Should Eid and Diwali be made a public holiday in the UK?

I think this may be a bit of a controversial post however I think it’s one that needs to be addressed.

I’m sure some of you have seen/heard that there is a petition going around at the moment to make Eid and Diwali a public holiday. I’m sure some of you are thinking YES! Another public holiday! but is that enough reason to have two more public holidays??

Let’s just start with defining what a public holiday is; countries observing holidays based on events of significance to their history or can be a religious celebration.

As a Hindu, Diwali is important to me, it signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and the opportunity to spend time with family. But, do I think Diwali should be made a public holiday? No. I live in the UK, dominated by the Christian religion, our public holidays are significant to Christians and to the history of our country. Making Diwali and Eid a public means another two days of not trading, and with the state our economy has been in recent years, can we really afford to add two more public holidays to the equation? Not only that, what about people of other religions such as Buddhism who celebrate Vesak, celebrating Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death? Should that not be made a public holiday?

Allowing two faiths to declare their religious festival a public holiday in the UK can be deemed unfair to the other religions present in the UK.

However, I do feel that companies should allow their staff paid holiday to celebrate significant religious events, such as Eid and Diwali. Living in a country as diverse as the UK I respect all faiths and cultures, but we should also respect the origin of the country we live in, it’s history and religion.

This is just my opinion and does not mean I’m right, but I don’t believe that these religious festivals should be made a public holiday. If we start imposing changes because of religious beliefs, where do we stop?

I’d love to hear all your thoughts, so comment below!

4 thoughts on “Should Eid and Diwali be made a public holiday in the UK?

  1. It will set precedent for all religious groups/cults requesting their day of worship, possibly even lead to people starting their own religious to gain the benefits religious groups are reaping.
    There is an argument to be made for the altering of Christmas time off. You can’t claim to be a diverse nation while affording special privileges to chosen groups. Yeh Christians have greater history in this country, but it doesn’t make any of their claims more valid.



  2. Excellent post, you hit the nail right on the head.

    I think too many members of our community will see this petition and vote with their hearts instead of their minds. Upon applying some logic and reason to the proposal, one encounters the excellent points raised in this post. Simply being a Hindu (or Muslim), or wanting an extra day off work is not reason enough to sign.

    Let’s face it, if those that sign will not think it through, the government will and it will almost certainly be thrown out for the reasons you listed amongst others.


  3. Dear Sir,

    First thing first, I am a Muslim and completely against this outrageous idea of having Eid as a public holiday for below reasons:

    1) Which Muslim Country gives Christians this privilege of having Christmas or Easter as a public holiday.

    2) We can not have Eid as a holiday when it’s based on lunar calendar, this will mean that no one will know till a week before eid that which day it will fall upon.

    3) We Muslims here are so undecided on which day eid should fall that the whole country does not celebrate eid on one particular day. It’s a laughing stalk among Muslim themselves.

    4) I have lived in the UK for over 7 years and my company is so considerate that if I ask for leave even a day before eid they have never declined my request. Probably a way forward would be if organisations would allow a day off for eid on good will basis without deducting a day from annual leave. But then we have to reciprocate by giving up Christmas Day holiday.

    Many thanks and kind regards


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