Countries With the Most Public Holidays

Countries With the Most Public Holidays

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Some would say that the easiest way to put a smile on the faces of every worker in a country is to give them a public holiday. Nothing really compares to having a whole day away from work to spend time with yourself or with family and friends.

A public holiday is considered to be a day in a calendar year that has been marked by the laws of a country to be a non-working day. These public holidays are set as a result of anniversaries, religious celebrations, national culture or planetary movements.

We take a peep at the ten countries with the most public holidays, the actual number of these holidays per year, and the reasons for such a relatively high resting period.

1. Cambodia

Number of holidays: 28

Imagine a country where every year you don’t have to work for almost a month and you still get paid. That is one of the many beauties of Cambodia. The country recognizes two major types of calendars which are the Khmer traditional calendar and the common solar year calendar. The Khmer calendar is reliant on the moon and both calendars have to match which means the holidays have to be changed every year.

Religion plays a huge role in these public holidays as Cambodia is a country heavily populated by Buddhists.

2. Sri Lanka

Number of holidays: 25

Next on the list is one of South Asia’s most popular countries, Sri Lanka. Workers living in Sri Lanka enjoy up to 25 days of public holidays per year. The country has a diverse set of ethnic groups all wrapped into one. It also recognizes holidays for up to four different religions.

Although most of the religious holidays are as a result of Buddhist customs due to 70.2% of the people being Buddhists, there are holidays allocated for Hindu, Muslim, and Christian beliefs. However, there are people who have to work on public holidays, though they are paid double.

3. India

Number of holidays: 21

India celebrates and recognizes the customs and beliefs of many ethnic groups which is evident in the number of holidays the country observes due to religion and ethnicity. Aside from the Independence Day on the 15th of August and the Republic Day on the 26th of January, the most popular holiday would be Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday which holds on the 2nd of October.

Religious holidays are dully observed by the people of India although this mildly depends on the local customs and tradition.

4. Colombia

Number of holidays: 18

With 18 days set aside as work-free, Columbia is currently ranked 4th in the world when it comes to number of public holidays. The vast majority of people In Colombia are  Catholics, and this is a contributing factor to the high number of public holidays. Of the 18 days, 12 of them are Catholic holidays.

Colombian holidays are generally  referred to as festivos  and may be subject to time shifts though the Emiliani’s Law has resulted in most of the holidays being allocated to Mondays.

5. Philippines

Number of holidays: 18

Although Philippines has the same number of holidays as Colombia, it is ranked lower due to factors such as the number of government holidays, number of fixed-date holidays, and popularity of the country.

Holidays in Philippines are divided into Regular holidays and Special Non-working holidays. The later include days where workers are neither required to work or receive any pay, unless so stated in the terms of the contract with the employer.

6. Trinidad and Tobago

Number of holidays: 18

Another country with a total of 18 public holidays, but the least popular amongst all three, Trinidad and Tobago has rules guiding the regulation of public holidays. The Prime Minister has the power to add one-time holidays to the calendar year, and holidays that fall on a Sunday will be automatically moved to Monday.

Another public holiday law in Trinidad and Tobago is that if a two holidays happen to occur on the same day, an additional work-free day is given to the people. One other feature of a Trinidad and Tobago holiday is that religious holidays can be shifed and celebrated one day after the initial date.

7. China and Hong Kong

Number of holidays: 17

Just one work-free day shy of being higher up the list, China and Hong Kong are two administrative regions that enjoy almost exactly the same public holidays. Officially, there are seven holidays in the country. Five of these holidays last for three days each.

In January or February,  China celebrates the New Year or Spring Festival which is one of the best times to visit China for a vacation. Hong Kong and Macau are the only regions with public holidays for Christmas. Holidays in China are unique because citizens are required to work weekends if there was a public holiday that week.

8. Turkey

Number of holidays: 16

Being a popular tourist attraction, lovers of travel and exploration would be pleased to know that tourists sites are kept open during public holidays in Turkey. The only thing to note is that all bookings by tourists should be made in advance as citizens will be just as eager to take a short break and explore the country.

A good number of the holidays in Turkey were created by the government while the rest are of religious origins. However, Turkey accommodates and recognizes diverse culture and heritage.

9. Pakistan

Number of holidays: 16

At the end of every year the Pakistani government makes an announcement as regards the number of holidays for the next year. As time goes on, more days can be added to the various celebrations. Natural disasters and days of commemoration can lead to the government creating a one-time holiday during the year.

On an average, Pakistan has 16 days allocated for public holidays yearly. The country does not recognize weekends, and though Sunday is a general day of rest, public holidays that fall on this day are never shifted to Monday.

10. Thailand

Number of holidays: 16

The people of Thailand love and appreciate any time spent resting or hanging out with friends and family. This is why the Thai government has provided up to 16 public holidays in a year. A number of holidays in Thailand are closely tied to the western calendar, meaning they are fixed. Others follow the lunar calendar and vary every year.

Like it is in most countries, a public holiday falling on a weekend will be automatically shifted to the next working day.

If you intend to work in any of these countries, and are searching for more reasons to take that big step, you should definitely add these holiday trends to your list. One thing the government of the above countries have in common is a will to put a smile on the faces of their working population.