If you like holidays (who doesn’t!?), Colombia is THE place to be because it has the second largest number of national holidays in the world! Perhaps a big reason that’s brought Colombia ‘the happiest country in the world’ status.
When you start asking why on earth this country has so many holidays, it gets very interesting. You start to realise that there are holidays for the strangest events. For example, the visit of the three wise men who travelled from the East to see baby Jesus is celebrated on 7th January. Cute, right?! Other religious days include the day for St Peter and St Paul on the 1st July and another day for ALL the saints on 4th November. On top of which you have the secular ones: Colombus day on 12th October, commerating the day when Christopher Columbus discovered the New World! Then there are 2 holidays for the Independence of Colombia! The first one’s on 20th July, which celebrates the day when independence was first declared in 1810. Since Colombia didn’t get their independence until 9 years later, we get to have another holiday today that celebrates the Battle of Boyacá, the day when they really got rid of the Spaniards. So now you can see why there are so many holidays!
You may have noticed that quite a few of these momentous days lie on Mondays. According to the Argentinian poet, Ernesto Sabato, there’s no coincidence. So the reason for all these great long weekends is the Emiliani phenomenon. Mr Minister Emiliani decided (in 1983) that it’s better for everyone to have Mondays off. So a lot of Monday holidays are not the actual days of the events (e.g. 12th Oct was the historical day on which Colombus discovered Bahamas but the holiday is on the 14th this year.
So, long weekend it is then! Happy holidays!!