Sri Lanka Holidays 2012
Section 4 of 1971’s Holiday Act no. 29 is the governing law that is used to regulate official public and bank holidays in Sri Lanka. As this is the case, there might be changes that will occur in a certain year which will have to be announced. In fact, the dates and list of such holidays must be announced on an annual basis by the Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs. In most cases, the Minister is the one who makes this announcement.
There are different characteristics of public holidays observed in Sri Lanka. For example, the full moon, also known as Poya Day, is a public holiday that occurs on a monthly basis. During this time, monthly paid employees get pay. If an employee is to work on such a day, he will not only receive his monthly wage, but also an extra half day’s pay. When such a holiday coincides with a weekly based holiday, there will be no need to give an extra holiday as there is already a holiday being celebrated. Banks in Sri Lanka, just like in most countries of the world, would tend to give an extra day for holidays that fall on the weekend. Having a look at the Sri Lanka holidays 2012 will show an interested party the number and dates of their holidays. The calendar for 2012 looks like this
January has three days
- Sunday January 8th – Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day.
- Sunday January 15th – Tamil Thai Pongal Day
- Monday January 16th – Special bank holiday as an extension of the Pongal day which happened the previous day.
February has six days
- Friday February 3rd – Special Bank Holiday. This will be observed in the afternoon.
- Saturday February 4th – Independence Day
- Sunday February 5th – Holy Prophet’s Birthday
- Tuesday February 7th – Nayam Full Moon Poya Day
- Friday February 10th – Special Bank Holiday. This will be observed in the afternoon
- Monday February 20th – Mahasivarathri Day
March has a single day
- Wednesday March 7th – Medin Full Moon Poya Day
April has four holidays.
- Friday April 6th – Good Friday.
- Friday April 6th – Bak Full Moon Poya Day
- Thursday April 12th – Sinhala & Tamil New Year’s Eve
- Friday April 13th – Aluth Avurudda
May also has four holidays
- Tuesday May 1st – Labor Day. An international holiday that is celebrated not only by Sri Lanka , but also by most of the countries in the world.
- Saturday May 5th – Vesak Full Moon Poya Day
- Sunday May 6th – Day following Vesak Full Moon Poya Day
- Monday May 7th – Vesak. This is a public holiday which also doubles as a special bank holiday.
June has a single holiday
- Monday June 4th – Poson Full Moon Poya Day
July also has one holiday
- Tuesday July 3rd – Esala Full Moon Poya Day
August has 3 holidays
- Wednesday August 1st – Nikini Full Moon Poya Day
- Sunday August 19th – Id-ul-Fitr (Ramazan Festival Day)
- Friday August 31st – Adhi Nikini Full Moon Poya Day
September has a single holiday
- Saturday September 29th – Binara Full Moon Poya Day
October has two holidays
- Friday October 26th – Id-Ul-Alha (Hadji Festival Day)
- Friday October 29th – Vap Full Moon Poya day
November also has two holidays
- Tuesday November 13th – Deepavali Festival Day
- Tuesday November 27th – Il Full Moon Poya day
December has two holidays in Sri Lanka
- Tuesday December 25th – Christmas day
- Thursday December 27th – Unduwap Full Moon Poya Day.
In Sri Lanka, you will find that there is a difference in some holidays. To start with, religious holidays are based on certain religions. As this is the case, certain holidays might be subject to local differences as a result of differences in the interpretation of the same. At the same time, seemingly arbitrary changes of the calendar may cause a change in a religious holiday which is celebrated on a worldwide basis. Sometimes, the changes may be a result of the day being deemed inauspicious for that locality. This being the case, it is unreasonable to assume a certain religious holiday in your country will be celebrated on the same day in Sri Lanka. Muslim holidays are also another example of religious holidays that may occur differently. In this instance, Muslim public, bank and legal holidays are evaluated and governed by the Umm al – Qura. This is a Saudi Arabian based calendar that is used in most of the Persian Gulf Countries. In countries outside the Gulf region, there is a possibility of holidays occurring up to a day later. As this is the case, it is prudent to us that this calendar is in order to confirm the occurrence of a Muslim holiday in Sri Lanka. Calculations for sunrises, moon sets, moon phases, moonrises and sun sets are based on the location of Mecca at a particular time. These calculations do not employ the use of summer rules.
For the Hindu calendar, public holidays also have their characteristics. Calculations of public, bank and religious holidays is determined using a certain method in Sri Lanka. If the date does not occur, the following existing date is used on the Lunar Hindu calendar. Bear in mind that local practices concerning this calendar in Sri Lanka might not be the same as other regions. This will mean that the date and the time that the holiday is observed may vary from time to time. During solar holidays, the calculations of sunrises, moon sets, moon phases, moonrises, solstices, equinoxes and sun sets which are used to predict solar public holidays, bank holidays and legal holidays will be based on Colombo’s geographical location. In most of the South- East Asian countries, including Sri Lanka, there is talk of changing the calculations based holidays to permanent based holidays so as to avoid confusion and debates on the right date of the holidays. This will mean that as long as the dates have not been implemented, it is prudent for a visitor to Sri Lanka to make sure they keep checking the occurrence of dates. This way, they will not travel and get disappointed when a holiday occurs on a day they did not anticipate.
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