Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Public Holidays in Croatia 2022: A Nation Obsessed With Long Weekends

Croatians are passionate advocates of requesting time off work between public holidays and weekends, effectively creating additional mini vacations throughout the year. A look at the nation's obsession with long weekends, plus a list of all national holidays in Croatia in 2022

2021 was a rough year for Croatians. No, not just because of the pandemic and a whole slew of related (and unrelated) socio-economic issues. It was a depressing year because we were deprived of one of our favourite things in life: long weekends. 

While it’s probably safe to say that everyone enjoys taking time off work, people in Croatia take their annual leave very seriously and make extreme use of their PTO balance. See, we don’t just appreciate the occasional long weekend when a public holiday happens to fall on a Friday or a Monday.

Instead, we prefer public holidays to fall mid-week, so that we can take matters into our own hands and create as long of a weekend as possible with a few savvy time-off requests.

Holidays falling on Tuesdays and Thursdays are ideal. Take one day off work between the holiday and the weekend, and you have yourself a mini four-day vacation. It’s called ‘spajanje’ in Croatian, the act of ‘connecting’ holidays and weekends by the means of PTO use. If you manage to pull this off several times a year, it means taking your annual leave to another level.

Each December, as the year draws to a close, we all hurry to check our calendars to see what the next year will bring. Alas, 2021 didn’t provide us with a lot of reasons to rejoice, as most major holidays fell on weekend days. Labour Day (May 1st) was a Saturday, as well as Christmas Day. Statehood Day, Assumption of Mary and St Stephen’s Day all happened to fall on a Sunday. Rude. What a waste of national holidays. 


Are we Croatians a bunch of lazy bums who’d do anything to avoid going to work? It may seem like this is the case, but technically, we’re not slacking off as we still get the same number of days off in a year either way. We’re just very particular about how we schedule our holidays to maximise our annual leave. Why turn down a few additional short vacations each year? 

And yes, we’re aware we're not reinventing the wheel here; workers around the world love booking a few days off around public holidays to bag an extra long weekend or two. It’s just that no one seems to be as excited about this as Croatians are. The national urge to connect holidays and weekends is such a wide-spread phenomenon in Croatia, no self-respecting media outlet would fail to inform the public what they have to look forward to in this regard. This time last year a grim headline on tportal warned, ‘The 2021 holiday calendar is a nightmare. We’ll be working more than ever’. A bleak prospect. 

Things are looking up in 2022, though. It’s the last week of December, and there’s no end to enthusiastic articles about the coming year being a ‘long-weekend paradise’ and advising when to take a day off to get the most out of your annual leave. 'It simply wouldn’t make sense to have a weekend off, go to work on Monday and then have a day off again on Tuesday', says an article on Dnevnik. 'Go ahead, take a day off and connect those two!'

It’s truly a national sport. 

notebook-ga9acb7b19_1920.jpgCroatians to themselves in 2022, probably.  

So, what opportunities do Croatian workers have to take a mini vacation in 2022? We start off with a disappointment, New Year’s Day falling on Saturday.  

Luckily, we won’t have to wait long thanks to Epiphany on Thursday, January 6th. Take a day off on Friday, and you get a nice four-day vacation to recover from the stressful Christmas holidays... or whatever else you prefer to use as an excuse.

June is a particularly fruitful month in this regard. Corpus Christi is observed on June 16th this year (Thursday), while the following week brings the Anti-Fascist Struggle Day on June 22nd (Wednesday). You’d have to take five days off work, but it would mean getting out the office for 11 days in total. Not too shabby. 

There’s also All Saints’ Day on Tuesday, November 1st if you have any leftover time off on your balance. On top of all that, a few other holidays happen to fall on various Mondays and Fridays this year, so there are plenty of long weekends to enjoy either way. 

manasvita-s-9q5vptiE2TY-unsplash.jpgTake a day off.

Of course, not everyone gets to make use of this perk as taking leave, PTO or otherwise, heavily depends on profession. It’s mostly office workers and other 9-5 employees on a Monday-Friday schedule who benefit from ‘spajanje’. Others, from medical professionals to those working in the service industry or the media, don’t even bother marking public holidays on their calendars. Every day is a workday, especially in a tourism-oriented country. 

On a more serious note, what to expect on public holidays in Croatia? If your visit happens to coincide with one of Croatian national holidays, you might not even notice the difference. Government offices and banks will close on holidays, but most supermarkets, restaurants and bars typically remain open.  

Easter Sunday, All Saints’ Day, Christmas and New Year’s Day are notable exceptions, as most businesses close down on those days. Chances of finding an open store on one of these four holidays are slim, so stock up on groceries and other essentials beforehand. 

Public transport in Croatia continues to run on all holidays. Depending on the location and the holiday in question, some services might operate on an adjusted schedule so remember to look up the timetables a day or two in advance.


