American Holidays

American Holidays

Various public & national holidays observed in USA

sitesworld.comDateOfficial NameRemarks
January 1New Year's DayCelebrates beginning of the Gregorian calendar year. Festivities include counting down to midnight (12:00 AM) on the preceding night, New Year's Eve, often with fireworks display and party. The ball drop at Times Square in New York City has become a national New Year's festivity. Traditional end of Christmas and holiday season.
Third Monday in JanuaryBirthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.Honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil Rights leader, who was actually born on January 15, 1929; combined with other holidays in several states. Some cities and municipalities hold parades; and more recently, the 1994 King Holiday and Service Act, which was passed to encourage Americans to transform the King Holiday into a day of citizen action volunteer service, has gained in popularity (sometimes referred to as a National Day of Service).
First January 20 following a Presidential electionInauguration DayObserved only by federal government employees in Washington, D.C., and the border counties of Maryland and Virginia to relieve congestion that occurs with this major event. Swearing-in of President of the United States and Vice President of the United States. Celebrated every fourth year. Note : Takes place on January 21 if the 20th is a Sunday (although the President is still privately inaugurated on the 20th). If Inauguration Day falls on a Saturday, the preceding Friday is not a federal holiday.
Third Monday in FebruaryWashington's Birthday/Presidents' DayWashington's Birthday was first declared a federal holiday by an 1879 act of Congress. The Uniform Holidays Act, 1968, shifted the date of the commemoration of Washington's Birthday from February 22 to the third Monday in February (between February 15 and 21, meaning the observed holiday never falls on Washington's actual birthday). Because of this, combined with the fact that President Abraham Lincoln's birthday falls on February 12, many people now refer to this holiday as "Presidents' Day" and consider it a day honoring all American presidents. However, neither the Uniform Holidays Act nor any subsequent law changed the name of the holiday from Washington's Birthday to Presidents' Day.
Last Monday in MayMemorial DayHonors the nation's war dead from the Civil War onwards; marks the unofficial beginning of the summer season. (traditionally May 30, shifted by the Uniform Holidays Act 1968)
July 4Independence DayCelebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence from British rule, also called the Fourth of July. Firework celebrations are held in many cities throughout the nation.
First Monday in SeptemberLabor DayCelebrates the achievements of workers and the labor movement; marks the unofficial end of the summer season.
Second Monday in OctoberColumbus DayHonors Christopher Columbus, traditional discoverer of the Americas. In some areas it is also a celebration of Italian culture and heritage. (traditionally October 12)
November 11Veterans DayHonors all veterans of the United States armed forces. It is observed on November 11 to recall the end of World War I on that date in 1918 (major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice).
Fourth Thursday in NovemberThanksgiving DayTraditionally celebrates the giving of thanks for the autumn harvest. Traditionally includes the sharing of a turkey dinner. Traditional start of the Christmas and holiday season.
December 25ChristmasThe most widely celebrated holiday of the Christian year, Christmas is observed as a commemoration of the birth of Jesus of
January 6EpiphanyEpiphany (from Greek epiphaneia, "manifestation"), falls on the 12th day after Christmas. It commemorates the manifestation of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, as represented by the Magi, the baptism of Jesus, and the miracle of the wine at the marriage feast at Cana. One of the three major Christian festivals, along with Christmas and Easter. Epiphany originally marked the beginning of the carnival season preceding Lent, and the evening preceding it is known as Twelfth Night.
January 7Orthodox ChristmasJanuary 7 is the Gregorian Calendar equivalent of December 25 on the Julian Calendar still observed by the Russian and other Eastern Orthodox Churches.
January or FebruaryLunar New YearFirst day of the year in the lunar calendar, traditionally used by many East Asian communities.
February 2Groundhog DayThe day on which folklore states that the behavior of a groundhog emerging from its burrow is said to predict the onset of Spring.
February 14Valentine's DaySt. Valentine's Day, or simply Valentine's Day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine, and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD. Modern traditional celebration of love and romance, including the exchange of cards, candy, flowers, and other gifts.
February or March, date variesMardi Gras and Ash WednesdayA festive season (Carnival) leading up to Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras. Closes with Ash Wednesday (40 days before Easter, not counting Sundays), which starts the penitential season of Lent in the Western Christian calendar.
March 8International Women's DayA day set aside to honor women and their accomplishments in history.
March 17Saint Patrick's DayA holiday honoring Saint Patrick that celebrates Irish culture. Primary activity is simply the wearing of green clothing ("wearing o' the green"), although drinking beer dyed green is also popular. Big parades in some cities, such as in Chicago, where there is also a tradition of dying the Chicago River green.
April 1April Fools' DayA day that people commonly play tricks or jokes on family, friends, and coworkers, especially in English-speaking nations. Sometimes called "the Feast of All Fools" as a play on the feast days of saints; there is no evidence the holiday has any Christian religious origins.
March/April/May (depends on Hebrew Calendar)PassoverA seven- or eight-day festival in Judaism, commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. For Karaite Jews, Passover is the holiest day of the year and is the festival that marks the beginning of the year. Some Christian groups celebrate Passover instead of Easter. In many regions with large Jewish communities, schools close for all or part of Passover.
Sunday before EasterPalm SundayCelebration to commemorate the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.
The Friday before (western) EasterGood FridayFriday of Holy Week, when Western Christians commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Good Friday is a holiday in some individual counties and municipalities, as well as a state holiday in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas. State and local government offices and courts are closed, as well as state-chartered banks and in these jurisdictions. Federal banks and post offices that are located in buildings that close for Good Friday and Easter will also be closed. Good Friday is also a holiday in U.S. territories of Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Many public and private schools, colleges, universities and private-sector businesses; and the New York Stock Exchange and financial markets are closed on Good Friday.
Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon, date varies from March 22 to April 25, inclusive (see Computus),EasterCelebration of the resurrection of Jesus in most Western Christian churches. A minority of Protestant churches do not observe Easter. Eastern Orthodox (including Western Rite), Oriental Orthodox and some Neo-Celtic churches observe Easter according to a different calendar, usually on a later Sunday (thus they also observe Palm Sunday and Good Friday on different days than Western Christians).

