Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Romania Declares May 2nd Bridge Public Holiday

Sources: Mediafax and Romania public holidays. Earlier this month, May 2, 2008, had been declared as a trading holiday in Romania, by the Bucharest Stock Exchange. However, the Romanian Government has now announced that Friday, May 2, 2008, would be a one-off, full national public holiday, to bridge the gap between the public holiday of Labor Day and the weekend. No mention was made of a recuperation day (as often is the case in the Baltic States and in Central Asia).

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Nicaragua Declares May 2nd Bridge Public Holiday

Sources: Cadena Global and Nicaragua public holidays. Earlier today, Nicaragua's Ministry of Labor announced that Friday, May 2, 2008, would be a one-off, compulsory, bridge public holiday for both the public and private sectors.

Gibraltar Unions Renew Calls For Restoration Of May 1st Public Holiday

Sources: Gibfocus and Gibraltar public holidays. The TUC union has renewed its calls asking the Government to re-establish the 1st of May as the Labour Day public holiday (recall that the date of the May Day public holiday was moved from May 1st to the first Monday in May, in 2007).

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Guam Will Add MLK Government Public Holiday Starting In 2009

Sources: Pacific Daily News and Guam public holidays. Lawmakers, yesterday, overrode the veto of Governor Felix Camacho hence adding the the third Monday of January as a new "GovGuam holiday" (public holiday limited to civil servants) in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. This will come into effect as of January 2009.

Friday, April 25, 2008

New Zealand Poll Suggests Growing Support For ANZAC Day As National Day

Sources: Radio New Zealand and New Zealand public holidays. A recent poll by Research New Zealand shows that 38% of those questioned supported Anzac Day (April 25) being marked as New Zealand's national day, while 52% favoured keeping Waitangi Day as the national day.

This is the first confirmation of the generally felt, but hitherto unmeasured, sentiment against Waitangi Day, as a reminder of the February 6, 1840, Treaty of Waitangi, which is held in low regard by Maoris and by increasing numbers of the younger generation of New Zealanders of European origin.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Singapore Considering New May Public Holiday

Sources: The Straits Times, Singapore's National Family Council, and Singapore public holidays. At a recent media conference, Family Council chairman, Lim Soon Hock, announced that May 24 had been designated "Family Day Out", and that he would push for the fourth Saturday of May a new public holiday to celebrate the family.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Australia Considering Additional NSW Public Holiday

Sources: ABC News,, and Australia public holidays. The State Government of New South Wales (NSW) is said to be considering a new state-wide public holiday to compensate for the recently announced decision by Federal Workplace Relations Minister, Julia Gillard, to deem industry-wide picnic days illegal under Labor's new workplace laws.

Proposals for this new public holiday include making the day of Sydney's Autumn (horse) Race Festival a public holiday (similar to Victoria's Melbourne Cup Day), or making Easter Tuesday a public holiday (as is the case in Tasmania).

Currently, Picnic Day is an early August partial regional public holiday the states of NSW and NT. A similar Picnic Day public holiday, in the ACT, was cancelled in 2006 and replaced with the new Family and Community Day public holiday that occurs at the same time as Melbourne Cup Day.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Macedonia Confirms Status Of Upcoming May 1st and 2nd

Sources: Makfax Vesnik and Macedonia public holidays. Earlier today, Macedonia's Ministry of Labor and Social Policy issued a communique confirming that Thursday, May 1, 2008, was a non-working day (public holiday) throughout Macedonia, but that Friday, May 2nd, 2008, would be a regular working day.

This clarification was deemed necessary due to the position of Friday, May 2, 2008, lodged between a public holiday and a weekend, and which has been declared a bridge public holiday in many countries that were either parts of, or satellites of, the former Soviet Union.

South Korea's Corporations And Government Mostly Off May 1-5

Sources: Chosun and South Korea public holidays. There are reports that many large corporations in South Korea have either given May 2nd, 2008, as a day off, or encouraged their workers to take a day of leave on that day, with the result that one can expect most banks, government services and large corporations to be hard to reach from May 1st to May 5th, 2008, inclusively. However, most department and discount stores are expected to remain open on May 2nd.

Note that the May 1st holiday is generally only observed by the civil service, banks and large corporations, while small and medium-sized businesses usually work normally on that day. Therefore the May 2nd bridge holiday does not apply to these small and medium-sized businesses.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Kazakhstan Declares May 2 Bridge Public Holiday

Sources: Zakon and Kazakhstan public holidays. Kazakhstan's President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has issued a decree that makes Friday, May 2, 2008, a bridge public holiday (since Thursday, May 1st, is already a public holiday). But, in compensation, Sunday, May 4th, 2008, will be a regular working day in Kazakhstan.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ecuador Preparing To Move Labour Day 2008 To May 2nd

Sources: El Universo (Guayaquil) and Ecuador public holidays. Despite last year's executive decree Nº 418 decree fixing public holidays for the period 2008-2011, once and for all (see our post of June 20, 2007), Ecuador's Tourism Minister, Verónica Sión, announced yesterday that her ministry was working on a decree that would move the 2008 observance of the Labour Day public holiday (Día del Trabajo) from Thursday, May 1st, to Friday, May 2nd, 2008.

