Holiday: A special day of celebration or rest.

On some holidays, workers are given a day off with pay and students get a day off from school. An example would be December 25th, which is Christmas. On other holidays, there are celebrations or customs, but days off are not given, such as February 14, Valentine’s Day.

There are big holidays that are celebrated by millions of people, medium holidays that are celebrated by fewer people, and tiny holidays, such as birthdays, that might be celebrated by only one family or person.

U.S. National Holidays

National holidays affect everyone in the United States. On New Year’s Day, for example, people who work for the federal government, state governments, and most workers in businesses and companies get the day off.

Here are the national holidays recognized by the federal government:


New Year’s Day – January 1st

Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. – Third Monday of January

George Washington’s Birthday – Third Monday of February

Memorial Day – Last Monday of May

Juneteenth – June 19th

Independence Day – July 4th


Labor day – First Monday of September

Columbus Day – Second Monday of October

Veterans Day – November 11th

Thanksgiving Day – Fourth Thursday of November

Christmas Day – December 25th

State Holidays


There are state holidays that are celebrated in some states but not in others. Patriots’ Day, for example, is celebrated on the third Monday in April in Massachusetts, Maine, Wisconsin, Connecticut, and North Dakota, but not in other states.

The day commemorates the battles of Lexington, Concord, and Menotomy, which were some of the first battles of the American Revolutionary War.

In Oklahoma, there is a holiday called 89ers’ Day which commemorates a race to claim land (called a land rush) that took place back on April 22, 1989.

Religious Holidays

People of different religions often have special holidays of their own. Christians celebrate Easter, Jews celebrate Hanukkah, and Muslims celebrate a holiday called Eid al-Fitr that falls on the first day of Shawwal in the Islamic calendar.

Cultural and Ethnic Holidays


Religious holidays are not the only ones celebrated by groups of people. Different cultures and nationalities often have special days. Irish Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick, a patron saint of Ireland. Kwanzaa is an annual celebration of African-American culture from December 26 to January 1.

Fun and funny Holidays

Some holidays are celebrated just for the fun of it. February 5th, for example, is Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. May 4th is Star Wars Day because the famous phrase “May the force be with you,” can be said this way, “May the fourth be with you. And for math nerds, there is a day to eat pie. It’s March 14. March is the 3rd month of the year, and if you combine that with 14, you get 314, which are the first three numbers of the mathematical term Pi. Pi sounds like pie, so that’s what people eat that day.

Fun Facts

•  In Boston, the Boston Marathon is run each year on Patriots’ Day.

• September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. It’s a day to, you guessed it, go around talking like a pirate. Arrrrg, me hearty.


• If a national holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, it is celebrated on either Friday or Monday so people get a day off.




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