Look forward to holiday weekends

While the American Thanksgiving Day will no doubt be celebrated here and there around Cayman today, it is not a public holiday in these Islands.

However, there are numerous long weekends to look forward to locally, according to the schedule of public holidays listed on the government website www.gov.ky

In fact, between now and the end of 2006, there will be nine long weekends, including three that stretch over four days.

Keepers of diaries and business planners may wish to asterisk the following days, especially because at least one is unique to Cayman and therefore not to be found on calendars printed overseas.

Christmas and Boxing Day. Because Christmas falls on a Sunday, the legal holiday is observed on the Monday and Boxing Day observed the following day. The holiday weekend is therefore from Saturday 24 December through Tuesday 27 December.

New Year’s Day. Because 1 January is on a Sunday, the New Year’s Day holiday is observed on Monday, 2 January.

National Heroes Day. This is the newest holiday and people are still getting used to it. It is scheduled for the fourth Monday in January – NOT the last Monday. The date for 2006 is therefore 23 January, providing the second long weekend of the new year.

Ash Wednesday. The start of the Lenten season, this day is named for the ashes traditionally placed on the foreheads of the faithful during church services with the admonition, ‘Remember, man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return.’

It is a public holiday in Cayman and occurs on 1 March in 2006. Yes, it is a Wednesday, so no long weekend. The Agricultural Show traditionally takes place on this day.

Good Friday, Easter Monday. Easter Sunday in 2006 occurs on 16 April. Good Friday and Easter Monday are also public holidays, extending the weekend from the 14th through the 17th.

Discovery Day. The third Monday in May commemorates the discovery of the Cayman Islands by Christopher Columbus on 10 May 1503. In 2006 Discovery Day falls on 15 May (coincidentally the day after Mother’s Day).

Queen’s Birthday. The official birthday of the reining sovereign is celebrated on a Monday in June. The date has not yet been announced.

Constitution Day. The first Monday in July is observed as Constitution Day, which will be 3 July.

Remembrance Day. The Monday after Remembrance Sunday is a holiday, occurring 13 November.

Christmas again and the day after. Christmas Day in 2006 is on a Monday. The Public Holidays Law also lists ‘the day after Christmas’ rather than Boxing Day. But people will no doubt be grateful for the holiday, by any name.

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