(April 26) The final decree, announced by the Ministry of Tourism, does not move the May 1st public holiday to May 2nd, but rather adds May 2nd as a bridge public holiday, which is to be recuperated by having Saturday, May 10, 2008, as a regular working day.

(April 30) The signed decree (Decreto Ejecutivo 1046), finally released by the Ministry of Tourism, stipulates that Saturday May 17, 2008, will be a regular working day in compensation for the bridge public holiday of May 2nd. This change, from the earlier announced recuperation date (May 10) seems to have been due to the realization that the day after, May 11, was Mothers' Day.

Panama Labour Day 2008 To Remain On May 1st

Sources: La Prensa and Panama public holidays. Earlier this week, Panama's Secretary of State for Communication announced that the upcoming 2008 Labour Day public holiday would be observed on its traditional set date of May 1st. The reason for this clarification is that, as per the Ley 70 de diciembre de 2007 (see our post of December 30), the public holidays of January 9 and November 28 are automatically moved to the nearest Monday, if their set fixed date falls in the middle of the week, but other public holidays, including May 1st, may be moved in the same manner at the discretion of the President.

South Africa Extends 2010 Winter School Holidays To 5 Weeks

Sources: The Daily News (Johannesburg) and South Africa public holidays. The education department is proposing a five-week school break (June 10 to July 12, 2010) during the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup to avoid pupil and teacher absenteeism and a chaotic transport system. The proposed school calendar for South African public schools has been gazetted and posted on the department's website in the hope of getting comments from interested parties.

With the FIFA World Cup starting on Friday, June 11, 2010, and the Youth Day public holiday on Wednesday, June 16, it is possible that June 14th and 15th, 2010, will be declared public holidays to make an extra-long public holiday and ensure reduced traffic during the first few days of this event which South Africa hopes to use as a way to showcase its progress to the World.

In compensation for these 2 additional public holidays, one can imagine the cancellation, in 2010, of the days in lieu scheduled for the Human Rights' Day (March 21) and Day of Goodwill (December 26) public holidays, which both fall on a weekend in 2010, and would normally lead to a public holiday on the following Monday.

Turkey's Parliament Considers Reinstating May 1st Public Holiday

Sources: Zaman and Turkey public holidays. At a recent press conference, AK Party deputy, Agah Kafkas, announced that he had submitted to Parliament a proposal for May 1 to be restored as a public holiday in Turkey, to be celebrated as the Day of Unity and Solidarity (May 1st was a public holiday in Turkey, prior to the 1980 military coup).

Although Mr. Kafkas had unsuccessfully submitted the same proposal in 2007, it must be noted that this time Turkey's Labor Minister, Faruk Çelik, announced to reporters that he was in favor of the change and that in any event, the government would announce its decision on Monday, April 21, 2008.

(April 21) Turkey's government says it will again commemorate workers on May 1, but government spokesman Cemil Cicek says May Day will not be a public holiday.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Botswana Declares May 2 Public Holiday

Sources: One of our local contacts in Botswana, the Botswana Government Gazette, and Botswana public holidays. It was announced in the Government Gazette of April 7, that Botswana's President, Ian Khama, had declared that Friday, May 2, 2008, as a one-off bridge public holiday, presumably to compensate the fact that 2 public holidays fall on the same date in 2008, namely May 1st and Ascension Day.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sudan Declares April 15 Census Public Holiday

Sources: The Sudan Tribune and Sudan public holidays. The Secretariat of the Council of Ministers announced today that Tuesday, April 15, 2008, would be an official public holiday throughout Sudan to coincide with the implementation of the fifth Sudan Population and Housing Census.

The secretary also announced a ban on the movement of means of transportation between the cities of the country during that day in order to ensure the participation of all citizens in the census.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bermuda Establishes New October Public Holiday

Sources: The Bermuda Sun and Bermuda public holidays. After many changes (see our posts of March 16, 2008, and of September 19, 2007) the Government of Bermuda has finally decided to create a new holiday called "Heroes' Day", to be held for the first time on October 13, 2008. It was also announced that, beginning in 2009, the Queen's Birthday public holiday would no longer be observed as a public holiday in Bermuda.

Malawi Set To Restore Kamuzu Day Public Holiday Starting In 2008

Sources: The Daily Times (Lilongwe) and Malawi public holidays. Malawi's Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, George Chaponda, has announced that Cabinet has (finally) approved the 2006 Parliamentary resolution restoring Kamuzu Day as a public holiday, observed annually on May 14th, in honor of Malawi's first president Hastings Kamuzu Banda, and that the new public holiday has already been gazetted.

