Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Swaziland Declares September 19 Public Holiday

Sources: Times of Swaziland (Lobamba) and Swaziland public holidays ( At a press conference, earlier today, Swaziland's Elections and Boundaries Commission Chairman, Chief Gija, announced that Friday, September 19, 2008, will be a public holiday on the occasion of the the Secondary General Elections.

Maldives Constitution Ratification On August 7

Sources: Maldives President's Office (Male) and Maldives public holidays ( The President of the Maldives, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, has issued a communique announcing that in all likelihood, he would be ratifying the new constitution of the Maldives on Thursday, August 7, 2008.

Considering that weekends in the Maldives are Fridays and Saturdays, and the President's fondness of declaring one-off public holidays (see our post of June 14), we deem it very likely that a one-off public holiday will be declared in the Maldives on Thursday, August 7, 2008. We will post an update as soon as we are able to confirm of infirm this.

Macedonia Maintains Saturday Republic Day Public Holiday

Sources: MINA (Skopje) and Macedonia public holidays ( Macedonia's Ministry of Labor and Social Policy has issued a press release confirming that, contrary to what often happens, there would be no additional non-working day off, this year, even though the August 2, Republic Day public holiday falls on a Saturday.

Nicaragua's Ministry Of Labour Clarifies Consequences Of August 10 Public Holiday Falling On A Sunday

Sources: El Pueblo Presidente (Managua) and Nicaragua public holidays ( Nicaragua's Ministry of Labour (MITRAB) has issued a communique to lay to rest rumours that Monday, August 11, 2008, would be a public holiday in Managua to compensate the fact that the municipal holiday of August 10 falls on a Sunday this year. The MITRAB spokesman re-iterated that only national public holidays that fall on a Sunday give right to payment or a compensating day (not necessarily the following Monday).

Grenada Confirms First Monday In August Public Holiday Status

Sources: Spiceislander and Grenada public holidays ( Grenada's new Minister of State responsible for Culture, Sen. Hon. Arly Gill, has confirmed that the first Monday in August (Monday August 4th, in 2008) will continue to be an official public holiday, despite his newly-elected government's recent emphasis on August 1st as the proper date of Emancipation day.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Vanuatu Extends Independence Day Public Holiday

Sources: local sources and Vanuatu public holidays ( The government of Vanuatu has announced that, for government and public service employees, this year's Independence Day public holiday (July 30) would be extended by one day to also include Thursday, July 31, 2008.

Oman Declares Different Al Israa Wal Miraj Dates For Public And Private Sectors

Sources: Times of Oman (Muscat) and Oman public holidays ( In a move similar to what happened last week on the occasion of the Blessed Renaissance Day public holiday, the Government of Oman has decided to declare different Al Israa Wal Miraj public holiday dates for the public and private sectors.

Yesterday, on one hand, Sayyid Ali bin Hamoud Al Busaidi, minister of the Diwan of Royal Court and chairman of the Civil Service Council, issued a decision declaring Wednesday, Rajab 27, 1429 AH (July 30, 2008), as the official public holiday for employees at ministries, public authorities, and other departments of the state’s administrative apparatus on the occasion of Al Israa Wal Miraj.

On the other hand, Dr Juma bin Ali bin Juma, minister of manpower, issued a ministerial decision declaring Thursday, Rajab 28, 1429 AH (July 31, 2008) as the official public holiday for employees in private sector establishments.

In all cases, work will resume on Saturday, August 2, 2008.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bangladesh Declares August 4 Public Holiday in 4 Cities and 9 Municipalities

Sources: The Financial Express (Dhaka) and Bangladesh public holidays ( The government of Bangladesh has declared a regional public holiday for officials and employees of all government, semi-government, autonomous, semi-autonomous and private offices and organisations in the 4 cities and 9 pourashavas (municipalities) that will be going to the polls on that day.

