holiday of September 16 for the birthday of the Head of State, falls on a Sunday this year.

In addition, the State Secretary's Office, announced that the corresponding birthday parade, investiture of State awards and the State banquet will be held on October 27, 2007, as September 16 coincides with the fasting month of Ramadan, in 2007.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Canada's Ontario Province Considering New February Public Holiday

Sources: La Presse Canadienne, CNW Group, and Canada public holidays. The Prime Minister of the Province of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty, has proposed the creation of a new public holiday, called Family Day, on the third Monday in February.

If this comes to pass, Ontario, Canada's most populous and richest province, would join Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba who, over the last 15 years, have all declared a Family Day public holiday in February (see our news post of April 8), and British Columbia, which is considering it (see our news post of February 17).

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Panama Declares September 3 Public Holiday

Sources: Terra, La Estrella, and Panama public holidays. Earlier today, the government of Panama, through a decree signed by President Martín Torrijos, declared Monday, September 3, 2007, as a one-off public holiday for all government workers and both private and public schools. This, to coincide with the ceremonies for the launch of a 6-year, massive, construction project that will enlarge the Panama Canal.

Trinidad and Tobago Considering Carib Community Public holiday

Sources: Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday and Trinidad and Tobago public holidays. A Cabinet-appointed committee to look into issues affecting indigenous people, submitted its first draft report to the Minister of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affair, Joan Yuille-Williams, for Cabinet’s consideration. One of the issues being considered by the Committee, is the possibility of a public holiday for the Carib community next year.

Saudi Arabia Business Community Calling For Change To Weekend Definition

Sources: Gulf News and Saudi Arabia public holidays. Last Friday, leading Saudi businessmen and economists, among which Adnan Al Naeem, the Secretary General of the Eastern Province Chamber Commerce and Industry (EPCCI), called for changing the weekend in the kingdom to Friday-Saturday, claiming that the present Thursday-Friday weekend was negatively affecting the economy of the kingdom.

Analysis: Saudi Arabia's business community has long been used to being limited to 3 days a week (Monday to Wednesday) contact with the business world of the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. But recently, it is feeling even more isolated, as other Arabic members of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), such as Bahrain, the UAE and Kuwait have changed their weekends (see our news posts of August 2006 and August 4, 2007).

Despite the mounting pressure from its business community, it is far from obvious that the government of Saudi Arabia will respond to such economic arguments, it being a kingdom ruled by religion above all else. In any event, if such a change were to occur, past experiences would seem to indicate that it would occur on a September 1st (perhaps in 2008 or 2009), the date chosen recently by all other Arabic countries for their change of weekends (see above links).

Croatia Declares September 3 Day Of National Mourning

Sources: AFP and Croatia public holidays. The government of Croatia proclaimed Monday, September 3, 2007, a day of national mourning, following the death, last night, of a seventh of the firemen that had recently battled the wildfire on the Adriatic island of Kornat. For its part, the district of Sibenik, where tragedy occurred, proclaimed seven days of mourning.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Bhutan Codifies Public Holidays On Election Days

Sources: Bhutan Draft Election Bill and Bhutan public holidays. Until now the declaration of a public holiday on election days in Bhutan, was done on a case-by-case basis (see our news posts of May 2 and May 27).

However, the recently released draft to the Bhutan Election Bill would enshrine into law the principle of declaring public holidays on the date of any future election to Parliament or Local Government (Chapter 17, Article 327).

Recall from our post of July 3 that the next Parliamentary elections will be held in 2 rounds, one in February and one in March 2008. Specific dates have yet to be announced, but with Losar set to occur in the first half of March, remarkably late, it is our guess that the March second round will most likely take place in the second half of March.