What Are Some National Holidays?


Quick Answer

National holidays in the United States traditionally include New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day and Independence Day. The other national holidays are Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. These 10 holidays are observed by the federal government and apply to all federal workers. States are not required to observe federal holidays, but most of them choose to do so.

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Full Answer

Federal holidays are typically observed on Mondays rather than on specific calendar dates. This is due to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which was passed in 1971 by then-President Richard Nixon to allow federal workers to have more three-day weekends. Exceptions to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act include Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Independence Day and Veteran's Day. These holidays are traditionally observed on a specific calendar date, regardless of the day of the week.

Private employers are not required to offer time off on federal holidays, although many of them do so. Whether employees receive paid or unpaid holidays is also at the discretion of private employers.

In addition to federal holidays, states can choose to create and observe their own holidays. However, these holidays are not recognized on a federal level.

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