The city corporations concerned are: Rajshahi, Khulna, Barisal and Sylhet, and the municipalities are: Naohata in Rajshahi, Dupchanchia in Bogra, Chuadanga, Sreepur in Gazipur, Manikganj, Fulbaria in Mymensingh, Shariatpur, Golapganj in Sylhet and Sitakundu in Chittagong.

Philippines Announces July 30 Date For Ascension Of The Prophet Regional Public Holiday

Sources: Philippines Information Agency and Philippines public holidays ( The government of the Philippines has announced that, pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1083 of 1977, the date of Wednesday, July 30, 2008, had been chosen for this year's celebration of Lailatul Izra Wal Miraj (Nocturnal Journey and Ascension of the Prophet Muhammad).

As per the same decree, this public holiday will be celebrated in the following regions: the Provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur, and in the Cities of Cotabato, Iligan, Marawi, Pagadian, and Zamboanga.

Jordan Confirms Status Of Al Israa wal Miraaj Holiday

Sources: The Jordan Times (Amman) and Jordan public holidays ( The cabinet has confirmed that Jordan, on Wednesday, July 30, 2008, will mark the anniversary of Al Israa wal Miraaj (the nocturnal journey and heavenly ascension of the Prophet Mohammad), but that, as per a February 2006 decision, effective in 2007, this is no longer a non-working public holiday.

UAE Extends Upcoming Prophet's Ascension Public Holiday To Private Sector

Sources: Xpress News, Dubai Chronicle, and UAE public holidays ( Ever since last Wednesday's sole announcement by the Civil Service Council, there had been speculation that this year's Prophet's Ascension Public Holiday would be limited to the public sector. The confusion was dispelled, earlier today, by a circular from the Minister of Labour, Saqr Gobash, declaring Thursday, July 31, 2008, an official public holiday for the private sector to mark Al Isra’a Wal Miraaj.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bangladesh High Court Orders Government To Restore August 15 Public Holiday

Sources: The Daily Star (Dhaka), Bdnews24 (Dhaka), and Bangladesh public holidays ( As reported in our posts of August 6, and August 13, 2007, The High Court of Bangladesh was asked, last summer, to rule on the constitutionality of the cancelling of the August 15 annual public holiday.

The High Court finally released its judgement, earlier today, and ruled that August 15, the day of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's assassination in 1975, be restored as national mourning day and a public holiday.

The August 15 annual public holiday was cancelled in 2002 by the government of former prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia, after she won a 2001 election by defeating Mujib's daughter Sheikh Hasina, another former prime minister, who had introduced August 15 as public holiday to mourn her father after she won power in a 1996 election.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bolivia's Santa Cruz Refuses To Move September 24 Regional Public Holiday

Sources: Bolpress (La Paz) and Bolivia public holidays ( The region of Santa Cruz is refusing to move the date of its regional public holiday from Wednesday, September 24, to Monday, September 29, 2008, a per the specifications of paragraph 2 of article 2 of the Supreme Decree 22352 of 1989.

Paraguay Pressured To Apply 2001 Law On Mid-Week Public Holidays

Sources: ABC (Asunción) and Paraguay public holidays ( Arguing that mid-week closures of businesses hurt productivity, the leader of Paraguay's leading trade association, the Federación de la Producción, la Industria y el Comercio (Feprinco), Max Haber, has indicated that he will soon meet with the government to petition it to start using its discretionary powers to move mid-week public holidays to the following Monday, powers that were given to it by law 1723/01, but have so far rarely been used.

Argentina August 27-28 Census Public Holiday In Córdoba Province

Sources: Cadena3 (Córdoba) and Argentina public holidays ( The Secretary General of Argentina's Province of Córdoba, Ricardo Sosa, has announced that the provincial government has declared August 27 and 28 as public holidays to coincide with the upcoming state census. August 27 will be a full public holiday for both the public and private sectors, while the 28th will be limited to the educational sector.

