This week has been a short one in our offices, thanks to a public holiday on Monday. Altogether, the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria celebrated the Queen’s Birthday. However, Queensland will celebrate this occasion on 2 October and Western Australia will have it on 25 September this year. Just to clarify: the Queen’s actual birthday is on 21 April. No matter what date it is celebrated, Australians are happy to get a day off.
Public holidays differ quite a bit around the world as every country celebrates different occasions. Even within a country, the number and dates of those admired days differ a lot. It is often said that Germans have more of them than Australians, but is that true?
New South Wales, for example, will have 11 additional days off in 2018, two of which will definitely be on a weekend (Easter Saturday and Sunday). Tasmania will have 10, Western Australia 10, Queensland 11, Victoria has 12, the Australian Capital Territory 13, Northern Territory 13 as well as South Australia.
On top of the list in Germany is Bavaria with an unbeaten number of 14 public holidays per year with only one being on a weekend (Easter Sunday). The lowest number of additional holidays are in Hamburg, Berlin, Bremen, Niedersachsen and Schleswig-Holstein, with nine days yearly.
So in fact, there is not much of a difference between the days off that you get in the two countries, as the number of holidays range between 9 and 14 in Germany and between 10 and 13 in Australia.
A lot of public holidays are due to religious happenings like Easter and Christmas. But there are some that have rather odd reasons. One example would be 29 September 2017 in Victoria, where they get a free day for the AFL Grand Final – that is what you call commitment to national sports! As one day dedicated to sports is not enough for Victoria, they also have the Melbourne Cup day to honour the most famous horse race in the world. The Northern Territory celebrates Picnic Day as well as May Day and the Australian Capital Territory has a special day for family and community.
Whenever Germany has a public holiday, they fully dedicate 24 hours to freedom whereas some Australian states do half-days as well. The Northern Territory and South Australia declared the 31s December as a public holiday – between 7:00 pm and midnight. The rest of Australia and Germany have to work on the last day of the year. However, one thing is clear for the two countries: the first day of the year is not a workday!
Written by Elena Bergmann