Public Holidays

Public holidays in the United States

As an originally Christian country, the holidays in the U.S. are also largely Christian - or at least oriented to Christian events such as Easter or Christmas. On the other hand, the range of Christian holidays is quite smaller as it is in many other countries. Easter consists almost only of Good Friday, and Pentecost seems to be dispensed with entirely. Even Christmas, which is a holiday with several days off elsewhere, is limited to just one day in the USA.

On the other hand, the U.S. has a number of national holidays, such as Independence Day, and a large number of regional holidays that only apply in individual states.

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Non-movable holidays

Non-statutory holidays are written in gray.

Jan. 1stNew Year’s Day
Feb. 12thAbraham Lincoln Day
March 17thSt. Patrick's Day
June 14thFlag Day
July 4thIndependence Day
Sept. 11thPatriot Day
Sept. 17thConstitution Day
Oct. 31stHalloween
Nov. 11thVeterans Day
Dec. 15thBill of Rights Day
Dec. 25thChristmas Day
Dec. 31stNew Years Eve

Moving Holidays in the United States

Martin Luther King DayJan. 16thJan. 15thJan. 21stJan. 19thJan. 18th
Presidents' DayFeb. 21stFeb. 20thFeb. 19thFeb. 17thFeb. 16th
Fat TuesdayMarch 1stFeb. 21stFeb. 13thMarch 4thFeb. 17th
Good FridayApril 15thApril 7thMarch 29thApril 18thApril 3rd
Easter SundayApril 17thApril 9thMarch 31stApril 20thApril 5th
Mother's DayMay 8thMay 14thMay 12thMay 11thMay 10th
Memorial DayMay 30thMay 29thMay 27thMay 26thMay 25th
Father's DayJune 19thJune 18thJune 16thJune 15thJune 21st
Labor DaySept. 5thSept. 4thSept. 2ndSept. 1stSept. 7th
Columbus DayOct. 10thOct. 9thOct. 14thOct. 13thOct. 12th
Thanksgiving DayNov. 24thNov. 23rdNov. 28thNov. 27thNov. 26th

Shifting holidays to Mondays

Public Holidays A special feature goes back to President Richard Nixon in 1971, who during his term in office moved most national holidays to the nearest Monday. Thus, a public holiday is also a day off work for large parts of the population. This does not, of course, include anniversaries such as Independence Day, New Year's Day or Christmas, which by their nature cannot be celebrated on other days. Despite the dates set by the federal government, the individual U.S. states have wide-ranging freedom in scheduling. Each state can arbitrarily move a holiday for its territory or even skip it altogether. For example, President's Day is not celebrated in 11 states. Columbus Day is also celebrated in only 34 states. In addition, there are countless dates for regional holidays.

Independence Day

Probably the best known U.S. holiday from numerous movies is Independence Day on July 4. This day dates back to 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed. In it, the name "United States of America" was also recorded for the first time, to which the previous 13 British colonies united. The USA did not receive its legal existence until about 12 years later with the adoption of the Constitution. Nevertheless, 1776 is considered the year of its founding. Today, the day is celebrated throughout the country with picnics, parades and fireworks. In many places, things are much more patriotic than in Europe, for example. Countless U.S. flags bathe entire streets in a sea of white, red and blue.


While in most parts of the world the Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated almost exclusively in rural areas, in the USA there is a real hustle and bustle on the fourth Thursday in November. Originally proclaimed by George Washington in 1789, the holiday was still celebrated on October 3 until 1862. It was not until Abraham Lincoln that Thanksgiving Day was moved to the day at the end of November. The reason for this move was purely economic: the additional bridging day on the following Friday and the extended weekend at the beginning of the Christmas season were intended to boost sales. As a result, the day known today as Black Friday came into being, on which retailers overflowed with discounts.
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