Ukraine Declares New National Holiday

Sources: ITAR-TASS, UNIAN, and Ukraine public holidays ( Earlier today, Ukraine's President, Viktor Yushchenko, signed a decree establishing the Day of the Orthodox Baptism of Kyiv Rus, as an annual national holiday, to be celebrated from this year onward, on July 28.

This holiday will be celebrated in memory of Saint Prince Volodymyr, who baptized the Kyiv Rus, bringing Christianity to the Ukraine, and takes into account the importance of Orthodox tradition in the history and development of the Ukrainian society.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Turkmenistan Declares New Annual National Holiday

Sources: and Turkmenistan public holidays ( The President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamdov, instructed the chairperson of the Turkmen parliament, Akja Nurverdiyeva, to make amendments to the list of Turkmenistan's holidays as well as to the legislation of Turkmenistan, to establish a new national holiday, the Day of Turkmen Cultural Workers, to be marked annually on June 27. The official law texts have not been released yet, but our local contacts expect this new national holiday to be a non-working day (ie. a public holiday).

Ecuador's Parliament Declares Tomorrow One-Off National Public Holiday

Sources: Radio Sucre (Quito) and Ecuador public holidays ( By a vote of 78 for, 4 against, 3 blanks and 22 abstentions, the Ecuador National Assembly voted to make tomorrow, Friday, July 25, 2008, a one-off national public holiday to celebrate the introduction of a new constitutional framework (normally, July 25 is a regional public holiday, not a national public holiday).

Technically, the law only provides for the afternoon to be a non-recuperable public holiday, and the civil service is expected to work until 11am, but this seems a pious hope, and our local sources tell us that the entire day is expected to be taken by most, hoping that the topic of the recuperation of the morning will go away.

The constitutional framework document still needs to be sent to the Supreme Court for validation and will then need to be approved by a September 28 referendum.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Samoa Declares September 7-8 Driving Side Switch Public Holiday

Sources: The New Zealand Herald and Samoa public holidays ( The Samoan Minister of Transport, Tuisugaletaua Aveau, announced today that the switch from driving on the right hand side of the road to the left hand side of the road, will take effect at 6:00am on the 7th of September 2009, and that to mark the switch date, the 7th and 8th of September, 2009, have been declared as public holidays to "allow for familiarisation with the change".

Spain's Melilla Government To Revisit Feast Of Sacrifice As Public Holiday

Sources: Diario Sur (Malaga) and Spain public holidays ( After last year's failure of a draft law making the Islamic festival of Aid El Kebir (Feast of Sacrifice) a regional public holiday in the Spanish autonomous region of Melilla, the CpM (Coalición por Melilla) has now petitioned the regional governemt directly for the inclusion of this festival in the list of the autonomous region's list of public holidays.

To avoid the issue of declaring an additional public holiday, the CpM proposes that instead of giving a day in lieu for a public holiday that falls on a Sunday, that extra day be allotted to the official celebration of the Aid El Kebir festival. The regional government now has until July 30th to state its position.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Nepal July 24 Public Holiday To Celebrate Presidential Election

Sources: Nepal News (Kathmandu) and Nepal public holidays ( The Council of Ministers of Nepal decided to celebrate today's historic election of Nepal's first republican President and Vice President, by declaring tomorrow, Thursday, July 24, 2008, a one-off general public holiday. Nepali diplomatic missions abroad will also observe tomorrow's public holiday.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hungarian Government Releases Official List Of 2009 Bridge Public Holidays

Sources: Magyar Nemzet and Hungary public holidays ( The Labour and Social Affairs Ministry of Hungary (Szociális és Munkaügyi Miniszter, aka. SZMM), in accordance with law 170/2006 (Chapter VII, section 28), has released the official list of bridge, and other one-off, public holidays for the year 2009, along with the list of Saturdays that will be regular working days, in compensation. This announcement confirms the long-term previsions released to qppstudio licensees since late 2007.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Oman Moves July 23 Holiday For Private Sector

Sources: Oman News Agency (ONA) and Oman public holidays ( On the occasion of the July 23rd Blessed Renaissance Day, a decision issued yesterday by Sayyid Ali bin Hamoud Al Busaidi, minister of the Diwan of Royal Court and chairman of the Civil Service Council, made Wednesday, July 23, 2008, an official public holiday for the civil service (employees at ministries, public authorities and other departments of the state’s administrative apparatus). Combined with Oman's civil service Thursday/Friday weekly days off, this means that the civil service will be off for 3 consecutive days.

