Monday, June 30, 2008

Tanzania Bank Holiday Tomorrow

Sources: The Bank of Tanzania (BoT) and Tanzania public holidays ( In accordance with the provisions of Section 64(1) of the Banking and Financial Institutions Act No 5 of 2006, the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) announced earlier today that tomorrow, Tuesday, July 1st, 2008, would be a banking holiday, and that as such, all banks and financial institutions will remain closed on that day even though the day is not a public holiday.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Armenia Declares June 30th Public Holiday

Sources: ArmInfo News Agency (Yerevan) and Armenia public holidays ( Late last night, Armenian Prime Minister, Tigran Sargsyan, announced that the day after the Armenian religious festival of Vardavar (The Transfiguration of Jesus Christ), Monday, June 30, 2008, had been declared a one-off public holiday. As compensation, tomorrow, Saturday, June 28, 2008, will be a regular working day.

Poland Epiphany Public Holiday Restoration Gaining Momentum

Sources: Catholic World News (Warsaw) and Poland public holidays ( The petition launched last March, to restore the January 6 Epiphany public holiday, has now reached the half-million real, pen and ink, signatures mark. The petitions have been presented to the speaker of Poland’s parliament, Bronislaw Komorowski.

Epiphany was a national public holiday in Poland until 1960, when it was abolished by the Communist government. Since Poland regained its independence in 1991, all other holy days of obligation have been recognized as national holidays in Poland.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Argentina To Consider Tourism-Boosting Public Holidays Change

Sources: Misiones Online (Buenos Aires) and Argentina public holidays ( A draft law is being considered by the Parliament of Argentina (Cámara de Diputados) which would have for effect to make all public holidays in Argentina remain on the fixed date that they commemorate. Each regions, including the Capital Territory of Buenos Aires would then have the possibility of declaring a holiday the Monday preceding a Tuesday public holiday, and the Friday following a Thursday public holiday. This would, in effect, mean a return to the situation that existed before the reforms of the 1990's.

Reacting to the above draft law, the president of the regional association of the AMHBRA (Asociación Misionera de Hoteles, Bares, Restaurantes y Afines) trade group representing tourism-related industries, Desiré Vogth, said that if the law making all public holidays immovable were to pass, then she would lobby for the creation of one long week-end per month.

Currently, in Argentina, some holidays, such as April 2, are immovable, while some move from Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays to the following Monday, and the last 2 are set as the 3rd Monday of June and August.

UK 2012 Combined Olympics And Diamond Jubilee Public Holiday Deemed Likely

Sources: The Guardian and UK public holidays ( In the running saga of the search for a new UK public holiday, a new idea has recently surfaced; that of making the 2012 Tuesday after the Summer Bank Holiday (in between the culmination of the Olympics and the start of the Paralympics) a public holiday, thus creating a 4-day public holiday. The reasoning is that 2012 is the year of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee (60 years on the throne) and that a special one-off public holiday was declared for the Golden Jubilee in 2002.

There are however some issues with the above idea, notwithstanding the fact that a new bank holiday requires a Royal Proclamation to be implemented. First, the Summer Bank Holiday is on a different date in Scotland than the rest of the UK. Secondly, in 2002, the late May bank holiday was cancelled to make way for the early June Golden Jubilee holiday, leading one to wonder if a consensus could be reached on which 2012 public holiday to cancel. Finally, if current proposals being considered by Gordon Brown for a bank holiday to honour the armed forces were implemented, a further holiday in 2012 would be much less likely.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Saint Vincent Public Holiday For 17th One-Day International

Sources: Nation News (Barbados) and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines public holidays ( Tuesday, June 24, 2008, has been declared a public holiday to mark the occasion of St Vincent's 17th One-Day International, cricket tournament.

Kazakhstan Establishes July 6 “Day of the Capital” State Holiday

Sources: KazInform (Astana) and Kazakhstan public holidays ( Earlier today, the plenary session of the Kazakh Senate adopted an amendment to the Kazakh law “On holidays in the Republic of Kazakhstan” to establish a new state holiday “Day of the Capital” on July 6.

According to the authors of this bill, “the new state holiday is called to symbolize our people’s achievements in the contemporary history of Kazakhstan, connected with the gaining of independence and transfer of the new capital to the geographic centre of the country”.

