Countries With The Most Public Holidays

A tropical beach in Cambodia, the ideal place to spend a holiday off.
A tropical beach in Cambodia, the ideal place to spend a holiday off.

A public holiday, a national holiday, or a legal holiday are terms meaning nothing more than a day in a year that is set aside to be a non-working day that has been established by the rule of law. There are many countries across the globe enjoying the privilege of having a large number of public holidays. These holidays generally constitute the anniversary of an important historical event, or religious celebration, or a holiday falling on a certain day of the week or following some calendar system, such as the Chinese or Lunar Calendar. The celebration of a particular day in a country, like the Children’s Day in Turkey, may also be marked as a public holiday at a different time than the same day is celebrated elsewhere.

Important Public Holidays From Around The World

Of all countries on the globe, Cambodia tops the list for the most public holidays with 28 public holidays observed annually. Sri Lanka follows with 25, India and Kazakhstan with 21, Colombia, the Philippines and Trinidad and Tobago with 18, China and Hong Kong with 17, and Thailand, Turkey, and Pakistan with 16.

Holidays in Cambodia

Cambodia counts 28 public holidays per year, the largest amount of anywhere in the world. Many of these public holidays are religious observations related to Buddhism. The calendar used in Cambodia is the Khmer traditional calendar, which is based on the movement of the moon. However, the solar year is also taken into consideration in order to allow seasons to match up with the days of the year. This means that the holidays are subject to change every year.

Holidays in Sri Lanka

With 25 holidays, Sri Lanka enjoys the second highest amount of public holidays in the world, a fact attributed to its multiethnic population and diverse collection of recognized religions. Although many public holidays recognize Buddhist customs, there are also holidays in honor of Hindu, Muslim, Catholic, and Christian beliefs. Poya day is a Buddhist day of observance that occurs on days of a full moon, once every lunar month. Those schedule to work on the numerous public holidays of Sri Lanka are entitled to be paid double the regular rate.

Holidays in India

India is a diverse land so it celebrates many festivals. However, the three main holidays are Independence Day (the 15th of August), Republic Day (the 26th of January), and Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday (the 2nd of October). According to the demographic region of the country, there are celebrations of many state and religious holidays like Diwali, Maha Shivratri, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Vaisakhi, Eid ul-Fitr, Muharram, and Christmas. The observance of some of the holidays varies according to the local customs as well.

Holidays in Colombia

Colombia experiences 18 holidays, out of which 12 are Catholic Holidays and six are Civic Holidays. Important Catholic holidays in Colombia include Palm and Easter Sunday. Their secular holidays include New Year’s Day, Labor Day, the Declaration of Independence, and Columbus Day.

Other Notable Holidays Seen Across the Globe

Trinidad and Tobago also experience 18 holidays. Hong Kong observes 17 public holidays, which include New Year’s Day, the Lunar New Year, the Qingming Festival, Easter Monday, and Buddha’s Birthday. Both the public and private sectors observe 16 public holidays in Thailand, and these include New Year’s Day, Songkran Festival, Magha Puja, Vesak, and National Labor Day. Japan has 15 government-recognized holidays but, recently, the Upper House of the Japanese Legislature approved a 16th holiday. They include Foundation Day, Showa Day, Vernal Equinox Day, and Children’s Day. The public holidays of Argentina include historic and Catholic-based holidays like the May Revolution, Independence Day, the Death of Jose de San Martin, and National Flag Day. Other holidays include Christmas, Good Friday, Labor Day, and Veterans Day. The countries of Sweden, Malaysia, and Lithuania also celebrate 15 public holidays, each enacted through their governmental laws. The categorization of these holidays is based on whether they are religious or secular holidays.

Positive and Negative Impacts of Public Holidays

One of the advantages of a holiday is that one can go out with family members and spend quality leisure time with them. The holidays are beneficial since they increase your social contacts that cannot be maintained during the working weekdays, and the employees get enough time to relax. On the other hand, these holidays can also have an adverse effect on the economy of the country as the large transactions in a country, especially those related to the banking and the financial sector, may be held up. The finances need to wait for longer periods to be cleared off and become stuck, so in this case the government needs to set up a reasonable set of holidays and relevant accommodations to mitigate the problems that arise from them.

Countries With The Most Public Holidays

RankNo. of Public HolidaysCountry/Countries
225Sri Lanka
321India, Kazakhstan
418Colombia, Philippines, Trinidad and Tobago
517China, Hong Kong
616Thailand, Turkey, Pakistan
715Japan, Malaysia, Argentina, Lithuania, Sweden
814Indonesia, Chile, Slovakia
913South Korea, Austria, Belgium, Norway, Taiwan, Nepal
1012Finland, Russia
1111Singapore, Italy, Denmark, France, UAE, Morocco, Czech Republic, Luxembourg

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