a cat lying on a bed

As Singaporeans, we know that celebrating the New Year is never just about the new year.

Even as we watch the fireworks light up the night sky, we’re already thinking about maximising our long weekends and public holidays. After all, when we live in one of the world’s fastest moving economies, good breaks tend to be few and far between.

Essentially, we aren’t just particular about our public holidays, we’re also coldly practical with our annual leaves too, especially if we’re looking to plan a longer vacation. So, let’s get right into it – how many public holidays do we have to work with?

How many public holidays does Singapore have in 2024?

Officially, Singapore has 11 gazetted public holidays each year, excluding allocations for special events such as Polling Day. 2024 is no exception, which means being prudent with your annual leaves (and knowing which days to apply for!) is crucial to maximising your R&R.

2024 Public Holidays for Singapore

Public Holiday Day Date
New Year's Day Mon 1st Jan
Chinese New Year Sat, Sun 10th & 11th Feb*
Good Friday Fri 29th Mar
Hari Raya Puasa Wed 10th Apr
Labour Day Wed 1st May
Vesak Day Wed 22nd May
Hari Raya Haji Mon 17th Jun
National Day Fri 9th Aug
Deepavali Thurs 31st Oct
Christmas Day Wed 25th Dec

*: Monday, 12th Feb is automatically awarded as an off-in-lieu.

2024 School Holidays for Singapore

Primary & Secondary Schools Start End
Between Terms 1 and 2 Sat, 9th Mar Sun, 17th Mar
Between Terms 2 and 3 Sat, 25th May Sun, 23rd Jun
Between Terms 3 and 4 Sat, 31st Aug Sun, 8th Sep
End of School Year Sat, 16th Nov Tue, 31st Dec
Junior College & Millennia Institute Start End
Between Terms 1 and 2 Sat, 9th Mar Sun, 17th Mar
Between Terms 2 and 3 Sat, 25th May Sun, 23rd Jun
Between Terms 3 and 4 Sat, 31st Aug Sun, 8th Sep
End of School Year
(JC Year 1 & MI Year 1-2)
Sat, 23rd Nov Tue, 31st Dec
End of School Year
(JC Year 2 & MI Year 3)
End of GCE 'A' Levels Tue, 31st Dec

More information is available via the Ministry of Education.

Planning your Holidays for 2024

As much as we might wish for it, annual leaves are not an infinite resource. We only have a certain amount of them each year and thus have to be resourceful.

So, fret not, fellow Singaporean – we understand where you’re coming from. Here’s a more detailed list of long weekends, public holidays, and more importantly, which days you might want to use your annual leave on. Plan wisely and make sure to leave some for a rainy day!

Chinese New Year, 10th Feb (Sat) & 11th Feb (Sun)

Take Annual Leave on: 13th Feb.

Number of Days Used: 1

Number of Days Off: 4

Excluding New Year’s Day, the very first public holiday of the year is Chinese New Year, which takes place on 10th Feb (Sat) and 11th Feb (Sun). Notably, since the 2nd day falls on a Sunday, 12th Feb (Mon) will automatically be awarded as an off-in-lieu.

By using just 1 day of annual leave, you can enjoy a splendid 4-day break from Saturday all the way till Tuesday, once you’re done giving out red packets and visiting relatives, of course. In fact, if you include the half-day on 9th Feb usually awarded for reunion dinners, you’ll basically be off the clock for nearly the length of an entire work week (4.5 days) – perfect for a quick overseas jaunt.

Good Friday, 29th Mar (Fri)

Take Annual Leave on: 1st Apr

Number of Days Used: 1-2

Number of Days Off: 4

If you don’t have any religious commitments on Good Friday, then all it means is that you get to start your weekend a day early. Just like any other public holiday which falls on a Friday, the recommendation here is to take the following Monday off, and if you can spare it, perhaps you’ll want to consider extending your leave to Tuesday as well. All things considered; you could probably squeeze in a quick golfing trip to Batam with your pals and then some.

Hari Raya Puasa, 10th Apr (Wed)

Take Annual Leave on: 11th and 12th Apr

Number of Days Used: 2

Number of Days Off: 5

Normally, Wednesday is one of the more awkward days to have a public holiday since you’re not really close to the start nor the end of the work week. However, if you’re willing to use up 2 days of annual leave (and don’t have any religious commitments to attend to), you could enjoy a solid 5 days off the clock by applying for both Thursday and Friday. Granted, 5 days might not be that long, but hey – we take those.