The current capital was selected as replacement for the historical capital of Almaty, by long-ruling president Nursultan Nazarbayev who initiated the move of the capital from Almaty to Akmola, and, later, had it renamed to Astana (”the capital” in Kazakh). In a recent rush of sycophantic fervor, a number of MPs are now trying to rename the capital city from Astana to Nursultan, in honor of the President.

Update (24-june-2008): Our Q++ Team member in Kazakhstan has obtained official confirmation that this new holiday would be a non-working day, and that as this new holiday falls on a Sunday, this year, a day in lieu will be given on Monday, July 7, 2008.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Zambia To Consider Adding June 23 Public Holiday Next Year

Sources: Zambia Daily Mail and Zambia public holidays ( Zambia's President, Dr Mwanawasa, speaking ahead of the Africa Public Service Day, which falls today, regretted that commemoration of the day had not been brought to his government’s attention in good time, otherwise it could have been declared a public holiday, and went on to say that “This is an important day which can be observed as a public holiday in future”.

June 23rd was declared at the Pan African Conference of Ministers in 2001 as the Africa Public Service Day, an annual event when African countries share best practices, challenges and progress in respect of transformation programmes.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Spain's La Rioja Autonomous Region Votes Online For 2009 Variable Public Holidays

Sources: (Logroño) and Spain public holidays ( The autonomous region of La Rioja has just completed the original step of having its inhabitants vote online to choose the 2 public holidays that are left at the discretion of each of Spain's autonomous regions. The result of the online vote (which is just consultative and in which only 700 people participated) is that to compensate for the fact that November 1 and December 6 fall on a Sunday, in 2009, half of the participants selected Maundy Thursday, and Easter Monday, and 81 percent selected San José (March 19).

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.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bulgaria To Observe June 23 Public Service Day

Sources: FOCUS Information Agency (Sofia) and Bulgaria public holidays ( The Bulgarian Ministry for State Administration and Administrative Reform announced that Bulgarian state administrative officials are to observe their annual professional holiday on Monday, June 23, 2008.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Russia's First Lady Wants July 8 Public Holiday

Sources: Agence France-Presse (Moscow) and Russia public holidays ( Russia's First Lady, Svetlana Medvedeva, is chairing a comittee to celebrate July 8th as a Russian "anti-Valentine's Day", with emphasis on family, mariage and long-term faithfulness, rather than what she (and many in Russia) considers the shallowness of Saint-Valentine's celebration of short-term infatuation.

If this year's first July 8 celebration of SS. Piotr and Fevronia (two 13th century Russian Orthodox Saints who were married and buried in the same coffin) is a success, Mrs. Medvedev has promised to make it an official public holiday in Russia.

Pakistan's Sindh Province Declares June 21st Public Holiday

Sources: The Daily Times (Karachi) and Pakistan public holidays ( Provincial Law Minister, Ayaz Ahmed Soomro, announced that the Government of the Province of Sindh, the traditional stronghold of PPP, had decided to observe Saturday, June 21, 2008, as a one-off general public holiday to mark the birthday of slain leader, Benazir Bhutto.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mauritius Will Introduce Summertime Change Starting In November 2008

Sources: L'Express (Port-Louis) and Mauritius public holidays ( Mauritius' Finance Minister, Rama Sithanen, has announced that Mauritius would start testing moving clocks forward one hour in the summer (aka. summer time change), from November 1, 2008, to March 31, 2009. This decision will be reviewed annually (recall that an earlier trial of the measure, in 1982, was abandoned after the first year).

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cayman Islands Constitutional Referendum Date Set For July 30

Sources: Cayman Net News (Grand Cayman) and Cayman Islands public holidays ( The long-awaited date for the Cayman Islands' Constitutional Referendum has finally been announced. The referendum will take place on Wednesday, July 30, 2008, and that date will be declared a full, one-off, national public holiday.

Update (June 20): Leader of Government Business, Kurt Tibbetts, confirmed that the day of the referendum on the People’s Progressive Movement’s proposed changes to the constitution will likely be a public holiday, but that the previous day's story by the Cayman Net News was incorrect in specifying the date of July 30th; no date has yet been agreed upon.

