Stay Informed about the Rwanda’s Public Holidays once thinking of taking a Gorilla Safari with Gorilla Expeditions.
1st January: New Year’s Day
1st February: National Heroes’ Day
Date varies: Good Friday
7th April: Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi
1st May: Labour Day
1st July: Independence Day
4th July: Liberation Day
15th August: Assumption Day
Date varies: EID EL FITR: the date shall be announced each year by Rwanda Muslims’ Association.
25th December: Christmas Day
26th December: Boxing Day
Then the Umuganda is a nation-wide community work programme implemented by the local government ministry, to keep the capital Kigali, and vicinity, clean. The community work is mandatory for everyone, every last Saturday of the month, from 7am to noon. During Umuganda time, businesses close and no public transport operates in Rwanda. Actually no one is allowed to leave his/her neighborhood until noon, and defying this rule without an official authorization could lead to immediate arrest. Umuganda is performed countrywide and involves the participation of all; including the president, top government ministers and other high ranking government officials who put aside their formal attire to physically clean up the country. The local population also uses this as an opportunity to mingle with government officials and ask questions to key decision makers on policies that directly affect them on a day to day basis.
Genocide Memorial Day is part of Genocide Commemoration Week, which covers the 7 consecutive days from April 7 to 13 every year. Although not officially counted as public holidays, during these extra 6 days, the country is meant to stop and think about the 1994 genocide. Radio and Television stations, even privately owned ones, are only allowed to play programs relating to the genocide. In that context, many wealthy, and not so wealthy, Rwandans decide to spend the week abroad, and it might be difficult to meet with decision-makers. In any event, business entertainment during that period is out of the question.
International Women’s Day is an important event in Rwanda, on which date employers and employees take a 1-hour break from work to discuss the status of women, but it stopped being an official public holiday, starting in 2006 (despite some embassy site still listing it as one of Rwanda’s official public holidays).
Rwanda International Codes RW and RWA (2 and 3-letter ISO3166 codes) and .rw (ICANN national top-level internet domain).
Religion of Specific Business Contacts: Some of the business contacts that you may be trying to meet in Rwanda, may belong to a religious group that is not common in Rwanda, and therefore which is not included in the above list of public holidays or bank holidays. To be safe, you should also verify that no major religious holiday coincides with any planned business trip to Rwanda.
Religious Holidays: Public holidays in Rwanda that are based on certain religious calendars may be subject to local variations due to differing interpretations between different religious authorities, or to seemingly arbitrary changes in the date a holiday is celebrated because it conflicts with another holiday that is based on another calendar, or because the day of the holiday is deemed inauspicious (bad luck). To find out more about these uncertainties, see the footnote below, if any, for each specific religion.
Muslim Holidays: Muslim bank holidays, legal holidays and public holidays for Rwanda were evaluated using the Umm al-Qura Calendar of Saudi Arabia which is used in Saudi Arabia and in most of the Persian Gulf States. Holidays may occur a day later in countries outside the Gulf region. The sunrises, sunsets, moon phases, moonrises and moonsets used in these calculations are based on the location of Mecca (latitude 21.42°N, longitude, 39.82°E, GMT+3 hours, no summer time rules).