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The Most Comprehensive List of US Holidays

The Most Comprehensive List of US Holidays

The most comprehensive list of US holidays. Includes federal, non-federal, cultural, traditional, and presidential proclamation holidays.

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The United States has public holidays that are celebrated throughout the year. These holidays hold significant cultural and historical importance, bringing communities together to commemorate and honor various milestones and events.

From the patriotic fervor of Independence Day on July 4th, marking the nation’s birth, to the peaceful reflection of Memorial Day, honoring the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives in service to the country, each holiday carries its own unique significance.

Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas foster a sense of togetherness and gratitude, as families and friends gather to share meals and exchange gifts. These public holidays not only provide a break from the routine of daily life but also serve as a time for reflection, celebration, and unity among the diverse population of the United States.

Here are the federal US holidays for the year 2024

Name of the holidayDate of holiday
New Year’s DayJanuary 1, 2024 (Monday)
Martin Luther King Jr. DayJanuary 15, 2024 (Monday)
Washington’s Birthday (Presidents’ Day)February 19, 2024 (Monday)
Juneteenth National Independence DayJune 19, 2024 (Wednesday)
Independence DayJuly 4, 2024 (Thursday)
Labor DaySeptember 2, 2024 (Monday)
Columbus DayOctober 14, 2024 (Monday)
Veterans DayNovember 11, 2024 (Monday)
Thanksgiving DayNovember 28, 2024 (Thursday)
ChristmasDecember 25, 2024 (Wednesday)

Here are the non-federal US holidays for the year 2024

Name of the holidayDate of holiday
Groundhog DayFebruary 2, 2024 (Friday)
Valentine’s DayFebruary 14, 2024 (Wednesday)
St. Patrick’s DayMarch 17, 2024 (Sunday)
April Fool’s DayApril 1, 2024 (Monday)
Good FridayMarch 29, 2024 (Friday)
Easter SundayMarch 31, 2024 (Sunday)
Easter MondayApril 1, 2024 (Monday)
Earth DayApril 22, 2024 (Monday)
Mother’s DayMay 12, 2024 (Sunday)
Father’s DayJune 16, 2024 (Sunday)
HalloweenOctober 31, 2024 (Thursday)
HanukkahStarts at sundown on December 25, 2024 (Wednesday)
KwanzaaDecember 26, 2024 (Thursday) to January 1, 2025 (Wednesday)
US Independence Day

US holidays with cultural or historical significance

One holiday with cultural and historical significance in the United States is Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July. This holiday commemorates the declaration of independence from British rule in 1776, and it holds deep meaning for Americans as a celebration of freedom and patriotism.

On this day, people come together to honor their nation with fireworks displays, parades, barbecues, and various festivities. It is a time when families and communities unite to remember the sacrifices of the past and celebrate the principles upon which the country was founded. Independence Day serves as a reminder of the enduring spirit and values that shape the American identity.

Here’s a list of some other US holidays with significant cultural or historical importance:

New Year’s Day (January 1)
  • Cultural Significance: Marks the beginning of the calendar year.
  • Traditions: Celebrations often include fireworks, parties, and making resolutions for the new year.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Third Monday in January)
  • Historical Significance: Honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights leader who advocated for nonviolent activism against racial segregation.
  • Traditions: Parades, community service, and educational events focused on civil rights and social justice.
Presidents’ Day (Third Monday in February)
  • Historical Significance: Originally established to honor George Washington’s birthday, it now celebrates all U.S. presidents.
  • Traditions: Sales and promotions by retailers, and educational activities about U.S. history and presidents.
Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)
  • Historical Significance: Honors military personnel who have died in service to the United States.
  • Traditions: Parades, visiting cemeteries and memorials, and family gatherings.

Labor Day (First Monday in September)

  • Historical Significance: Recognizes the contributions of American workers and the labor movement.
  • Traditions: Parades, picnics, and marking the unofficial end of summer.

Columbus Day (Second Monday in October)

  • Historical Significance: Commemorates Christopher Columbus’s landing in the Americas on October 12, 1492.
  • Traditions: Parades and celebrations in Italian-American communities; controversy and debate about its impact on indigenous peoples.
Veterans Day (November 11)
  • Historical Significance: Honors military veterans who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Traditions: Parades, ceremonies, and educational activities.

