Sunday, December 30, 2007

Kenya December 31 Post-Election Public Holiday

Sources: Reuters and Kenya public holidays. Late this afternoon, the Electoral Commission of Kenya declared President Mwai Kibaki the winner of the 2007 polls and he was sworn in shortly after 6pm, Kenyan time. He then proceeded to declare tomorrow, Monday, December 31, 2007, as a one-off public holiday, "to accord all Kenyans the rest they deserved [after] the hectic time the country had during the electioneering period".

Note that the re-election of President Kibaki means that the January 2-3 public holiday promised by ODM opposition candidate, Raila Odinga (our news post of November 5), is no longer likely.

Panama's President Signs Long Weekends Public Holidays Bill Into Law

Sources: PA-Digital and Panama public holidays. The bill restoring the mechanism of días puente (bridge holidays) to some of Panama's public holidays was signed into law earlier this week by President, Martín Torrijos. The first public holiday to be affected will be the upcoming Martyr's Day public holiday, which will move from Wednesday, January 9, 2008, to Monday, January 7, 2008.

For background information of the días puente, and a synopsis of the various stages in their restoration by law, see our posts of: August 8, August 25, September 17, October 14, and November 29.

Follow-up (January 12, 2008) In the days leading to the first día puente, January 7, Panama's media were full of vociferous attacks against this new law, from traditionalists, who feel that moving historical holidays is un-patriotic. On the other hand, reports from businesses, following that same first long weekend were extremely positive, arguing that the intended effect of the long weekend (increased domestic spending) has been achieved fully.

The Gambia Declares December 31 Public Holiday

Sources: Freedom Newspaper and The Gambia public holidays. Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh has declared Monday, December 31, 2007, as a one-off public holiday to coincide with the official naming ceremony of his newly born son, Muhammed Yahya Jammeh, in Kanilai.

Yemen Declares 3-Day National Mourning

Sources: Arab News and Yemen public holidays. Abdullah ibn Hussein Al-Ahmar, the speaker of Yemen’s Parliament, died earlier today, and the government of Yemen announced an official three-day mourning, from Saturday, December 29, to Monday, December 31, inclusively. This national mourning period will not be a public holiday.

Senegal Declares 3-Day Mourning Period

Sources: BBC World and Sénégal public holidays. Serigne Saliou Mbacke, the the fifth caliph of the Mouride Muslim brotherhood, as well as the religious adviser to Senegalese President, Abdoulaye Wade, died on Friday, and a 3-day national mourning period was declared from Friday, December 28, to Sunday, December 30, inclusively. This national mourning period will not be a public holiday.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Pakistan Declares 3-Day National Mourning

Sources: The Daily Times (Islamabad) and Pakistan public holidays. Following the assassination of Prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, on Thursday night, a 3-day national mourning period was declared in Pakistan, for the period of December 28-30, inclusively.

In principle this period of mourning was not to be treated as a general public holiday, the government having only decided to close all educational and financial institutions. However there are numerous reports that an unannounced holiday was observed in all the government offices in the federal capital on Friday, while attendance in the offices remained light due to demonstrations.

Friday, December 28, 2007

India's Punjab Announces Official List of 2008 Public Holidays

Sources: Punjab Newsline and India public holidays. The State Government of Punjab has announced the official list of 2008 public and restricted holidays in the State. The list contains 28 public holidays dates. In addition to this the government has released the list of 18 restricted holidays from which an employee can choose any two days to take as restricted holidays.

Brazil Announces Official 2008 Public Holidays List

Sources: O Dia, Agência de Notícias do Acre, and Brazil public holidays. Brazil's Ministry of Planning has released the official list of 2008 public holidays (feriados nacionais e pontos facultativos). The list contains no surprises.

As has been the case in recent years, the Dia do Servidor Público (Public Servants' Day), which is in principle fixed to the date of October 28, has been moved to Monday, October 27, in 2008, to afford civil servants a long, uninterrupted weekend.

Nepal To Add Non-Hindu National Public Holidays

Sources: Nepal News, The Himalayan Times, and Nepal public holidays. Nepal's Home Minister, Krishna Sitaula, has announced that festivals of indigenous nationalities and of various religious minorities would be made into full national public holidays (currently the festivals of most ethnic and religious minorities only give these minorities the right to a day off, provided that they are civil servants).

