Sunday, February 25, 2018

Govt declares 2 public holidays at month’s end

YOU do not have to call in sick the last Friday of this month in order to get a four day week.

The government yesterday declared Friday, May 31 a public holiday separating two holidays that fall on the previous day.

It will be the country’s second long weekend for the year.

The first long weekend was the Easter weekend which was held March month end.

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 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—Indian Arrival Day and Corpus Christi—falling on the same day. 

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

In Christianity, a moveable feast is a holy day the date of which 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.

Speaking at the post-Cabinet news conference yesterday, Communications Minister Jamal Mohammed announced that Thursday 30 and Friday 31, May have been officially designated public holidays.

“The Public Holidays and Festivals Act Chapter 1905 states that ‘where a public holiday falls on a Sunday, or where two public holidays fall on the same day, the next following day that is not a public holiday shall be a public holiday’,” Mohammed stated yesterday.

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.