Even though 2020 is still not at the halfway point, South Korean’s may be feeling a bit short-changed when it comes to public holidays in 2021.
The Ministry of Science, Technology, Information and Communication has announced the national holidays and seasons for the coming year. The headline figure is 67 days of public holidays, but all is not as it seems.
From the this total, we have to deduct 52 Sundays, leaving 15 days of National Holidays. Of these 15, three (Memorial Day, Liberation Day, and National Foundation Day) fall on a Sunday, so are double-counted. All three holidays are not deemed important enough to be make-up days and substituted by a Monday holiday, as has been the case since 2014 for Seollal, Chuseok and Children’s Day.
If you work five days a week, then be aware that Hangeul Day, and Christmas all fall on a Saturday in 2021, and just to rub salt into the wounds, 2022 will also start on a Saturday, knocking out New Year’s Day.
The longest holiday break will span five days during South Korea’s Chuseok, or Thanksgiving holiday, which runs from Saturday September 18th to Wednesday September 22nd.
All of this means that in 2021, citizens will enjoy nine work-free days on weekdays, one less than this year.
1990 holds the record for the year with the most statutory public holidays with 19, including January 2nd as an additional New Year holiday, Arbor Day, Constitution Day, and even Armed Forces Day.