Public Holidays and all that!!

Travel Forums General Talk Public Holidays and all that!!

1. Posted by BeckyR (Full Member 174 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!


this weekend was our first public holiday in Great Britain since the new year - Easter . .. various religious traditions and events which go with this, but one that has no real religious signifcance but is growing in popularity is the Easter egg Hunt . . . . the only reason i am telling you this is that my stepdaughter is just organising one for us (and yes, we are a day late and it is 8pm!!) . . .

BUT the real reason for mentioning . . .is what public or religious holidays do you have in your home countries in the next 4 to 8 weeks . . .and is there anything you would recommend we particptate with or in?!

2. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Hi Becky,

Good idea.... here in Norway Easter is a great LONG holiday. Wednesday most people are off or at least off half the day. That makes for a very nice long weekend away and considering that everyone in Norway has a cabin or something similar in the mountains or by the coast, the cities are DEAD! It's amazing....

What's coming up in the next month?...

1st of May (Labour day) is a public holiday here and the 17th of May is a national holiday as well. That's a big one and celebrates Norwegian independence (it was the day they wrote their constitution) with most people dressing up in national atire and parades and the like.

It's rather like the 30th of April (Queensday) in Holland, another big national holiday coming up if your Dutch - which I half am :)

Oh, and there's my birthday but I doubt that counts....

3. Posted by Peter (Admin 6787 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Funny you should ask Becky.. we're in the US at the moment and find it very strange that there really aren't many (if any) public holidays. Nothing stopped for Good Friday and Easter at all it seemed!! Perhaps 4th of July and Christmas are holidays, but not even sure about those. Maybe some Americans can clarify that more though. People generally seem to work too hard here though :) Only two weeks off a year (if you're lucky) - that's just way too depressing..


4. Posted by IMonaghan (Respected Member 431 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Heya Peter,

You hit the Nail on the head there. There are no holidays that I know of here in the USA where everything closes.
The top holidays are probably 4th of July, you usually get a day or two off for that, and Christmas... oh and Thanksgiving.
Easter, Presidents day, Labor Day, Memorial Day, and a few others are days where management and salaried employees tend to get a day off, but hourly and service workers (gas stations attendees, grocery stores, and similar) still have to work. On those days they either get paid extra or get another day off at another time.

Most "average" people in the US get somewhere between 2 and 3 weeks time off per year.. This includes Vacation time, Sick Time, and Holidays. People who get more time off are either High Up in a company or have been with one company for a long time.


One of many reasons I think the USA is a better place to visit than to live. I don't think Americans realize how much time off you get in Europe and Commonwealth countries. I spent several years working for a German company so I got a lot more time off to spend travelling and with family back then...

BTW Peter, looking forward to the First week in May... Is Sam really coming too now? That will be great. I think I found a hotel too, but that is a whole different thread so I won't rattle on anymore.


5. Posted by Peter (Admin 6787 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Hey Ian,

The work ethic here is quite astounding.. although working lots doesn't necessarily mean working 'productively'. Looking forward to May as well.. we were at the Grand Canyon on the weekend and had a ball - got up on Easter Sunday to watch the sunrise and it was FREEZING!!! Waaaay too cold! Still, an unforgettable experience and some terrific scenery.

Not really sure what Sam is doing about May - I guess he's still deciding!? Let me know about the hotel - it sure helps to have someone sussing things out over there :)

On the public holiday note, Victoria in Australia celebrates the following I know of:

- Melbourne Cup Day (big horse race - only in Melbourne)
- Good Friday
- Easter Monday
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
- New Years
- Queens B'day
- Labour Day ( I love celebrating work by not working ;) )
- Australia Day

Total: 9 public holidays a year - that's almost two weeks not even including annual leave!! Then standard leave for full time workers is 4 weeks per year.

6. Posted by BeckyR (Full Member 174 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

ok . . well i better add the UK (apologies now to any Irish or Scottish compatriots, if I miss any of your hols!)

New year's Day
2nd January - Scotland has this day off as well, they need longer to recover ;). Well Hogmanay is a big celebration.
St Patrick's Day (public holiday in NI & Republic of Ireland)
Good Friday
Easter Monday
May Day
May Bank Holiday
Queen's official B-day - civil servants usually have this day off, but noone else does!
August Bank Holiday
Christmas Day
Boxing day

So 9 as well if you live in England, but more if you live in Scotland or Ireland!! And as for actual hols, anything between 2weeks and 6weeks depending on where you are in the organisation, public servants tend to get at least 20days plus public holidays.

and others which are celebrated but are not a public holiday . . .
Valentines, Shrove Tuesday . .and I am sure I have missed lots.

