Last Updated on December 7, 2023 by Sarah McCubbin
United States Holidays in 2024 are a combination of Federal or national holidays, public holidays and religious holidays. On top of these, there are many local holidays and cultural holidays the provide many ways for Americans to celebrate the beautiful melting pot that makes up American life.
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Table of Contents
Common U.S. Holidays in 2024
In addition to these holidays, there are many more celebrated by specific religious and cultural groups as well as state holidays for individual states.
New Year’s Day – January 1, 2023 (Monday, January 1, 2024)
We kick off the year with New Year’s Day, a time for fresh beginnings and resolutions. It’s a day when people gather with friends and family, watch fireworks, and count down the seconds until the new year begins.
Martin Luther King Day – January 16, 2023 (Monday, January 15, 2024)
Martin Luther King’s was born on January 15, 1929. But we always celebrate on the third Monday in January as we honor civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was a champion of equality and justice, and this day is a time to reflect on his dream for a better, more equal America.
Inauguration Day –
Observance of Inauguration Day in the United States is typically held on January 20th every four years. This is the day on which the President-Elect of the United States is formally sworn into office and takes the oath of office, officially becoming the President. In cases where January 20th falls on a Sunday, the public inauguration ceremony is held on January 21st, but the President is still officially sworn in on the 20th, as per the 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Groundhog Day (Friday February 2, 2024)
Groundhog Day is a quirky North American tradition on February 2 when a groundhog’s shadow, or lack thereof, is believed to predict the arrival of spring or an extended winter. The most famous Groundhog Day celebration takes place in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil emerges from his burrow at Gobbler’s Knob. If he sees his shadow, it’s believed to predict six more weeks of winter; if not, an early spring is anticipated. Thousands of people gather to witness this event, and it’s broadcast on television.
Chinese New Year (February 10, 2024)
Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a joyous and vibrant celebration in Chinese culture that marks the beginning of the lunar new year and is characterized by festive parades, traditional foods, and cultural traditions to welcome good luck and fortune.
Valentine’s Day – February 14, 2023 (Wednesday, February 14, 2024)
Valentine’s Day is all about love and friendship. People exchange greeting cards, gifts, and sweet treats to show their affection for one another. It’s a day to celebrate the special people in our lives. American children will often exchange Valentine cards at school along with treats or small gifts.
Tag: valentinesCranberry Valentine by Wende and Harry DevlinThe Valentine Bears by Eve BuntingSaint Valentine by Robert SabudaThe Berenstain Bears' Valentine BlessingsHappy Valentine's Day, Curious George! N. Di AngeloGrumpy Monkey Valentine Gross-Out Suzanne LangTurkey's Valentine Surprise by Wendi Silvano
President’s Day – February 20, 2023 (Monday, February 19, 2024)
Presidents’ Day, also known as Washington’s Birthday, pays tribute to two of our country’s greatest leaders, George Washington, the first president of the United States, and Abraham Lincoln. It’s a day to remember their contributions to the United States and government offices are closed this day.
Mardi Gras (February 13, 2024)
Mardi Gras is a lively and colorful celebration that precedes Ash Wednesday, often involving elaborate parades, costumes, and revelry to ward off evil spirits before the start of the Lenten season.
St. Patrick’s Day – March 17, 2023 (Sunday, March 17, 2024)
On St. Patrick’s Day, people around the country wear green and celebrate Irish culture. It’s a fun holiday filled with parades, music, and, of course, lots of green-themed decorations.
Good Friday (March 29, 2024)
Good Friday is a solemn Christian observance that commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. It is often celebrated with church services as believers gather to remember Jesus death and resurrection.
Easter Sunday – April 2, 2023 (Sunday, April 21, 2024)
Easter Sunday is a Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Families often gather for special church services and egg hunts, where colorful eggs are hidden for children to find. The holiday date changes every year based on the date of Passover which is tied to the Hebrew lunisolar calendar.
Emancipation Day is a celebration that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved individuals, marking a significant step towards freedom and equality.
Earth Day (Monday April 22, 2024)
Earth Day is an annual global event dedicated to raising awareness about environmental issues and promoting sustainability, inspiring millions of people to take action to protect our planet.
National Arbor Day (April 26, 2024)
Arbor Day is an annual holiday dedicated to celebrating and promoting the importance of planting and caring for trees to benefit the environment.
