Which country has the most public holidays?

Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2007 12:53 am
Not only because today some celebrate Easter Monday as public holiday:

Which country has the most public holidays?

Laura Barton
Monday April 9, 2007
The Guardian

Without wishing to rain on your bank holiday parade, you might like to know that not only is it a whole 28 days until the next one, but also that the UK is quite pathetically endowed when it comes to public holidays. There are just eight weekdays when banks and businesses shut in England and Wales, nine in Scotland, and 10 in Northern Ireland. Italy gets 16, Iceland 15, Spain 14. There is perhaps some solace in the fact that we are doing better than the Netherlands, with seven, but really that's the same as gleaning feeble satisfaction if Scooch beat Greece in Eurovision.

Once, the Bank of England observed some 33 saints' days and religious festivals as holidays, but in 1834 these "bank holidays" were cut to four. The Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 took the number to six. New Year's Day and May Day are deemed bank holidays by royal proclamation - hence diaries often state that they are "subject to confirmation". The additional two days in England and Wales - Good Friday and Christmas Day - are properly known as common-law holidays. Northern Ireland also has St Patrick's Day and the Battle of the Boyne anniversary, and Scotland has St Andrew's Day.
But who gets the most? The definition can be tricky, as so many countries have regional variations. Malaysia, for example, has 10 national holidays, but various regional days - the birthday of the Sultan of Selangor on March 2, for example, is celebrated only in Selangor.

India has a paltry three national holidays, but celebrates festivals of various faiths. If you're flexible when it comes to religion, you might persuade your bosses to do without you for the Hindu festivals of Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi and Holi, and the Muslim festivals of Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha and Ramadan, making a total of 32 days, plus further regional days.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2007 12:54 am
Five-Year Religious Holiday Calendar

These calendars for fall 2006 through summer 2012 list the dates of major Jewish, Islamic, Bahá'i, Buddhist, Shinto, African American, Eastern Orthodox, and western Christian holidays. Includes links to additional background information about selected holidays.

Here in Germany, we've as national holiday only the Unity Day. All other public holidays are regulated by the states and vary - between 9 and 13.

Public holidays in Germany (Wikipedia)

Public holidays by country (Wikipedia)
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Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2007 06:37 am
Oh, thanks Walter. Now I know when to send all those "happy whatevers" out to residents. Very Happy

BTW, maybe not national holidays, but don't Europeans get like a hundred vacation days anyway? I think that's where the US really falls behind.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2007 07:12 am
squinney wrote:

BTW, maybe not national holidays, but don't Europeans get like a hundred vacation days anyway? I think that's where the US really falls behind.

I'm not that sure about other countries, but this is how it looks like in Germany:

- according the the "Federal Holiday [Vacation] Law" (as of 1963, last changed in 2002), every person employed for money gets at least 24 working days paid holidays (vacatin). (That is, if you you work parttime, you get more days.)

- according to various tarifs (= labor contract between employers and unions in a special field of work, which, however, effects non-union members as well) that number of 24 days is the really the minimum - the actual number is - depending on age and/or under which tarif you work - between 26 and 32 working days.

- Saturdays/Sundays are by definition of that law no working days.

- by law you get the average of what you earnt within 13 weeks before you get the first day of your holidays (without overtime payings). Tarifs may say different (but nowadays you seldom get a lot more - about ten years ago it was up to one month's salary extra for holidays).

Additionally, you have paid educational leave (five days/year) by state law.
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Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2007 01:41 am
walter, interesting topic.
And which countries have the least public holidays? Very Happy
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Reply Thu 10 May, 2007 04:40 am
Japan I'd say
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Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 11:22 am
Even though Puerto Rico is part of the US, Puerto Rico has the most holidays. There are 43 public holidays (no school, no work, no banks open). The island also celebrates every municipalities' patron's birthday summing up to more than 500. In other words there is always a party going on in PR.
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Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2015 08:00 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
In Colombia we have 18 national holydays (non working). Also the employees has 15 days eacho year of vacation (paid)
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Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2015 10:51 pm
Countries which have inherited the most holydays are the ones which were Spaniard colonies in the past.

The Spaniards were so hard on servants and slaves, that they made them work from "sun to sun" without breaks but lunch and bathroom necessities.

Then, the Catholic Church intervened and created lots of religious Holydays to obligate the landlords to keep the days of rest, which included the rest from work for servants and slaves.

The two countries mentioned above by other participants (Puerto Rico and Colombia) are an example of the inheritance received from colonial times, and that was later followed in the republican era.

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