In the United States, federal holidays are holidays recognized by the government, upon which every non-essential federal office shuts down (even though the employees get paid).
Federal holidays come straight from the top—only Congress can designate one. In fact, Congress has been in the holiday making game since 1870, when they created the idea of a federal holiday to standardize existing holiday practices “in every State of the Union.”
At PR Hacker, we love getting the day off work on 35 federal holidays!
|Martin Luther King's Birthday||Federal||Birthday, Historical||U.S.|
|Martin Luther King, Jr. Day||Federal||Historical||U.S.|
|International Holocaust Remembrance Day||Federal||Awareness, Educational, Historical, Jewish||World|
|National Freedom Day||Federal||Historical||U.S.|
|Abraham Lincoln's Birthday||Federal||Birthday, Historical||U.S.|
|National Winston Churchill Day||Federal||British, Historical||U.S.|
|St. George's Day||Federal||British, Historical||U.K.|
|May Day||Federal||Christian, Civic, Historical, Pagan||U.S.|
|Harvey Milk Day||Federal||Civic, Civil Rights, Historical, LGBTQ||U.S.|
|National Maritime Day||Federal||Civic, Historical, Military||U.S.|
|Memorial Day||Federal||Family, Historical, Military, Summer||U.S.|
|Army Birthday||Federal||Historical, Military||U.S.|
|Flag Day||Federal||American, Civic, Historical||U.S.|
|International Day of the Seafarer||Federal||Civic, Global, Historical, International||World|
|Canada Day||Federal||Canadian, Cultural Holidays||Canada|
|Independence Day||Federal||Activities, Civic, Cultural, Historical, Summer||U.S.|
|Nunavut Day||Federal||Activities, Canadian, Cultural, Historical, Indigenous Culture||Canada|
|Nelson Mandela International Day||Federal, International||Giving Back, Historical, International, UN||World|
|Civic Holiday||Federal||Canadian, Festivities, Historical, Summer||Canada|
|Natal Day||Federal||Canadian, Festivities, Historical, Summer||Canada|
|New Brunswick Day||Federal||Beer, Canadian, Civic, Cultural||Canada|
|U.S. Coast Guard Birthday||Federal||Historical, Military||U.S.|
|VJ Day||Federal||Historical, Military||U.S.|
|Labor Day ||Federal||Civic, Festivities, Historical, Shopping, Summer||U.S.|
|World Post Day||Federal||Careers, Historical||World|
|Columbus Day||Federal||Federal, Historical||U.S.|
|Navy Birthday||Federal||Historical, Military||U.S.|
|United Nations Day||Federal||Historical||World|
|Marine Corps Birthday||Federal||Historical, Military||U.S.|
|Remembrance Day||Federal||Historical, Military||Canada, U.K.|
|Veterans Day||Federal||Historical, Military||U.S.|
|Thanksgiving||Federal||Cooking, Cultural, Family, Food, Historical||U.S.|
|National Pearl Harbor Day of Remembrance||Federal||Historical, Military||U.S.|
|U.S. National Guard Birthday||Federal||Historical, Military||U.S.|
Where did federal holidays come from?
Federal holidays initially only applied to state employees in the District of Columbia, but were extended to all federal employees in 1885.
From four original federal holidays—Christmas, Thanksgiving, Independence Day, and New Year's Day—there are now ten, including more recent additions like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day.
What many folks don't know is two federal holidays were added and subsequently removed, "The Eigth"—which celebrated American victory in the Battle of New Orleans, and "Victory Day": the commemoration of victory against Japan.
How to submit a federal holiday
We're pretty sure we've got them all, but if you see a federal holiday you think we're missing, then drop us a line. We're always up for expanding our library of national and global holidays!