Mother’s Day (Sunday May 12, 2024)
Mother’s Day celebrates the moms and women in our lives that have loved us all our days. It is often celebrated with a family gathering where the moms do not have to cook and can simply spend time with their family.
Memorial Day – May 29, 2023 (Monday, May 27, 2024)
Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials to pay their respects.
Father’s Day (Sunday, June 16, 2024)
Father’s Day is a celebration of fathers and the influence they have in their children’s lives. It is often celebrated with a family lunch or an activity that dad enjoys.
Juneteenth – (Wednesday, June 19th 2024)
Juneteenth, the commemoration of the end of slavery, became a federal holiday in the United States in 2021 through an executive order signed by President Joe Biden.
Independence Day (Fourth of July) – July 4, 2023 (Thursday, July 4, 2024)
Independence Day is one of the most celebrated holidays in the U.S. On this day, we commemorate the country’s independence from British rule. It’s marked with fireworks, parades, barbecues, and patriotic displays. Declaration of Independence
Labor Day – September 4, 2023 (Monday, September 2, 2024)
Labor Day is the first Monday of September and is dedicated to the hardworking people in the country. It’s a day to relax and enjoy the end of summer. Many people spend it with picnics, parades, and outdoor activities.
Columbus Day – October 9, 2023 (Monday, October 14, 2024)
Columbus Day is a day to remember the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas and the discovery of the Americas. It’s a time to reflect on the history of exploration and discovery.
Halloween – October 31, 2023 (Thursday, October 31, 2024)
Halloween is a spooky and fun holiday for both kids and adults. People dress up in costumes, go trick-or-treating, and decorate their homes with eerie and creative decorations.
Veterans Day – November 11, 2023 ( Monday, November 11, 2024)
Veterans Day is a day to honor all U.S. military veterans, living and deceased, who have served our country in times of war and peace. Many events and parades are held to commemorate their service.
Thanksgiving Day – November 23, 2023 (Thursday, November 28, 2024)
Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude and gathering with family memberand friends. It’s celebrated with a delicious feast that often includes turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce.
Black Friday (Friday November 29, 2024)
Black Friday is not a traditional holiday. However it is the biggest retail holiday of the year. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving when retailers offer significant discounts, often marked by early morning store openings and online sales, kicking off the holiday shopping season.
Christmas Day – December 25, 2023 ( Wednesday, December 25, 2024)
Christmas is a special holiday for Christians, as it marks the birth of Jesus Christ. It’s a season of giving, decorating trees, and spreading joy through gifts and good cheer when Santa Claus comes to bring gifts to children.
New Year’s Eve – December 31, 2023 (Tuesday, December 31, 2024)
We end the year with New Year’s Eve, a time to bid farewell to the old year and welcome the new one. It’s celebrated with parties, fireworks, and the famous ball drop in Times Square.
These are the U.S. holidays you can look forward to in 2023. Each holiday has its unique customs and traditions, giving us a chance to come together, learn about our history, and celebrate the things that make our country special. Whether you’re enjoying fireworks on the Fourth of July, giving thanks on Thanksgiving, or spreading love on Valentine’s Day, holidays offer us an opportunity to make lasting memories with our loved ones. So, mark your calendars and get ready for a year filled with joy, reflection, and celebration!
What are U.S. Federal Holidays?
The annual federal holidays in the United States are:
- New Year’s Day – January 1
- Inauguration Day (January 20 or 21…every 4 years)
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day – Third Monday in January
- Presidents’ Day – Third Monday in February
- Memorial Day – Last Monday in May
- Independence Day (Fourth of July) – July 4
- Labor Day – First Monday in September
- Columbus Day – Second Monday in October
- Veterans Day – November 11
- Thanksgiving Day – Fourth Thursday in November
- Christmas Day – December 25
U.S. Federal Holidays Dates Full List For Current Year!
Federal holidays are legal public holidays on specific dates recognized by the federal government of the United States of America as official holidays. These holidays are established by law and are observed nationwide. They have special significance because they are recognized and celebrated not only by the federal government but also by local governments, federal employees, and private businesses. The United States Code, Title 5, Section 6103, lists these federal holidays.
On these days, non-essential federal offices are typically closed, and federal employees are granted a day off with pay creating a long weekend. Private businesses often adjust their operations to accommodate these holidays as well, with some providing paid time off to their employees. These holidays are a time for reflection, commemoration, and celebration of significant events or figures in American history.
