A Definitive Guide To Restricted Holidays – CloveHRMS

Guide To Restricted Holidays

In India, holidays are an integral part of our cultural and religious diversity. Alongside the designated public and national holidays, there exist restricted holidays that offer individuals the flexibility to observe holidays specific to their beliefs or personal preferences.

What is a Restricted Holiday?

A restricted holiday, also known as an optional holiday, is a day that is not designated as a public or national holiday but holds significance for a particular community or group of individuals. Unlike public holidays, which are observed nationwide, restricted holidays are discretionary and allow individuals the freedom to choose which holidays they want to observe based on their religious, cultural, or personal preferences.

Significance of Restricted Holidays

Restricted holidays hold great significance as they acknowledge the diverse religious and cultural fabric of India. These holidays provide individuals with an opportunity to celebrate and observe specific festivals, events, or occasions that are of personal importance to them. They encourage tolerance, respect for diversity, and freedom of religion throughout the nation.

1) Promoting Cultural Inclusivity

Restricted holidays acknowledge the diverse religious and cultural landscape of India, allowing individuals from various communities to celebrate their festivals and traditions. This promotes cultural inclusivity and helps preserve the country’s cultural diversity.

2) Respecting Religious Beliefs

Restricted holidays give individuals the freedom to observe and honor their religious beliefs by celebrating important religious festivals. This allows people to practice their faith and strengthens the bond between individuals and their religious communities.

3) Preserving Traditional Customs

These holidays provide an opportunity to uphold and preserve traditional customs and rituals that might not be observed on public holidays. They allow individuals to reconnect with their heritage, pass down cultural practices to future generations, and ensure the continuity of age-old traditions.

4) Encouraging Work-Life Balance

Restricted holidays offer individuals a chance to take a break from their routine work schedules and spend quality time with family and friends. This promotes work-life balance and contributes to overall well-being, leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

5) Enhancing Interpersonal Relationships

Celebrating festivals and occasions during restricted holidays brings people together. It allows for social gatherings, family reunions, and community events, fostering stronger interpersonal relationships and creating a sense of belonging within communities.

6) Boosting Tourism and Economy

Certain restricted holidays coincide with popular festivals or events celebrated in specific regions. This attracts tourists and boosts local economies through increased tourism, hotel bookings, shopping, and participation in cultural activities.

7) Promoting Cultural Exchange

Restricted holidays enable individuals from different cultural backgrounds to learn and appreciate each other’s traditions. It encourages cultural exchange, tolerance, and understanding, fostering a harmonious society where diversity is celebrated.

Eligibility for Restricted Holidays

All central government employees are eligible to avail restricted holidays. Private sector employees may also be entitled to restricted holidays based on their employment contracts or company policies. However, the eligibility criteria may vary among different organizations. It is advisable to check with your employer regarding the availability and guidelines for availing restricted holidays.

Good to Read- The Ultimate Guide to Leave Management

Application Process for a Restricted Holiday

To apply for a restricted holiday, individuals need to follow a specific process. The steps may include:

1) Check the Holiday Calendar

Refer to the official holiday calendar or consult your organization’s HR department to identify the list of restricted holidays for the year.

2) Submit a Request

Submit a formal application requesting the desired restricted holiday(s) well in advance. Some organizations may require the application to be submitted electronically or through a designated portal.

3) Approval Process

The application will undergo an approval process based on organizational policies and considerations such as work requirements, staffing, and prior applications.

4) Confirmation and Intimation

Once the application is approved, you will receive confirmation and intimation regarding the approved restricted holiday(s).

Rules and Guidelines for Restricted Holidays

Individuals are obliged to follow a set of laws and regulations when taking advantage of limited holidays. These may consist of:

1) Limited Number of Restricted Holidays

There may only be a certain number of restricted holidays available each year. It is essential to check your organization’s policies to know the permissible number.

2) Prior Intimation

It is customary to inform your supervisor or concerned authority in advance about your intention to avail of a restricted holiday.

3) Maintaining Work Continuity

Individuals are expected to plan their work and ensure that their absence on a restricted holiday does not hamper overall productivity or cause inconvenience to colleagues or clients.

