! Federal Holidays


U.S. Federal Holidays and Public Holidays

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U.S. Federal Holiday Definition

There are currently eleven U.S. federal holidays. Most government offices are closed. Non-essential employees have the day off. The post office is closed. Banks are closed. States and businesses observe some, but not all of these holidays by giving employees the day off. Some, but not all, businesses also recognize many of these holidays with a paid day off for employees. Additionally, there are several public holidays.

Did You Know? The newest U.S. Federal holiday is Juneteenth. While it has been celebrated for many years, the U.S. Congress voted it a federal holiday in 2021. And, Thanksgiving was the first national holiday. President Abraham Lincoln declared it in 1863.

U.S. Federal Holiday Dates

New Year’s DayJanuary 1
Martin Luther King Jr. DayThird Monday in January
President’s DayThird Monday in February
Memorial DayLast Monday in May
Independence DayJuly 4
JuneteenthAlways June 19
Labor DayFirst Monday in September
Columbus DaySecond Monday in October
Veteran’s DayNovember 11
ThanksgivingFourth Thursday in November
ChristmasDecember 25

Public Holidays Definition

Many people view public holidays as synonymous to Federal holidays. Not all federal holidays are public holidays. Public holidays are those where some of the general public has the day off from work, usually with pay. Federal, state, and usually local government agencies are usually open. Banks, the Post Office, and libraries are often closed, too. 

A good example of a public holiday is Veteran’s Day on November 11. While most employers do not give this day off, a moment of silence is held on 11/11 at 11-11 a.m. Another example is Columbus Day, which has gone out of favor in recent years.

Some states also have one or two public holidays of their own.

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