Sources are reported as saying that the Minister has already chosen the following: Lhosar (indigenous nationalities), Chhath (Madhesis), Eid Bakr-Eid (Muslims), Christmas (Christians), Maghi (Tharus), and Ubhauli Udhyauli (Kirant). Regional holidays are also reported to be under consideration.

The first change announced will be on December 30, when a public holiday has been declared for the Gurung/Tamu festival of Lhosar. Other changes that were mentioned as certain by the Home Ministry include Christmas and Eid al-Fitr.

Other changes, if any, would apply beginning in the year B.S. 2065, according to the Nepalese calendar, which would mean an official announcement in late February or early March 2008 (the announcement for B.S. 2064 was in mid-March 2007).

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Argentina's Central Bank Announces 2008 Public Holidays

Sources: InfoBAE, BCRA web site, and Argentina public holidays. The Central Bank of Argentina (BCRA) announced, yesterday, the official list of 2008 public holidays and non-working days (feriados y días no laborables) in Argentina. This published list is excalty the same as the one that has been available for over 2 years, to licensees of the Q++ Worldwide Public Holidays Database.

Romania Declares December 31 Bank Holiday

Sources: Mediafax and Romania public holidays. Last week, the main Romanian banks had already announced reduced opening hours (and in some cases, no opening hours) for Monday, December 31, 2007, but the situation has now been clarified with the declaration of a one-off bridge bank holiday on Monday, December 31, 2007. Banks and financial institutions in Romania will be closed on that day.

Kyrgyzstan Public Holidays From January 1-7

Sources: AKI Press and Kyrgyzstan public holidays. The government of Kyrgyzstan has declared as non-working days (one-off bridge public holidays) the days of January 2-3-4, 2008, meaning that Kyrgyzstan will be on holidays from Tuesday, January 1, 2008, to Monday, January 7, 2008, from New Year's Day to Orthodox Christmas, inclusively.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Kuwait 2008 New Year Holiday To Remain On January 1st

Sources: Kuwait Times and Kuwait public holidays. Despite the recent change to the law moving some mid-week public holidays to the first day of the following week, it was announced, earlier today, by Kuwait’s Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chairman Abdulaziz Al-Sebin that Tuesday, January 1, 2008, would be observed as the (Western) New Year public holiday, and that as such, all Kuwaiti ministries and state agencies would be off on that day.

Normally, this public holiday should have been observed on Sunday, January 6, 2008. The special treatment afforded to this specific public holiday, while Islamic New Year, and the Prophet's birthday and Ascension, are still scheduled to be moved from mid-week, has angered many Muslim groups in Kuwait, and an Islamist MP, Walid Al-Tabtabaei, has recently introduced a bill which would force the Government to make the January 1st public holiday also move to the next Sunday.

UK: Renewed Calls For Fall Public Holiday

Sources: Travel Weekly, The Daily Mail, and UK public holidays. Over the last 12 months, there have been many calls for a new UK public holiday, based on the fact that, at 9 public holidays, the UK are in second t last place in the EU, and the long gap between the summer bank holiday, in August, and Christmas (see our posts of August 28, July 24, and June 27).

There have even been 2 official petitions, on the 10 Downing Street website; the first one for the establishment of a new public holiday on February 12 (Darwin's Birthday), and the second one for the establishment of a National Remembrance Holiday on the second Monday in November.

In that context, travel giant, Thomas Cook, is launching a massive advertising campaign to pressure the government to add another bank holiday to the UK's list of public holidays (recall that in the UK, the term bank holiday means that all businesses are closed, not only banks as is the case in North America, for example).

Swaziland's Incwala Public Holiday Date Confirmed

Sources: The Times and Swaziland public holidays. Swaziland's Minister of Home Affairs, Prince Gabheni, has officially announced that the public holiday corresponding to the Incwala, would be on Friday, December 28, 2007 (the date that we have been predicting all year-long).

Monday, December 24, 2007

Uzbekistan Declares December 31 Public Holiday

Sources: Jahon News Agency and Uzbekistan public holidays. Uzbekistan's President, Islam Karimov, signed the Resolution "On transferring the working day from Monday December 31, 2007 o­nto a Saturday December 29, 2007", which makes Monday, December 31, 2007, a public holiday in exchange of which, the previous Saturday, December 29, will be a regular working day.

