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The government and people of Niger observe twelve official public holidays. These include international commemorations, the commemoration of important dates in the history of Niger, and religious holidays. Both Christian and Muslim holidays are observed as official public holidays. While the former colonial power, France, instituted Christian observances, the vast majority of Nigeriens are Muslim.
Because Muslim holiday are dependent on the Islamic calendar, and—like Christian Easter—move from year to year. Some Muslim holidays are also dependent upon astronomical sightings (e.g.: the observance of moonrise for Ramadan). National commemorations and secular international holidays are fixed on the Gregorian calendar, the standard civil calendar used in Niger as most of the world.
Nigeriens celebrate a number of other holidays, festivals, and commemorations which are not public holidays. Some are yearly civic commemorations, some religious, ethnic, or regional festivals which may be widely celebrated only by specific groups or in specific areas. Other yearly events, such as cultural festivals, markets, or sporting events may be much anticipated events without being legal holidays.
Below are the twelve official public holidays recognized by the Government of Niger. Businesses, schools, and public services are closed on these days. They are often dates of public festivals, political speeches, and large gatherings.
|January 1||New Year's Day|
|April 24||Concord Day||Commemorates the peace accords ending the Tuareg Rebellion in 1995|
|May 1||Labour Day||"la fête du travail (1er mai)": Nigerien observance of International Workers' Day|
|August 3||Nigerien Independence Day||Commemoration of Niger's 1960 independence from France|
|December 18||Nigerien Republic Day||Commemoration of the First Republic of Niger, semi-independent under France, 1959|
|December 25||Christmas Day|
The following are official public holidays whose date may vary, according to their corresponding calendar. Some Muslim holiday observance is also dependent upon local astronomical observance. For the period 2008–2013, the order they occur:
|Month: 2008–2013||Name and Translation||Remarks|
|January—December||Eid al Adha||Commemoration of Abraham's sacrifice: feasting on Lamb or Goat.|
Especially important family gathering in Niger.
|January—December||First day of Muharram (Islamic New Year)|
|April—May||Easter Monday||Christian holiday of the Resurrection, breaking the Lenten fast.|
|March—January||The Prophet's Birthday||Mawlid, locally Mouloud: celebrated with overnight gatherings of families and communities.|
|October—August||Laylat al-Qadr||Nightly prayers and reflection in the last 10 nights of Ramadan.|
|November—September||Eid al Fitr||Evening feasts and parties to celebrate the breaking of the Ramadan fast. |
Regional gatherings and festival include the carnival festivities at the Sultan's Palace in Zinder.