As with most countries, in the US too annual holidays’ list is created with a focus on the customs, traditional and diversity of the huge number of population residing in the country.
But not all the holidays or observations that are mentioned in the extensive list are holidays. US holidays can be categorized in to two broad categories – Federal holidays and other observances. The rules of law vide 5 USC 6103 marks the Federal holidays.
The difference between the federal holidays and other observances are that the Federal holidays are celebrated all across the vast country while the other observances are observed at the complete discretion of the local authorities.
But apart from the Federal holidays, these other observations are also an intrinsic part of the US custom and the American lifestyle. This situation has arisen because of the melting pot that the country is, meaning that due to the immense diversity of the people staying in the US.
As a rule Government employees work from a Monday till Friday with the Saturday and the Sunday being holidays. Now if a government occasion coincides with a Saturday or a Sunday then it is observed on the closest and preceding or on the nearest Friday. And if the same thing happens on a Sunday then the following Monday is given off.
As put down by the US Congress and according to the Federal Laws, there are 10 occasions that the Government of the United States celebrates in a year. The US unlike many other countries does not have a national holiday. This has arisen due to the fact that the United States Government has been vested with the power to call for holidays related to institutions which are closely related to the or are affiliated to the federal government and not to the various State governance.
|January 1st – History||Chinese New Year||Hindu New Year|
|Hmong New Year||Islamic New Year||Japanese New Year|
|Jewish New Year||Korean New Year||Thai New Year|
|Persian New Year||Tibetan New Year||Vietnamese New Year|
|Buddhist Calendar||Sikh Calendar||Hindu Calendar|
|Muslim Calendar||Christian Calendar||Jewish Calendar|
|Bahai Calendar||Rastafari Calendar||Zoroastrian Calendar|
|Pagan Calendar||Jain Calendar||Shinto Calendar|
Numerous of these occasions are historical ones or related closely to the customs of that area. A number of these Federal holidays are state occasions too having its roots deeply ingrained, though there are no laid down rules for it.
Let us then take a look at those holidays, which cannot be termed as Legal holidays, though the occasions are mostly known as Legal or Public holidays.
|January 2 2017, Monday (since January 1 is a Sunday, Monday is the Federal Holiday)||New Year’s Day||The ushering in of the new year as per the Gregorian calendar. There are lots of interesting event planned for this day which includes going out with families, friends and also meeting relatives or going for shows, concerts etc. It is a day full of festive cheer and people look forward to the coming year.|
|January 16, 2017 (Monday)||Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.||This is the day which commemorates and celebrates one of the most well known champions who fought against racial discriminations – Martin Luther King Jr. he was one of those people who fought against this social malice of the lack of social and civic rights of the color people in the United States and made the Government make amendments to its various legalities.|
|February 20, 2016 (Monday)||Washington’s Birthday/President’s Day||This is the day when the Presidents of USA are honored. The day is named after the founder President of the country George Washington. The day sees the Presidents being feted and commemorated in the memory of George Washington who had left an inimitable legacy behind. The day is also known as Presidents’ Day as it is in the name of the President and for the President.|
|May 29, 2017 (Monday)||Memorial Day||This is the day to pay reverence to all those who lost their lives in the civil war of 1860. It is known as the Confederate Memorial Day. The veterans’ families all visit the memorial grounds to pay tribute to the fallen war heroes.|
|July 4, 2017 (Tuesday)||Independence Day||This is the day which is Celebrated to revere and bask in at the independence of USA from the tyrannical British rule. This day is regularly or commonly not known as the Independence Day in the United States. It is generally called the Fourth of July. It was on this day, when the nation received the Declaration of Independence in the year 1776 and started its self governance, away from the clutches of Great Britain. It is a day for rejoicing and the entire country decks up in national colors. And there were picnics held, bar-be-cues done outdoors and lot of other fun filled activities. Fireworks display forms a major part of the attraction of this day.|
|September 4, 2016 (Monday)||Labor Day||This is the day when the country pays their respects towards the working people who are the backbone of their economic sovereignty. It is the day to remember the contribution of the working class and to pay homage to the Labor Movement activists. The movement and the day had started off as a movement merely for the working class, but have evolved to embracing all professionals and is now mainly a rest for the individuals who work. It is generally celebrated in the first Monday of September.|
|October 9, 2017 (Monday)||Columbus Day||This is the day which honors Christopher Columbus the Portuguese explorer who landed in the American soil on the second Monday of the year 1492. It is believed to be him that brought this country into spotlight and the European settlers all started arriving in this big country in droves. However some do not consider this day to me a memorable one, as they feel that due to Columbus’s arrival the indigenous people and their culture and traditions have gone to waste.|
|November 19, 2017 (Friday)||Veterans Day||On this day in the year 1918, World War I ended. This day since then have been celebrated as the Veterans Day to commemorate and celebrate all those who fought for the country, either dead or alive. People who are living are feted through various functions and those not are remembered. Various services, memorials and parades are carried out. Badges and special treatments are offered to the living war veterans.|
|November 23, 2017 (Thursday)||Thanksgiving Day||What started off as a harvesting Festival, with time has over the years become a festival to celebrate life. It was originally meant to thank the Almighty for a good harvest, but people now spend it with family and friends and thank God for whatever they have been bestowed with. It is a day to celebrate, having picnics, long drives and special meals including turkeys and other traditional items with friends.|
|December 25, 2016 (Sunday)||Christmas Day||This is one of the greatest of festivals which has come to be celebrated worldwide, more as a socio cultural event than a religious one. On this day the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated and churches have special midnight masses and other prayers. People exchange gifts on this day and enjoy time spent with family and friends. A lot of events are organized for this day.|
|December 26, 2016 (Monday)||Day after Christmas||The day after the Christmas is sometimes declared to be a holiday , particularly in states like South and North Carolina, Virginia etc.|