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Public Holidays

Public Holidays 2017

This page contains a calendar of all 2017 public holidays for Benin. Please scroll down to view.

The Republic of Benin is a West African country that currently celebrates 13 national holidays each year. It is also not unusual for the government of Benin to declare national holidays throughout the year for different purposes. For instance, the government declared a 5-day national holiday for the inauguration of its president in 2016. In the previous year, there were national holidays declared to register to vote and to vote.

National holidays in Benin are regulated by Ordinance 79-33 issued on July 2, 1979 and by the Labour Code. Ordinance 79-33 establishes the current 13 holidays and has only been changed twice. One amendment removed Vaudoun Day from the list and the second amendment reinstated Vaudoun Day as a national holiday.

The government has the authority to issue one-time holidays at any point if they make an official public announcement. However, these holidays can only be recognised for that one time. Changes to the national holiday list can only be made through a vote of government.

The Labour Laws of Benin establish that all employers must provide a day off for a national holiday. However, it is not stated in the Labour Laws if it is required for the business owners to pay for this holiday. It is believed that all holiday pay is established through individual work contracts that are made between employee and employer. Many of Benin’s laws are not available online so assumptions are being made based on the information that has been obtained.

A majority of the holidays celebrated in Benin are based on a religious belief. Some of these holidays change in date each year because their celebrations are based on the lunar cycle. The government of Benin requires that all employers acknowledge these holidays regardless of the date on which they occur. Dates for Muslim holidays that use the lunar cycle use the Umm al-Qura calendar of Saudi Arabia.

There is not any legislation stating if the government moves holiday celebrations to the following Monday for holidays that occur on Sunday.

Religious, Cultural, and Provincial Holidays

Benin has a very diverse culture with a majority of the population practicing both a mainstream and culturally based religion at the same time. It is not unusual for many holidays to be celebrated based on these cultural beliefs, especially in some of the more northern regions of the country. The government of Benin acknowledges that these holidays occur, but does not recognise them as national holidays.

Public Holidays 2017

1 JanSunNew Year's Day
10 JanTueVaudoun Day
17 AprMonEaster Monday
1 MayMonLabour Day
25 MayThuAscension Day
5 JunMonWhit Monday
25 JunSunKorité / End of Ramadan
1 AugTueIndependence Day
15 AugTueAssumption Day
1 SepFriTabaski / Feast of Sacrifice
1 NovWedAll Saints' Day
30 NovThuThe Prophet's Birthday
25 DecMonChristmas Day