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Public holidays USA 2015 and 2016

In the United States the concept of national holiday (or public holiday) is slightly different to what is common for other nations, where there are statutory work-free days for public sector and businesses.

The Tenth Amendment of the American Constitution guarantees a great autonomy to all 50 states in regards to observing national holidays.

Federal holidays in the U.S.
Public holidays common to all the states of the U.S. are called federal holidays.

For all public sector employees, federal holidays are days free of work. Please note that if a federal holiday falls on a weekend it will be celebrated either on a preceding Friday or on Monday afterwards.

Private businesses in the States are not obliged to observe public (federal or state) holidays. It is, however, common that businesses close for the major celebrations. Federal holidays are also observed by major part of U.S. banks.

Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter are the few holidays when most of the retail is expected to be closed in the USA.

Federal holidays in the USA are approved by the Congress and published in the United States Code. The states have the autonomy to observe federal holidays or not.

See below the list of U.S. federal holidays in 2015 and 2016:




1 January (Thursday)

New Year

1 January (Friday)

19 January (Monday)

Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday

18 January (Monday)

16 February Monday

Washington’s Birthday / President’s Day

15 February (Monday)

25 May (Monday)

Memorial Day

30 May (Monday)

4 July (Saturday)

Independence Day

4 July (Monday)

7 September (Monday)

Labour Day

5 September (Monday)

12 October (Monday)

Columbus Day

10 October (Monday)

11 November (Wednesday)

Veterans’ Day

11 November (Friday)

26 November (Thursday)

Thanksgiving Day

24 November (Thursday)

25 December (Friday)

Christmas Day

25 December (Sunday)

Please note that there is one more federal holiday, not included in the list above: the Inauguration Day is celebrated every fourth year, on 20 January (or 21 January if the 20 is a Sunday), following the president’s election, which is not the case in neither 2015 or 2016. Also, the Inauguration Day is observed by federal employees only in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

Every of the fifty states of the U.S. can declare their own public holidays.

California state holidays 2015 and 2016
In California, one of the most popular states for tourism in the U.S., state holidays include all of the above federal holidays, as well as Cezar Chavez Day, celebrated on 31 March.

This holiday, a tribute to life and work of Cesar Chaves, an American labour leader and civil rights activist, is also observed also in the state of Texas, Colorado and Arizona.

Florida state holidays 2015 and 2016
If you are travelling to the ‘Sunshine State’, keep in mind that here the Friday after Thanksgiving, known as Thanksgiving Friday or Black Friday, is a state holiday in Florida.

While many public institutions may be closed that day, most of the malls and retail areas open full time, as Black Friday is traditionally the beginning of Christmas shopping season luring public with discounts and promotional sales.

In 2015, Thanksgiving Friday (Black Friday) falls on 27 November.

New York state holidays 2015 and 2016
The state of New York celebrates twelve national holidays.

Apart from the federal holidays mentioned in the table above, Lincoln’s Birthday and Election Day are observed locally in New York.

Lincoln’s Birthday is celebrated on a Thursday in 2015.

There is no fixed date for the Election Day, a public holiday set for general elections of public officials in New York, among other states. The Election Day is held on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November, usually falling between 1 and 8 of November. Election Day in 2015 falls on 3 November in 2015.

Hawaii state holidays 2015 and 2016
The most recent of the 50 American states (having joined the Union only in 1959) is unique in many ways.

Consisting entirely of islands, Hawaii has a very original culture and tradition which reflects also in a number of locally celebrated holidays:




26 March (Thursday)

Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day

25 March (Friday)

11 June (Thursday)

King Kamehameha Day

10 June (Friday)

21 August (Friday)

Admission Day / Statehood Day

19 August (Friday)

In Hawaii, Good Friday preceding Easter Sunday is also a state holiday. 

Public holidays USA 2015 and 2016
Article: Public holidays USA 2015 and 2016
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Published: Tuesday, April 22 2014
Latest revision: Tuesday, January 05 2016

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