Holidays in the United States
Holidays are special occasions to celebrate the joyous moments and happy times. A holiday is a day set aside for public celebrations of public interest or custom where public work, particularly work or school involving child or office workers, are reduced or suspended. In most cases, holidays are meant to let people celebrate or remember an occasion or tradition of national or cultural importance.
Holidays are divided into two sections: federal holidays and state holidays. The federal government issues federal holidays; while state governments issue corresponding state holidays. Federal holidays observed in the United States include Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s, and Veterans Day. State holidays, which are usually on the second Friday of January, include Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.
Many national holidays are associated with particular geographic areas, such as Veterans Day. In spite of their similarity, however, all federal holidays and state holidays observe common observances, traditions, and history. In general, however, each state holiday observes one or more of the following traditions: Christmas and thanksgiving; Easter and thanksgiving; and Halloween and Samhain. All of these, including the national “Thanksgiving” holiday, began with the religious observance of the Pilgrims. Thanksgiving was the first harvest festival to be observed by European settlers in the Americas.
Most of the major holidays we observe around the world are not observed on the calendar. For example, the Chinese new year or Spring Festival is not observed on the calendar. A good Friday to observe in China is the New Year, which falls on February 2. Most other Chinese festivals fall on a Friday.
A good list of holidays observed around the world would include the list of United States and the list of countries that comprise the United Nations. The list would also include the main article of each country. The list of main articles for most countries is identical: Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. However, some countries observe other holidays like Mother’s Day (in France), Father’s Day (in Russia), and Children’s Day (in Japan). Other countries only have a single national holiday, like the Dutch Green Week.
The names of the days for which the United States is celebrating its major national holidays can also be displayed on the calendar. In Canada, the names of the days for which Canada is celebrating its major national holidays are displayed in a separate section of the Calendar. A complete list of the names of all the principal international holidays, together with the names of the principal federal holidays, can be browsed on the web at the Federal holidays page maintained by the Canadian Government. The web site provides links to the Department of Canadian Heritage and Public Services, as well as the Canadian flag.