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American Holidays for 2018 Posted by on Jan 8, 2018 in Culture

Holidays are a special time when people get time off of work to be with loved ones. There are some holidays that are celebrated all over the world, while others are specific to a country or even a city. These important days can teach us a lot about the history and culture of a country. To help give you that insight into the USA, here are the American holidays for 2018.

Federal Holidays

Image by Any Karmy from flickr.com.
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

A federal holiday is one that is recognized by the US government. On these days, non-essential government offices will be closed. Banks, post offices, and schools will usually be closed on these days as well. Many people working in the private sector will also get these days off. Those who have to work on these federal holidays will usually be paid extra for doing so. Federal holidays date back to 1870 when Congress created four of them. A few have been added over the years and the United States currently has ten federal holidays. Here are the federal holidays for 2018 with the date for each one. There are links to more specific blog posts for more details where available.

January 1
Monday, January 15
Monday, February 19
Monday, May 28
Wednesday, July 4
Monday, September 3
Monday, October 8
Monday, November 12
Thursday, November 22
Tuesday, December 25
New Year’s Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Washington’s Birthday/Presidents’ Day
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Columbus Day
Veterans Day
Thanksgiving Day

A few of these holidays are fixed, meaning that they occur on the same day every year. These holidays are: New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day, and Christmas. If they happen to fall on a weekend, they are observed on either the preceding Friday or succeeding Monday.

See what a 4th of July celebration looks like in this video.

Other holidays always happen on a Monday and thus are on a different date each year. This allows people to have a long holiday weekend. The one exception is Thanksgiving, which is always on the 4th Thursday in November. Most people also get the day after Thanksgiving off, which is known as Black Friday and is the biggest shopping day of the year. It’s quite common for people to get Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve off as well.

White Elephant is a fun game some people play on Christmas.

One interesting thing about the federal holidays in the US is that the government cannot make laws that force the states to recognize them. Most states do in fact recognize all or at least most of the federal holidays, though. Perhaps the most controversial federal holiday of all is Columbus Day. The Native American community and their supporters have been fighting for the abolition of the holiday, and there are five states (Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon, Vermont, and South Dakota) that do not recognize it.

There is actually one other federal holiday, but it only happens every four years. Inauguration Day is the day that marks the beginning of a new four-year term for the president, even if they are continuing for a second term. Here’s a good chance to learn a new word – quadrennial, which means every four years. Since there was just an election in 2016, the next Inauguration Day won’t be until 2021. While this is a federal holiday, only people in the federal government and in Washington, D.C. typically get this day off.

Other Holidays

I love dressing up for Halloween!

In a country as large and diverse as the United States, it should come as no surprise that there are several other holidays. There are many other religious, cultural, and ethnic holidays throughout the year. Each state also has its own unique holidays. Here’s a list with some of the other popular holidays in the US and when they will be celebrated in 2018. Once again, you’ll find links to more detailed posts where we have them.

Friday, February 2
Sunday, February 4
Wednesday, February 14
Thursday, March 8
Saturday, March 17
Sunday, April 1
Sunday, April 22
Saturday, May 5
Sunday, May 13
Thursday, June 14
Thursday, June 14-Friday, June 15
Sunday, June 17
Tuesday, June 19
Wednesday, October 31
Sunday, Dec. 2-Monday, Dec. 10
Groundhog Day
Super Bowl Sunday
Valentine’s Day
International Women’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day
Earth Day
Cinco de Mayo
Mother’s Day
Flag Day
Eid al-Fitr
Father’s Day
Juneteenth/Freedom Day


That’s just a few of the many holidays that are celebrated across the US. It really seems as if there is a different holiday every week these days, and there’s nothing wrong with that if you ask me!

What are some of the biggest holidays in your country? How do people celebrate? Leave a comment and let us know!

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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.