Federal Vs National Holiday

Every country around the world observes its national holidays. These holidays are celebrated by the general public and are part of the culture’s traditions.

Even though these holidays have different names in different countries, they all represent a universal concept of being thankful to God for his blessings.

There are two types of holidays: Federal and National. The article will help you to explain the difference between the two and how and when each type of holiday is celebrated in the United States.

Federal Vs. National Holiday

A federal holiday is a paid day offset by the national government for all employees. All people may not observe this type of holiday. A national holiday is observed by all people in a country, regardless of religion.

Christmas and New Year’s Day are examples of these two types of holidays. The former is a federal holiday, while the latter is a national holiday though also recognized by the federal government. 

The difference is that all people recognize and observe New Year’s, while Christmas is celebrated by Christians but not by other religions.

What Are Federal Holidays?

Federal holidays are the holidays officially recognized by the United States government. A federal holiday is a paid day off for federal employees. They are days celebrated nationally, but all people may not recognize them.

An act of Congress creates federal holidays, and they are observed by all states, territories, DC, and many private-sector employers.

Banks, schools, post offices, and other public services are closed these days. 

Federal holidays can be defined by what they commemorate or when they occur. Commemoration holidays celebrate a certain event that occurred on that day, such as Veterans Day or Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Fixed holidays occur every year on the same day, regardless of the day of the week. If they fall on a Saturday, they are observed on Friday, and on Sunday, they are observed on Monday.

This list includes federal and regional holidays, varying from state to state. 

When Do Federal Holidays Occur In The USA?

The federal government operates under a fiscal year that begins on October 1st, and the national holiday schedule reflects this. The observance of holidays is different for each state and territory.

National Holidays In The USA

A holiday is a day marked as special in celebration of a specific event or honor of a person. Holidays can be religious, cultural, or national.

 National holidays are holidays recognized by the federal government but are celebrated by all people in the US regardless of personal and cultural backgrounds.

There are few officials, national holidays in the United States. These are days designated by the government where all non-essential businesses should be closed in observance and celebration. 

A national holiday, like the Fourth of July, or Labor Day, is a day that is celebrated by an entire country. Everyone in the United States gets the day off work and school.

1. New Year’s Holiday

The day is often observed on the 1st day of each new year. This is a day when many people go to church, visit a cemetery, or celebrate with friends and family.

2. Independence Day

The second day considered a national holiday is Independence Day, which falls on July 4th. This is a day in which many Americans will travel to visit friends and family, have barbecues and fireworks, and go to the beach or pool.

3 . Labor Day

The holiday is designed to honor workers’ contributions to their country’s strength, prosperity, and well-being.

Labor Day was conceived as a way to celebrate the economic significance of workers, not as a means of encouraging workers to organize politically.

 National holidays apply to all 50 states but are not observed by the private sector (banks, schools, or stores). A national holiday means that private companies can choose to observe the day, but the law does not require it.

The Most Important Federal Holidays You Should Know

There are 11 official holidays in the United States, so there’s a lot to celebrate! The following is a list of federal holidays and additional information about each day. 

The federal holidays (5 of which fall on a Monday) include: 

1. The New Year’s 

The United States and Canada celebrate this day on the first day of the new year with large fireworks at midnight, while in other countries, such as Japan, people go to temples at midnight to welcome the New Year. Many people stay up to midnight to await the new year.

The most important part of the New Year celebrations is making predictions for the coming year. 

People write down their hopes and fears for the future on slips of paper in small red envelopes and burn them in a special fire to send the wishes.

Others kiss at goodnight to welcome the new year.

2. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

On this day, King is honored for his heroism in fighting for his people’s rights. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his efforts and was assassinated in 1968. MLK Day is observed every third Monday in January in all the states.

3. Presidents’ Day – The 3rd Monday in February

Presidents’ day is a time to honor all presidents. On this day, we celebrate the birthdays of the founding father, George Washington, and all other presidents who served our great country.

4. Memorial Day 

Memorial Day commemorates those who died during military service. It is commonly known as the official start of summer and is celebrated on each last Monday in May.

The holiday originated from remembrance for Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. 

After the war, those who fought and died were honored with monuments and statues placed in their honor. 

It was observed on May 30th, beginning in 1868 to 1970. In 1971, