Pakistanis love holidays, no doubt about it!
We are always looking forward to the holidays. Holidays keep us Pakistanis motivated and excited.
And, come on, you cannot deny the fact that we are ALWAYS asking our friends “chuti kab aa rahi hai?”
Pakistanis are a lucky nation because they get almost 16 official holidays every single year. This is a huge number. Some countries, like Mexico, only get 7 annual holidays. That’s almost half of what we are getting. Feeling lucky already?
So, stop whining about fewer holidays and give this article a read. We have come up with a list of holidays in Pakistan in 2019-2020 so that you can plan your family vacations and important tasks accordingly. Visiting cinemas is excellent fun and a perfect way to spend holidays. Islamabad and Rawalpindi have the best cinemas in the country.
Types of Holidays in Pakistan
1. Public Holidays
Public holidays are the holidays that are for the general public and usually, all the businesses, private and government offices and schools are closed on that specific day.
2. National Holidays
Pakistan also enjoys a fair amount of national holidays. National holidays are usually celebrated in the memory of important days in the history of that country. National holidays may include Independence Day, Defence Day and Constitution Day.
Fun fact: Did you know the United States and Denmark are the only countries that have no national holidays?
3. Bank Holidays
During the bank holidays, the banks are closed all over the country. In some countries, especially the ones that got independence from British Raj, bank holiday means a public holiday.
Everybody gets to stay at home relaxing and taking some time off. However, in some countries, like Pakistan, bank holiday means an off day for the bank officials and staff only.
4. Gazetted Holidays
Gazetted holidays are those holidays that are made mandatory by the government. These holidays should be observed by every institute including the private sector and educational sector. The government fines people who do not observe the holiday.
List of Holidays in Pakistan, 2020
|1 Jan||Wednesday||New Year’s Day||Optional Holiday|
|1 Jan||Wednesday||January 1 Bank Holiday||Bank Holiday|
|29 Jan||Wednesday||Basant Panchami||Optional Holiday|
|5 Feb||Wednesday||Kashmir Day||Public Holiday|
|21 Feb||Friday||Maha Shivaratri||Hindu Holiday|
|9 Mar||Monday||Holi||Optional Holiday|
|10 Mar||Tuesday||Dulhandi||Optional Holiday|
|20 Mar||Friday||March Equinox||Season|
|22 Mar||Sunday||Shab e-Meraj||Optional Holiday|
|23 Mar||Monday||Pakistan Day||Public Holiday|
|8 Apr||Wednesday||Shab e-Barat||Optional Holiday|
|10 Apr||Friday||Good Friday||Optional Holiday|
|12 Apr||Sunday||Easter Sunday||Observance|
|13 Apr||Monday||Easter Monday||Optional Holiday|
|13 Apr||Monday||Baisakhi||Optional Holiday|
|20 Apr||Monday||Ridván||Optional Holiday|
|1 May||Friday||Labour Day||Public Holiday|
|7 May||Thursday||Buddha Purnima||Optional Holiday|
|24 May||Sunday||Eid-ul-Fitr Day 1||Public Holiday|
|25 May||Monday||Eid-ul-Fitr Day 2||Public Holiday|
|26 May||Tuesday||Eid-ul-Fitr Day 3||Public Holiday|
|27 May||Wednesday||Eid-ul-Fitr Day 4||Public Holiday|
|21 Jun||Sunday||June Solstice||Season|
|1 Jul||Wednesday||July 1 Bank Holiday||Bank Holiday|
|31 Jul||Friday||Eid al-Adha Day 1||Public Holiday|
|1 Aug||Saturday||Eid al-Adha Day 2||Public Holiday|
|2 Aug||Sunday||Eid al-Adha Day 3||Public Holiday|
|3 Aug||Monday||Raksha Bandhan||Hindu Holiday|
