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What Are All the US Holidays in Order?

by CiCi
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Understanding the holidays celebrated in the United States provides insight into American culture, history, and traditions. From national observances to religious and cultural celebrations, US holidays reflect a diverse tapestry of beliefs and commemorations. This article explores all the US holidays in order, highlighting their significance, historical origins, and how they are typically observed across the country.

New Year’s Day – January 1st

New Year’s Day marks the beginning of the Gregorian calendar year. It is celebrated with parties, fireworks, and gatherings where people reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the coming year. The holiday is observed nationwide with public festivities in major cities like New York City’s Times Square.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day – Third Monday in January

Martin Luther King Jr. Day honors the civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who advocated for racial equality and justice through nonviolent activism. It is a federal holiday dedicated to promoting equal rights for all Americans and often includes events such as marches, community service projects, and educational programs.

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Presidents’ Day – Third Monday in February

Presidents’ Day, also known as Washington’s Birthday, originally celebrated George Washington’s birthday on February 22nd. It now honors all US presidents and is observed with ceremonies, historical reenactments, and sales events. Many federal offices and schools are closed on this day.

Memorial Day – Last Monday in May

Memorial Day honors the military personnel who died in service to the United States. It originated as Decoration Day after the Civil War and is observed with ceremonies at national cemeteries, parades, and community gatherings. It also marks the unofficial start of the summer season.

Juneteenth National Independence Day – June 19th

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers brought news of the Emancipation Proclamation to enslaved African Americans in Texas, marking their freedom. It became a federal holiday in 2021 and is celebrated with events such as parades, music festivals, and community gatherings.

Independence Day (Fourth of July)

Independence Day celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain. It is marked by fireworks displays, parades, concerts, barbecues, and patriotic ceremonies across the country. It is one of the most widely observed holidays in the United States.

Labor Day – First Monday in September

Labor Day honors the contributions of American workers and the labor movement. It is celebrated with parades, picnics, barbecues, and other recreational activities that mark the end of the summer season. Many businesses and government offices are closed on this day.

Columbus Day – Second Monday in October

Columbus Day commemorates Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas on October 12, 1492. It celebrates Italian-American heritage and contributions to American culture. Some states and cities have renamed the holiday to Indigenous Peoples’ Day to honor Native American history and cultures.

Veterans Day – November 11th

Veterans Day honors military veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces. It originated as Armistice Day to commemorate the end of World War I on November 11, 1918. The holiday includes ceremonies, parades, and tributes to veterans for their service and sacrifice.

Thanksgiving Day – Fourth Thursday in November

Thanksgiving Day commemorates the harvest feast shared by the Pilgrims and Native Americans in 1621. It is a time for expressing gratitude and sharing a traditional meal with family and friends. The meal typically includes turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving is also associated with football games and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

Christmas Day – December 25th

Christmas Day celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ and is observed by Christians and non-Christians alike with religious services, gift-giving, festive meals, and decorations such as Christmas trees and lights. It is a federal holiday marked by family gatherings and traditions that vary regionally across the United States.

New Year’s Eve – December 31st

New Year’s Eve is the final day of the Gregorian calendar year and is celebrated with parties, concerts, fireworks, and countdowns to midnight. It is a time for reflection on the past year and anticipation of the year ahead, often spent with family and friends.

Other Observances and Recognitions

In addition to these federal holidays, there are various observances and recognitions throughout the year that commemorate historical events, cultural heritage, and societal contributions. Some examples include:

  • Black History Month (February): Celebrates the achievements and contributions of African Americans to US history and culture.
  • Women’s History Month (March): Recognizes the contributions of women to society and history.
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15): Celebrates the culture, history, and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans.
  • Native American Heritage Month (November): Honors the history, culture, and traditions of Native Americans.

See also: Is May 5th a US Holiday?

Conclusion

The US holidays in order reflect a rich tapestry of history, culture, and tradition that shape American society. From commemorating historical figures and events to celebrating national pride and cultural diversity, these holidays provide opportunities for reflection, unity, and celebration throughout the year. Whether observing solemn remembrances or joyful festivities, these holidays play a significant role in American life and collective identity, fostering a sense of community and shared values across the nation.

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