Public holidays in the US, like many other nations worldwide, are days designated for celebration or commemoration and marked by general suspension of work and business activities as well as public and religious ceremonies. Although no official “national” holidays exist within its borders, Congress has set aside several federal holiday dates which should be observed by state governments as well as any private employers who choose to honor them.
As well as federal holidays, state and local towns also recognize many other holidays that honor religious beliefs or cultural/historic events – some are celebrated across all Americans while others only apply to particular communities or people groups.
U.S. holidays commemorating important events or people include St. Patrick’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Americans decorate their homes, workplaces and streets with plenty of green and depictions of leprechauns and shamrocks to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, while enjoying turkey and cranberry dishes during Thanksgiving dinner.
Though the holiday season runs from November to December, most public holidays in the US occur throughout the year. Halloween and Labor Day fall under this umbrella; Thanksgiving honors a 1621 harvest festival shared between English Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony and members of Wampanoag Indian tribe; Christmas is celebrated as an international Christian festival commemorating Jesus Christ’s birth.
United States residents observe numerous holidays throughout the year, such as New Years Day, Memorial Day and Father’s Day. On Labor Day – originally set aside to honor factory workers – but now also honoring all military veterans and their families – they come together on September’s first Monday for celebration. Father’s Day falls on the third Sunday in June where many fathers receive treats such as breakfast in bed or special meals from their children and spouse.
The United States observes most holidays according to state and city regulations. While these can often mirror federally set dates, they also allow states and cities some flexibility in changing dates as needed. Presidents Day is celebrated across most states but not in 11 of them and Columbus Day in only 34. However, these variations tend to be rare as most cities and states follow a similar holiday schedule as set out by the federal government. Though private businesses aren’t required to close or offer employees paid time off when a federal holiday falls on their opening day, many do so as an act of support for the federal government and its holidays calendar. Some even take this approach in their own endeavors.