|12 Aug||Wednesday||Janmashtami||Optional Holiday|
|14 Aug||Friday||Independence Day||Public Holiday|
|17 Aug||Monday||Nauroz||Optional Holiday|
|21 Aug||Friday||Birthday of Lord Zoroaster (Khordad Sal)||Optional Holiday|
|22 Aug||Saturday||Ganesh Chaturthi||Hindu Holiday|
|28 Aug||Friday||First Day of Ashura||Public Holiday|
|29 Aug||Saturday||Second Day of Ashura||Public Holiday|
|6 Sep||Sunday||Defence Day||Observance|
|22 Sep||Tuesday||September Equinox||Season|
|7 Oct||Wednesday||Chelum||Optional Holiday|
|17 Oct||Saturday||First Day of Navaratri||Hindu Holiday|
|23 Oct||Friday||Durga Pooja||Optional Holiday|
|25 Oct||Sunday||Dussehra||Optional Holiday|
|29 Oct||Thursday||Eid Milad un-Nabi||Public Holiday|
|31 Oct||Saturday||Birthday of Guru Balmik Sawami Ji||Optional Holiday|
|9 Nov||Monday||Iqbal Day||Observance|
|14 Nov||Saturday||Diwali/Deepavali||Optional Holiday|
|26 Nov||Thursday||Giarhwin Sharief||Optional Holiday|
|30 Nov||Monday||Guru Nanak’s Birthday||Optional Holiday|
|24 Dec||Thursday||Christmas Eve||Observance|
|25 Dec||Friday||Christmas Day||Public Holiday|
|25 Dec||Friday||Quaid-e-Azam Day||Public Holiday|
|26 Dec||Saturday||Day After Christmas||Public Holiday|
|31 Dec||Thursday||New Year’s Eve||Observance|
List of Holidays in Pakistan, 2021
|1 Jan||Friday||New Year’s Day||Optional Holiday|
|5 Feb||Friday||Kashmir Day||Public Holiday|
|16 Feb||Tuesday||Basant||Optional Holiday|
|11 Mar||Thursday||Shab e-Meraj||Optional Holiday|
|22 Mar||Monday||Shab e-Barat||Optional Holiday|
|23 Mar||Tuesday||Pakistan Day||Public Holiday|
|28 Mar||Sunday||Holi||Optional Holiday|
|2 Apr||Friday||Good Friday||Optional Holiday|
|4 Apr||Sunday||Easter Sunday||Observance|
|5 Apr||Monday||Easter Monday||Optional Holiday|
|14 Apr||Wednesday||Baisakhi||Optional Holiday|
|1 May||Saturday||Labour Day||Public Holiday|
|13 May||Thursday||Eid-ul-Fitr||Public Holiday|
|14 May||Friday||Eid-ul-Fitr Holiday||Public Holiday|
|15 May||Saturday||Eid-ul-Fitr Holiday||Public Holiday|
|16 May||Sunday||Eid-ul-Fitr Holiday||Public Holiday|
|1 Jul||Thursday||July 1 Bank Holiday||Bank Holiday|
|20 Jul||Tuesday||Eid al-Adha||Public Holiday|
|21 Jul||Wednesday||Eid al-Adha Holiday||Public Holiday|
|22 Jul||Thursday||Eid al-Adha Holiday||Public Holiday|
|14 Aug||Saturday||Independence Day||Public Holiday|
|18 Aug||Wednesday||Ashura||Public Holiday|
|19 Aug||Thursday||Ashura Holiday||Public Holiday|
|6 Sep||Monday||Defence Day||Observance|
|28 Sep||Tuesday||Chelum||Optional Holiday|
|15 Oct||Friday||Dussehra||Optional Holiday|
|19 Oct||Tuesday||Eid Milad un-Nabi||Public Holiday|
|9 Nov||Tuesday||Iqbal Day||Observance|
|24 Dec||Friday||Christmas Eve||Observance|
|25 Dec||Saturday||Christmas Day||Public Holiday|
|25 Dec||Saturday||Quaid-e-Azam Day||Public Holiday|
|26 Dec||Sunday||Day After Christmas (Christians only)||Optional Holiday|
|31 Dec||Friday||New Year’s Eve||Observance|
Common Holidays Observed in Pakistan
1. Bank holiday
On 1st January, Pakistanis observe a bank holiday. All banks across Pakistan stay closed for the whole day. This holiday is not observed by the whole nation. Only the employees of the bank get to enjoy the holiday.
2. Kashmir Day
Kashmir Day is also commonly known as Kashmir Solidarity Day. It is celebrated on 5th February every year by all Pakistanis. This day is observed to show unity, brotherhood, and support for the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir.
