My Holiday Detection System is Permanently Broken

I never know when there are holidays anymore. I chalk this up to three factors:

  • Living abroad, while not working in the local economy.
  • Having clients in Canada, the U.S., Ireland and the U.K.
  • Being self-employed, with mostly self-employed friends.

This is not a “woe is me, I don’t get paid holidays” post. I work really hard some weeks, not so hard other weeks and take holidays when I want. I like it this way.

I just learned that tomorrow and Monday are statutory holidays, thanks to Easter. This is a ‘work really hard’ week, so I won’t be taking them off. Still, I’m struck by my recent ignorance of local holidays. When you live in country a and work for companies in countries, b, c, d and e, it gets tricky. I had to be aware of bank holidays in Malta, because everything (yes, everything) closes.

I first observed this when I worked at a software company in Ireland. We had offices and customers in the U.S., U.K. and Europe, plus a few random employees around the globe. We got to talking about which countries had the most holidays, and which had the least. I seem to recall that Italy was very well fixed, and the U.K. was screwing the proverbial bank holiday pooch. I did some Googling, but couldn’t find anything remotely authoritative that covered a bunch of countries.

Speaking of Google, I’m going to go find some public-facing Google calendars that show the holidays for all the aforementioned countries. That way I can keep track of who’s working when.


  1. Further confusing the whole Easter Holiday thing is that it’s one of those tricky ones, where for the average person who gets statutory holidays, the only paid day off is Friday. For schools and government offices there’s also the Monday holiday, and there isn’t an Easter holiday at all in the US.

    I don’t actually care much, since I don’t deal with many people outside our office, but our salespeople are, understandably, losing their minds over when, exactly they should be working this weekend.

  2. I never know when stat holidays are coming up. Since the majority of our customers are in the US, we work through stats (save Christmas & New Years) and get a day off in lieu some other time.

    To make things more confusing, it’s also Spring Break…

  3. Ooh, as a self-employed person I can certainly empathize with your broken holiday detection system. I only just realized that Easter is this weekend, no wonder my client was in such a panic to schedule meetings!

  4. And FWIW, having those holidays in the calendar seems to do nothing for my really remembering or anticipating the holidays. I think not having days off tied to them makes them much less important to me, not being a religious fellow and all.

  5. I just learned that tomorrow and Monday are statutory holidays, thanks to Easter.

    Nope. Friday is a statutory holiday, but Monday is not, unless you’ve just moved again, this time to Quebec,

  6. As a Canadian living in San Francisco, with both colleagues and clients overseas, I can totally relate.

    One good thing is that the flip side of this is also true. What I mean by that is if you ever need to justify a day off to someone, odds are there’s a holiday someplace that can fit the bill.

    For example: “That’s going to have to wait until next week. Didn’t you know it’s Romanian independence day?” 😉

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