Labour Day, 1st May (Wed)

Take Annual Leave on: 2nd and 3rd May

Number of Days Used: 2

Number of Days Off: 5

First and foremost, the irony of not working on Labour Day is not lost on us, but we Singaporeans are way too busy relaxing to worry about who came up with the name.

Humour aside, since this public holiday falls on a Wednesday as well, our recommendation remains the same as that for Hari Raya Puasa just above – take Thursday and Friday off, and dive right back under the covers.

Vesak Day, 22nd May (Wed)

Take Annual Leave on: 23rd and 24th May

Number of Days Used: 2

Number of Days Off: 5

Yes, Vesak Day also falls on a Wednesday, which makes three public holidays in a row. Frankly, you know the drill by now – if you don’t have anything that demands your attention (or attendance), Thursday and Friday are the recommendation. Alternatively, you could also just take the one-day mid-week holiday as is – after all, you’ve probably already enjoyed the Labour Day break earlier this month.

Hari Raya Haji, 17th Jun (Mon)

Take Annual Leave on: 18th Jun

Number of Days Used: 1

Number of Days Off: 4

Finally, we break the chain of Wednesdays with Hari Raya Haji, which falls on a Monday this year. 2024 has plenty of 4-day breaks if you know where to look, and don’t worry, there are a few more still to come in the months ahead.

Normally, you’d want to consider extending your weekend to Tuesday, or if you would prefer, you could also apply for leave on the previous Friday as well. This means a 4-day break either way, but personally, we'd prefer taking the Tuesday, especially after Monday’s festivities.

National Day, 9th Aug (Fri)

Take Annual Leave on: 12th Aug

Number of Days Used: 1

Number of Days Off: 4

When it comes to long weekends, Fridays are usually the jackpot for public holidays – not just because it’s the end of your work week, but because it’s probably the end of your friends’ work weeks too. With more people available, you can explore a much greater variety of activities to spend your off days.

So, if you’re not busy waving flags for Singapore’s 59th birthday on 9th Aug, you might want to apply for leave on the following Monday and plan out your 4-day break from there.

Deepavali, 31st Oct (Thurs)

Take Annual Leave on: 1st Nov

Number of Days Used: 1

Number of Days Off: 4

This year’s Deepavali holiday is relatively easy to plan your schedule around, though of course we understand our Hindu friends might already have their schedules full. Nevertheless, for the rest of us out there, this one’s a cinch since taking Friday is essentially a no-brainer.

So, put in the application for that one day of leave, enjoy yet another 4-day break, and then hope you’ve still got enough for the last and biggest hurrah for 2024. 

Christmas Day, 25th Dec (Wed)

Take Annual Leave on: 26th, 27th, and 30th Dec.

Number of Days Used: 3

Number of Days Off: 6-7 (subject to individual company policy)

Pack your bags, book your plane tickets (early), and make way for the most high-value long weekend of 2024. The year has already had more than its fair share of public holidays falling on Wednesdays, but Christmas Day is the sole exception because it actually works in our favour.

Although it does fall right smack in the middle of the work week, there are many companies who award half-days on Christmas Eve (24 Dec) for employees to spend with their loved ones. As such, if you were to take leave on the 26th, 27th, and the 30th, you could actually stack it up with the New Year holiday (since New Year’s Eve is usually a half-day as well!) and enjoy a monstrous 7-day break.

Or you could just go to town with it and take leave for the entire week. That way, you’ll have more than enough time to really get away from the rat race. So, if you’ve been eyeing that 9 or 10-day family trip to Switzerland, for example, this is arguably the best time to do it – happy holidays!

Enjoy your long weekends!

Truly, long weekends are great, but at the end of the day, it’s all about making sure YOU are taking good care of yourself!

So, whether you intend to sleep in over your rest days, enjoy luxurious spa treatments, or head overseas with friends and family, what’s most important is to enjoy yourself so that you return refreshed and reenergised.

In fact, if you’re heading out of town, it’s particularly important to make sure you’re well-covered for all contingencies.

It's easy to do that, too. With StarHub TravelProtection, you’ll be able to pull out all the stops while still staying connected with your loved ones. Cheers!