Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Brazil: November 19 Bridge Public Holiday For Rio De Janeiro Civil Servants

Sources: O Globo and Brazil public holidays. The more than 100.000 civil servants of the city of Rio de Janeiro will have an additional bridge public holiday on Monday, November 19, 2007, to bridge the gap between the weekend of November 17-18 and the municipal public holiday of November 20 (Zumbi's Birthday, or Day of the Black Consciousness).

Note that this means that civil service in Rio de Janeiro will be closed for 6 consecutive days, from November 15 to November 20, inclusively, as the 15th is a national public holiday, and the 16th was declared a public holiday for all civil servants, nationally (see our post of October 25).

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Morocco Set To Extend Weekends To Fridays

Sources: Aujourd'hui le Maroc and Morocco public holidays. In a recent interview in the Arabic-language newspaper, Al Adala Wa Attanmiya, Mohamed Abbou , the Minister in charge of the modernization of the public sector, has announced that the government was ready to declare Fridays as an official day off with pay. Currently, many businesses close on both Fridays and Saturdays, but they are by no means in the majority.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Libya: Additional Information The October 26 Public Holiday

Sources: Panapress/AfriqueEnLigne and Libya public holidays. In a communique issued yesterday, the Libyan General People's Committee gave additional on the modalities surrounding today's public holiday in memory of the 1911 deportation of Libyans at the hands of the then colonial power, Italy.

Henceforth, on October 26, there will be no flights of the state-owned Libyan Arab airlines as well as travels by land and by sea both inside and outside, from dawn to 1800 hours local time. In addition, telephone communications between Libya and the outside world will be cut and citizens will be banned from traveling to Italy.

Malaysia Confirms Deepavali Public Holiday Date

Sources: Local Radio Announcement and Malaysia public holidays. The Government of Malaysia has officially confirmed the date of Thursday, November 8, as the date for the upcoming Deepavali public holiday. Note that this Thursday public holiday will enable employees in the states of Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu to benefit from a long weekend, as the weekly day off in these states is Friday.

Brazil Declares November 16 Bridge Public Holiday

Sources: Jornal O Globo and Brazil public holidays. As it had already done in 1999 and 2000, the Minister of Planning of Brazil has announced that the Government had decided that, as October 28 (Dia do Servidor Público, the day of the civil servant) fell on a Sunday this year, it had declared Friday, November 16, 2007, as a one-off, public holiday to be a bridge between the following week-end and the November 15 public holiday. All federal government agencies will be concerned, though essential services, such as hospitals, will retain basic services.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bhutan Public Holiday On Date Of Upcoming National Council Elections

Sources: Bhutan election Commission and Bhutan public holidays. In a notice released to the professional news media, on October 19th, the Election Commission of Bhutan has confirmed that Monday, December 31, 2007, would be a one-off public holiday, to facilitate participation in that day's National Council Elections (except in the five dzongkhags, Thimphu, Haa, Gasa, Lhuentse and Trashi Yangtse, where the election has been postponed until January 2008). In addition, note that the Indo-Bhutan border will be sealed for 36 hours, from 6 pm on December 30, to 6 am on January 1st.

China's Largest City Declares New November 4 Annual Public Holiday

Sources: Asia Times and China public holidays. China's largest city, Chongqing in Western China, with 32 million inhabitants, has declared a new annual public holiday, Migrant Workers' Day, on November 4, to mark the contribution of rural migrant workers to the area's social and economic development.

Latvia Declares November 19 Public Holiday

Sources: Copp Clark and Latvia public holidays. The government of Latvia has declared Monday, November 19, 2007, as a one-off, day in lieu, public holiday, due to the fact that Independence Day falls on a Sunday this year.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Malta Rules Out Return To Days In Lieu

Sources: New Europe and Malta public holidays. At a recent meeting with members of the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development (MCESD), Finance Minister, Tonio Fenech, re-iterated its position that there would be no return to the policy of "Days in Lieu" (giving the next working day as a holiday whenever a public holiday falls on a week-end).