7. Posted by IMonaghan (Respected Member 431 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

hehe, I just said that we work a lot here in the USA
I can't make any claims to productivity.

I don't think it's so much the "work ethic" here though as much as the work force for the most part is highly skilled and well educated (mostly) and companies here for the most part show very little if any compasion to their employees, so if you miss very many days then your employer will replace you. I even work with an engineer who was reprimanded for using all of his alloted sick time... I won't rant though...

Also I forgot about New Years Day, that is another one that most people I know get off for.

I think that brings the total to

-8 Paid Holidays
-10 Vacation Days
-5 Sick or "Personal" days..

If you are a salary worker or management. (Like me!)
Like I said, most hourly wage jobs get fewer days than that. Something along the lines of

-5 Holidays
-5 Vacation Days
- 3 to 5 Sick or "Personal Days"

8. Posted by ctwood13 (Budding Member 13 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

I'm really lucky being a Canadian living in the UK. I get 29 days a year, plus bank holidays, which works out to be 7wks a year!!

As you can imagine I am stoked with this, because in Canada you are lucky if you get 10days! The law needs to be changed before I head back....

As for upcoming holidays, I will try my best to inform you of the Canadian hols, but it has been awhile since I have lived there.

May 24 - Victoria Day, which is a public holiday for all. Celebrates the borthday of Queen Victoria (signifies the start of summer for me). Most people tend to go away to their cottages or camping and drink loads of beer.

July 1st - Canada Day, which is Canada's birthday. Again it is public holiday. Cottages and camping are big, but the main party is in Ottawa. Canadians put on their red & white and strut their stuff. The downtown streets are shut, and there are loads of activities to do and see. On Parliament Hill there a stage is put up and usually the PM has a word, and then there are usually traditional dances and Canadian singers (if you are lucky you might catch Celine Dion;)) At night all the bars tend to find more space in the parking lots beside them and LOADS of beer is drunk! Great day out!

September 6th (or first Monday in September) - Labour Day. To me this always meant the end of summer holidays and the start of school. School always begins on the Tuesday after Labour Day. I left Canada after I finished uni, so I haven't been in Canada to enjoy it as a public holiday yet.

October 11th - Canadian Thanksgiving - Canadians give thanks for a successful harvest. Harvest season falls earlier in Canada compared to the USA.

I believe the rest are the same: Xmas, NYE, and Easter

9. Posted by Hien (Travel Guru 3906 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Wow... looking at the holidays on the other parts of the world, I can consider myself lucky to live in Malaysia. :)

For those who do not know, there are three major ethnic groups in Malaysia; Malay (55%), Chinese (25% - including me! ), and Indian (10%).

1day New Year's Day
2d Chinese (Lunar) New Year
2d Eid-ul-Fitr (Muslim festival marking the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting)
1d Eid-ul-Adha (Muslim festival marking the end of the Hajj or holy pilgrimage)
1d Muslim New Year
1d Labour Day
1d Prophet Muhammad's Birthday
1d Wesak Day (celebration of Buddha's birth, enlightenment, and death)
1d King's Birthday
1d Independence Day
1d Deepavali (Hindu's festival of lights which celebrates the New Year)
1d Christmas Day

So, there are officially 14 national holidays. But that is not all, because each of the 14 states in Malaysia has at least one or two state-level holidays. And if you live in the eastern part of Malaysia (Sabah & Sawarak), there are even more holidays as they have other indigenous peoples' celebrations. Actually, there are many other celebrations, since we consist of such a diverse culture. But only the major ones above get into the list of official national holidays. Imagine having holidays for all the peoples' celebrations! That'll be just great!

An average working guy in Malaysia gets a 14- to 21- day annual paid-leave, depending on the company you work for, and how long you've worked for the company. This does not apply to temporary workers and hourly-wage earners.

So, this amounts to a total of at about 4 to 5 weeks of holidays, at the minimum! Certainly one of the, if not the highest in the world.

So, anybody wants to move to Malaysia?