Thanksgiving Day (Fourth Thursday in November)

  • Historical Significance: Originates from a 1621 feast shared by Pilgrims and Native Americans.
  • Traditions: Family gatherings, feasting (particularly on turkey), and expressing gratitude.

Christmas Day (December 25)

  • Cultural Significance: Celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ in Christian tradition.
  • Traditions: Gift-giving, decorating Christmas trees, and festive meals

Juneteenth (June 19)

  • Historical Significance: Commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in 1865.
  • Traditions: Celebrations include parades, cultural events, and educational activities.
Halloween (October 31)
  • Cultural Significance: Originates from ancient Celtic festivals and Christian traditions.
  • Traditions: Trick-or-treating, costume parties, and carving pumpkins.

Easter (Date varies, usually in April)

  • Religious Significance: Celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  • Traditions: Church services, egg hunts, and festive meals.
Hanukkah (Date varies, usually in December)
  • Religious Significance: Jewish festival commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.
  • Traditions: Lighting the menorah, playing dreidel, and eating foods like latkes and sufganiyot.
Kwanzaa (December 26 to January 1)
  • Cultural Significance: Celebrates African-American culture and heritage.
  • Traditions: Lighting the kinara, discussing the seven principles (Nguzo Saba), and cultural performances.

Traditional and informal holidays in the US

The United States is a country rich in diverse cultural traditions and celebrations, both traditional and informal. These holidays, whether traditional or informal, contribute to the rich tapestry of American culture and provide opportunities for celebration, reflection, and community engagement.

One of the most widely recognized and celebrated holidays in the US is Thanksgiving, a time when families gather together to express gratitude and enjoy a bountiful feast. This holiday is steeped in history and tradition, dating back to the Pilgrims’ first harvest feast with the Native Americans.

Another traditional holiday is Christmas, celebrated on December 25th, where people exchange gifts, decorate their homes with lights and ornaments, and come together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Here are some other traditional and informal holidays celebrated in the United States:

Traditional Holidays

Groundhog Day (February 2)
  • Significance: Predicts the weather for the remainder of winter based on whether a groundhog sees its shadow.
  • Traditions: Observances in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, with Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog.
Valentine’s Day (February 14)
  • Significance: Celebrates love and affection between intimate partners.
  • Traditions: Exchanging cards, flowers, chocolates, and romantic dinners.
St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)
  • Significance: Honors St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.
  • Traditions: Wearing green, parades, and celebrating Irish culture with food and drink.
April Fool’s Day (April 1)
  • Significance: A day for playing pranks and practical jokes.
  • Traditions: Pranks range from simple jokes to elaborate hoaxes.
Easter (Date varies, usually in April)
  • Religious Significance: Celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ in Christian tradition.
  • Traditions: Church services, egg hunts, and festive meals with family.
Mother’s Day (Second Sunday in May)
  • Significance: Honors mothers and motherhood.
  • Traditions: Giving gifts, cards, and spending time with mothers.
Father’s Day (Third Sunday in June)
  • Significance: Honors fathers and fatherhood.
  • Traditions: Giving gifts, cards, and spending time with fathers.
Halloween (October 31)
  • Significance: Originates from ancient Celtic festivals and Christian traditions.
  • Traditions: Trick-or-treating, costume parties, and carving pumpkins.

Informal Holidays

Super Bowl Sunday (First Sunday in February)
  • Significance: The championship game of the National Football League (NFL).
  • Traditions: Watching the game, Super Bowl parties, and commercials.
Mardi Gras (Date varies, usually in February or March)
  • Significance: Marks the last day before Lent in Christian tradition.
  • Traditions: Parades, masquerade balls, and festivities, particularly in New Orleans.
Pi Day (March 14)
  • Significance: Celebrates the mathematical constant π (pi).
  • Traditions: Eating pie and engaging in math-related activities.
Earth Day (April 22)
  • Significance: Promotes environmental awareness and protection.
  • Traditions: Planting trees, clean-up activities, and educational events.
ECinco de Mayo (May 5)
  • Significance: Commemorates the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla.
  • Traditions: Celebrations of Mexican culture with food, music, and dancing, particularly popular in the U.S.
Flag Day (June 14)
  • Significance: Commemorates the adoption of the U.S. flag in 1777.
  • Traditions: Displaying the flag and patriotic activities.
National Ice Cream Day (Third Sunday in July)
  • Significance: Celebrates the enjoyment of ice cream.
  • Traditions: Eating ice cream and special promotions by ice cream shops.
Grandparents Day (First Sunday after Labor Day in September)
  • Significance: Honors grandparents.
  • Traditions: Spending time with grandparents and giving them special attention.
National Dog Day (August 26)
  • Significance: Celebrates dogs and encourages adoption.
  • Traditions: Spoiling dogs with treats and attention, and raising awareness for dog adoption.
Black Friday (Day after Thanksgiving)
  • Significance: Marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.
  • Traditions: Shopping, sales, and special promotions.