Rallies and seminars are conducted every year to raise voice in the support of Kashmiris who have been suffering day and night for decades.
3. Pakistan Day
23rd March is celebrated as Pakistan Day across the whole country. This day is also known as Youm-e-Pakistan. The day is a commemoration of our resolution day that happened on 23rd March 1940 in Lahore.
The day reminds us of the Lahore resolution which was a great step towards a new and separate homeland for Muslims.
A Republic Day parade by the armed forces is often part of the celebrations. It is celebrated with zeal and patriotism every year.
4. Labour Day
Is Shahar Mein Mazdoor Jaisa Koi Darbadar Nahi
Jisne sab ke ghar banaye uska koi ghar nahi…!
It is an international public holiday that is observed in memory of the Chicago workers who were killed by police while striking for an eight-hour workday in 1886.
Labour Day is observed on 1st May every year in Pakistan as well. It is observed to pay tribute to millions of laborers who work hard day and night and go through innumerable hardships to make their ends meet.
5. Eid-ul-Fitr Holidays
Eid-ul-Fitr comes under the umbrella of religious holidays. It is celebrated on the first of Shawwal according to the Islamic calendar. It is also called the festival of breaking the fast.
The Muslims around the globe celebrate it with religious zeal and happiness. They wear new clothes, make sweet dishes, give gifts to one another visit famous places in their cities and thank Allah for the blessings of Ramadan.
6. Eid-ul-Adha Holidays
Eid-ul-Azha is also a religious holiday that is celebrated on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah every year.
It is also known as the festival of sacrifice that is celebrated to remember the sacrifice of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) to please Allah. People visit Bazar, markets and shopping malls to get their shopping done for eid.
Every year, Muslims sacrifice goats, sheep, bulls, and camels to remember the sacrifice. The meat is then equally distributed among family and needy people.
7. Independence Day
14th August is the Independence Day of Pakistan. On this big day, the Muslims got the biggest blessing of God almighty in the form of a separate homeland.
The day is celebrated with full patriotism and national spirit. Children decorate their houses with flags and lights. You will spot people and children in green and white dresses roaming around the city with flags on their bikes and cars. Restaurants, cafe shops, and malls all are decorated.
It is an official holiday and the government organizes many functions and celebrations at the state level.
8. Defence Day
Shaheed ki jo mout hai wo Qom ki Hayat hai
Lahu jo hy Shaheed ka wo Qom ki zakat hai
Pakistan observes defense day on 6th September every year. It is a day that reminds us of the sacrifices of armed forces to protect our motherland. It is a tribute for hundreds of mothers, wives, daughters, and children who lost their sons, husbands, and fathers in the name of Pakistan.
Every year, there is a big ceremony in the general headquarters in Rawalpindi to remember the sacrifices of martyrs of armed forces.
Ashura is observed every year on the 10th of Moharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. The day reminds us of the day when Hussain ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad PBUH, was martyred in the Battle of Karbala.
It is a public holiday in Pakistan. Muslims fast and mourn on this day to remember the sacrifices of Hussain Ibn Ali in Karbala.
10. Quaid-e-Azam Day
This is one of the most important holidays in Pakistan. It is the birthday of the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, which is celebrated on 25th December every year.
The educational institutes and government organize functions, debate competitions, and dramas as a tribute for the father of the nation.
11. Eid Milad-un-Nabi
Eid Milad-un-Nabi is celebrated every year on the 12th of Rabi ul Awwal according to the Islamic calendar. This sacred day is celebrated to remember the birthday of the last prophet Hazrat Muhammad PBUH.
On this day, there are many Islamic conferences, hamd o naat competitions, milaads, and rallies across the country. People send sweet dishes to their family and neighbors as a symbol of celebration and happiness. People are looking for affordable places to visit with their families. If you are looking for a perfect vacation spot review our blog famous hill stations in Pakistan.
Pakistanis usually observe public holidays. That means everyone can stay at home and enjoy the day with their friends and family.
Also, you can view the official holiday calendar issued by the Ministry of Interior Affairs, Pakistan. It will give you a fair idea about holidays in Pakistan along with the official notification. If you want to travel to other countries I have a blog in which I list down visa-free countries for Pakistan read out the blog as well.
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