Many Americans decorate hard-boiled eggs and give baskets of candy, fruit, toys and so on, especially to children; but gifts of age-appropriate Easter baskets for the elderly, the infirm and the needy are increasingly popular. An annual Easter Egg Roll has been held on the White House South Lawn for young children on Easter Monday since President Hayes started the tradition in 1878. Not a federal holiday due to the fact that it always falls on a Sunday, which is a non-working day for federal and state employees. Many companies that are normally open on Sunday close for Easter.

April 22 (varies by location and observance)Earth DayA celebration of environmentalism.
Last Friday in AprilArbor DayA day for planting trees.
May 1May DayIn most other countries, May 1 is International Workers' Day, the equivalent of Labor Day, and some Americans do observe May 1 in that context. But before it was a labor-related holiday, May Day was a Celtic and English holiday that celebrated the transition from Spring to Summer, and it is that holiday that those Americans and Canadians who still celebrate May Day call to mind.
May 5Cinco de MayoPrimarily a celebration of Mexican culture by Mexican-Americans living in the United States. Although this is the anniversary of the victory of the Mexican Army over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, Cinco de Mayo is far more important in the USA than in Mexico itself, often celebrated even by non-Mexican-Americans. Additionally, this "holiday" is often mistaken by Americans as being Mexican Independence Day, which is actually observed on September 16.
Second Sunday in MayMother's DayHonors mothers and motherhood (made a "federal holiday" by Presidential order, although most federal agencies are already closed on Sundays)
June 14Flag DayCommemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, in 1777.
June 27Helen Keller DayCommemorates the achievements of Helen Keller and the blind.
Third Sunday in JuneFather's DayHonors fathers and fatherhood.
August 26Women's Equality DayCelebrates the fight for, and progress towards, equality for women. Established by the United States Congress in 1971 to commemorate two anniversaries: Passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution ensuring Woman Suffrage in 1920 and a nation-wide demonstration for equal rights, the Women's Strike for Equality, in 1970.
September 11Patriot DayCommemorates the attacks on the World Trade Center (New York City), the Pentagon (Washington, DC), and Flight 93 in 2001.
September 17Constitution/Citizenship DayCommemorates the adoption of the Constitution of the United States.
September or October (depends on Hebrew calendar)Rosh HashanahObserved by Jewish people. Traditional beginning of the Jewish High Holidays. It also celebrates the beginning of a new year on the Hebrew calendar. In regions with large Jewish populations, schools and universities may close on Rosh Hashanah.
September or October (depends on Hebrew calendar)Yom KippurObserved by Jewish people.

This day marks the end of the Ten Days of Penitence that began with Rosh Hashanah. It is described in Leviticus as a "Sabbath of rest," and synagogue services begin the preceding sundown, resume the following morning, and continue to sundown. In regions with large Jewish populations, schools and universities may close on Yom Kippur.