Legal holidays due to presidential proclamation in the US

In the United States, the President has the authority to declare special days of observance through presidential proclamations. These proclamations can create temporary “legal holidays” that may not be annual but are significant for various reasons.While these proclamations can establish temporary or recurring observances, they do not typically create permanent federal holidays unless followed by congressional legislation. They play a crucial role in the cultural and civic life of the nation, reflecting the values and priorities of the American people at various times.

Significance of Presidential Proclamations

Presidential proclamations serve several purposes:
  1. Raising Awareness: They bring national attention to important issues, historical events, or societal contributions.
  2. Encouraging Action: They often call for public participation in specific activities, such as volunteerism or remembrance.
  3. Providing Honor and Recognition: They honor individuals, groups, or events that have had a significant impact on the nation.

Some notable examples and general information about presidential proclamations

National Days of Mourning
  • Description: Typically declared following the death of a significant national figure, such as a former president.
  • Traditions: Flags flown at half-staff, moments of silence, and memorial services.
  • Example: A National Day of Mourning was declared on December 5, 2018, to honor former President George H.W. Bush.
Days of National Observance
  • Description: These days recognize significant historical events, achievements, or public service.
  • Traditions: Public ceremonies, educational events, and government acknowledgments.
Examples:
  • National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (December 7): Commemorates the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
  • Patriot Day (September 11): Remembers the victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks.
  • National POW/MIA Recognition Day (third Friday in September): Honors prisoners of war and those missing in action.

Other Notable Presidential Proclamations

National Volunteer Week
  • Description: Encourages volunteerism and acknowledges the contributions of volunteers.
  • Traditions: Volunteer events, recognition ceremonies, and community service projects.
  • Timing: Typically observed in April.
National Hispanic Heritage Month
  • Description: Celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans.
  • Traditions: Cultural festivals, educational programs, and community events.
  • Timing: September 15 to October 15.
National Women’s History Month
  • Description: Recognizes the contributions of women to American history and society.
  • Traditions: Educational programs, events highlighting women’s achievements, and public recognition.
  • Timing: March.
National African American History Month
  • Description: Celebrates the achievements and contributions of African Americans.
  • Traditions: Cultural events, educational programs, and public acknowledgments.
  • Timing: February.

Do employees get holiday pay in the US?

Holiday pay is a widely discussed topic in the United States. Many employees wonder if they are entitled to extra compensation for working on holidays or if they will receive their regular pay. The answer to this question depends on various factors, such as company policies, employment contracts, and federal or state laws.

Some employers may offer additional pay, also known as holiday pay, as an incentive for employees to work on holidays. However, it is important to note that there is no federal law mandating extra pay for working on holidays, unless it exceeds the employee’s normal working hours.

 

Holiday pay for full-time employees

Full-time employees in the United States have the benefit of holiday pay, which provides additional compensation for designated holidays throughout the year. This extra pay acknowledges the importance of these holidays and recognizes the employees’ dedication and commitment to their work.

Holiday pay varies depending on the company’s policy and the employee’s contract, but it typically includes either a higher hourly rate or a fixed amount for the hours worked on a holiday. This financial incentive serves as a valuable incentive for employees to work during holidays and ensures they are fairly compensated for their time and efforts.

