Europe is a varied continent with plenty of different Christmas traditions. However, one thing that everyone gets is holiday. Every single country in Europe has at least one statutory day off in the period between 15 December and 15 January, The Guardian reports.
Who gets the most though?
The majority of countries in Europe are Christian, whether that is Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox and bearing that in mind there are four key dates to look for:
- 25 December – Catholic/Protestant Christmas Day, which is the purported anniversary of the birth of Christ
- New Year’s Day – in terms of the Gregorian calendar, which every single country gets as a holiday
- 6 January – Epiphany, when Jesus was supposed to have appeared to the Magi (or three wise men)
- 7 January – Russian Orthodox Christmas Day.
Around that there are several eves and saints’ days but those four are the bedrock of the holiday season. There are secular days too, usually related to revolutions or new declarations of statehood that happened to fall in this time of year.
Russia, the home of the Eastern Orthodox Church, has the most days off over the Christmas period of any European country. Every day between New Year and the day after Russian Orthodox Christmas is a holiday, giving them eight off in total.
Closely following the Russians with seven are Armenia and Liechtenstein. The latter country gets Christmas Eve through to Boxing Day off as well as the two days either side of the New Year.