For those who thoroughly enjoyed the first long weekend of the year due to the New Year holiday, don't fret. There are eight more chances this year for you to do so.
This includes a four-day weekend, with Chinese New Year falling on January 23 and 24, which are a Monday and a Tuesday.
The other long weekends will be due to Good Friday (April 6, Friday), Hari Raya Puasa (August 19, Sunday), and Hari Raya Haji (October 26, Friday). For the holidays that fall on a Sunday, the following Monday will be a public holiday.
Four holidays this year - Labour Day, National Day, Deepavali, and Christmas Day - fall on either a Tuesday or a Thursday, so by taking either Monday or Friday off, there are four more opportunities to make four-day weekend getaways, albeit by taking a day of leave.
Meanwhile, taking six days of leave in August can translate to 12 actual days of vacation, if you take leave during the stretch of days between National Day (August 9, Thursday) and Hari Raya Puasa (August 19, Sunday).
The complete list for the 2012 holidays are as follows:
|New Year's Day||1 January 2012||Sunday*|
|Chinese New Year||23 January 2012
24 January 2012
|Good Friday||6 April 2012||Friday|
|Labour Day||1 May 2012||Tuesday|
|Vesak Day||5 May 2012||Saturday|
|National Day||9 August 2012||Thursday|
|Hari Raya Puasa||19 August 2012||Sunday*|
|Hari Raya Haji||26 October 2012||Friday|
|Deepavali||13 November 2012||Tuesday|
|Christmas Day||25 December 2012||Tuesday|
* The following Monday will be a public holiday
The date for Deepavali, November 13, needs to be checked against the Indian Almanac when it is available. The Ministry of Manpower will issue a statement should there be a change of date. Meanwhile, for this year, Hari Raya Haji will be celebrated on October 26, as previously announced.
Under the Employment Act, an employee who is required to work on a public holiday is entitled to an extra day's salary at the basic rate of pay, in addition to the gross rate of pay for that holiday. The employer and employee may mutually agree to substitute a public holiday for any other day.
Ms Alicia Seah, senior vice-president of marketing and public relations at CTC Travel, told The Straits Times: 'It's a very positive outlook for the first quarter of 2012,' she said. 'Moving forward, we are expecting the other public holidays... to encourage more people to travel.'