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What are the 2022 US federal and national holidays? Public holidays calendar

The United States celebrates eleven public holidays during the year to recognize important events and people that shaped our nation’s history.

Update:
2022 US public holidays
Anadolu AgencyGetty

MLK Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving... there are eleven federal holidays in the United States, we took a look at when each will fall in 2022.

2022 US public holidays

1. New Year's Day - 1 January

2. Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. - Third Monday of January

3. Washington's Birthday - Third Monday of February

4. Memorial Day - Last Monday of May

5. Juneteenth - 19 June

6. Independence Day - 4 July

7. Labor Day - First Monday of September

8. Columbus Day - Second Monday of October

9. Veterans Day - 11 November

10. Thanksgiving Day - Fourth Thursday of November

11. Christmas Day - 25 December

Winter

Since 1 January 2022, New Year’s Day, falls on a Saturday the federal holiday was moved to 31 December 2021. Most public and private sector workers therefore will have a three-day weekend to ring in the new year and return to work on Monday 3 January.

Also in January, many offices, businesses, and schools will close to celebrate civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr. or 17 January.

In February, the country will celebrate George Washington’s birthday on the 21st of February. At the federal level, this holiday must be called “Washington’s Birthday” but private entities, state, and local governments can call it however they want.

Spring

Many across the United States will have Monday, May 30th off to celebrate Memorial Day. The holiday was established to honor soldiers that died in combat. Many also see the holiday as the informal start of summer.

Summer

On 20 June, the country will celebrate Juneteenth which was established as a federal holiday in 2021. Juneteenth, which celebrates the end of slavery in the US has been recognized by many in the Black community for generations. Later in the summer, many across the nation will celebrate Independence Day on the 4th of July.

The end of summer is typically associated with Labor Day, which falls on Monday 5 September. The United States honors workers in the fall, while most other countries celebrate the International Day of the Worker which is held each year on May 1st.

Fall

On 10 October, the federal government celebrates Columbus Day. In recent years the holiday has been refocused from the achievements of Christopher Columbus to the struggle of indigenous people.

In November, workers given the 11th of November off to honor veterans. This year it will take place on a Friday. Later in the month, most will celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 24th.

Winter

Then comes Christmas on the 25th of December. Since Christmas falls on a Sunday, the public observance will be moved to Monday the 26th.

A brief history of public holidays

Congress is tasked with establishing public holidays. The first holidays passed into law were New Year’s, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Initially, only federal employees working in the District of Columbia were able to take advantage of the holidays, but later the law was expanded to all federal workers.

By the end of the nineteenth century, Congress had also added George Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, and Labor Day.

After World War I, Congress established Veterans Day.

With many public holidays falling on different dates each year, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in the late 1960s, which mandated that most holidays fall on the Monday of a specific week each year. This bill also established Columbus Day.

Under President Regan, Congress added MLK Day to the list and the move was opposed by Senate icon John McCain. A few years later, McCain said that he was wrong and supported his home state of Arizona in establishing their own holiday to celebrate the civil rights leader.

Juneteenth is the latest holiday to be approved by Congress. The vote to officially elevate the holiday took place in June 2021. The measure was unanimously approved by the Senate. Before becoming the latest public holiday, it was celebrated in almost every US state.

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