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U.S. Holidays

While not a complete list, the following list notes some of the more commonly celebrated or honored holidays within the United States. Holidays that are recognized by the US Government, Federal Holidays, are noted with an asterisk (*).


*Martin Luther King Day (the third Monday of January)

This is a day to observe and honor the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a famous African-American civil rights leader.

Valentine’s Day (February 14)

Originally, a day to send something to your significant person. However, today you can also send cards to your family and friends. Red hearts are symbolic with traditional gifts being chocolate and flowers.

*President’s Day (the third Monday of February)

Originally, to commemorate George Washington’s birthday this holiday now honors all who have served as president of the United States.

St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)

This is a day dedicated to the patron saint of Ireland. Many people wear something green on this day and decorate with the green shamrock symbol.

*Memorial Day (the last Monday in May)

A day to honor the members of the United States armed forces who died during the nation’s wars. Many people celebrate this day as the beginning of summer spending it with family and friends.

*Independence Day (July 4)

This day marks the signing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. Many towns have their own parades, picnics, and fireworks displays. Decorations are in the colors of red, white, and blue.

*Labor Day (first Monday in September)

This day recognizes the workers both men and women of America. It emphasizes the significance of labor and labor organizations.

*Columbus Day (second Monday in October)

This holiday is to commemorate the date of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the New World.

Halloween (October 31)

This is a special day for children to dress in costumes and go around to neighbors saying ‘Trick or Treat.’ Neighbors will put candies or other treats in children’s bags or pails for ‘protection’ from evil spirits.

*Veteran’s Day (November 11)

This holiday is to honor US servicemen and women of all wars and armed conflicts.

*Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday in November)

This day commemorates the first successful harvest of the pilgrims in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1621. Americans traditionally enjoy a big meal on this day with family and friends. Thanksgiving dinner usually includes a turkey, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and stuffing.

Christmas Day (December 25)

A Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus.

*New Year’s Day (January 1)

A holiday celebrating the new year.