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Canada Federal Services Will Not Observe New Ontario Public Holiday

Sources: La Presse Canadienne and Canada public holidays. The Canadian province of Ontario recently declared a new February public holiday (our post of October 11). However, recently questioned in federal Parliament, Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, declared that the new Ontario public holiday would not be a holiday for federal civil servants, justifying his decision by the fact that federal civil servants already have 11 holidays, the same as the other citizens of Ontario will have after this new public holiday comes into force.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Dominican Republic Declares Today Day Of National Mourning

Sources: Dominican Today and Dominican Republic public holidays. Late last night, the Dominican government has declared today, October 19, 2007, a national day of national mourning in memory of Padre Luis Quinn, the Canadian priest who worked for the development of San Jose de Ocoa for over forty years. This will not be a public holiday.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Chile's Parliamentary Committee Approves October 31 Evangelical Church Public Holiday

Sources: El Mercurio, El Mostrador, and Chile public holidays. Earlier today, the Cultural Commission of the Chamber of Deputies approved a bill that would create a new public holiday on October 31, in honor of the Evangelical Church of Chile, to which, according to the latest census, 15% of the over 14 population of Chile belongs.

Recall that, in
our news post of November 10, 2006, we had announced that a public holiday in honor of the Evangelical Church was under consideration, and that we had even correctly estimated the date of October 31 (Reformation Day) as the likeliest date for such a new public holiday.

The bill must now go on the floor of the Chamber of Deputies, before being submitted to a vote by the Senate for final approbation. Due to the fact that October 31 is less than 2 weeks away, and that final approval can occur
no earlier than October 30, this new public holiday would, if approved only begin in 2008.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Philippines Declares October 29 Public Holiday

Sources: Sun Star and Philippines public holidays. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (PGMA), through Presidential Proclamation No. 1403, signed last night by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, has declared Monday, October 29, 2007, a special non-working holiday throughout the country for the exercise of the Barangay and Sanggunian Kabataan (village and youth) elections.

Recall from our post of May 24, that November 2, 2007, was earlier declared as a special non-working day as to bridge the gap between between Thursday, November 1, 2007, which is a regular non-working holiday and the following week-end.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Macedonia Declares October 17 Day Of National Mourning

Sources: Makfax, BBC World, and Macedonia public holidays. The government of Macedonia has declared a day of national mourning, on Wednesday October 17, 2007, in homage to pop star Tose Proeski, who died earlier today, at the age of 26 in a car crash in Croatia. This will not, however, be a public holiday.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Ecuador's Recent Extended Public Holiday Fails To Meet Expectations

Sources: El Diario and Ecuador public holidays. Early reports of tourism-related activity during the recent 3-day weekend are disappointing by all accounts. Recall that last June, the government officialized the practice of moving mid-week public holidays to the nearest weekend, to bolster internal tourism, and officially set the calendar of such movable holidays for the 2008-2011 period. This lack of tangible economic results may revive the debate as large parts of Ecuador's population are opposed to the moving of religious or patriotic holidays from their appointed date.

Ukraine President Declares October 16 Day Of National Mourning

Sources: ForUm and Ukraine public holidays. In a letter released this afternoon to the press, the President of the Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, announced a day of national mourning for tomorrow, Tuesday, October 16, 2007, in memory of the 15 people who were killed, and dozens, including children, who were hospitalized, following a gas blast in a block of flats in Dnipropetrovsk on October 13. The day will not be a public holiday.

Nepal Government Fails To Observe Eid al-Fitr Public Holiday

Sources: The Hindustan Times/EIANS, The Hindustan Times/Reuters and Nepal public holidays. In our post of August 30, we had reported how the Government of Nepal had promised that public holidays would be given on Muslim festivals, following threats by the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) to disrupt the upcoming general elections, if Muslim public holidays were not added to Nepal's list of public holidays (our news post of June 30).

In that same post of August 30, we had ventured the forecast that it is most likely that these new public holidays will in fact be allowances for Muslim civil servants to be off work on the day of the main Muslim festivals.

The first test of the government's promise to observe Muslim festivals as public holidays was this past week-end on the occasion of the Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan), scheduled in Nepal, for Sunday, October 14 (a normal working day, as the weekly day off in Nepal is Saturday).

On that day, Reuters reports that all government offices, banks, schools and colleges remained open, while EIANS reports outrage in the Muslim community that the prime minister's office had not issued any public message, extending greetings to the Muslim community. By all accounts, it would seem that our forecast was correct and that the government did not make good on its earlier promise.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Panama Draft Law Reestablishing Long Week-End Public Holidays

Sources: Telemetro and Panama public holidays. Regular readers of this blog will recall that the reestablishment of "días puentes" (long weekend public holidays) has been in the Panamanian news often in recent weeks (see our posts of August 8, August 25 and September 17).

Matters finally came to a head, late this week, with the approval by Parliament's Working Comission (Comisión de Trabajo de la Asamblea Nacional de Diputados) of a draft law proposed by member of Parliament, Arturo Araúz.

This law would move to the nearest Monday, public holidays that occur on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. The exact mechanism used to determine to which Monday the move would be, remains uncertain, as the mechanism described in Telemetro differs from the one reported on by La Estrella.

