A public holiday, national holiday, or legal holiday is a holiday generally established by law and is usually a non-working day during the year.
Sovereign nations and territories observe holidays based on events of significance to their history, such as the National Day. For example, Australians celebrate Australia Day.
They vary by country and may vary by year. With 36 days a year, Nepal is the country with the highest number of public holidays but it observes six working days a week. India ranks second with 21 national holidays, followed by Colombia and the Philippines at 18 each. Likewise, China and Hong Kong enjoy 17 public breaks a year. Some countries (e.g. Cambodia) with a longer, six-day workweek, have more holidays (28) to compensate.
The public holidays are generally days of celebration, like the anniversary of a significant historical event, or can be a religious celebration like Diwali. Holidays can land on a specific day of the year, be tied to a certain day of the week in a certain month or follow other calendar systems like the Lunar Calendar.
The French Journée de solidarité envers les personnes âgées (Day of solidarity with the elderly) is a notable exception. This holiday became a mandatory working day although the French Council of State confirmed it remains a holiday.
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