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United States of America (USA) - Important Dates
The US recognizes various federal holidays. Some are to commemorate certain events, such as Independence Day, while others are to recognize specific people important to the history of the nation. Most of these are birthdays of previous Presidents. There are also holidays to honor important leaders in the Civil Rights movement, such as Susan B. Anthony and Dr. Martin Luther King.
The following is a list of federal holidays:
January 1: New Year's Day
Third Monday in January: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
January 20 (the first January 20 following a presidential election): Inauguration Day
Third Monday in February: Presidents' Day
Last Monday in May: Memorial Day
July 4: Independence Day
First Monday in September: Labor Day
Second Monday in October: Columbus Day
November 11: Veterans' Day
Fourth Thursday in November: Thanksgiving Day
December 25: Christmas Day
All of these federal holidays are observed as “Bank Holidays,” meaning that banks and other government offices (including schools) are closed; however, some workers within other sectors may not receive paid time off on these days.
There are dozens of days (and weeks and months) that classify as “federal observances”; these days differ from federal holidays because employees do not receive a day off of work for an observance. These include, among many others, Columbus Day, Flag Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, National Day of Prayer, National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, Patriot Day, Constitution Week, National Flag Week, National Friendship Week, Black History Month, Child Abuse Prevention Month, Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, etc. A list of all federal observances, as well as some other lesser-known holidays and holidays unique to individual states, can be found here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holidays_of_the_United_States.
The most prominent religious festivals are the major (Protestant) Christian holidays, such as Christmas and Easter. Secondary, but also common, are the Catholic and Jewish major festivals. After those, there are the Muslim holidays and African-American holidays. Lastly, there are minor religions in the USA that celebrate other holidays. Freedom of religion has made it permissible for there to be public celebration of every religion as long as it does not involve criminal activity (including violence against the person).
Professional sporting events such as the Superbowl (American football) or the World Series (baseball) are important dates to many Americans!
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