National holidays, public holidays, or bank holidays in Pakistan are different terms used interchangeably for official holidays announced by the central or provincial government. Whether you’re a citizen or just visiting, knowing Pakistan’s national holidays 2021 is extremely important since many businesses, offices, banks, and public institutions will stay closed during these days.
While some businesses don’t operate at all, some of them have reduced timings. In such cases, we’ll advise you to check operational timings before visiting any shop or office. For your convenience, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of holidays to ensure you don’t miss out on something important.
Types of Public Holidays in Pakistan
Each year we receive a number of public holidays from the government that give us short but well-deserved breaks from our hectic routines. Public holidays in Pakistan are usually categorised into four types. We’ll discuss each of them in detail in the upcoming part of our blog:
- National Public Holidays
- Islamic Holidays
- Provincial Public Holidays
- Bank Holidays
National Holidays in Pakistan for 2021
Each year has a large quota of National Holidays in Pakistan, here’s a list for all the upcoming holidays for the year 2021:
- 5th Feb – Kashmir Solidarity Day
- 23rd March – Pakistan Day
- 1st May – Labour Day
- 14th August – Independence Day
- 25th December – Quaid-e-Azam Day
Kashmir Solidarity Day – 5th February
In 2021, 5th February will fall on Friday. It means you can plan a long weekend trip to any of the amazing destinations in Pakistan.
Kashmir Day – officially called the Kashmir Solidarity Day – is a day recognised internationally. This day is observed with complete devotion in Pakistan, especially in Azad Jammu Kashmir. The day is marked to show solidarity with the people of the occupied Kashmir territories in India. There are various events organised across the country by student bodies, organisations, and government officials to commemorate the occasion.
Pakistan Day – 23rd March
Lahore Resolution was passed on 23rd March 1940. Hence, it is observed as the most important public holiday in Pakistan. Ever since the Independence of Pakistan, this day has been celebrated with uttermost enthusiasm.
The resolution was passed in the place where Minar-e-Pakistan stands today as a sign of commemoration of the historical event. In the upcoming year, the holiday will fall on a Tuesday, giving all of us a relaxing day early in the week.
Labour Day – 1st May
1st May is an internationally recognised holiday, often referred to as the Labour Day. It is celebrated to honour the efforts that Pakistan’s working class makes all year round. In some parts of the world, Labour Day is known as International Workers Day and/or Workers’ Day.
May 1st is observed as one of the annual public holidays in Pakistan and it is falling on a Saturday in the year 2021.
Independence Day – 14th August
One of the biggest and the most significant public holidays in Pakistan is none other than Independence Day which is celebrated every year on the 14th August. It is one day when the entire country echoes as one, neighbourhoods are adorned with flags, while rooftops are filled with the sound of countless patriotic songs that go all the way back more than half a century. Different events, tv shows, functions, and a lot more are organised for August 14th every year to celebrate the historical day with full zeal!
In 2021, the Pakistan Independence Day will fall on a Saturday, giving all of us a day for rest after a day full of patriotism.
Quaid-e-Azam Day – 25th December
The year end brings with it another national holiday in Pakistan, which is the Quaid-e-Azam Day, celebrated on the 25th of December. The day is celebrated to mark the birthday of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah was born on 25th December, 1876 in Karachi. In order to commemorate the day, there are various events held all across Pakistan on the occasion of Quaid-e-Azam Day. One of the activities that you can enjoy on this holiday is to visit the Mazar-e-Quaid in Karachi and learn more about his personal life.
Islamic Holidays in Pakistan 2021
Although the current population of Pakistan is quite diverse, it is mainly an Islamic country. It means that special Islamic days and occasions are counted as public holidays in Pakistan.
Most businesses, shops, and both private and public institutions don’t operate during these days.
Islamic holidays can vary each year since the dates are determined by tradition according to the Hijri calendar. Unlike the Greogorian calendar, it is based on the lunar year while the holidays can jump back approximately 11 days each year.
Eid-ul-Fitr Holidays – 12th to 15th May*
Eid-ul-Fitr 2021 is dependent on the sighting of the moon. However, it is expected to fall from the 12th to 15th May – it can vary slightly.
Eid-ul-Fitr is a religious occasion that brings three consecutive public holidays every year. With the religious connotation, buzzing bazars, and delicious food that awaits with the holiday in Pakistan, it is one of the most anticipated and warmly welcomed holidays across the country.
Eid-ul-Adha, also known as the ‘Festival of Sacrifice’, is yet another widely celebrated Islamic holiday in Pakistan. In the Hijri calendar, the holidays fall on the 11th of Zilhajj. Unlike Eid-ul-Fitr, this holiday usually only brings two continuous days of holidays – or if we’re lucky, we get three!
These Eid Holidays are expected to fall somewhere between 19th to 22nd July in 2021.
Each year around the time of Eid-ul-Azha the country lights up with excitement, and houses smell strongly of home-made BBQ.
Ashura is an important event in the history of Islam. Muslims across the globe observe these holidays with fast, prayers, and sacred gatherings. As per the Islamic Calendar, the days of Ashura are observed on 9 and 10 Muharram. In 2021, the religious observance is expected to fall on 18th and 19th August. The dates are subject to change as per the lunar calendar.
These two days are observed as a two-day public holiday across Pakistan each year. There are a number of processions held in the country. It means you can expect road closures and no mobile services for a few hours while pillion riding is banned for two consecutive days. The authorities always make prior announcements for traffic diversion and before taking such measures, so you don’t need to worry about it.
Eid Milad un Nabi is observed on the 12th of the Islamic month Rabi Ul Awal in the Hijri calendar. This day is celebrated to mark the birth of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and it is celebrated across the country with great enthusiasm. The Muslim community arranges a number of rallies and milads in the honour of the Prophet (PBUH).
As per the lunar calendar, the expected date for Eid Milad un Nabi is falling somewhere between 18th to 19th October in 2021.
Provincial Holidays in Pakistan 2021
There are two major provincial holidays observed in Pakistan for 2021. These include the closure of government institutions and schools in Sindh. These events include:
- Urs of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, which is expected to fall on 21st to 22nd September
- Death Anniversary of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto on 4th of April
- Death anniversary of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto on 27th December
Bank Holidays in Pakistan 2021
The scheduled annual bank holidays in Pakistan for 2021 include 1st January and 1st July.
This brings us to the end of our blog on important public holidays in Pakistan 2021.
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