Federal holidays 2021: Full list of dates

Chelsea Ritschel
·2-min read
These are the 2021 federal holidays  (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
These are the 2021 federal holidays (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

With just one month left until 2020 comes to a close, many Americans are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new year.

In addition to new resolutions and the yearly promise of new beginnings, the arrival of 2021 will also mark the first of the US federal holidays.

On January 1, Americans, and millions of others around the world, will celebrate New Year’s Day, the first federal holiday of the year in the United States.

Following New Years, people living in the US will celebrate an additional nine federal holidays on important occasions and holidays such as President’s Day, Independence Day and Christmas.

First introduced by Congress in 1885 when it was decided that federal employees should have certain days off from work, the list of US federal holidays eventually grew to the 10 days of historical significance that Americans now recognise.

And, to ensure that Americans get the chance to celebrate the holidays no matter what day they fall on, there are guidelines for celebrating.

Federal holidays that fall on a Saturday are observed by federal employees on the previous Friday, whereas holidays that fall on Sunday are observed the following Monday.

On these days, non-essential federal government offices are closed and banks, post offices and schools may also be closed.

For employees in the private sector, federal holidays may or may not mean a day off - as companies cannot legally be required to observe the holiday. Fortunately, most employers will still give employees the day off on holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas - or pay extra to employees working on the day.

These are the dates of the 2021 US federal holidays to mark on your calendar.

2021 federal holidays

New Year’s Day: Friday, January 1

Martin Luther King Jr Day: Monday, January 18

President’s Day: Monday, February 15

Memorial Day: Monday, May 31

Independence Day: Sunday, July 4

Independence Day (Observed): Monday, July 5

Labor Day: Monday, September 6

Columbus Day: Monday, October 11

Veterans' Day: Thursday, November 11

Thanksgiving: Thursday, November 25

Christmas Day (observed): Friday, December 24

Christmas Day: Saturday, December 25

Other important days to note:

Valentine’s Day: Sunday, February 14

St Patrick’s Day: Wednesday, March 17

Good Friday: Friday, April 2

Easter: Sunday, April 4

Mother’s Day: Sunday, May 9

Father’s Day: Sunday, June 20

Halloween: Sunday, October 31

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These are the US federal holidays for 2020