French Polynesia Government Holidays On December 24, 31 and January 2

Sources: Tahiti Presse and French Polynesia public holidays. Over the weekend, the Council of Ministers of French Polynesia, has announced that civil servants and government services would get two and a half additional days of holidays. These are: the afternoon of Monday, December, 24, 2007, and the 2 full days flanking New Year's Day; Monday, December 31, 2007, and Wednesday, January 2, 2008.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Macedonia Announces December 25 Holiday For Catholics

Sources: Makfax and Macedonia public holidays. Late Friday night, a spokesperson for Macedonia's Ministry of Labor and Social Policy announced that December 25, the first day of Christmas, according to Gregorian calendar, would be a non-working day for the Catholic community in Macedonia.

Swaziland's Incwala Public Holiday Still Not Officially Announced

Sources: The Swazi Observer and Swaziland public holidays. Swaziland's Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Meshack Shongwe, said that the date of the upcoming Incwala public holiday had not been made, adding that such a decision was made by Labadzala who understand the customary signs, which prelude the Incwala Dance. The announcement is expected on Monday morning.

The actual Incwala Ceremony has been announced by The Times as being scheduled for Boxing Day (December 26) and The Times mentions unconfirmed reports that a public holiday will be declared for Friday, December 28, 2007 (the date that we have been predicting all year-long).

However, as the source of this report is not given, we suspect that The Times is actually relying either on our website and Blog directly, or relying on one of the websites that use this blog to keep their site up-to-date.

Cameroon Declares December 24 Bridge Public Holiday

Sources: Kaï Walaï and Cameroon public holidays. Cameroon President, Paul Biya, signed an executive decree making Monday, December 24, 2007, a one-off, bridge public holiday.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Honduras Declares December 24 And 31 Bridge Holidays For Public Servants

Sources: El Heraldo and Honduras public holidays. The General Secretary of the Honduras Ministry of Administration and Justice, Florencia García, announced last night that executive decree 72-2007 had been issued creating two, one-off, bridge holidays for civil servants: Monday, December 24, and Monday, December 31, 2007.

El Salvador Declares May 2nd Bridge Public Holiday

Sources: Diario Oficial de El Salvador and El Salvador public holidays. Legislative decree 519 of December 20, 2007, makes Friday, May 2, 2008, a one-off bridge public holiday for all civil servants in El Salvador. This additional public holiday will be compensated by Saturday, April 26, 2008, being a regular working day.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Cyprus December 31 Euro Conversion Bank Holiday

Sources: The Gazette and Cyprus public holidays. On Monday, December 31, 2007, banks in Cyprus will not transact business with customers. This one-off special bank holiday was declared by the Central Bank of Cyprus to ensure a smooth changeover from the Cyprus pound to the Euro, on January 1, 2008.

Kenya Declares December 28 Public Holiday

Sources: Kenya Braodcasting Corporation and Kenya public holidays. Kenya government spokesperson, Alfred Mutua, announced that Friday, December 28, 2007, the day after the upcoming presidential election, would be a one-off public holiday in order for Kenyans to be able to travel, vote and return back to their workplace.

Note that by law, election day is already gazetted as a public holiday, and that both December 25 and 26 are also public holidays, meaning that Monday, December 24, is the only working day next week.

Iraq Extends Civil Service Eid al-Adha Public Holiday To Include Christmas Day

Sources: Al-Mashriq (print edition) and Iraq public holidays. The Iraqi national press office released an announcement which extended the Eid al-Adha public holiday for civil servants by one extra day and declared the following day, December 25th a national holiday in Iraq for all government offices (national and provincial).

The government, in its press release, mentions that this allows our citizens to celebrate Eid Al-Adha and the birth of the messiah (peace be upon him). Recall that in Islam, Jesus despite not being considered the Son of God, is nonetheless considered to be one of the great prophets.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Guam Declares December 24 Bridge Public Holiday

Sources: Kuam News and Guam public holidays. Guam Governor Felix Camacho signed Executive Order 2007-21, which declares Monday, December 24, 2007, a one-off bridge public holiday for the Government of Guam. Many private sector businesses are expected to follow the government's lead.