A corresponding decision, also issued yesterday, by Dr Jumah bin Ali bin Juma, minister of manpower, made Thursday, July 24, 2008, an official public holiday for employees of the private sector, in lieu of July 23, presumably to afford the private sector an extended 2-day weekend (the private sector in Oman only has 1 weekly day off, Fridays).

Friday, July 18, 2008

Philippines Declares July 22 Public Holiday In Bohol Province

Sources: Philippines Information Agency (Bohol) and Philippines public holidays ( On Tuesday, July 22, 2008, the province of Bohol will to celebrate 154 years since Bohol was officially separated from Cebu province. By virtue of Republic Act 7683, enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives on February 23, 1994, this will be a non-working public holiday.

Myanmar Downgrades 2008 Martyrs' Day Public Holiday Celebrations

Sources: Deutsche Press Agentur (Yangon) and Myanmar public holidays ( In a surprise, last-minute move, the celebrations of the July 19, 2008, Martyrs' Day public holiday, have been downgraded from a national to a city-level ceremony, and invitations to foreign diplomats to attend the ceremony have been cancelled.

This might bring into question the future of the public holiday itself, considering that it is a public holiday commemorating the death of Aung San, whose daughter, Aung San Suu Kyi, is the current military junta's best-known opponent.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Costa Rica's Attempt To Fix July 25 Public Holiday Bogged Down In Parliament

Sources: Diario Extra (San José) and Costa Rica public holidays ( An initiative in Parliament to make the Guanacaste Annexation public holiday always fall on its historic date of July 25 (as opposed to the nearest Monday, as is the case since law 8604 of 2007) has been thwarted by a procedural deluge of 237 motions tabled by the Libertarian Party (who had instituted the 2007 law moving some public holidays to the nearest Monday).

Interviewed on the matter, Libertarian Party leader, Mario Quirós, said that he was not against the proposal, per se, but that it took a long time for workers to get the benefit of long week-ends, and that he would not let one of these long weekends be taken away in a rushed procedure. This probably means that the bill fixing the Guanacaste Annexation public holiday to July 25 will eventually pass, but not in time for 2008.

Recall that, on August 10, 2007, a similar bill was passed, making the observance of Mothers' Day fixed, on August 15th, rather than the nearest Monday. However, due to the fact that the bill was passed less than a week before the 2007 occurrence of that public holiday, it only came into effect in 2008.

South Korea Celebrates 60th Constitution Anniversary National Holiday

Sources: Chosun and South Korea public holidays ( Today, South Korea marks the 60th anniversary of its post-war constitution, and for the first time this national holiday is not a public holiday (ie. it is a regular working day).

Bhutan Declares July 18 Constitution Signing Public Holiday

Sources: Kuensel (Thimpu) and Bhutan public holidays ( According to a press release from the cabinet secretariat, the government of Bhutan has declared Friday, July 18, 2008, as a one-off public holiday, to mark the historic signing of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan, at 9:30am, at the Kuenrey of the Trashichhodzong. On that occasion, schools, government and public institutions will remain closed, so that the public can witness the historic event, and later view the Constitution which will be displayed to the public.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sri Lanka SAARC Summit 3-Day Public Holiday

Sources: Colombo Page (Colombo) and Sri Lanka public holidays ( Ahead of the the forthcoming South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit, the Sri Lankan government has declared a 3-day public holiday, from Friday, August 1, to Sunday August 3, 2008.

