Indonesia shortens Christmas break because that’s the sensible thing to do right now

Indonesia’s Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy. Photo: Twitter/@muhadjir_ef
Indonesia’s Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy. Photo: Twitter/@muhadjir_ef

As was teased earlier this week, Indonesia has canceled the collective leave day on Dec. 24, thus shortening the Christmas break in hopes of preventing yet another post-holiday COVID-19 surge.

Related — Indonesia may cancel more holidays in 2021 amid surge: minister

Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Muhadjir Effendy announced today that the only remaining collective leave day for the year — which is traditionally given the day before Christmas to extend the break — has been removed from the calendar.  

One may be forgiven for doubting that the cancelation would have any effect, given that in 2020, Indonesia shortened the Christmas and New Year breaks and yet still saw a surge in cases in the beginning of 2021.

In addition, the government has also moved around a couple of mid-week holidays to, in theory, prevent people giving themselves extended weekends. The Islamic New Year holiday, which falls on Tuesday, Aug. 10, will now be observed on Wednesday, Aug. 11 instead. Similarly, the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, which falls on Tuesday, Oct. 19, will be observed a day later as well.

Other upcoming Tuesday holidays, namely Eid al-Adha (July 20) and Independence Day (Aug. 17), have not been moved.

Indonesia’s remaining government-mandated public holidays for 2021 are as follows:

Tuesday, July 20 (Eid al-Adha)
Wednesday, August 11 (Islamic New Year)
Tuesday, August 17 (Independence Day)
Wednesday, October 20 (Birth of the Prophet Muhammad)
Saturday, December 25 (Christmas)

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