Azerbaijan Public Holidays From December 31 To January 6

Sources: Azeri Press Agency and Azerbaijan public holidays. Azerbaijan's Cabinet of Ministers announced that it had replaced the non-working days of the weekend of December 29-30, 2007, by Thursday and Friday, January 3-4, 2008, so that, combined with December 31st's Solidarity Day public holiday, and the January 1-2 public holiday, Azeris will have 7 consecutive days off, from Monday December 31, 2007 to Sunday, January 6, 2008, inclusively.

France's Whitmonday Public Holiday Back In The Limelight

Sources: Le Monde and France public holidays. Late last May, the recently nominated French Prime Minister, François Fillion, asked his Minister in Charge of the Evaluation of Public Policies, Eric Besson, to review, the status of the Whitmonday public holiday.

The suppression of Whitmonday as a public holiday was decided following the 2003 heat wave, when over 10000 elderly died, to gather funds for greater care of the dependent elderly. Its implementation, in late May 2005, led to an anti-government backlash that many have credited for the last minute surge, and victory, of the "no" vote in the referendum on the government-supported EU constitution.

Yet, Whitmonday is hardly a normal working day, in France. Currently, about 50% of the private sector is at work, but schools are closed, the post offices are closed, the SNCF (state-owned railways) operates on a Saturday schedule, the RATP (Paris subway and suburban trains) operate on an August weekday schedule, and trucks over 7,5 tons are not allowed on the roads.

In the report he submitted late last week, Mr. Besson proposes that the Whitmonday public holiday be re-instated, and that each business be allowed to choose the public holiday it wishes to work on, to contribute to the care of the elderly. Seems like this will really simplify matters ...

We will continue to monitor any developments.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

China Makes Public Holidays Overhaul Official

Sources: Government of China and China public holidays. Earlier today, the Chinese government made official, without any amendments, its draft plan to overhaul its public holidays system. The May Day Golden Week public holiday will be replaced by a single day public holiday, on May 1, but 3 traditional Chinese festivals will become 1-day public holidays. The Lunar New Year public holiday will remain a golden week public holiday, but it will begin one day earlier, on Chinese New Year's Eve. For more details, see our post of November 9.

Malta's MLP Would Restore Days In Lieu If Elected

Sources: Times of Malta and Malta public holidays. Recently interviewed on One TV, the leader of Malta's Labour Party, Dr. Alfred Sant, promised that, if elected, public holidays that fall on a weekend would no longer be "lost" and that a day in lieu would be given on the following scheduled working day (recall from our post of October 21, that the current government recently ruled-out any return to days in lieu).

The next parliamentary elections in Malta will be in March 2008 and that would mean that the June 29 Saints Paul and Peter public holiday (locally called L-Imnarja) that falls on a Sunday in 2008 would be followed by a day in lieu public holiday on Monday, June 30, 2008.

Maldives Changes Dates of Eid al-Adha Public Holidays

Sources: Government of the Maldives and Maldives public holidays. Earlier today, the President of the Maldives announced that the Eid al-Adha public holidays would be moved a day earlier, to match the similar surprise announcement by Saudi Arabia (see our post of December 11).

The general public holiday of Haj Day will therefore take place on Tuesday December 18, followed by the general public holiday of Eid al-Adha on Wednesday December 19. Civil servants will, in addition be off until Sunday, December 23, inclusively, but will have to work on Saturday, January 5, 2008.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Uzbekistan Announces Eid al-Adha Public Holiday Date

Sources: Jahon News Agency and Uzbekistan public holidays. Uzbekistan President, Islam Karimov, signed the resolution "On celebrating the Kurban-hayit (the Eid al-Adha) in Uzbekistan", which sets the date of Wednesday, December 19, 2007, for the upcoming Eid al-Adha public holiday.

Ghana Announces December 19 Eid-Ul-Adha Public Holiday

Sources: Ghana News Online and Ghana public holidays. The Ministry of the Interior of Ghana announced that the date of the Eid al-Adha public holiday had been set for Wednesday, December 19, 2007, one day earlier than anticipated. In the same communiqué, the Minister confirmed that December 25 and 26, as well as January 1st, would be public holidays.

Oman Announces Eid al-Adha Public Holiday Dates

Sources: The Times of Oman and Oman public holidays. Until recently, the date of the upcoiming Eid-al Adha public holidays in Oman was uncertain, but Oman finally declared the date of Eid al-Adha for Wednesday, December 19.

