Sunday, March 21, 2010

Easter Holidays are when?

When my appointment in Rome planned for the Thursday before Easter was cancelled due to “Easter holiday” I was reminded that planning around holidays can be complicated. Easter is on Sunday but depending on where you are it is observed (and offices closed) on the Friday before (Good Friday), the Monday after (Easter Monday) and even the Thursday before or Tuesday after. And it can change year to year depending on people’s plans.

A quick check of Wikipedia ( will give you a list of holidays by country. For exactly how they are observed you may need to check information about the specific country. For many countries celebrate May 1 as Labor Day. However, for the holiday to celebrate the creation, independence of a nation you’ll find a wide variety of dates and titles for the event. For example, it’s July 4 in the US, July 21 in Belgium, September 15 in Guatemala and December 15 in Kenya. The form of celebration may surprise you. Hot dogs and fire works which often mark July 4 in the US may not appear in Korea, South Africa or Lithuania.

No matter the date, a holiday is a day of special significance drawn from the history of a place, an event, to honor an important individual or may have religious meaning. Whatever the reason it’s useful to know when, for how long, and how it is observed. You may find the opportunity to celebrate a holiday that is new to you. One of the joys of traveling the world.

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