In addition, it should be noted, as the law's author points out, that the move only applies to the compulsory day off work, and that civil and religious ceremonies, that are related to any of the moved holidays, would still occur on the original date.

Also, to avoid the backlash from the conservative electorate that caused the system of días puentes to be dropped in 2000, the list of movable public holidays is very limited. Indeed, once all the unmovable public holidays mentioned in the law's current text are removed from the list of Panama public holidays, it would seem that the only 2 public holidays affected by the proposed legislation are Martyrs' Day (January 9) and Independence Day (November 28), although the law's author has said that he has not ruled out adding to the list of movable holidays November 5 and 10, and possibly January 1.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Fiji Rugby Public Holiday Rumours Quashed

Sources: The Fiji Times and Fiji public holidays. Following the accession of the fiji Rugby Team to the quarter finals of the current Rugby World Cup, there had been rumours that a public holiday would be declared upon the team's return home (scheduled for sometime next week). However, late in the week, the government announced that although it had already set up a committee to draw up plans for celebrations, there would be no public holiday.

Bangladesh Eid al-Fitr Pushed Back To Tomorrow

Sources: The Peninsula and Bangladesh public holidays. Earlier today, Ataur Rahman, the Secretary of the Religious Affairs Ministry of Bangladesh, announced that the major Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr that marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, would be held on Sunday, October 14, 2007, instead of the previously announced date of October 13, because the moon was not sighted on Friday night. Secretary Rahman also added that a two-day public holiday had also been declared for tomorrow and Monday.

Note that this last minute declaration is somewhat irrelevant, as half of the population of the capital city of Dhaka have left the city since Thursday night to return home for the Eid holiday, blissfully uncaring of the official date to be announced by the government. In addition, some parts of Bangladesh, particularly in the southern Chandpur district, do not follow official government announcements, but rather, have for years followed the dates announced by Saudi Arabia.

Friday, October 12, 2007

UAE Adds New Public Holiday Beginning In 2008

Sources: Emirates News Agency and UAE public holidays. During yesterday's Cabinet meeting, it was agreed that the 29th day of the month of Ramadan would henceforth become an official public holiday.

The press release did not clarify, however, whether this was meant to be always the 29th day of the month of Ramadan, or whether it was meant to be the last day of the month of Ramadan, in years when the month of Ramadan has 30 days. We will report again, as soon as that question has been clarified.

Thailand Post-Election Public Holiday Update

Sources: The Nation and Thailand public holidays. In our post of August 28 we had surmised that a public holiday would be declared on the day after the December 24 general elections (as had been done in early August on the occasion of the Charter Referendum).

Although the government of Thailand has not yet made any announcement to that effect, government spokesman, Chaiya Yimwilai, told reporters that the question of whether December 24 should be declared a public holiday had been raised at this week's cabinet meeting.

Indonesia Cannot Agree On End Of Ramadan Date

Sources: The Jakarta Post and Indonesia public holidays. Once again, the 2 main Muslim groups of Indonesia have not been able to agree on a date for the celebration of Idul Fitri (aka. Eid al-Fitr, or End of Ramadan).

Late last night, the government of Indonesia, through its Minister of Religious Affairs, Maftuch Baisyuni, announced that Idul Fitri would be celebrated, in Indonesia, on Saturday, October 13, 2007, and the Indonesian Ulema Council, the umbrella group for all Islamic organizations, issued a fatwa obliging all Indonesian Muslims to follow on the government’s decision on when to end Ramadhan.

However, as was often the case in past years, Din Syamsuddin, the Chairman of Muhammadiyah, the second largest Indonesian Muslim organization, said that its organization would stand by its stated intentions of observing Idul Fitri on Friday, October 12.

Meanwhile, most Muslims, including Nahdlatul Ulama, the largest Islamic organization in the country, will celebrate Idul Fitri on Saturday, October 13.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

India's Kerala Declares October 12 State Public Holiday

Sources: Indo-Asian News Service and India public holidays. Earlier today, the government of the State of Kerala (whose population of 32 million is 24% Muslim) has announced that Friday, October 12, 2007 would be a public holiday as Eid-ul-Fitr is likely to be celebrated on Saturday, October the 13th, which is already a holiday in Kerala, being the second Saturday of the month. This Friday day in lieu, one-off, holiday will apply to all educational institutions and state government employees.

