Nine holidays less in 2019 calendar
Kolkata: As the state is gearing up to welcome 2019, the holiday calendar for the year is bound to upset a few. There will be at least nine holidays less in the 2019 calendar in comparison to 2018, with six Sundays and eight Saturdays featuring in the list of holidays earmarked by the state government. In 2018, there were only two Sundays and three Saturdays in the holiday list, while in 2019 the number will go up to 14.
The holidays that fall on a Sunday are Saraswati Puja (February 10), Birthday of Dr B R Ambedkar (April 14), Durga Puja – Astami (October 6), Lakshmi Puja (October 13), Kali Puja (October 27) and Fateha-Dwaz-Daham (November 10).
Similarly, holidays like the Birthday of Swami Vivekananda (January 12), Republic Day (January 26), Buddha Purnima (May 18), Mahalaya (September 28), Durga Puja- Saptami (October 5) and three others declared by the state government, fall on Saturdays.
The total number of holidays in the calendar in 2019 will be 44, with 25 under the NI Act and another 19 announced by the state government. However, the effective number of holidays will come down to 30 because of Saturdays and Sundays.
"However, people will be happy with 13 continuous holidays during Durga Puja, which will be two more than 2018. There will also be five days holiday at a stretch during Kali Puja and Bhaiphota. Saptami falls on a Saturday (October 5) but the state government has announced that offices will be closed from Panchami, which falls on October 3. The holidays for Durga Puja will end on October 15," a senior Nabanna official said.
It may be mentioned that Kali Puja falls on a Sunday (October 27), but the state government has announced an additional leave on the next day (October 28), followed by Bhaiphota (October 29) and an additional holiday in connection with Bhaiphota on the next day (October 30). The day before Kali Puja will be a Saturday, so effectively people will be getting five holidays at a stretch.
Saraswati Puja falls on Sunday, but the state government will be giving an additional holiday on Monday, which will effectively be offering three holidays at a stretch. There will also be at least five such instances throughout the year.
There will be special holidays for different communities like Easter Saturday (March 20) and Baisakhi (April 14) for Christians and Sikhs respectively, Sab-e-Barat (April 21) for Muslims, Mahabir Jayanti (April 17) for Jains, Hul Diwas (June 30) for Santhals and Adivasis and Karam Puja.
The state government has also declared July 13- the birthday of poet Bhanu Bhakt – a holiday for the people of Darjeeling and Kalimpong. Interestingly, three of these holidays – Baisakhi, Sab-e-Barat and Hul Diwas, fall on Sundays.