According to a ministerial decision issued by Sayyid Ali bin Hamoud Al Busaidi, minister of the Diwan of Royal Court and chairman of the Civil Service Council, the public sector (ministries, public authorities and other state administrative bodies) will be on holidays from Tuesday, December 18, to Sunday, December 23, 2007, inclusively.

A similar decision, issued by Dr Juma bin Ali bin Juma, manpower minister, sets the period of Wednesday, December 19, to Saturday, December 22, 2007, inclusively, as public holidays for the private sector.

Bahrain Eid al-Adha Holiday To Extend For 10 Days

Sources: Gulf News and Bahrain public holidays. This December's rare combination of Friday/Saturday weekends (December 14-15 and 21-22), Bahrain National Day (December 16-17) religious public holidays (Arafat Day on December 18, and Eid al-Adha December 19-21) coupled with a day in lieu for holidays that fall on the weekend (December 23) is giving employees in the public sector a total of 10 consecutive days off, from Friday, December 14, to Sunday, December 23, 2007. Private sector employees, for their part will not be off on either Tuesday, December 18, or Sunday, December 23, 2007.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Pakistan To Observe Eid al-Adha On December 21

Sources: The News and Pakistan public holidays. A meeting of the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee, held at the ministry of religious affairs in Islamabad, confirmed that no reports of sightings of the Zilhajj moon had been received by the Committee, and that therefore the first day of the month of Zilhajj will be on Wednesday, December 12 and the Eid al-Adha on Friday, December 21, 2007.

India Bakri Id Public Holiday On December 21

Sources: The Hindu and India public holidays. Most of the Indian states that observe Bakri Id (or Feast of Sacrifice) will observe it on Friday December 21, 2007, in sharp contrast to the Middle East, and Central Asia, where most countries have selected Wednesday, December 19.

Kenya's New Id-ul-Hajj Public Holiday Gazetted For December 19

Sources: Kenya Broadcasting Corporation and Kenya public holidays. The Government of Kenya has finally gazetted the new public holiday of Id-ul-Hajj (see our post of November 6), for Wednesday, December 19, 2007.

Currently the holiday is only gazetted for 2007, but government spokesperson, Dr. Alfred Mutua, is quoted as saying that the government will be presenting an amendment to the Public Holiday Act to the next parliament so as to make it a permanent public holiday.

This, of course, unless President Mwai Kibaki loses the December 27 elections to former cabinet minister, Mr Raila Odinga, who is leading in the polls and has for his part promised a 2-day public holiday on January 2-3, 2008 (see our post of November 5).

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Romania Public Sector Holiday On December 24

Sources: Mediafax and Romania public holidays. Romania's Prime Minister, Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, announced yesterday that Monday, December 24, 2007, would be a one-off, bridge public holidays for the public sector. In a related announcement, Romania's Minister of Labor, Paul Păcuraru, added that, in compensation, Saturday, January 12, 2008, would be a normal working day.

Brazil: December 24 And 31 Bridge Public Holidays

Sources: Gazeta Mercantil (and many others) and Brazil public holidays. Over the last few weeks a large number of Brazil's States and 5000+ municipalities have announced that both Monday, December 24, and Monday December 31, 2007, would be pontos facultativos (bridge public holidays for civil servants whose presence is not essential). The latest, to announce these, to date, was the State of Sao Paulo. It is therefore safe to assume that, throughout Brazil, on December 24 and 31, only the most essential government services will be functioning (and some are even declaring December 21 as well as ponto facultativo).

Qatar December 18-23 Bank And Financial Markets Holiday

Sources: Gulf Times and Qatar public holidays. Yesterday, the Qatar Central Bank announced a bank holiday for the period of December 18-23, inclusively. Traditionally, insurance companies follow the Qatar Central Bank directive on bank holidays, and the Doha Securities Market (DSM) also announced it would remain closed from December 18 to 23, and that it would reopen for trading on December 24 at 10am.

Note that, as we reported on December 3, the public sector, and most non-financial private sector workers, will be off from December 18-25, inclusively.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Chile's Día De La Raza Public Holiday Could Be Cancelled Starting In 2008

Sources: and Chile public holidays. In our post of November 22 we mentioned the possibility that a bill would be introduced to cancel the October 12 Día de la Raza public holiday, partly to compensate the new October 31, Reformation Day, public holiday, and partly because that public holiday's name is becoming less and less politically correct (in 2002, Venezuela changed the name of its equivalent holiday to Día de la Resistencia Indígena, and Argentina is considering changing the name of its holiday to Día de la Diversidad Cultural Americana).

