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14 public holidays in 2013

...but two fall on same date in May

By Joel Julien

Yesterday was the first day of the new year and that means it is time to look at what other public holidays 2013 has in store.

Trinidad and Tobago has 14 public holidays.

Last year the country was blessed with an additional day off when Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced that August 13, would be a public holiday in honour of Keshorn Walcott's gold medal-winning performance at the London Olympics.

This year, however, T&T has the phenomenon of two of the public holidays falling on the same day. No, that is not a typographical error on your calendar.

On May 30, the country will celebrate both Indian Arrival Day and Corpus Christi.

The Feast of Corpus Christi (Latin for Body of Christ) is a "moveable feast" which is celebrated on the Sunday after Holy Trinity.

In Christianity, a moveable feast is a holy day whose date is not fixed to a particular day of the calendar year but moves in response to the date of Easter.

Indian Arrival Day commemorates the arrival of the first Indian indentured labourers from India to Trinidad, in May 1845, on the ship Fatel Razack.

In addition to having two holidays on one day, so far there are two public holidays that will fall on Saturday.

Spiritual Shouter Baptist Day (March 30) will be celebrated on the Saturday of the Easter weekend.

Spiritual Shouter Baptist Day commemorates the repeal on March 30, 1951, of the 1917 Shouter Prohibition Ordinance that prohibited the activities of the Shouter or Spiritual Baptist faith.

The Easter weekend, which includes two holidays—Good Friday (March 29) and Easter Monday (April 1)—is a Christian festival celebrating the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The dates are still to be announced for the public holidays for Divali and Eid-ul-Fitr.

Divali is the Hindu Festival of Light, while Eid, one of the most widely celebrated festivals in the Islamic calendar, signals the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

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