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2024 Holiday Calendar: Every day off in the US

Most government offices and some private businesses close on the 11 U.S. federal holidays

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels fly over Washington, D.C., as part of the Salute to America celebration on Saturday, July 4, 2020
The U.S. Navy Blue Angels fly over Washington, D.C., as part of the Salute to America celebration on Saturday, July 4, 2020Tom Williams (Getty Images)
Alonso Martínez

The United States federal government recognizes 11 holidays. The latest addition to the list was the Juneteenth National Independence Day, which was preceded by Martin Luther King Jr. Day, two important dates for Black American communities.

On a federal holiday, most government offices and some private businesses close. Whether the employees get the day off or not is based on the employer. Private businesses aren’t required by federal law to give any of the federal holidays off, but many of them offer at least some as paid time off. If you have doubts, consult your work calendar.

New Year’s Day

Date: Monday, January 1

Fixed date. It marks the start of the Gregorian calendar year.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Date: Monday, January 15

Celebrated on the third Monday of January. The holiday was established on November 2, 1983, and it commemorates the birth and life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who led nonviolent resistance against Jim Crow laws and other forms of discrimination, advancing the civil rights movement.

George Washington’s Birthday

Date: Monday, February 19

The holiday honors George Washington, Founding Father and the first U.S. president. It was originally commemorated on February 22, Washington’s date of birth, but it was changed in 1968 to the third Monday of February, which means the observed holiday never falls on his actual birthday. Some call it President’s Day, as Abraham Lincoln’s birthday falls on February 12.

Memorial Day

Date: Monday, May 27

Celebrated on the last Monday of May. This holiday is for honoring and mourning the U.S. military personnel who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Juneteenth National Independence Day

Date: Wednesday, June 19

Fixed date. It commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger ordered the final enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston, Texas (although some places took longer to stop slavery). The earliest celebrations date back to 1866, and it was established as a federal holiday on June 17, 2021.

Independence Day

Date: Thursday, July 4

Fixed date. It celebrates the adoption of the 1776 Declaration of Independence of the American Colonies from British rule, which established the United States of America.

Labor Day

Date: Monday, September 2

Celebrated on the first Monday of September, this holiday was established to honor and recognize the American labor movement.

Columbus Day

Date: Monday, October 14

Celebrated on the first Monday of October. It marks the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas in 1492, which led to mass migration from Europe to the new continent. Some commemorate it as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, honoring the Native Americans who lived on the continent before the Europeans’ arrival.

Veterans Day

Date: Monday, November 11

Fixed date. It was established as Armistice Day in 1938 to commemorate the end of World War I. In 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill that changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day to honor all military veterans of the United States forces (alive or dead).

Thanksgiving Day

Date: Thursday, November 28

American Thanksgiving celebrates the autumn harvest on the fourth Thursday in November. The event commonly known as the “first Thanksgiving” is said to be celebrated by the Pilgrims with members of the Wampanoag tribe. Some groups of Native Americans call it National Day of Mourning, and commemorate it to raise awareness toward the struggles faced by the Native tribes.

Christmas Day

Date: Wednesday December 25

Fixed date. Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. It is celebrated by Christians with religious traditions, but also by non-Christians, who follow secular traditions.

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