We Need More Holidays

May 5 is Liberation Day in the Netherlands, commemorating the end of the Nazi occupation in 1945. It’s a national holiday this year, but not next year, and not again until 2015-a quinquennial national holiday, although it used to be annual. I’ve been told the reason for its partial dismantling is that the government wanted to reduce time off, and, with the passage of time, fewer people remembered or felt so strongly about the underlying historical event.

While Europeans work less for pay than Americans, I hate to see Europe even begin to move to what I view as the American low-level equilibrium of short vacations, few holidays and long hours of market work. Instead, since competition does not seem to be leading us to work less, perhaps we should have more nationally mandated holidays (always on a Monday). Martin Luther King, Jr., Day was a good start; how about others-Adam Smith‘s birthday? Suggest your favorite.


Every month needs a holiday. For June, we could move flad day to Monday. For August, since it is during the dog days of summer, how about "Dog Day?" Everyone can bring their dog to the pool.


Personally, I prefer to see fewer nationally mandated things, holidays or otherwise. I have the freedom to negotiate flex time with my employer; the government can keep its grubby hands away from my time off. (And I consider myself a liberal!)


Good idea. Exactly what we should be focusing on at this point - a more European-style model for less productivity and work hours and more time spent on vacation. That's turning out beautifully for them.

Mike D.

Chris, that'd be a nightmare for the pool cleaners... I mean, all in one day?

I say we really ramp up celebration of International Talk Like A Pirate Day, lest we forget the noble heritage of seafaring criminals who at least had it together enough to run a boat without killing too many of their crew.

August has a serious dearth of holidays, which I don't mind because my birthday is in August and I *never* get double-gifted (sorry, late December birthdays). We'll need to restrict at least August to non-gift holidays to preserve all Augustians' rich birthright of not giving people an easy out for our birthdays.

We could always celebrate more presidents' birthdays... Taft Day, when nobody does anything at all? Herbert Hoover day, when everyone eats poor man's hash and boils their shoes for dinner? J. Edgar Hoover day, when everyone gets as much dirt as possible on everyone they know, and then release it wholesale in anonymous fashion? Bill Clinton day, when everyone has an intern in their offi-- well, you get the idea.

Cheers, good idea!



"We Need More Holidays"

huh? No we don't.


Adam Smith day would be perfect and perhaps an inventor's day. This would be observed on a fixed date but commemorate a different scientist every year.


I recommend making the day Greenspan admitted his whole fallacy was wrong a holiday.


In America, what we need more than an increased quantity of holidays/vacation is an increased quality of holidays/vacation. I go on vacation for a week, but I work longer hours the week before to prepare for my absence, then I work longer hours the week after to catch up. In all I'm re-allocating my time, not truly getting any time away. It's very demoralizing.

I get three weeks vacation and about 8-10 holidays each year; if those days off were "true" days off I'd be much more satisfied than if I got an extra week's vacation that I'd have to make up for anyway.

Brian Bulgatz

Chicago Day. Everyone would get the day off of work to think and ponder about how incredible the city of Chicago is.

Guy Judge

We have an election here in the UK tomorrow. My Nigerian cleaner told me this morning that he was surprised that it isn't a public holiday as it would be in his country!

Rodolfo Araujo

You could have a brazilian day, since we have holidays for everything here in Brazil. More than a dozen a year. And if any is on Tuesday, why bother working on Monday?

This is because we are a very rich country and we don't need to work hard...

Best regards, Rodolfo

Peter Stinson

I'm all for Talk Like a Pirate Day... 9/19... I suspect, however, that if September gains a federal holiday it will be a tad more than a week before 9/19....

Erica P.

Post-Superbowl Recuperation Day, whichever Monday that is.
Psychiatrist Appreciation Day, which should occur in August when therapists historically and stereotypically take vacations. This would be comparable to Labor Day, on which we don't work in order to recognize workers.


Both Halloween and Easter should be national holidays. June needs a holiday- summer solstice? August needs one too.


I just recently celebrated Half-O-Ween with a large group of friends. We figured that there is too much time between crazy dress-up holidays, so we split the time between in half. The general themes were the opposite of Halloween, as Spring is just blooming and it's finally become warm enough to be outside (even in Boston), so most of the costumes were bouncy fun and joyous instead of creepy. It puts a non-religious holiday in April (on the 30th) and is celebrated at night, so wouldn't require you to sacrifice a work day against your will. This is a win-win-win-win scenario!


The European holiday model is working wonders for the Greeks. Glad to see those people still have the energy to go out and riot over working every year, instead of working.

Doug Knoop

All "observed" holidays-off should happen on Friday, not Monday. Nothing much fun happens on Sunday night, while Thursday is reliably a good time. Plus, who wants a Monday off? Its not like anything gets done on Monday anyway.


The first Monday of April is a self imposed holiday for me. It could be called Sports Day, but it's the day of the national championship game in NCAA basketball AND Opening Day for Major League Baseball. I take this day off every year. Making it a national holiday would be great.

Tito Alvarado

September 11, Good Friday


There's not enough Canadians reading this blog - we get a holiday every month except for April, June, and November (and some gov't offices get a second holiday in March, and holiday in November).