Friday, May 2, 2008

Bank holidays (a.k.a. Public Holidays)

Public holidays are known as Bank Holidays in the UK. Traditionally, these are the days when the banks closed. Since the early economy revolves around the banks, there's really no point in doing business with the closure of the banks and thus the name "Bank Holidays".

The first thing that struck us about the Bank Holidays is how few there are in the calender year. A quick count shows that there are eight in all.

Interestingly, prior to 1834, the Bank of England observed 33 saints' days and religious festivals as public holidays. But it was reduced to just four in 1834 (1st May, 1st Nov, Good Friday and Christmas) probably because someone decided that the bank employers were overpaid and underworked.

The following are the current eight Bank Holidays,

New Year Day - 1st Jan
Good Friday - 21 Mar
Easter Monday - 24th Mar
Early May Bank Holiday - 5th May
Spring Bank Holiday - 26th May
Summer Bank Holiday - 25th August
Christmas Day - 25th Dec
Boxing Day - 26th Dec

Well, the folks back home seem to have it a little better (although not by much). With a grand total of 11 public holidays in a calender year, they should have less to complain about. Here's the 11:

New Year's Day - 1st Jan
Chinese New Year - 7th and 8th Feb
Good Friday - 21st Mar
Labour Day - 1st May
Vesak Day - 19th May
National Day - 9th Aug
Hari Raya Puasa - 1st Oct
Deepavali - 28th Oct
Hari Raya Haji - 8th Dec
Christmas Day - 25th Dec

Ahh, the advantage of being a multicultural society is that we get more religious holidays. Cheers to that!

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12 comments:

SheR. said...

That's what I told everyone too! I really love the number of Public Holidays in Singapore!!1 :D

C K said...

@sher.
How about Croatia? How many public holidays are there? To think that we're now comparing the number of days off... lol

LadyBanana said...

I think we in UK deserve more Bank Holidays. I signed the petition at the Downing Street site sometime ago to make St Georges day a holiday, but of course it was turned down :(

C K said...

@ladybanana,
Ah... but the UK made up for this in other ways... hmm.. Am thinking of writing about it soon. :)

My Bug Life said...

Interesting..guess it's apt as over here...banks r closed anyway on any public holidays!

I guess M'sians can't complain too much as we do have quite a number of public hols in a year compared to alot of other countries around the world.

My Bug Life said...

Interesting..guess it's apt as over here...banks r closed anyway on any public holidays!

I guess M'sians can't complain too much as we do have quite a number of public hols in a year compared to alot of other countries around the world.

kyh said...

Ah yes. Living in a multicultural country is an advantage. In Malaysia, we not only have those common holidays, we also have the King's birthday, Sultan's birthday (if the state one lives in is ruled by a Sultan), the Muslim holidays (Hari Raya Haji, Aidilfitri, Prophet's Birthday, Awal Muharram etc). See? :D

SheR. said...

Not too sure about Croatia.. I think as many in UK. No country beats SG!!! Hooray!

C K said...

@my bug life, kyh
Whoa, I thought that S'poreans have already got it good but never realised that M'sians are having it better!! :0

@sher.
Huh? Not quite sure about Croatia? You mean you worked throught the hols? lol

waitingkitty said...

I think there are more public holidays in China and Hong Kong...
New Year's Day(1st Jan)
2 days for Lunar New Year
Good Friday
Easter Monday
Chingming Festival
Labour Day(1st May)
Buddha Day(Vesak Day)
Dumpling Festival
Return to China(1st July)
Mid-Autumn Festival
National Day(1st October)
Chongqing Festival
Christmas Day
Boxing Day
15 days in total!! Not bad, huh?

C K said...

@waitingkitty,
That's... I'm at a loss of words. But does it mean that there are less work leave available as well?

Thanks for sharing with us.

Cheers!

xiaocangshu said...

The Chinese government just made Qing Ming and Mid Autumn public holidays this year, apparently.

My friend was asking me if we have a holiday for Mid Autumn and I told her that among the Chinese festivals, the only one that's a public holiday is the New Year.