In addition, all train services to Colombo (Sri Lanka's capital) will be halted and the Central Fort Railway Station will be closed during the period of July 30 to August 3, 2008, and schools are expected to close for their August holidays from July 26 onwards.

As an historical aside, the 10th SAARC summit was also held in Colombo, exactly 10 years ago, and at the time a holiday had also been declared on Wednesday, July 30, 1998, for all state institutions and statutory bodies coming within the Municipal Council limits of Colombo.

China Orders Beijing Businesses To Reduce Working Hours Until Olympics' End

Sources: AFP (Beijing) and China public holidays ( A notice on the Beijing government website announced that Beijing companies have been ordered to stagger or shorten working hours, starting on July 20th, to cut pollution and traffic gridlock for the upcoming Olympic Games. Other measures recommended by the government are allowing staff to work from home and allowing staff to take annual leave during the Olympics.

Lebanon Declares Tomorrow A Public Holiday

Sources: Reuters (Jerusalem) and Lebanon public holidays ( Late this afternoon, the Lebanese government announced that tomorrow, Wednesday, July 16, 2008, will be a national public holiday to celebrate the recent agreement whereby Israel is to free five Hezbollah prisoners in exchange for two of it soldiers captured in 2006.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cayman Islands Constitutional Referendum Postponed Until 2009

Sources: The Caymanian Compass (Grand Cayman) and Cayman Islands public holidays ( The People’s Progressive Movement government has cancelled the late-July date for Cayman’s referendum on constitutional modernisation, making it a straight “up or down” poll - simultaneous with next year’s general election, scheduled for May 2009. This means that the one-off public holidays scheduled for July 30th, 2008, will no longer be observed.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Brazil's Parliament Approves "Day Of Portuguese Immigration" National Holiday

Sources: Agência Câmara (Brasilia) and Brazil public holidays ( The Commission for the Constitution, Justice and Citizenship (Comissão de Constituição e Justiça e de Cidadania, CCJ) has passed in its final reading the Projeto de Lei 1385/03, of assemblyman Gastão Vieira (PMDB-MA), making June 10th, an annual national holiday, celebrating the contributions made to the development of Brazil by Portuguese immigration. This date is not the same as the one in last year's proposal (see our post of November 4, 2007) which set forth April 22 as the Dia do Descobrimento do Brasil, to commemorate the arrival of Europeans.

UK's New Public Holiday Drive Gaining Momentum

Sources: Travel Trade Gazette and UK public holidays ( Following the presentation, in March, of a petition to Downing Street, signed by 522,000 in support of a new bank holiday, a delegation from Thomas Cook met trade minister Lord Digby Jones last week.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Philippines July 14 Public Holiday In Baguio City And Six Cordillera Provinces

Sources: The Inquirer (Northern Luzon) and Philippines public holidays ( To make uninterrupted holidays breaks (aka. PGMA's holiday economics), Malacañang has declared Monday, July 14, 2008, a non-working public holiday in Baguio City and six Cordillera provinces, instead of the expected date of July 15 which would mark the 21st anniversary of President Corazon Aquino's Executive Order 220 creating the Cordillera Administrative Region on July 15, 1987.

Brazil's Parliament Considering 2 Different Ways Of Fixing Carnival

Sources: Seu Dinheiro and Brazil public holidays ( Regular readers of this blog may remember our post of May 26 (Brazil's Parliament To Consider Adding 3 Easter-Related Public Holidays) where we related that a draft bill was going through Brazil's Parliament, which would have as effect, to make the Carnival Tuesday public holiday always fall on the first Tuesday of March.

Recently, another bill (Projeto de Lei 3418/08), was introduced by representative Daniel Almeida (PCdoB-BA), which would also make Carnival Tuesday a full-fledged public holiday in Brazil, and would fix its occurrence to the last Tuesday in February.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Grenada Declares Post-Election Public Holiday

Sources: Grenada Broadcasting Network and Grenada public holidays ( Late last night, following his win in the same day's general elections, Grenada's Prime Minister designate, Mr. Tillman Thomas, requested of the Governor General, who acceded to the request, to declare today, Wednesday, July 9, 2008, a public holiday.

