Get your calendars at the ready. If you’re part of an international organisation or working with colleagues, clients or suppliers around the globe these public holidays are worth taking note of. Whether you want to adjust campaigns or be prepared for supply-chain and office closures, these dates will help you to plan your year*.
*This post has been updated for 2022.
As a bonus, you and your team can also tap into our expertise and avail of our cultural awareness training. This training is carefully curated to the needs of your team. We work with you to expand your cultural knowledge and help you avoid the pitfalls of cultural blunders. Book your consultation today.
New Year’s Day – Jan. 1
New Year’s Day is a festival observed in most of the world on 1 January, the first day of the year in the modern Gregorian calendar. It’s a bank holiday in the UK, but this isn’t the case around the world, so make sure you check with your markets.
Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Day – Jan. 17 (North America)
Martin Luther King Jr. Day honours the birthday and life of Martin Luther King Jr. U.S. citizens are given the Monday off.
Chinese New Year, Tết and Seollal Holiday – Feb. 1 (APAC)
Chinese New Year marks the start of a new year on the Chinese calendar. It’s celebrated in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan as well as other Asian countries, such as Singapore and the Philippines. For China, Hong Kong and Taiwan celebrations can last several weeks, but normally culminate on the 15th day. Businesses will sometimes shut for a week or so at a time, so it’s worth checking with local contacts.
Several other Asian countries, including South Korea (Seollal) and Vietnam (Tết), celebrate their own lunar new year holidays as well.
President’s Day – Feb. 21 (North America)
President’s Day is a U.S. holiday that celebrates George Washington’s birthday, as well as all of the other presidents who have been elected in the U.S. Most citizens will have the day off work.
Carnival – Feb. 25 – Mar. 5 (LATAM)
Carnival is celebrated in several South American countries, but for Brazil in particular it is a government holiday, with most Brazilians getting a week off to celebrate.
Benito Juárez Day – Mar. 21 (LATAM)
Benito Juarez Day is a Mexican holiday that celebrates the accomplishments of the former president, Benito Juarez. It is a public holiday for Mexico.
Holy Week – Apr. 10-16 (LATAM)
Holy Week is celebrated around the world, but it’s particularly significant in LATAM countries. Many will close offices to observe days like Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, then reopen following Easter Sunday.
Good Friday – Apr. 15 (EMEA)
Good Friday is part of the Holy Week but, apart from its importance in LATAM, it’s also celebrated in many Christian European countries with a public holiday.
Tiradentes Day – Apr. 21 (LATAM)
Tiradentes Day is a Brazilian holiday that celebrates the death of Joaquim Jose da Silva Xavier, who gave his life for Brazil’s independence in 1792. Businesses and schools will often close on this day.
Golden Week – Apr. 29 – May 5 (APAC)
Golden Week in Japan celebrates four different Japanese holidays in one week. Whilst some businesses may remain open, it’s worth checking in with your local market contacts.
Cinco De Mayo – May 5 (LATAM)
Cinco De Mayo celebrates Mexico’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla. Schools and businesses will be shut down for the day.
Eid-al-Fitr – May 2-3 (Worldwide)
Eid-al-Fitr is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. While in some countries, it’s not a public holiday, it’s a day that many Muslims will request off.
Dragon Boat / Duanwu Festival – Jun. 3-5 (APAC)
This three-day festival honours the life of Qu Yuan, a famous Chinese scholar in the third century B.C.E. Hong Kong takes this as a public holiday.
Whit Monday – Jun. 6 (EMEA)
Whit Monday is a Christian holiday, most countries that celebrate it do so by closing schools and businesses. Places that celebrate include Monaco, Belgium and France, a full list of countries can be found here.
Independence Day – Jul. 4 (North America)
Independence Day is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the United States.
Bastille Day – Jul. 14 (France)
Bastille Day, or Fête Nationale, is a French holiday that celebrates the beginning of the French Revolution. Celebrations are held throughout France and many businesses close for the day.
Independence Day – Aug. 15 (India)
Independence Day, in India, is a national holiday that marks the end of British rule in 1947 and the establishment of a free and independent Indian nation.
Labor Day – Sept. 5 (Central America, South America, and some parts of the Caribbean)
Labor Day recognizes the contributions that labourers make to a country. Since service personnel are categorised as labourers, most will get this day off from work.
Mid-Autumn Festival – Sept. 10 (APAC)
Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated during the eighth lunar month of the Chinese calendar when the moon is typically at its fullest. Neighbouring countries, like Japan, Vietnam, and Korea, celebrate this festival as well, but each has varying traditions and it varies whether they take time off work depending on which country or city you visit.
Rosh Hoshana – Sept. 25-27 (Worldwide)
Rosh Hoshana is the Jewish New Year. Similar to Yom Kippur, it’s not a national holiday in the U.S., but it is a day where Jewish people will request a day off from work.
Yom Kippur – Oct. 4-5 (Worldwide)
Yom Kippur is an important Jewish holiday that’s typically celebrated with fasting and prayer. Under Jewish law, Jewish people are required not to work during this holiday.
Golden Week – Oct. 1-7 (China)
Chinese National Day is celebrated on October 1st every year to commemorate the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The legal holiday for Chinese National Day is 3 days in mainland China, 2 days in Macau and 1 day in Hong Kong. In the mainland, the 3 days are usually connected with the weekends ahead and after, hence people can enjoy a 7-day holiday from Oct. 1st to 7th, which is the so-called ‘Golden Week’.
Diwali – Oct. 24 (APAC)
Diwali is the Indian festival of lights. It’s usually celebrated over five days with celebrations, parades, and prayer. Though it’s very popular in India, it’s also celebrated in Singapore, Fiji, and Myanmar, where it’s seen as a public holiday, and schools and businesses are closed.
All Saints Day – Nov. 1 (EMEA)
Most European countries recognize All Saints Day as a public holiday. On this day, Christians pray for relatives and loved ones who have passed.
Thanksgiving – Nov. 24 (North America)
Both the United States and Canada celebrate Thanksgiving. In the U.S., Thanksgiving is held on the fourth Thursday of November, whereas in Canada, it’s held on the second Monday of October. In 2022, Canada will celebrate Thanksgiving on October 10.
Bodhi Day – Dec. 8 (APAC)
Bodhi Day is a Buddhist holiday where Siddhartha Gautama, or Buddha, experienced spiritual enlightenment. Bodhi Day is observed around the world on 8 December, with few variances, on the eighth day of the 12th lunar month. For Buddhists, it is a day of quiet reflection, meditation, and prayer to commemorate the Buddha’s achievement.
To support these customers, your service team should offer text-based channels like email and live chat where customers can communicate at their preferred pace and don’t have to physically speak to a service rep.
Christmas Day – Dec. 25 (Worldwide)
Not everyone celebrates Christmas around the world and it’s worth checking particular traditions dependent on where your business operates. For an idea of global Christmas traditions, take a look at our video.
Boxing Day – Dec. 26 (UK)
Boxing Day originated in the United Kingdom but is still celebrated by former British colonies like Canada.