Niger Declares June 19 Census Start A Public Holiday

Sources: African Press Agency (Niamey) and Niger public holidays ( The government of Niger has declared Thursday, June 19, 2008, a one-off public holiday throughout the country, to mark the a national census to update the electoral roll in the country’s 265 communes, ahead of the 2009 general polls, whose date remains to be announced, but will probably be in November.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Philippines Declares June 24 Public Holiday In Manila

Sources: ABS CBN News (Manila) and Philippines public holidays ( President Gloria Macapal Arroyo (PGMA) has declared Tuesday, June 24, 2008 (Araw ng Maynila) as a special non-working holiday (one-off public holiday) in the City of Manila by virtue of Proclamation No. 1500, to mark the 437th Foundation anniversary of the City of Manila, which is the capital of the Philippines.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Azerbaijan To Celebrate June 18 National Day Of Human Rights For The First Time

Sources: Today (Baku) and Azerbaijan public holidays ( The National Day of Human Rights will be marked as a national day in Azerbaijan, for the first time, on Wednesday, June 18, 2008. Despite the manner in which the official statement was worded, the contacts in Azerbaijan have confirmed that this will be a regular working day (as is the December 10, annual, International Human Rights Day).

Saturday, June 14, 2008

South Africa Declares Country-Wide June 24 Day Of Mourning

Sources: SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) and South Africa public holidays ( Government spokesperson, Themba Maseko, has announced that the South African government had declared June 24, 2008, as the national day of mourning for the victims of the xenophobic violence, but that that day would not be a public holiday.

Update (24-June-2008): Earlier today, Government spokesman, Themba Maseko, announced that the national day of mourning scheduled for today, had been postponed "to enable more planning to be done and to ensure that more people participate in events of the day". He added that the government would set a new date soon.

Maldives Declares June 15 Public Holiday To Celebrate SAFF Championship

Source: Maldives' Ministry of Legal Reform, Information and Arts and Maldives public holidays ( Following the Maldives' National team winning of the 2008 SAFF championship, President Gayyoom declared tomorrow, Sunday, June 15, 2008, as a one-off public holiday (recall that Sundays are regular working days in the Maldives as weekends are Fridays/Saturdays).

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Nigeria's Lagos State Declares June 12 Public Holiday

Sources: Nigeria public holidays ( Tommorow, Thursday, June 12, 2008, has been declared a public holiday, as usual since 1999, by Mr.Babatunde Raji Fashola, the Governor of Lagos State, in remembrance of the general elections of June 12 1993, which result were annulled on June 23 1993, and in honour of late Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola.

Nigeria's Lagos State Considering Adding Traditional Religion Public Holiday

Sources: The Leadership (Abuja) and Nigeria public holidays ( Lagos State Legislative Assembly Speaker, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, has announced that August 20th of every year was recommended to be declared a new public holiday to celebrate Isese Day, since Muslims and Christians enjoy public holidays, it stands to reason that traditional worshippers also deserve public holidays.

Philippines June 19 Public Holiday In Laguna Province

Sources: PIA (Philippines Information Agency) and Philippines public holidays ( Thursday, June 19, 2008, was declared a one-off public holiday in the the Province of Laguna and the City of Calamba to mark the 147th birth anniversary of Dr. Jose P. Rizal.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Australia's Queen's Birthday Public Holiday Back In The News

Sources: ABC News and Australia public holidays ( After the state of Queensland (see our post of December 5), it is now the turn of Tasmania, through Tasmanian Liberal Senator, Guy Barnett, to consider reforms to the Queen's Birthday public holiday, namely moving it to a more relevant date, such as the monarch's actual birthday in April (and not June, as is the case for most of Australia, or September in Western Australia) or even September 1 (National Wattle Day) or International Volunteers Day, on September 5.

Indonesia Announces 2009 Government Public Holidays

Sources: The Jakarta Post (Jakarta) and Indonesia public holidays ( Yesterday, the coordinating Minister for the People's Welfare, Aburizal Bakrie, announced the 2009 public holidays joint decree, signed by the coordinating minister for people's welfare, the state minister for administrative reforms, the religious affairs minister and the manpower and transmigration minister.

The 2009 Additional Government holidays (introduced in 2002 to boost tourism) will be limited to to four days: September 18 and 23, 2009 (Idul Fitri), December 24 to observe Christmas and January 2, 2010 for the New Year -- from five this year and six last year.