To find the official list of federal holidays, you can visit the official website of the U.S. Embassy, or you can refer to the United States Code, Title 5, Section 6103, which outlines these holidays in detail. These holidays play an essential role in the nation’s culture and governance, as they provide opportunities to honor and remember key moments and individuals in American history.
2024 List of African American Black Holidays
African American holidays celebrate the heritage, culture and history of Black Americans. Some of these holidays include:
- Black History Month (February): Black History Month is an annual observance dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the achievements, contributions, and history of African Americans.
- Juneteenth (June 19): Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day or Freedom Day, commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the United States. It’s a day to celebrate African American freedom and culture.
- Kwanzaa (December 26 – January 1): Kwanzaa is a week-long holiday that celebrates African and African American culture, emphasizing principles such as unity, self-determination, and collective responsibility.
- African Liberation Day (May 25): African Liberation Day is a pan-African holiday that commemorates the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963, which later became the African Union (AU).
- Harriet Tubman Day (March 10): Harriet Tubman Day honors the life and achievements of Harriet Tubman, an African American woman who escaped slavery and became a leading abolitionist and conductor on the Underground Railroad.
- Pan-African Day (July 31): Pan-African Day celebrates African identity, heritage, and unity across the African diaspora.
- National Day of Prayer for the African American and African Family (Second Sunday in August): This day encourages African American and African families to come together in prayer and reflection.
While not all of these holidays are celebrated by all African Americans or people of African descent, they provide opportunities to celebrate, reflect upon, and promote African heritage, culture, and history in various ways.
What are the Main Jewish Holidays?
I’ve included Jewish holidays in this list of less common “American holidays” because a large part of the population enjoys some of these even if they don’t celebrate them all. Judaism observes numerous holidays throughout the year, but the main Jewish holidays are as follows:
- Shabbat (Sabbath): Shabbat is observed every Friday evening through Saturday evening. It is a weekly day of rest and spiritual reflection, a time when Jews refrain from work and come together for prayers, meals, and relaxation.
- Rosh Hashanah: Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year, marking a period of self-reflection and the start of the High Holy Days. It is observed with synagogue services, the sounding of the shofar (a ram’s horn), and special festive meals.
- Yom Kippur: Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. It is a Jewish holiday of fasting and intensive prayer, focusing on repentance and seeking forgiveness for sins.
- Sukkot: Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles, is a week-long festival that commemorates the Israelites’ wanderings in the desert. Temporary booths or sukkahs are constructed, and people eat meals in them to remember this period.
- Simchat Torah: Simchat Torah, which immediately follows Sukkot, celebrates the completion of the annual reading of the Torah and the beginning of the new cycle. It is marked by joyful dancing, singing, and the reading of the final and first portions of the Torah.
- Hanukkah: Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day holiday celebrating the miracle of the oil in the Second Temple. Jews light the menorah, exchange gifts, and play games with a spinning top called a dreidel.
- Purim: Purim commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people from the plot to destroy them as told in the Book of Esther. It is celebrated with reading the Megillah (the Book of Esther), wearing costumes, giving to charity, and enjoying festive meals.
- Passover (Pesach): Passover is a spring holiday that commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. It lasts for eight days and includes the Seder, a special ceremonial meal where the story of the Exodus is retold.
- Shavuot: Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, celebrates the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. It occurs seven weeks after Passover and is a time for Jewish communities to study and reaffirm their commitment to the Torah.
- Tisha B’Av: Tisha B’Av is a day of mourning that commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. It is marked by fasting, reading the Book of Lamentations, and solemn reflection.
These are some of the main Jewish holidays, each with its own unique customs, rituals, and historical significance. While these holidays are central to Jewish life, there are also many other special days and observances that enrich the Jewish calendar.
United States Holidays Celebrate People, History and Culture
United States Holidays represent the melting pot of people, culture and religions that share our land. And these holidays are a wonderful way to understand our history and the cultures that are all around us!
Sarah McCubbin, founder of Ten Minute Momentum, is dedicated to helping parents confidently parent their kids by teaching life skills, social skills and leadership skills. As a child she was the kid that never quite fit in and is on a mission to help others understand the building blocks we all need to be successful adults. She lives in Ohio with her husband Mike, and 9 kids ranging in age from 5 to 21 where they use homeschool, private school and public schools for their kids education!