Flat Earth: Hols are off

Because of its "secular" constitution and the need to be equally nice to all religions, India has an abnormally large number of public holidays, including Mahatma Gandhi's birthday, Prophet Mohammed's birthday, Christmas Day, and others with charming names such as Holi, Pongal and Onam.

On Monday last week the lucky people of Delhi suddenly got an extra one - the Indian capital's government announced that Wednesday would be a "gazetted holiday", with all offices and schools closed for the day, to honour the martyrdom of a Sikh worthy named Guru Tegh Bahadur. On Tuesday, however, the holiday was taken away - a flustered city spokesman announced that the next day would be a working day after all.

The guru, it turned out, had been martyred not on the day they thought, but on 13 December. Whether that will be a "gazetted holiday" will be announced on 11 December.