Many engineers interact with people in other countries, whether they are coworkers, vendors, or clients. One challenge that is often faced is finding when your international colleagues are available. Holidays are different in each country and must be kept in mind; tension may form if an employee is out on holiday in one country and is needed by teammates who are still working in another part of the world.

One way to stay ahead of this challenge to keep it top of mind. Google Calendar has the ability to show the holidays of different countries so you can see them while you are planning meetings and other events. Here’s what to do to integrate other countries into your calendar:

Go to Scan for the “Other calendars” section on the left side of the screen and click on the plus sign.

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Click on “Browse calendars of interest.”

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Open up the section called “Regional holidays” and click the checkmark for the countries your colleagues are in. (As an aside, you can also subscribe to calendars for religion-specific holidays or for sports teams from around the globe.)

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Go back and you should see new entries on your calendar. You change the label color of each calendar in order to color-code by country.

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I occasionally work with a separate agency in my organization located in Buenos Aires, Argentina; I’ve also worked in the past with offices in Vancouver, Canada and Lahore, Pakistan. Let’s see what holidays are coming up in those countries.


December 8 is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Since this holiday occurs on a Tuesday, Argentina adds the Monday of that week as a “bridge day” to end up with a four-day weekend.


December 11 is the anniversary of the Statute of Westminster, the resolution that officially recognized Canada’s independence from the United Kingdom.

Canada, as part of the Commonwealth of Nations, also celebrates Boxing Day the day after Christmas.


Christmas is celebrated by small minority of Christians in Pakistan. However, December 25 is more primarily known in that country as Quaid-e-Azam Day celebrating Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.

Not all holidays are held in the same regard. Whether one is off on that day depends on federal or local law, the employer’s policy, and one’s religious beliefs. Whenever in doubt, just ask! Just make sure that you’re planning far ahead in time enough to take these holidays into account and make adjustments.