Kazakhstan Declares October 26 Public Holiday

Sources: Gazeta and Kazakhstan public holidays. The Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Karim Massimov, has signed a decree exchanging of rest day from Sunday, October 28, to Friday, October 26, 2007, thereby creating a one-off bridge public holiday from Thursday October 25 (the Republic Day public holiday) to Saturday, October 27.

Maldives Declares October 15 Day In Lieu Public Holiday

Sources: Haveeru and Maldives public holidays. The President of the Maldives, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, has announced that, since the Eid-ul-Fitr day is due to fall on a Friday (October 12), the Monday following Eid (October 15) would be a Government holiday to give Government employees an additional day off from work. Government offices would therefore open for work again on October 16th.

Canada's Family Day Public Holiday Likely To Extend To Ontario In 2008

Sources: The Canadian Press and Canada public holidays. The decisive victory by the Ontario Liberals in yesterday's provincial elections, makes it almost certain that Ontario will join the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, in observing a public holiday on the third Monday of February (called Family day in each province except for Manitoba).

As we had mentioned in our news post of September 3, 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, and this was recently taken up officially in a communique of the Ontario Liberal Party.

UPDATE (October 12) This has been confirmed (source Associated Press).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ghana Declares October 15 Day In Lieu For Eidul-Fitr Public Holiday

Sources: GNA and Ghana public holidays. The President of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor, has declared Monday, October 15, 2007, a one-off public holiday, since October 13, the date of the Eidul-Fitr Public Holiday, falls on a Saturday, in 2007. This was announced yesterday, by the Ministry of the Interior of Ghana, referring to a statement signed by the sector Minister, Mr. Kwamena Bartels.

Azerbaijan Declares October 15 Day In Lieu For Ramazan Bayram Public Holiday

Sources: Azeri Press Agentliyi and Azerbaijan public holidays. Azerbaijan's Cabinet of Ministers has announced that the End of Ramadan (ie. Eid al-Fitr, or Ramazan Bayram) public holiday would be observed on Friday and Saturday, October 12-13, 2007. Furthermore, it was announced that Sunday the 15th would be considered a non-working day, while Monday October 15, 2007, would be a one-time day in lieu public holiday to compensate for the second day of the End of Ramadan public holiday occurring on a Saturday.

Pakistan Declares October 16 Additional Eid al-Fitr Public Holiday

Sources: Copp Clark and Pakistan public holidays. The Pakistan Government has declared Tuesday, October 16, 2007, as an additional public holiday on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

UAE Government Eid Public Holiday Begins October 11

Sources: Emirates News Agency and UAE public holidays. The Minister of Governmental Sector Development, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, announced in a recent circular, that the Eid holiday for UAE civil servants would begin on Thursday October 11, 2007 (corresponding to the 29th day of the month of Ramadan).

In that same circular, it was stated that government departments would return to work on Monday October 15th if the first day of the Eid fell on Friday October 12th, or on Tuesday October 16th if the first day of the Eid coincided with Saturday October 13th.

Ivory Coast Declares Last-Minute October 9 Public Holiday

Sources: Copp Clark and Ivory Coast public holidays. In a last-minute communique, the government of the Ivory Coast has declared today, Tuesday October 9, 2007, as a public holiday across the country.

Bahrain Civil Servants Get October 16 Public Holiday

Sources: Gulf News and Bahrain public holidays. Late last night, Prime Minister, Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, announced that with Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, likely to be on Saturday, October 13, the public sector will have Friday, a weekly day off, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, as Eid days, and Tuesday in compensation for Saturday. People working for private establishments will resume work on Tuesday.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Iran Eid al-Fitr Public Holiday Will Last Only One Day

Sources: Press TV and Iran public holidays. Government spokesman, Gholam Hossein Elham, announced last night that the upcoming Eid al-Fitr public holiday would be a one-day public holiday, instead of the 3-day public holiday many had expected (and had been suggested by the Minister of Education, speaking to reporters, earlier this month).

In addition he stressed that "any day which is verified as Eid Al-Fitr, will be an official holiday", which could mean that with the upcoming public holiday set to occur on Friday October 12 (since Iran observed Quds Day, last Friday, October 5), and the Iranian weekend being Thursdays and Fridays, Iranian may not get any additional time off on account of this public holiday.

Colombia Week Long Columbus Day School Holidays Begin

Sources: La Patria and Colombia public holidays. This week, the full week preceding the Columbus Day public holiday, students in Colombia will be off all week, as they have been for a few years, now, the week before Easter. Though this is not a public holiday for the work force, many parents are expected to take this week off to travel to tourist resorts and to see family.