Kuwait Confirms Day In Lieu For Upcoming Prophet's Ascension Public Holiday

Sources: Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) and Kuwait public holidays ( The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has announced that, in accordance with Kuwaiti Cabinet decision number 252, Thursday, July 31, will be a public holiday on the occasion of the religious holiday marking the Prophet Mohammed's ascension to heaven. The CSC did mention that the religious holiday will be celebrated on its set date of July 30th.

Malta's Leading Parties Discussing Reduction In Number Of Public Holidays

Sources: The Times of Malta (Valletta) and Malta public holidays ( In a recent letter to opposition leader, Labour leader Joseph Muscat, Malta's Prime Minister, Lawrence Gonzi, suggested having one national holiday instead of five.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Germany October 9 Public Holiday in Leipzig

Sources: Mitteldeutsche Zeitung (Leizig) and Germany public holidays ( In its last session before the summer break, this Wednesday, the Leipzig city council started considering a proposal from the Fraktion Bündnis 90/Die Grünen to make October 9 a city-wide (working) public holiday called «Tag der Friedlichen Revolution» (Day of the Peaceful Revolution) to commemorate the peaceful revolution which led to the eventual end of the Soviet occupation of East Germany.

The Greens have said that they will continue to push to make the date a national public holiday. Recall that, last March, the State Government of Sachsen passed a law allowing each municipality to declare the day a holiday if they wished.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Nigeria Declares Today A Public Holiday In Yobe State

Sources: This Day Online (Damaturu) and Nigeria public holidays ( In accordance with article 2b) of the Public Holidays Act of 1979, chapter 378, which specifies that state governors have the right to declare additional, state-level, public holidays, Yobe State Governor, Senator Mamman Ali, has declared today a work-free public holiday for the people of the state to address the numerous socio-economic challenges facing the state.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Indonesia Declares July 9 Public Holiday In Bali

Sources: Office of the Governor of Bali and Indonesia public holidays ( Bali's Governor Dewa Beratha has issued a decree formally declaring Wednesday, July 9, 2008, as a holiday in connection with the island-wide election of Bali's next governor.

Malasia July 15 Public Holiday In Kedah State

Sources: Bernama and Malaysia public holidays ( The Malaysian State of Kedah has declared a public holiday on Tuesday, July 15, 2008, in conjunction with the Golden Jubilee of the reign of the Sultan of Kedah, Tuanku Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah. Kedah officials specified to the press that this public holiday must be observed by all federal and state government departments and the private sector.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Isle Of Man Releases School and Public Holiday Calendar Until Mid-2011

Sources: Isle of Man Government (Douglas) and Isle of Man public holidays ( The Isle of Man Department of Education has released details of bank holidays (aka. public holidays), school term dates and school holiday dates, for the Isle of Man, up to the end of the 2010-11 academic year. The information is available on the Isle of Man Government website.

Solomon Islands Extends 2008 National Day Public Holiday For 2 Days

Sources: Solomon Times (Honiara) and Solomon Islands public holidays ( The Solomon Islands' Minister of Home Affairs, James Tora, announced yesterday that this year's Independence Day public holiday (the 30th), would be extended for an additional day, to include Tuesday, July 8, 2008, as well as the regularly scheduled public holiday on Monday, July 7, 2008.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

India's Punjab State Declares July 1 Public Holiday

Sources: Punjab Newsline Network (Chandigarh) and India public holidays ( Following the death, earlier tonight, of former Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha Dr. Kewal Krishan, Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, announced that tomorrow, Tuesday, July 1st, 2008, would be a one-off public holiday throughout the State, and ordered all the Government offices, state undertakings, corporations and educational institutions throughout the state to remain closed on that day.