As expected, deputy Eduardo Saffirio has announced that, in the next few days, he will introduce a bill before parliament to cancel the October 12 public holiday. We expect this bill to pass before next year's holiday in October, since it has already received positive official comments from deputy Gonzalo Duarte, who is the president of the Comisión de Gobierno Interior, and from the Conadi indigenous associations umbrella group.

Chile December 31 One-Off Public Holiday Unlikely

Sources: Radio Cooperativa and Chile public holidays. Regular readers might recall that in our post of August 15 we mentioned that a draft bill had been sent to commission (boletín 5256-06 de la Cámara de Diputados) proposing that Monday, December 31, 2007, be made a one-off bridge public holiday.

Yesterday, the commission in charge of studying it sent it to the floor of Parliament for a vote, but with a rcommendation to reject the bill, arguing that beyond all other considerations, it would be a waste of time as getting it fast tracked to a vote is low on the list of priorities of the executive (ie. President Bachelet). Thus it is almost certain that Monday, December 31, 2007, will be a regular working day in Chile (although banks will have the day off, as was always the case in the past).

The PPD deputy at the origin of the bill, Rodrigo González, interviewed on the Un Nueva Mañana radio show, defended his proposal saying that December 31 falling on a Monday, no one would be doing any work on that day, anyways.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Kyrgyzstan Changes Kurban Ait Public Holiday Date

Sources: Zakon and Kyrgyzstan public holidays. The 30-member Kyrgyzstan Council of Muslims has advised the government that the Kurban Ait public holiday (also known as Eid al-Adha, or Feast of Sacrifice) should occur on December 19, 2007, despite the fact that many Arabic country will be observing it on the 20th.

Saudi Arabia Moves Eid al-Adha To December 19

Sources: Gulf News and Saudi Arabia public holidays. According to a statement issued yesterday by Saudi Arabia's Supreme Judicial Council, December 10 was the first day of of the Hijra month of Dhu Al Hijja, and therefore Wednesday, December 19, 2007, will be the first day of Eid Al Adha (also known as the Feast of Sacrifice).

UAE Announces Eid al-Adha Public Holiday Dates

Sources: Arabian Business and UAE public holidays. Earlier today, Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Governmental Sector Development, announced that all ministries and public departments in the UAE would remain closed for five days, from Tuesday, December 18, to Saturday, December 22, to mark Eid Al Adha. A separate circular issued by Dr. Ali Abdullah Al Ka'abi, Minister of Labour, announced that the private sector would get 3 days off, beginning on Arafat Waqfa day.

Turkmenistan Officializes Upcoming Eid al-Adha Public Holiday Dates

Sources: and Turkmenistan public holidays. A decree of Turkmenistan's President, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, has confirmed the 3-day period of Thursday to Saturday, December 20-22, 2007, as the official public holidays dates for this year's Kurban Bayramy public holiday (aka. Eid al-Adha, or Feast of Sacrifice).

Monday, December 10, 2007

Azerbaijan Announces Upcoming Eid al-Adha Public Holiday Dates

Sources: Azerbaijan Business Center and Azerbaijan public holidays. The Cabinet Ministers of Azerbaijan has announced the government’s decision that December 20 and 21 would be the dates for the public holiday celebration of religious holiday Gurban Bayrami (Eid al-Adha, or Feast of Sacrifice).

In addition, the status of Saturday, December 22, as a working day or not, is left to each employer's discretion.

China's State Council Approves Public Holidays Overhaul

Sources: CCTV and China public holidays. Following a massive online public consultation (our post of November 17), the State Council of China approved, yesterday, the recent draft plan to overhaul the national public holidays system in China (our post of November 9).

In principle, final versions will be formally announced only after further revisions, but we do not expect any further changes (considering that no changes have been even mentioned, since the original release of the November 9 draft).

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Ecuador Declares December 24 and 31 Bridge Public Holidays

Sources: Ecuador Inmediato and Ecuador public holidays. A presidential decree has made Monday, December 24 and Monday, December 31, 2007, one-off bridge public holidays. In compensation, Saturday December 22, and Saturday December 29, 2007, will be regular working days.

Officially, this decree only applies to civil servants and government employees, but the private sector is encouraged, and expected, to follow the decree.