Public Holidays for Christmas

How many statutory public holidays do people around the world get for Christmas?


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Map showing how many public holidays people get for Christmas.

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Christmas is one of the biggest and most important holidays in countries that historically had or have a large Christian population. This usually means people get a day off or even more than just a day.

On this map we can roughly see three different areas. The ones that celebrate Christmas according to the Gregorian Calendar, ones that celebrate it according to the Julian Calendar (e.g., Coptic Christmas, Armenian Christmas, Ethiopian Christmas, Orthodox Christmas) and ones that don’t celebrate it at all.

Now, there might be some confusion about the number of days for some people. You might be surprised to see your country has only one public holiday for Christmas, even though you always had two. There could be various reasons for it, as in some cases certain sectors or provinces/states have more public holidays for Christmas. Let me explain a bit more in detail which things are not included in this map:

  • Non-Christmas public holidays that coincide with Christmas are not included. E.g., Slovenia has a public holiday on the 2nd day of Christmas, but it’s not for Christmas. It’s Independence and Unity Day, so it’s not included in this map. The same goes for Epiphany, which coincides with Christmas on the Julian Calendar.
  • In some countries, certain sectors (e.g., government) get an extra public holiday for Christmas. As this is not the case for all sectors in the country, it’s not included in the map.
  • In some countries, all shops have to close on Christmas. So called retail closing days. However, this does not always equal a public holiday.
  • It might be common for the majority of people in your country to take a day off on the 24th or most employers even give you an extra public holiday for Christmas. Although it’s really nice that most employers do that, it only counts for this map if it’s a statutory public holiday.
  • In some countries, people get a day off on the next Monday and/or Tuesday if Christmas falls on the weekend. Those are not included in this map. Same goes for bridging days.

I already made this map last year, but noticed it had some inaccuracies after I published it. So, this year I decided to make an updated version of this map. I used this Wikipedia article as a starting point. For almost all the countries I double checked the numbers via Google searches and government websites. The Wikipedia article is quite outdated and contains several errors. Despite all that, it might still be possible for some inaccuracies to appear on this map. For some countries it’s very difficult to find reliable information on public holidays. However, I’m confident that the number of inaccuracies will be very limited.

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