The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee has added an extra day to the whole amount of 2012 public UK national holidays. That makes a total of nine days in England and Wales, whereas in Scotland they will have 10 days in total this year. But, is this a reasonable amount of days off or do we need some more?
If you look at other countries the number of holidays they take is anything but homogeneous. Bosnia and Herzegovina, for instance, has as many as 27 days – OK, this is an overall number, and depending on whether you are a Catholic, Orthodox or Muslim you will take only certain days. Official data doesn’t say anything about the rest of the population, so we wonder if agnostics and atheists have to work more.
Still, countries like Estonia and Lebanon feature 24 national holidays. It seems like no-one else has less national holidays than here in Britain.
In Spain, apart from a few national holidays they have other celebrations depending on their autonomous community, which leaves them with an average amount of 12 public holidays per province. It doesn’t seem like many days for a siesta-loving country, but I haven’t explained yet their master trick: hacer puente.
UK national holidays tend to be on a Monday, but in Spain they can be any day of the week. And if the public holiday is on a Tuesday, they don’t bother about going to work that Monday. The same if this happens on a Thursday. What’s the point of working that Friday? The ultimate puente (bridge, literally) comes when there are public holidays on Tuesday and Thursday: in that case they take the whole week off!
Obviously, public holidays come with a price for the economy. A study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research reports that each bank holiday has an impact in the UK economy of ￡2.3bn. They know this in Portugal, that’s why, driven by austerity measures, they have scrapped four of their 14 national holidays – two religious celebrations and two other public festivals will be suspended from 2013.
Tell us what you think about the number of UK national holidays; just post a comment to this article. And, if you want ideas about where to go during those holidays, take a look at the Kenwood Travel’s website.