Working in Singapore can be a draining process. Luckily for us, Singapore also has one of the highest amounts of public holidays in the world, meaning just a few extra days without work to handle.
For 2020 in particular, most of the eleven gazetted public holidays are situated on rather convenient days of the week. Take a look at our guide so that you can make the most out of these holidays and plan your next mini-vacation without sacrificing much of your leave:
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year for 2020 falls on 25 January, a Saturday. This would mean that the holiday period will stretch over to the start of next week, with Monday declared to be a public holiday in lieu.
Depending on your workplace, a half-day could be given on the Friday before Chinese New Year, giving you an extra period of rest.
If you’re not out house-visiting relatives during that time, you can opt to take half a day’s leave on 24 Jan to get yourself four days of relaxation. If you can spare a bit more, you can take Thursday (23 January) and Tuesday (28 January) off too to get a lengthier six days — almost a full week of not needing to head to the office.
As the name implies, Good Friday will fall on a Friday; 10 April to be more precise.
That gives you a long three-day weekend. You can also take an extra day’s leave the following Monday (13 April) to enjoy four full days of catching up on rest or embark on a short trip.
Less than a month later, we have Labour Day — which coincidentally falls on a Friday as well (01 May).
Similarly, with Good Friday, you can ride the three-day long weekend as is, or take an extra day of leave on 4 May to prevent those Monday blues.
Alternatively, you can choose to make full use of the close proximity of another public holiday, Vesak Day.
Vesak Day falls on 07 May, which falls on the week after Labour Day. If you can handle burning four days of leave, you can essentially get a whopping ten days to pamper yourself before heading back to work on 11 May — perfect duration for nice overseas vacation.
If you don’t have much leave to spare though, you can always take just a day’s leave for 8 May, since Vesak Day falls on a Thursday; still getting you a reasonable four day rest period.
Hari Raya Puasa
May continues to be the month of giving with another public holiday in Hari Raya Puasa (24 May).
Hari Raya Puasa will fall on a Sunday, which means that Monday (25 May) will be considered a public holiday to compensate. That automatically gives the three-day long weekend without using any leave.
Since this is a rare occasion of a single month having three public holidays, it presents a significant opportunity for globetrotters. Fourteen days of leave may seem like a huge ask to part with, but that will net you a huge twenty-five days of rest.
To achieve this. You’ll need to apply for leave on these days: (4 – 6 May, 8 May, 11 – 15 May and 18 – 22 May); totalling fourteen days. For nearly a whole month, you can roam multiple countries before you return to the office for the last of the month on 26 May.
Hari Raya Haji
After May, we don’t have another holiday until the very end of July, which is for Hari Raya Haji (31 July).
Fortunately, this day also falls conveniently on a Friday — another three-day long weekend to enjoy. You can also apply leave on 3 August to just extend that break to four days if you feel you need a longer break.
This year’s National Day will be significant considering it is the 55th edition since Singapore’s Independence.
What is also significant is that National Day will fall on Sunday (9 August), making Monday another in-lieu holiday. Another long weekend for us to enjoy!
If our May fourteen-day leave suggestion was too much for you, you can take a more modest five days of leave, taking advantage of the fact the Hari Raya Haji is close by. Use the week starting 3 August (3 – 7 August) to be on leave and you’ll get eleven days worth of vacation, starting from Hari Raya Haji, all the way to Monday’s observed holiday before going back to work on 11 August.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year as they say, and indeed it will, especially for this year considering that it falls on, you guessed it, a Friday.
Many families might already be salivating over not needing to take an extra day or two to cover through to the weekend. Still, for those with no plans, it means yet another long weekend for relaxation — a welcome one during this festive period.
Annual leave is not easy to come by, so we hope that with this guide, you’ll be able to maximise the use of your quota and enjoy a more fulfilling vacation!
Photos by Soloman Soh of the DANAMIC team.