This year’s Deepavali, which previously has been tentatively set on a Sunday, 15 November 2009 (which means the following Monday, 16 November 2009 would be a public holiday), has been brought forward one month earlier, on Saturday, 17 October 2009.
When Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower releases the list of Singapore public holiday every year, the date set for Deepavali is always tentative because it has to be checked against the Indian Almanacs when they become available. Last year, MOM also moved the Deepavali date albeit only one day earlier, from Tuesday to Monday. It is just so unfortunate that for this year, the date is being moved from a Sunday to a Saturday.
This means that the public holiday will only benefit those who are working on Saturdays, and that Monday, 16 November 2009 is no longer declared as a public holiday. :(
In Singapore, if a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will also be a public holiday. For example, since Hari Raya Puasa for this year falls on a Sunday, 20 September 2009, the following Monday, 21 September 2009 will also be a public holiday.
Another thing to note, in Singapore, the government has always been able to predict the day for Hari Raya Puasa correctly, and the actual Hari Raya date normally falls on the predicted date without any revision. This is different from the Indonesian government who always decides the exact date of Hari Raya at the last minute, waiting for the result of hilal (moon) sighting. Not too sure where does the Singapore goverment get their formula from? :)