4) Compensation or Swap

In some organizations, availing of a restricted holiday may require compensation by working on a different day or swapping it with an existing holiday.

Restricted Holidays in India

India being a diverse nation, celebrates a multitude of festivals and occasions. Some examples of restricted holidays in India include:

  • Diwali (Festival of Lights)
  • Holi (Festival of Colors)
  • Eid (Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha)
  • Christmas
  • Gurpurab (Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji)
  • Mahavir Jayanti
  • Buddha Purnima

The list of restricted holidays may vary depending on the region, organization, or individual preferences.

Comparison with Public and National Holidays

Restricted holidays differ from public and national holidays in several aspects. Public holidays are observed nationwide and include festivals or occasions of national importance, such as Independence Day and Republic Day. National holidays are specific to each state and commemorate events significant to the state’s history or culture. Restricted holidays, on the other hand, are optional and allow individuals to choose holidays based on their personal beliefs or preferences.

Importance of Planning for Restricted Holidays

Planning plays a crucial role in making the most of restricted holidays. Here’s why it is important:

1) Work-Life Balance

Planning helps strike a balance between work commitments and personal time, allowing individuals to observe important festivals or occasions without compromising their professional responsibilities.

2) Family and Social Engagements

Planning ahead ensures individuals can participate in family gatherings, cultural events, or community celebrations associated with restricted holidays.

3) Travel Opportunities

With proper planning, individuals can utilize restricted holidays for travel, exploring new destinations, and experiencing different cultures or traditions.

Good to Read:- The Ultimate Guide to Leave Policy Design  


Tips for Making the Most of Restricted Holidays

To maximize the benefits of restricted holidays, consider the following tips:

1) Plan in Advance

Mark the restricted holidays on your calendar at the beginning of the year and identify the ones you wish to observe.

2) Coordinate with Peers

Coordinate with your colleagues or peers to ensure that work responsibilities are managed efficiently during your absence.

3) Explore Cultural Events

Take the opportunity to participate in cultural events or festivities associated with the restricted holiday, immersing yourself in the rich heritage of India.

4) Quality Family Time

Use restricted holidays to spend quality time with your family, engaging in activities that strengthen your bond and create lasting memories.

5) Personal Relaxation

Allocate time for self-care and relaxation during restricted holidays, rejuvenating yourself for the days ahead.


Restricted holidays offer individuals the flexibility to observe festivals and occasions of personal significance. They celebrate the rich cultural diversity of India and provide an opportunity for individuals to honor their beliefs and traditions. By understanding the application process, rules, and guidelines associated with restricted holidays, individuals can effectively plan their time and make the most of these special days.


1. Are restricted holidays the same across all organizations?

No, restricted holidays may vary among organizations. Each organization may have its list of restricted holidays, taking into account factors such as regional preferences, cultural diversity, and organizational policies. It is advisable to refer to your organization’s holiday calendar or consult the HR department for accurate information.

2. Can I combine a restricted holiday with a public holiday to extend my leave?

Combining a restricted holiday with a public holiday may be possible, depending on your organization’s policies and leave regulations. However, it is essential to check with your employer to understand the specific rules regarding leave combinations.

3. Can restricted holidays be carried forward to the next year?

Restricted holidays are usually not carried forward to the next year. They are meant to be observed within the given calendar year. Any unutilized restricted holidays may lapse at the end of the year, as per organizational policies.

4. Can I choose any religious or cultural festival as a restricted holiday?

The availability of specific religious or cultural festivals as restricted holidays may depend on organizational policies and the prevailing cultural practices in the region. It is advisable to check the official holiday calendar or consult with the HR department to know the options available.

5. Do restricted holidays apply to all employees, including contractual or part-time workers?

The availability of restricted holidays for contractual or part-time workers may depend on the terms of their employment contract or company policies. Some organizations extend the benefit of restricted holidays to all employees, while others may have specific eligibility criteria. It is recommended to check with your employer to understand the applicability of restricted holidays to your employment status.