Here’s the list of all national holidays in Croatia in 2022: 

New Year's Day: Saturday, January 1

Epiphany: Thursday, January 6

Easter Sunday: April 17

Easter Monday: April 18

Labour Day: Sunday, May 1

Statehood Day: Monday, May 30

Corpus Christi: Thursday, June 16

Anti-Fascist Struggle Day: Wednesday, June 22

Victory Day: Friday, August 5

Assumption of Mary: Monday, August 15

All Saints' Day: Tuesday, November 1

Remembrance Day for the victims of the Homeland War and Remembrance Day for the victims of Vukovar and Škabrnja: Friday, November 18

Christmas Day: Sunday, December 25

St. Stephen's Day: Monday, December 26


Thursday, 10 October 2019

Plenković Publishes Croatia's Brand New Public Holiday Calendar

At a government session, PM Andrej Plenković announced a new calendar for public holidays in the Republic of Croatia.

As Index writes on the 10th of October, 2019, Plenković announced at the cabinet session a new calendar for the commemoration of Croatia's public holidays and memorial days, expressing his conviction that such a way of commemoration would be more appropriate and would avoid any confusion.

Plenković presented a list of proposed new holidays according to which Statehood Day would be May the 30th, and not June the 25th as it has been. That date, back in 1990, was when the first multi-party Democratic Assembly was constituted, Plenković noted, and with that proposal, Statehood Day will be returned back to the date on which it was celebrated until 2001.

Statehood Day returns to May the 30th

"That day is a kind of beginning to pass a series of key acts that, in one process, led us to independence, sovereignty, and ultimately to the international recognition of Croatia. It is exactly May the 30th, a kind of day of democracy, and we can freely call it that, that is the most relevant, and at the same time it was very well received among the Croatian people,'' he emphasised.

"The idea is that in 2020, when it will be the 30th anniversary of that first May the 30th, we will put things in their place. We believe that having May the 30th as Statehood Day will lead to respect from Croatian citizens towards the state," the Prime Minister said.

A new holiday for November the 18th - Memorial Day for the victims of the Homeland War

The second change concerns the 18th of November, which becomes the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Homeland War and the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Vukovar and Škabrnja.

"In this way, I think we'll have a very clear and important triangle in the future context of marking that day - May the 30th, Statehood Day, August the 5th, which will remain Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day, as well as Croatian Veterans Day, and ultimately November the 18th as Memorial Day, the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Homeland War and the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Vukovar and Škabrnja,'' the PM said.

He added that all three dates were emotional to him in terms of how they are perceived by the Croatian people and citizens, and that these holidays are appropriately positioned on those key dates that marked the emergence of a sovereign and modern Croatian state.

Plenković noted that he would modify several memorial days in the bill and introduce some changes, and noted that these memorial days were not on non-working days. Thus, on the 15th of January, with the Day of International Recognition, it will also become the Day of Peaceful Reintegration of the Croatian Danube Region. May the 9th will be celebrated as Europe Day, and the Day of Victory over Fascism.

Independence Day is no longer a holiday but a memorial day

According to the new proposal, Independence Day would be celebrated on June the 25th, the day on which Statehood Day was formerly celebrated, and on October the 8th, it would become the Day of Croatian Parliament. August the 23rd will mark the European Day of Remembrance for the victims of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes - Nazism, Fascism and Communism.

Plenković also pointed out that the number of non-working days will not increase and that it will remains at the number thirteen, which, he says, is very important from an economic point of view and the effect on Croatia's economy, on GDP growth, and on all that entails.

"I believe that this way of marking dates, both non-working days and holidays and memorial days is more appropriate and better, and will allow for the avoidance of any confusion," the Prime Minister said.

He is convinced that in an affective sense, this way of doing things will be much better for Croatian citizens and for all those who respect recent modern Croatian history and are aware of what happened to Croatia from April the 22nd, 1990, when the first elections were held, until January the 15th, 1998, because all these decisions form one hugely important historical, political and legal process.

"We believe that this way of distributing holidays and memorial days will better, more precise, better regulate what happened to us and how it should remain permanently in the future," Plenković concluded.

A long weekend for the Three Kings, Christmas, and New Year

Other public holidays should remain the same.

New Year 2020 falls on Wednesday, Three Kings falls on Monday - which means an extended weekend. Easter is as usual on Sunday, followed by a non-working Monday, on April the 13th, Labour Day falls on the first day of May, which in 2020 will be Monday - resulting in yet another extended weekend.

Tijelovo falls on Thursday, June the 11th, Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving falls on Wednesday, August the 5th, and Velika Gospa falls on Saturday, August the 15th.

The situation with All Saints in 2020 falls on a Sunday, Christmas falls on Friday, and St. Stephen falls on Saturday. The new year of 2021, however, will be welcomed on a Thursday night, into Friday, so those who go a bit too far with drinking will have a longer recovery weekend.

Make sure to follow our dedicated politics page for much more on Croatia's political scene.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Public Holidays