Second, there is the rather weaker instrument of public holidays - the dates on which government shuts down its own business and advises other businesses to do likewise. It has less and less success in enforcing this policy. Nowadays, the Town Hall closes but Tesco stays open. So public holidays nowadays are more or less public sector holidays. Any excuse, really.
A while back, 25 September 2013, I published on this site an essay, "Private Time Management, Public Time Mismanagement" - one of my more successful Posts with 333 visits as of today. It's about the ways in which governments waste our time by mismanaging what I call Public Time - the organisation of the calendar, the setting of the clocks, and so on.
Governments don't think of Time as a finite and precious resource. It's like other people's money. It's there to be squandered. Go to the original essay if you've time for the full argument