Public national holidays

Englishmypassion

Senior Member
India - Hindi
Hello Everyone,

Why is it a list of "public national holidays?" What extra meaning does public add there? Aren't national holidays public by default?

Here in India, we refer to them as just national holidays.

Thanks.
 
  • manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    The first thing that comes to mind is "national bank holidays". In this case you can read 'national' as 'nationwide' and I guess the same interpretation is possible with "public national holidays".

    In some countries bankers do get some additional days off. I'm not quite sure why that is, but I suppose they need those extra days to plan a clean getaway...in case some or all of their finacial dealings go south... :p
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    The first thing that comes to mind is "national bank holidays". In this case you can read 'national' as 'nationwide' and I guess the same interpretation is possible with "public national holidays".

    In some countries bankers do get some additional days off. I'm not quite sure why that is, but I suppose they need those extra days to plan a clean getaway...in case some or all of their finacial dealings go south... :p
    Thanks a lot, manfy.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I was referring to public national holidays in the US. Can't find a list, but I came across the term in an employee handbook written in AE. Thanks.
    Ah, then you'll need a response from an AmE-speaker.

    I imagine the answer is that there is a distinction between state and national holidays.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Some states may have different holidays, but they'd surely be state public holidays, not public state holidays, and would be distinct from national public holidays.
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    Yes, I was also wondering why it wasn't national public holidays vs public national holidays, if public was required at all.

    But maybe
    public national holidays and bank national holidays
    national public holidays and regional public holidays
    ?

    Thanks a lot, both.
     

    AnythingGoes

    Senior Member
    English - USA (Midwest/Appalachia)
    Public = government employees
    National = the US federal government

    Other levels of government may establish additional holidays, and private enterprises may follow different holiday schedules.
     

    Language Hound

    Senior Member
    American English
    In the U.S., there are ten Federal Holidays:
    2018 Federal Holidays:
    • New Year’s Day: Monday, January 1
    • Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Monday, January 15
    • Birthday of George Washington (President’s Day): Monday, February 19
    • Memorial Day: Monday, May 28
    • Independence Day: Wednesday, July 4
    • Labor Day: Monday, September 3
    • Columbus Day: Monday, October 8
    • Veterans Day: Monday, November 12
    • Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, November 22
    • Christmas Day: Tuesday, December 25
    "A federal holiday is a day off with pay for people who work for the federal government in what are classified as non-essential positions."
    "...the United States, unlike other countries, doesn’t have “national holidays” that must be observed by all people due to a mandate from Congress, the President, or a national ruling body or power." Source

    Note that the above Federal holidays are for federal employees. Private sector employees might get five of those days off if they're lucky. Most of those holidays are just an excuse for a "Columbus Day sale" or a "President's Day sale." And as unbelievable as it may seem to the civilized world, most American workers have to labor on Labor Day unless they take it as a vacation day. In the private sector, the employer determines which holidays employees will have off. In the hospitality industry and certain areas of the health-care industry (hospitals, nursing homes, etc.), holidays don't really exist.

    From Wikipedia (highlighting mine):
    The schedule of public holidays in the United States is largely influenced by the schedule of federal holidays, but is controlled by private sector employers who employ 62% of the total US population with paid time off...Most employers follow a holiday schedule similar to the federal holidays of the United States, with exceptions or additions. The federal holiday schedule mainly benefits employees of government and government regulated businesses. However, this sector only comprises 15% of the working population. At the discretion of the employer, other non-federal holidays such as Christmas Eve and the Day after Thanksgiving are common additions to the list of paid holidays while Columbus Day and Veterans Day are common omissions.
    I should add that most banks are closed on Federal holidays.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    A public holiday is written into law (at some level; it may be national, state or local) and therefore affects everyone who lives or works there in some way. This is in contrast to, for example, a religious holiday that affects only people of that religion. U.S. examples of the three levels:
    • National: Independence Day, July 4th.
    • State: Patriots' Day in Massachusetts, the third Monday in April, commemorating the first battles of the War of Independence in 1775.
    • Local: Evacuation Day in Boston (and a few nearby communities), March 17th, commemorating the British leaving Boston Harbor in 1776; in New York City, November 25th, commemorating the British leaving New York Harbor in 1783.
    In the U.S., Christmas is both a religious holiday and a public holiday. Other holidays are either one or the other, but not both.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Judging from the last few posts, it seems that the phrase "public national holidays" in Emp's AmE document is, indeed, odd. Or have I misunderstood?
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I've never heard it either. Choose one of the three - not two of the three. Public, national or Federal.
     
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