Pakistan October 8 Public Holiday In Kashmir Province

Sources: Hindustan Times and Pakistan public holidays. Today, Pakistan is observing the second anniversary of the October 8, 2005, earthquake in the northern territories. Nationally, one minute of silence will be observed at 8.52 am, local time, and in Pakistani Kashmir, a public holiday was declared.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Nepal Postpones Constituent Assembly Elections And Public Holiday

Sources: BBC World and Nepal public holidays. Elections for Nepal's first constituent assembly in Nepal, which were scheduled for November 22, 2007, have been postponed after ruling parties and former Maoist rebels failed to break their political deadlock. No new date has yet been set for the vote. A public holiday was expected to be declared on that occasion (see our post of July 24).

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Costa Rica Passes Law Moving Some Public Holidays To Nearest Monday

Sources: La Gaceta Digital and Costa Rica public holidays. After many tribulations, the latest official gazette contains Law 8604 of 17 September 2007 which amends article 148, paragraph two of the Labor Code, Law 2 of 26 August 1943 and its amendments, and establishes that the holidays of 11 April, 25 July and 12 October falling on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday will be worked normally, but their benefit must be transferred to the next Monday.

Pakistan October 6 Public Holiday In Punjab Province

Sources: The Daily Times and Pakistan public holidays. The government of Pakistan's province of Punjab (the country's most populous region) has declared a public holiday for Saturday, October 6, 2007, on the occasion of Pakistan's Presidential elections.

Macedonia Confirms October 12 Date For Ramazan Bajram Public Holiday

Sources: Makfax and Macedonia public holidays. Macedonia's Ministry of Labor and Social Policy announced yesterday that the public holiday (non-working day) for the End of Ramadan (or Ramazan Bajram, as it's called in Turkey and former parts of the Ottoman Empire) would occur on Friday, October 12, 2007, in line with the Q++ Studio forecasts.

In line with the law on national holidays of the Republic of Macedonia, the preceding day, Thursday, October 11, was also declared a public holiday, to commemorate the Day of People's Uprising against Fascism.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Trinidad and Tobago Announce October 13 Eid Public Holiday

Sources: The Trinidad and Tobago Express and Trinidad and Tobago public holidays. President George Maxwell Richards has declared Saturday, October 13, 2007, as the date for this year's public holiday in commemoration of Eid-ul-Fitr. This corresponds to the date we have been forecasting.

Egypt October 7 One-Off Bank Holiday

Sources: Copp Clark and Egypt public holidays. The Central Bank of Egypt has declared Sunday, October 7, 2007, a public bank holiday. All financial institutions will be closed on that day, which follows the October 6, Armed Forces Day public holiday and the regular Thursday-Friday Egyptian weekend. This means that banks and financial institutions will have been closed for 4 consecutive days.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Uganda Denies Rumours Of November Public Holiday

Sources: New Vision, The Monitor Online and Uganda public holidays. Earlier this week, responding to questions from MP's, Uganda's Foreign Affairs State Minister, Isaac Musumba, stated that there would be no public holiday during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which will be held from Friday November 23 to Sunday November 25, 2007.

Honduras Changes Dates Of October Public Holidays

Sources: La Tribuna, Proceso Digital and Honduras public holidays. Late today, October 2, the Honduras Minister of the Interior, announced that the government of Honduras had decided to move the date of the October 3 and October 12 public holidays, in 2007, to October 8 and October 15, respectively. The decree applies to all government workers, but the private sector, although free to ignore such decrees, usually follows them.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Saipan's Next Austerity Day Holiday In Question

Sources: The Saipan Tribune and Saipan public holidays. Public Law 15-24, which created the biweekly austerity holidays, expires at the end of this month, with no legal basis left for what would be the upcoming austerity holiday, scheduled for Friday, October 5. There have been some discussions about giving them a more permanent status (see our posts of May 1 and May 8) but, as of yesterday, nothing has been done.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Philippines Announces Date Of Eid Al-Fitr Public Holiday

Sources: and Philippines public holidays. Earlier today, Presidential Spokesman, Ignacio Bunye, announced that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (aka. PGMA) had issued Proclamation No. 1397, declaring Friday, October 12, 2007, a regular non-working holiday, throughout the country, to mark Eid Al-Fitr, the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Bosnia's Republic of Srpska Declares 3-Day Mourning

Sources: B92 News and Bosnia and Herzegovina public holidays. Earlier today, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Srpska (one of the two political regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina), Milorad Dodik, declared three days of national mourning for President Milan Jelić, 51, who died last night. Flags in all Republic of Srpska institutions will fly at half mast from October 1 to 3, 2007, and all sports and cultural activities in the region have been cancelled.