October 6German-American DayCommemorates the date in 1683 when 13 German families from Krefeld near the Rhine landed in Philadelphia. These families subsequently founded Germantown, Pennsylvania, the first German settlement in the original thirteen American colonies.
October 31HalloweenOriginally the end of the Celtic year, it now celebrates Eve of All Saint's Day. Decorations include jack o'lanterns. Costume parties and candy such as candy corn are also part of the holiday. Kids go "trick-or-treating" to neighbors who give away candy. Not generally observed by businesses.
First Tuesday after the first Monday in NovemberElection DayObserved by the federal and state governments in applicable years; legal holiday in some states.
Day After ThanksgivingBlack FridayTraditionally the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the United States. "Black Friday" is not a holiday under that name, but California and some other states observe "The Day After Thanksgiving" as a holiday for state government employees. Virtually all schools, colleges and universities are also closed, along with many non-retail private sector businesses. Federal government offices, post offices and federally-chartered banks must open on Black Friday (unless the President issues an executive order or proclamation allowing them to close). It is called "Black Friday" because it begins the sales period when most American retailers make their profits for the year. Contrary to popular belief, Black Friday is not the busiest sales day of the year (that honor belongs to Christmas Eve, December 24). Rather, it is the barometer by which retailers are able to gauge December sales and whether they will indeed end the year "in the black" (instead of "in the red"). A busy Black Friday almost invariably indicates a busy shopping season, while poor sales on Black Friday usually herald a very slow season.
November/December/January (depends on Hebrew calendar)HanukkahAn eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BC. In regions with large Jewish populations, schools and universities may close for part of Hanukkah.
December 7Pearl Harbor Remembrance DayDay to mourn the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese on December 7, 1941.
December 8Immaculate Conception of the Virgin MaryImmaculate Conception is a dogma of the Catholic Church maintaining that the Virgin Mary was kept free of original sin from her moment of conception. Companies in some states will give day off to their employees.
December 24Christmas EveDay before Christmas Day. Virtually every business closes early, though a few remain open 24 hours.
December 26 through January 1KwanzaaAfrican American holiday celebration created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Ron Karenga
December 31New Year's EveFinal Day of the Gregorian year. Usually accompanied by much celebration, such as party and fireworks. Virtually every company and retail outlet closes early, except for stores that sell alcoholic beverages and party
sitesworld.comState3rd Monday in JanuaryFebruary 4February 123rd Monday in FebruaryFebruary 15March 31Variable date in AprilApril 163rd Monday in AprilVariable date1st Monday in June2nd Monday in OctoberTuesday after 1st Monday in November (in even-numbered years)Friday after 4th Thursday in NovemberDecember 24December 26December 31
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day[a]Rosa Parks DayLincoln's BirthdayWashington's Birthday[b]Susan B. Anthony DayCésar Chávez DayGood FridayEmancipation DayPatriots' DayConfederate Memorial DayJefferson Davis DayColumbus DayGeneral Election DayDay after ThanksgivingChristmas EveNew Year's Eve
(#) AlabamaYes
(with Robert E. Lee Day)
(with Jefferson's Birthday)
NoNoNoNoNoFourth Monday in AprilYesYes
(with Fraternal Day and American Indian Heritage Day)
(#) AlaskaYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
(#) ArizonaYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
(#) ArkansasYes
(with Robert E. Lee Day)
(with Daisy Gatson Bates Day)
(#) CaliforniaYesNoNoYesNoYesNoNoNoNoNoYesNoYesNoNoNo
(#) ColoradoYesNoNoYesNoOptional holidayNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
(#) ConnecticutYesNoYesYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
(#) DelawareYesNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNo
(#) District of ColumbiaYesNoNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
(#) FloridaYesNoNoNoYesNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNo
(#) GeorgiaYesNoNoDecember 24NoNoNoNoNoApril 26 (observed on fourth Monday in April)NoYesNoRobert E. Lee DayWashington's BirthdayNoNo
(#) HawaiiYesNoNoYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNo
(#) IdahoYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
(#) IllinoisYesNoYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYesYesNoNoNo
(#) IndianaYesNoDay after ThanksgivingDecember 24NoNoYesNoNoNoNoYesYesLincoln's BirthdayWashington's BirthdayNoNo
(#) IowaYesNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNo
(#) KansasYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
(#) KentuckyYesNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoYesYesYesNoYes
(#) LouisianaYesNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNo
(#) MaineYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoYesNoNoYesNoYesNoNoNo
(#) MarylandYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYesNative American Heritage DayNoNoNo
