This week, the Macri administration plans to send a bill to Congress, proposing to get rid of the so-called “bridge holidays” introduced by the Kirchner.
Hold on, what is a “bridge holiday”? Well, pretty much exactly what it says on the tin: a extra public holiday that comes along the day before/after the traditional bank holidays creating a four-day weekend for the whole country to enjoy. This year the first bridge holiday was July 8th and we’ve got another one coming up on December 9th. And I’m sure lots of you are ready to take advantage of that with trips out to the country or down to the beach. But not enough of you, according to the government.
The original thinking behind the creation of these holiday was that it would increase tourist activity. But according to the government, the internal tourism that the bridge holidays have generated is not enough to justify “the negative impact that they have on the country’s productive activity and the education of children.”
Another premise of the proposed bill is that holidays purely for tourism devalue the historical and religious reasons behind public holidays. For that reason, the government is not only planning to get rid of “bridge holidays” but also to create educational campaigns to generate more awareness about the historical value of each holiday.
So, ladies and gents, if you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to go away next weekend, I’m here to tell you that this could be the last four-day weekend that you’ll be seeing for awhile, if ever again. Go on, book that trip to Mar Del Plata.
It’s not all bad news for us long-weekend-lovers though. Despite the idea that four-day weekends could be a thing of the past, the government is also planning to shift a few public holidays around to create more long (3-day) weekends. The idea is to have more “movable” holidays, which, when scheduled to fall on a Tuesday or a Wednesday, will instead take place on Mondays. With the current public holiday schedule, there are three such holidays. The bill proposed by the government is planning to have 4 more “movable holidays”. Yep, that’s right, 7 long weekends. Hallelujah.
So, in short, next year you won’t be getting any of those dear 4-day weekends. Indeed overall, you’ll get two fewer days off over the course of the year. But with the promise of 7 long weekends, I think we can probably call this a win overall. Get those diaries out, here are the 16 dates you need to know for 2017:
- January 1st (Sunday) – New Year’s Day
- February 27th and 28th (Monday and Tuesday) – Carnival
- March 24th (Friday) – National Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice
- April 2nd (Sunday) – Day of War Veterans and the Fallen in the Malvinas
- April 13th (Thursday) – Maundy Thursday
- April 14th (Friday) – Good Friday
- May 1st (Monday) – Worker’s Day
- May 25th (Thursday) – May Revolution Day
- June 17th (Saturday) – Anniversary of the Death of Martin Miguel de Guemes
- June 20th (Tuesday) – Anniversary of the Death of Manuel Belgrano (Flag Day)
- July 9th (Sunday) – Independence Day
- August 17th (Thursday) – Anniversary of the Death of Jose de San Martin
- October 12th (Thursday) – Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity
- November 20th (Monday) – National Sovereignty Day
- December 8th (Friday) -Feast of the Immaculate Conception
- December 25th (Monday) -Christmas Day