 

Holiday pay for part-time employees

Part-time employees often face uncertainty when it comes to holiday pay. While full-time employees typically enjoy the benefits of paid time off during holidays, part-time employees may wonder if they are entitled to the same privileges. The answer to this question varies depending on the company’s policies and the laws of the state in which they work. Therefore, it is important for part-time employees to familiarize themselves with their company’s holiday pay policies and consult their employee handbook or HR department for clarification.

Some companies may offer holiday pay for part-time employees, while others may not. It is also worth noting that certain states may have specific regulations regarding holiday pay for part-time workers. So, it is important to be aware of the applicable laws and policies to ensure fair treatment and understanding of holiday pay entitlements.

Frequently asked questions

The post office operates on a different schedule than most businesses when it comes to federal holidays. It is important to be aware of these holidays in order to plan your postal needs accordingly. On these designated federal holidays, the post office is typically closed, which means that there will be no mail delivery or pickup services.

It is advisable to check the specific holiday schedule to ensure that you are aware of any changes in postal services during these times. By being mindful of these closures, you can effectively manage your mailing needs and avoid any potential delays in sending or receiving important documents or packages.

In a significant and long-awaited moment, Juneteenth became a federal holiday in the United States on June 17, 2021. This important milestone marked the recognition of the historical significance of Juneteenth and its significance in commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.

The bill to establish Juneteenth as a federal holiday received overwhelming bipartisan support, as it passed unanimously in the Senate and with an overwhelming majority in the House of Representatives. This momentous decision further solidifies Juneteenth’s place in American history and serves as a reminder of the ongoing quest for equality and justice for all.

In the United States, Inauguration Day holds a significant place in the political calendar as it marks the swearing-in of a new president. However, when it comes to its status as a federal holiday, there is an interesting distinction. While Inauguration Day is not officially recognized as a federal holiday, it does hold special significance and is observed in various ways.

Federal employees in the Washington, D.C. area are granted a day off to witness the inauguration ceremony, and some state and local governments may also provide employees with time off or flexible work schedules on this day.

Schools and businesses may choose to close or modify their operations to allow individuals to participate in or watch the inauguration events. In this way, while not a federal holiday in the traditional sense, Inauguration Day holds a unique place in American culture and governance.

The passing of a president in the United States is a somber and significant event. It is a time when the nation comes together to mourn and pay tribute to the leader of the country. While it is not designated as an official holiday, the death of a president often results in a day of national mourning and remembrance.

This may include the closure of government offices, flags flown at half-mast, and special memorial services held across the nation. It is a time for reflection and unity as Americans honor the memory and legacy of their fallen leader.

During certain times of the year, some employees look forward to an additional perk known as holiday premium pay. This additional compensation is typically offered to workers who are required to work on holidays, providing an incentive for their dedication and commitment. Holiday premium pay serves as a way to acknowledge the sacrifices made by these employees, as they sacrifice valuable time spent with loved ones in order to meet the demands of their job.

This financial incentive not only helps boost morale and job satisfaction but also recognizes the importance of maintaining a work-life balance, even during times traditionally reserved for relaxation and celebration. Employers who offer holiday premium pay demonstrate their appreciation for their employees’ efforts, fostering a positive work environment and reinforcing the value they place on their workforce.

During holidays, many employees are faced with the decision of whether to work overtime. Overtime work on a holiday can offer attractive financial incentives, with higher pay rates or additional bonuses. However, it also means sacrificing precious time that could be spent with loved ones or participating in holiday traditions. The decision to engage in overtime work on a holiday is highly personal and depends on individual circumstances, priorities, and work-life balance.

While some individuals may choose the financial benefits and career advancement opportunities that come with overtime work, others may prioritize rest and relaxation during this special time. Ultimately, the choice of whether to work overtime on a holiday is a decision that should be carefully made based on the individual’s values and priorities.

One of the significant challenges that arise during holidays is the issue of night work. While many people are eagerly celebrating and enjoying their time off, there are essential sectors and industries that require 24/7 operation, even on holidays. This includes emergency services, healthcare facilities, transportation services, and certain manufacturing industries.

The individuals working during the night on holidays play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and well-being of the community. Their dedication and sacrifice deserve recognition and appreciation, as they often miss out on the festivities and time with their loved ones. It is important to acknowledge the efforts of these individuals and find ways to support them during these challenging times, ensuring that they can still enjoy the spirit of the holiday season in their own unique way.

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