THE YEAR 2007 has only just begun but people have already started counting the holidays. And it looks to be a good year, as far as holidays are concerned. During the year, one may look forward to having as many as 120 days of leisure. The year will have 52 weeks and, therefore, an equal number of Sundays and Saturdays. In addition, there are 17 gazetted holidays, 16 of which may well fall on a weekday.
Setting the tone, 2007 began with a holiday — Id-ul-Zuha or Bakri Id. Significantly, the festival will be celebrated again this year in December (probably December 21, which is a Friday, depending on the sighting of the moon).
A few caveats remain though. Since many festivals are determined by unique celestial movements, the dates and, therefore, days can vary, depending on the movement of the stars. For instance, the celebration of Id-ul-Fitr, which is listed on October 14, a Sunday, will depend on the sighting of the moon. Likewise for Milad-un-Nabi (the birthday of Prophet Mohammed), the day for which will be determined by astral position.
Similarly, Dussehra is listed on Sunday in the official list of the government. However, this may well change to Monday (October 22) as the position of the sun and the moon in the full moon fortnight will determine the day on which it is celebrated.
Besides, 17 other restricted holidays are listed on the website of the Ministry of Personnel. These include holidays on festivals like Pongal, Baisakhi, Easter and Makar Sankranti among others. Add to that a number of restricted holidays that one is entitled to — of course, depending on factors like religion and location of postings — and the number of holidays in 2007 could swell further.