(#) MassachusettsYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
(#) MichiganYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYesYesNoYes
(#) MinnesotaYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo[c]NoYes[c]NoNoNo
(#) MississippiYes
(with Robert E. Lee Day)
NoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoLast Monday in AprilLast Monday in May (with Memorial Day)NoNoNoNoNoNo
(#) MissouriYesNoYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
(#) MontanaYesNoYesYes
(with Lincoln's Birthday)
(#) NebraskaYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoYesNoNoNo
(#) NevadaYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoFamily DayNoNoNo
(#) New HampshireYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo[d]No[d]YesNoNoNo
(#) New JerseyYesNoYesYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoYesYesNoNoNoNo
(#) New MexicoYesNoNoDay after ThanksgivingNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoWashington's Birthday[a]NoNoNo
(#) New YorkYesNoYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYesNoNoNoNo
(#) North CarolinaYesNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYesNo
(#) North DakotaYesNoNoYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
(#) OhioYesYesNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
(#) OklahomaYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYesNoNo
(#) OregonYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
(#) PennsylvaniaYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoYesNoNoNo
(#) Rhode IslandNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
(#) South CarolinaYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoMay 10NoNoNoYesYesYesNo
(#) South DakotaYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYes Native American DayNoNoNoNoNo
(#) TennesseeYesNoNoYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNo
(#) TexasYesNoNoYesNoOptional holidayYesNoNoConfederate Heroes Day on January 19 (partial staffing holiday)NoNoNoYesYesYesNo
(#) UtahYesNoNoYes
(with Lincoln's Birthday)
(#) VermontYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
(#) VirginiaYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoYesNoNo
(#) WashingtonYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNo
(#) West VirginiaYesNoNoYesOn even-numbered Election DayNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoYesOne half dayNoOne half day
(#) WisconsinYesNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYesNoYesNoYes
  • sitesworld.comJanuary 1 – New Year's
  • Last Monday in May – Memorial Day
    • sitesworld.comKnown officially as National Memorial Day in Alabama,
    • and Memorial Day / Decoration Day in Idaho.
    • Observed with Jefferson Davis' Birthday, and known officially as National Memorial Day / Jefferson Davis' Birthday , in Mississippi.
  • July 4 – Independence Day
  • First Monday in September – Labor Day
  • November 11 – Veterans Day
    • sitesworld.comKnown officially as Armistice Day in Mississippi.
  • Fourth Thursday in November – Thanksgiving
  • December 25 – Christmas
  • sitesworld.comBunker Hill Day (Suffolk County, Massachusetts), June 17
  • Brooklyn-Queens Day (New York City, NY), first Thursday in June
  • Casimir Pulaski Day (Illinois), first Monday in March
  • Chinese New Year, date fluctuates between late January and February. Celebrated by Asian Americans (including Chinese Americans, Vietnamese Americans, Cambodian Americans, and others) and throughout Chinatowns nationwide.
  • Day of the Dead, November 2, sometimes celebrated in areas with large Mexican-American populations; see Dia de los Muertos
  • DC Emancipation Day (Washington, D.C.), April 16. Legal public holiday. If during the weekend, observed on the nearest weekday. If April 16 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, it will nationally extend the federal income tax filing deadline.
  • Devil's Night (primarily Michigan), October 30
  • Dyngus Day (New York, Indiana, Michigan and North Dakota), day after Easter, Polish-origin holiday
  • Evacuation Day (Suffolk County and Cambridge, Massachusetts), March 17 (same date as St. Patrick's Day)
  • Father Damien Day (Hawaii), April 15
  • Helen Keller Day, (Pennsylvania), June 27
  • Indigenous Peoples Day (Berkeley, California), celebrated in lieu of Columbus Day
  • International Women's Day (Berkeley, California), March 8
  • Loyalty Day (domestic counterweight to May Day)
  • Malcolm X Day (Berkeley, California), May 19
  • Mardi Gras, held the day before Ash Wednesday.
    • sitesworld.comFlorida, legal holiday in counties where carnival associations are organized for the purpose of celebrating the same.
    • Louisiana, legal holiday
    • Alabama, legal holiday only in Baldwin and Mobile Counties
  • Meck-Dec Day (Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina), May 20. Celebrates the signing of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.
  • Midsummer (celebrated in Minnesota and other Scandinavian-American areas)
  • Patriots' Day (Massachusetts and Maine), third Monday in April. Commemorates the Revolutionary War and is the day of the Boston Marathon. Different than Patriot Day (September 11).
  • Pioneer Day (Utah), July 24. Commemorates the arrival of the Mormon Pioneers to the Great Salt Lake Valley.
  • Return Day (Sussex County, Delaware), November 4 after noon. Population meets to hear election returns, celebrate.
  • Rosa Parks Day (Ohio), February 4
  • Susan B. Anthony Day (Florida, Wisconsin,