Banking in Singapore is poised to make major milestones. However, it is important to put in mind that public holidays in Singapore do affect banking because most banks and other financial institutions close during such periods hence meaning that they do not offer services to customers. During this period, the only services being offered are the likes of Automated Teller Machines while services such as withdrawing and depositing money in banks are not in operational.
During these holidays, stock exchange and major money exchange facilities also remains closed. That is why the Ministry of Manpower has already released a list of all the public holidays in Singapore which are spread throughout the year.
During public holidays, the banks also remain closed because, during such occasions, citizens are given an opportunity to celebrate either national,religious or globally acclaimed festivities. In Singapore, religious ceremonies are both for Christians, Hindus as well as for Muslims and they are accorded public holidays.
The number of public holidays for the year 2016 totaled to ten (10), seven (7) of them being religious and three (3) of them being secular. The list of the Singapore banking holidays for 2015 is as follows:
New Year’s Day – 1st January 2016, Friday
Chinese New Year – 8th-9th February 2016, Monday and Tuesday
Good Friday – 25th March 2016, Friday
Labour Day – 1st May 2016, Sunday (the following Monday, 2nd May will be public holiday)
Vesak Day – 21st May 2016, Saturday
Hari Raya Puasa – 6th July 2016, Wednesday
National Day – 9th August 2016, Tuesday
Hari Raya Haji – 12th September 2016, Monday
Deepavali – 29th October 2016, Saturday
Christmas Day – 25th December 2016, Sunday (the following Monday, 26th December will be public holiday)
Like most countries, Singapore marks its New Year on the very beginning of January with most people staying up all night on the eve of New Year, that is, 31st December of the preceding year. Music concerts, food extravaganzas and fireworks are the major highlights of ushering in the New Year in Singapore. The Chinese New Year, however, is celebrated mostly in the second month of the Gregorian calendar. This is attributed to China’s use of the lunisolar calendar which indicates the moon phase and the time of the solar year. More often than not, the Chinese calendar is composed of 13 months in contrast to the 12 months of the Gregorian calendar. Like New Year’s Day, family festivities and fireworks mark celebrations of the Chinese New Year.
Good Friday is a holiday commemorated by Christians all over Singapore, and the world at large. It commemorates the Death of Jesus Christ. It is one of the two Christian holidays with the second one being called Christmas Day, which marks the birth of Jesus Christ.
On 1st May of every year, Singapore joins the whole world to celebrate Labour Day, also referred to as International Workers Day. Vesak Day, which follows Labour Day, is commemorated by Buddhists who commemorate the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha. On this day, flags and flowers are used to beautify the temples.
Hari Raya Puasa is the day that marks the end of Eid Ul Fitr or Hari Raya Aidilfitri, which is the month of fasting for Islam Believers. On the other hand, Hari Raya Haji is commemorated by Muslim faithful around the world for Ibrahim’s willing sacrifice of his own son, Ishmael, to Allah.
Deepavali, widely referred to as Dewali, is subject to change as its date is solely determined by the Hindu Advisory Board (HAB). Therefore, the Ministry of Manpower will provide the certain date once confirmed by the Hindu Almanac of Singapore.
Additionally, public holidays that fall on Sundays should be taken forward to the following day provided the day itself is not a public holiday. Section 4(2) of the Holidays Act (1998) states “Subject to the provisions of this Act, if any day specified in the Schedule falls on a Sunday, the day next following not being itself a public holiday is declared a public holiday in Singapore.” The Act further states “Where in any year 2 public holidays fall on the same day, the President may, by notification in the Gazette, declare any day in that year to be observed as an additional public holiday.”
As required by Singapore Statute Law (Employment Act, 1968), employers should either grant a day off to their employees should a public day fall on a working day or compensate workers for the time worked on such holidays.
Finally, National Day is the day that Singapore citizens celebrate the country’s independence. Singapore gained its independence in August 1965 from Malaysia.