Regular readers of this blog will recall that, despite the restoration of the Kamuzu Day public holiday having been voted by Malawi's Parliament in late 2006, it failed to be gazetted in time for it to be observed in 2007 (see our post of May 8, 2007).

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

South Korea General Elections Day Public Holiday

Sources: AFP and South Korea public holidays. The General Election of Wednesday, April 9, 2008, will be a partial public holiday, in the sense that government offices will be closed, and most businesses will either close, or will give 2-3 hours to its employees to go and vote.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Iraq Declares April 9 Nationwide Public Holiday

Sources: ABC News and Iraq public holidays. For the 5th anniversary of the fall of Baghdad, April 9, 2008, the Iraqi government has declared a one-off nationwide public holiday (usually this date is only observed as a public holiday in Kurdistan). A curfew will be in effect on that day, from 5:00 am to midnight (local time).

Sri Lanka Declares April 14 Additional Public Holiday

Sources: Daily News (Colombo) and Sri Lanka public holidays. A press release issued by the Presidential Secretariat announced that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had instructed Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister Karu Jayasuriya to declare Monday, April 14, 2008, as a day in lieu public holiday as Sinhala and Tamil New Year falls on a Sunday in 2008.

Laos Confirms April 16 Day In Lieu Public Holiday

Sources: Vientiane Times and Laos public holidays. The government has announced that Wednesday April 16 will be a day in lieu public holiday, in compensation for the first day of the Lao New Year public holiday, April 13, falling on a Sunday in 2008.

This is in accordance with section 28 of the 1994 Labor Code of Laos, and the list of 2008 Laos public holidays published on the Q++Studio website since the beginning of January.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Canada's PEI Province Adds February Public Holiday

Sources: CBC, The Chronicle Herald, and Canada public holidays. In its first throne speech, on Friday, the new Liberal government of the Province of Prince Edward's Island announced the creation of a new provincial public holiday, "Islander Day", to be held on the second Monday in February, beginning in 2009.

PEI will thus join the provinces of Manitoba, which celebrates Louis Riel Day, and Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan, which all celebrate Family Day in February (albeit on the third Monday of February). Other Canadian provinces are also considering a February public holiday, and there was a recent call to make the third Monday in February a public holiday across Canada.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Nepal Declares April 7-11 CA Polls Public Holiday

Sources: Nepal News and Nepal public holidays. As we had reported might be the case, following a cabinet meeting held at the Prime Minister's Office, earlier today, the government has announced five-day public holiday, to run from Monday-Friday, April 7-11, 2008, inclusively, on the occasion of the constituent assembly polls. Note that, in addition, Saturday is already the weekly day off in Nepal, and Sunday the 13th is a public holiday for Nepali New Year.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Nepal Readies To Declare 4-Day Public Holiday For Upcoming CA Polls

Sources: Nepal News and Nepal public holidays. Nepal's Home Minister, Krishna Prasad Sitaula, has announced that the government is about to announce a four-day holiday keeping in view the election to the Constituent Assembly (CA) on April 10. No dates have been announced yet, but as Saturday is already the weekly day off in Nepal, and Sunday is a public holiday for Nepali New Year, it seems safe to assume that this 4-day public holiday declaration is actually the declaration of Friday, April 11, 2008, as a bridge public holiday.

Macau Declares April 3 Civil Service Public Holiday

Sources: The Macau Daily Times and Macau public holidays. It has been reported by Jose Pereira Coutinho, a lawmaker close to the Secretary for Administration and Justice, that the government will declare this Thursday, April 3, 2008, a one-off public holiday for civil servants. As Friday is already a full public holiday (Ching Ming), this means civil servants will benefit from a 4-day holiday to ease public servants' stress levels and elevate their low morale.

Ukraine Declares April 26-May 4 Public Holidays

Sources: UNIAN and Ukraine public holidays. The Cabinet of Ministers of the Ukraine has issued a decree shifting the workdays of Tuesday and Wednesday, April 29 and 30, 2008, to the Saturdays of May 17 and 31, respectively, thereby bridging the gap between the Orthodox Easter and May Day public holidays. This means that Ukrainians will be on holidays for 9 consecutive days, from Saturday, April 26, to Sunday, May 4, 2008, inclusively.

Although, in theory, this decree only applies to State enterprises, the government has recommended that directors of enterprises, institutions, and organizations follow the decree (except for the Pension Fund of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Mail Service “Ukrposhta”, the State Treasury, and Ukraine's Central Bank). Based on past occurrences of these types of bridge holidays, one can safely assume that that 9 day period will bring a total shutdown of the Ukraine, except for the touristic areas which will benefit from increase occupation rates.