What Are the U.S. Federal Holidays?

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As days that many people in the U.S. don’t have to go to work, federal holidays are often more popular for the break they provide than the event they celebrate. Even if you’re not one of the lucky ones who gets the day off for a federal holiday, you need to keep track of these days for planning everything from vacations and no-school days to running errands. A vacation that includes a holiday could mean you get an extra day off with pay — or your favorite destination is far more crowded than usual. And you certainly don’t want to waste time driving to the bank on a day that it’s closed.

In the U.S., both the federal and state governments can declare public holidays that give government employees and government-supported businesses like banks, schools and DMV offices the day off. Other businesses aren’t required to close, although many do for at least some of the holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. As of 2020, the U.S. government officially recognizes 10 federal holidays, most of which are also recognized by the states. Here’s a quick look at the history of these days and when they occur.