Where Can You Get Less Work and More Weekend?


Sure, many people leave Ireland in search of work. That has been the case both historically and recently. But that doesn’t mean we are nation of workaholics roaming the globe in search of the opportunity to toil day and night. All work and no play not only makes us dull; it makes us sick. Leisure time and recreation are good for body and soul. So, where can we make a life where we can work less and live more?

Behold the clever countries with more public holidays than Ireland. Is one of them right for you?

India leads the world with 21 public holidays. See what a religiously diverse population gets you? Days off for Hindu, Christian, Muslim and Sikh holidays. Vive le difference! They also celebrate Independence Day, Republic Day and Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday. Choose your location in India carefully to maximize your leisure with regional holidays.

The Philippines enjoy 18 public holidays a year. In addition to historically significant days, they enjoy official holidays on days special to Christians and Muslims. Election day is designated as a special non-working day. Columbia also wracks up 18 holidays a year, most of which are Catholic celebrations. If long haul flights and tropical weather don’t appeal, consider Finland with 15 holidays a year.

All Work and No Play

Historically, the countries the Irish have gone to en mass were poor choices for leisure seekers. The UK is a disaster for public holidays. They have fewer than we do in Ireland. The USA is well-known as a workaholic country. What do Americans ask when they first meet you? What do you do for a living? That says plenty. Although, if you are determined to head there despite everything, some smaller companies are getting more flexible with their work schedules. Probably not a good issue to raise at an interview, though.

Don’t be fooled by countries with a lot of holidays and long working days. Public holidays are only one part of the picture. Indians work more hours per week than most Europeans on average. It’s no good having loads of them if they are the only time you get a break. Also check into how many holiday days you can expect. (That’s another area where they USA lags behind. A measly two weeks is standard!) Just remember – all those official public holidays mean other people have the day off too. Don’t assume shops and restaurants will be open!

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