Federal holidays, as they are called in the U.S., occur at a specific time every year. Below are the major holidays which are usually only observed by governmental agencies and most banks. Most businesses and some larger companies do not observe them, meaning that they are not closed. Be sure to check with your company for their policy regarding federal holidays.

Holiday Occurrence
2011 2012 2013
New Year’s Day January 1 January 1 January 1 January 1
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Third Monday in January January 17 January 16 January 21
Presidents’ Day Third Monday in February February 21 February 20 February 18
Memorial Day Last Monday in May May 30 May 28 May 12
Independence Day July 4 July 4 July 4 July 4
Labor Day First Monday in September September 5 September 3 September 2
Columbus Day Second Monday in October October 10 October 8 October 14
Veteran’s Day November 11th November 11 November 11 November 11
Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday in November November 24 November 22 November 28
Christmas Day December 25 December 25 December 25 December 25

New Year’s Day: Celebration of the first day of the new year.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Celebration of the birthday of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a civil rights leader.

Presidents’ Day: Official name “Washington’s Birthday” and celebration of the birthday of George Washington, first president of the U.S.

Memorial Day: Remembering the men and women who died serving in U.S. wars, from the Civil War to present.

Independence Day: Celebration of the declaration of independence from Great Britain in the year 1776.

Labor Day: Celebration of labor movement and workers. Commonly celebrated as the end of summer.

Columbus Day: Celebration of Christopher Columbus for discovering the continent of the Americas.

Veteran’s Day: Remembering the veterans of the U.S. military. A moment of silence at 11:00 am honors veterans killed in the U.S. military during war.

Thanksgiving Day: Celebration of the autumn harvest. Commonly celebrated as a family and giving thanks, with a family dinner serving turkey.

Christmas Day: Celebration of the birthday of Jesus Christ.

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