Most every culture and country in the world celebrates holidays. Holidays take many forms. Some are near-global public holidays such as New Year's Eve, and some are celebrated by only a few countries, such as Cinco de Mayo and St. Patrick's Day. Some are strictly religious, such as Ramadan, some are strictly secular, such as Thanksgiving, and some have both spiritual and secular elements, such as the fall and winter holidays (Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, Christmas, Hanukkah, Krampus, and related holidays). But which country celebrates the most holidays of all?
# of Public Holidays 🔽
Cambodia has the most public holidays in the world. In 2019, the country celebrated approximately 29 public holidays. The country with the second most public holidays is Sri Lanka, which celebrated 26 public holidays in 2019. The only other country that has more than 20 public holidays is India. India is estimated to recognize 21 public holidays.
Some countries do not have a lot of public holidays at all. For example, Mexico has the fewest holidays of any major country. Mexico only recognizes seven public holidays every year. There are a few other countries that have fewer than 10 holidays as well. The United Kingdom, Spain, and Canada only celebrate public holidays yearly. Their employees may not get as many days off as in other countries.
There are many people who believe that public holidays and religious holidays are the same. That is not necessarily the case. Public holidays are holidays declared by the government, while religious holidays are holidays commonly celebrated by a specific religion. It is possible that there could be some overlap between religious holidays and public holidays, but that is not necessarily required. If a large chunk of the population celebrates a major religious holiday, then the government may declare that holiday to be a public holiday as well; however, there are situations where a religious holiday has not been declared a public holiday. Individuals who observe that specific religious holiday may need to request a day off from the company (unless the company freely gives it to them).
The United States is somewhere in the middle of the pack when it comes to public holidays. Typically, the United States recognizes 10 public holidays every year. In January, New Year’s Day and Martin Luther King Day are recognized as public holidays. Then, the United States recognizes President’s Day in February, which honors George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. In May, the United States recognizes Memorial Day, which honors people who have given their life in the service of the country. The United States recently added Juneteenth, which has long been a major holiday in the African American Community.
The United States recognizes its independence day on July 4th. In September, the United States had Labor Day. In October, the United States honors Christopher Columbus, widely believed to have been the first European to discover the new world. In November, the United States recognizes Veterans Day, which honors people who served in the military. Finally, the United States also recognizes Thanksgiving in November, followed by Christmas in December. If the exact date falls on a weekend, then the holiday may be observed at another time during the week.
# of Public Holidays
|Malaysia||21||Varies from 21-25 depending on the state|
|Liechtenstein||20||Varies from 20-22|
|Trinidad and Tobago||15|
|Portugal||13||Varies from 13-15 depending on the region|
|Spain||12||Varies from 12-13 depending on autonomous community|
|Germany||10||Varies from 10-13 depending on the state|
|Canada||10||Varies from 10-13 depending on jurisdiction|
|Australia||10||Varies from 10-13 depending on the state|
|Brazil||9||Varies from 9-12. Includes bank holidays|
|Switzerland||9||Varies from 9-15 depending on the canton|
|United Kingdom||8||Varies from 8-10 depending on the nation|
|Ecuador||8||Varies from 8-9 depending on the city|
Nepal has 39 public holidays, the most of any country.