Whilst Brazil played Argentina in the 2nd leg of the Super-Duper-Huge-Massive-Classico of South America on Wednesday night, Paulistanos had only just emerged from the slumber of their Super-Duper-Huge-Massive holiday weekend.
“Why was it so super-duper?” I hear you ponder.
Well, because it was a six day weekend, that’s why.
“But how? We want a six day weekend!”
With regards to the latter, I agree, it’d be lovely to have a six day weekend in the UK once in a while. For the former, however, it’ll take a little explaining.
Firstly, Brazil has both national and state-specific public holidays, which means that whilst Brazilians share a set number of public holidays they may also have additional ones depending upon which state they live in. So, as you can see in the table below, Paulistanos benefit from an additional three public holidays, on top of those which they share with all other Brazilians (don’t ask me what they get in other states as it took me bloody long enough to collate the ones for SP).
We have a similar(ish) arrangement in the UK as whilst England and Wales ordinarily have eight public holidays per year (when we’re not being triumphantly Royalist) , Scotland has nine whilst Northern Ireland has eleven (don’t ask, it’s a long story).
However, the table clearly identifies some significant differences between São Paulo (where I live now) and England (where I lived all of my life prior to SP).
The first is the fact that Paulistanos have twice as many holidays than people in England.
Erm, well, not lazy but they do generally have more holidays.
Well, because the second difference is that even the holidays that we share (e.g. New Years Day, May Bank Holiday) may be celebrated on different days and dates.
“That’s confusing. Why?”
Well, in the UK holidays are generally fixed to a certain day (often a Monday) whilst Brazilian holidays are fixed by date (i.e. they happen on the same date every year – apart from Carnaval and Easter which change and are dependent upon each other). Thus, in Brazil if five holidays happen to fall on a weekend during one year then it’s tough, they just happen to fall on a weekend, whereas in England we always get eight because if Christmas or New Year’s Day fall on a weekend the actual public holiday will be on the Monday following the weekend.
“Errr, right, so it basically means that in England we have a guaranteed eight days of public holidays whilst in Brazil it will vary from year to year.”
Which brings us back nicely to the aforementioned Super-Duper-Huge-Massive weekend we just had in SP.
This year, as the table shows, it’s just the fourteen holidays that fall on weekdays (although one of them is during Carnaval and not entirely official), which on top of your annual leave is a nice little bonus I’d say.
However, the Super-Duper-Huge-Massive weekend was brought about by a comsic aligning of the stars, a once in a lifetime solar eclipse-like phenomenon (Ed – Is this right? Won’t it next be in 2018?), because Brazil’s Republic Day (15th) fell on a Thursday and São Paulo’s Black Consciousness Day (20th) fell on the following Tuesday.
“But that still doesn’t explain why Paulistanos had a six day weekend does it?”
Well, not everyone did, but certainly a lot of people were able to and that’s because of cunning little thing called the Emenda de Feriado or Feriado Prolongado, which is when Brazilians take a day off work in-between the weekend and a holiday to create an extra-long weekend – and because there was a holiday on Thursday and Tuesday this meant that some were able to enjoy a Super-Duper-Huge-Massive holiday weekend.
Fair enough, it’s likely those days will have come out of their annual leave or they’ll have to work extra hours to make up for it, but, well, you know…SIX DAY WEEKEND!
“You’re right then, they’re not lazy bastards, they’re lucky bastards!”.