List of All Gazetted Public Holidays in Kenya 2023

Learn about the dates, meaning, and unique festivities associated with each holiday in 2023

Oct 29, 2023 - 12:30
Oct 29, 2023 - 12:33
List of All Gazetted Public Holidays in Kenya 2023
List of Gazetted Public Holidays in Kenya 2023

Public holidays hold a special place in the hearts of people across the world. They offer a well-deserved respite from the daily grind, allowing individuals to pause and reflect on the significance of these occasions. In Kenya, 2023 promises to be a year filled with diverse celebrations, encompassing international, national, and religious holidays. These moments not only serve as opportunities for relaxation but also provide a window into Kenya's rich cultural tapestry.

Why Public Holidays Matter in Kenya

Public holidays in Kenya are highly anticipated events that bring joy to both the young and old. These breaks from work and school hold a unique charm, particularly when they fall on a Friday or Monday, extending the weekend and providing ample time for leisure activities. To ensure you make the most of these upcoming holidays in Kenya, it's essential to have a comprehensive understanding of what's in store for 2023.

The Definitive List of Gazetted Public Holidays in Kenya 2023

Now, let's delve deeper into the meanings and significance of these 12 gazetted public holidays in Kenya:

  1. New Year's Day (1st January)

    • New Year's Day is an international holiday celebrated worldwide, marking the beginning of a new year.
    • It's a time for reflection, setting goals, and celebrating with family and friends.
  2. Good Friday (7th April)

    • Good Friday is a solemn Christian holiday that commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ.
    • The date varies each year but always falls on the Friday before Easter Sunday.
  3. Easter Sunday & Monday (9th & 10th April)

    • Easter Sunday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, a central event in Christian faith.
    • The holiday extends to Easter Monday, providing a longer break for Kenyans.
  4. Eid al Fitr (23rd April)

    • Eid al Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, a significant Islamic holiday.
    • It's a time for Muslims to come together for communal prayers, feasting, and acts of charity.
  5. Labour Day (1st May)

    • Labour Day is an international celebration of workers' achievements and labor rights.
    • It originated from the eight-hour day movement, advocating for fair working hours and conditions.
  6. Madaraka Day (1st June)

    • Madaraka Day commemorates the day when Kenya achieved self-rule and control over its internal affairs.
    • It's a source of national pride and is celebrated with various events across the country.
  7. Eid Ul Adha (29th June)

    • Eid Ul Adha, also known as the Feast of Sacrifice, honors Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son.
    • Muslims come together for prayers and exchange of gifts.
  8. Huduma Day (10th October)

    • Huduma Day replaced Moi Day and is dedicated to encouraging acts of service to others.
    • It emphasizes the importance of community service and giving back to society.
  9. Mashujaa Day (20th October)

    • Mashujaa Day celebrates Kenyan heroes who fought for the country's independence.
    • It's a day to honor the Mau Mau fighters and other individuals who played significant roles.
  10. Jamhuri Day (12th December)

    • Jamhuri Day commemorates Kenya's complete independence and its transition to a republic.
    • It's a time of reflection on the nation's journey towards self-rule.
  11. Christmas Day (25th December)

    • Christmas Day is a global celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
    • In Kenya, it's a time for families to come together, exchange gifts, and enjoy festive meals.
  12. Utamaduni Day (Previously Boxing Day) (26th December)

    • While globally known as Boxing Day, Kenya celebrates it as Utamaduni Day, honoring its diverse cultures.
    • It's a day to appreciate and showcase the rich cultural heritage of Kenya.

Gazetted Public Holidays in Kenya 2023

Here is a comprehensive list of all the gazetted public holidays in Kenya for 2023:

Holiday Date(s) Type Significance
New Year's Day Sunday, 1st January / Monday, 2nd January International Marks the beginning of a new year, celebrated worldwide.
Good Friday Friday, 7th April National Commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Easter Sunday Sunday, 9th April International Celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Easter Monday Monday, 10th April International Marks the continuation of Easter celebrations. 
Eid al Fitr Sunday, 23rd April Public —Labour
Labour Day Monday, 1st May Public Celebrates the achievements of workers and the labor union movement. 
Madaraka Day Thursday, 1st June National Commemorates the day Kenya attained self-rule. 
Eid Ul Adha Thursday, 29th June Public Honors Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son.
Huduma Day Tuesday, 10th October National Encourages acts of service to others, replacing Moi Day.
Mashujaa Day Friday, 20th October National Celebrates Kenyan heroes who fought for independence.
Jamhuri Day Tuesday, 12th December National Marks Kenya's attainment of independence.
Christmas Day Monday, 25th December Public Celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. 
Utamaduni Day / Boxing Day Tuesday, 26th December National / International Celebrates Kenyan cultures and presents an opportunity for charitable acts.

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Final Thoughts

Public holidays in Kenya are more than just days off work and school; they are integral to the nation's identity, culture, and history. These holidays allow Kenyans to reflect on their heritage, commemorate important events, and engage in acts of service and charity. As we embrace 2023, let us remember the significance of these public holidays and the values they represent in the diverse tapestry of Kenya's society.


How many official public holidays does Kenya have in 2023?

    • There are 12 official gazetted public holidays.

Is Diwali recognized as a public holiday?

    • Diwali is an optional holiday significant for the Hindu community.

What's the essence of Huduma Day?

    • Huduma Day, formerly Moi Day, is now dedicated to promoting acts of service.

How are public holiday dates determined?

    • Some are fixed dates, while others, especially religious ones, may vary based on moon sightings or calendars.

What happens if a public holiday falls on a weekend?

    • If a holiday like New Year's Day falls on a Sunday, the following Monday becomes a public holiday.

How is Jamhuri Day different from Madaraka Day?

    • Jamhuri Day celebrates Kenya's complete independence, while Madaraka Day marks the day Kenya achieved internal self-rule.

Why was Moi Day replaced with Huduma Day?

    • After the declaration of the new constitution in 2010, Moi Day was replaced to focus on encouraging service to others.

How do Kenyans typically celebrate these holidays?

    • From gatherings, feasts, and prayers to public ceremonies, the celebrations vary based on the nature of the holiday.
Joseph Richard Joseph is a graduate of Mathematics and Computer Science (Applied Option). With expertise in Technology and Finance, he brings his knowledge to the field, demonstrating an authoritative understanding of these interrelated areas. Joseph is pursuing a Master's in Software Engineering, further expanding his skill set.