Recall from our post of February 5, that, in addition, civil servants are no longer allowed to take a long weekend leave in addition to a holiday that falls on Thursday or Tuesday.

Macedonia Confirms Status Of June 13 All Souls' Public Holiday

Sources: Makfax (Skopje) and Macedonia public holidays. The Macedonian Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare has issued a statement confirming that, following the passing of the 2007 Law on holidays in Republic of Macedonia, the date of Friday, June 13, 2008, All-Souls' Day (Duhovden) was a non-working day for the Orthodox believers in Macedonia.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Malaysia's Terengganu State Declares June 10 Public Holiday

Sources: Bernama (Malaysian National News Agency) and Malaysia public holidays ( At the closing of the 12th Malaysia Games, earlier today, Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said, of the government of Malaysia's State of Terengganu announced that Tuesday, June 10, 2008 would be a one-off public holiday as "a gift to the people for the state's success in emerging the overall champions of the 12th Malaysia Games".

Friday, June 6, 2008

Mongolia's Provinces To Celebrate National Day Earlier Than Capital

Sources: Montsame (Ulaanbaatar) and Mongolia public holidays ( One of the Deputy Premiers of Mongolia, and Head of the ''Naadam'' national holiday organizing committee, has announced that the Naadam national day public holiday would be celebrated from July 11-13, as usual, in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, but that the rural areas who will be celebrating their Aimags (province) foundation jubilees at that time, "will celebrate the national Holiday a bit earlier, July 9-10".

Thursday, June 5, 2008

New Caledonia Declares June 26 Public Holiday

Sources: RNZI and New Caledonia public holidays ( French high commissioner, Yves Dassonville, has announced that New Caledonia will celebrate June 26th, 2008, as a one-off public holiday to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1988 Matignon Accords.

Angola Announces September 5 Legislative Elections Date

Sources: IHT/Associated Press (Luanda) and Angola public holidays ( The office of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos issued a statement announcing legislative elections, on Friday, September 5, 2008.

Although there is no recent historical data on the status of election day in Angola (the last elections were in 1992), our local contacts, and the choice of a weekday date, lead us to believe that Friday, September 5, 2008, will be declared as a one-off public holiday in Angola.

Update, June 6: The Angolan government approved on Thursday here the Law-decree on the observance of a bank holiday on September 5, Election Day, in an extraordinary session of the Cabinet Council. Source: Angola Press Agency (Luanda).

Romania's Parliament To Consider Adding 2 New Public Holidays

Sources: Mediafax (Bucureşti), Monitorul Oficial al României (Official Gazette of Romania), and Romania public holidays ( A draft law published in Part I, no. 217/ 21.III.2008 of Romania's Official government Gazette, would create 2 additional annual public holidays.

The first would be Ziua Femeii (March 8), corresponding to the International Women's Day public holiday observed by many countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union. The second, more original, new holiday, Ziua Bărbatului (May 5), would be the pendant holiday; Men's Day.

According to the draft law, presented under the article 74 of the Constitution of Romania and according Law no. 189/1999, the 2 new public holidays would also be the dates when Mothers' Day and Fathers' Day would be observed, in Romania.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Argentina Confirms Moving Of June 20 And August 17 Public Holidays

Sources: InfoBAE (Buenos Aires) and Argentina public holidays ( The Argentine Ministry of the Interior has announced that this year, again, the June 20 and August 17 public holidays would be moved to the 3rd Monday of their respective months. Therefore, the anniversary of the death of General Belgrano (Paso a la inmortalidad del General Manuel Belgrano) will be celebrated on Monday, June 16, 2008, while the anniversary of the death of General San Martín (Paso a la Inmortalidad del General José de San Martín) will be celebrated on Monday, August 18, 2008.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Philippines Declares June 6 Regional Public Holiday

Sources: Office of the President (Malacañang) and Philippines public holidays ( By authority of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (PGMA), Proclamation No. 1513 was signed by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, declaring Friday, June 6, 2008 (the 56th Foundation Day anniversary of the western Mindanao province), as a special non-working day in Zamboanga del Norte.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Morocco Introduces Summer Time For The First Time

Sources: El Jadida and Morocco public holidays ( Morocco has issued decree n°2-08-224 which introduces daylight saving time (DST) for the first time, starting today, June 1, 2008. Local time will be GMT+1, and this, until September 27, 2008 (subject to confirmation).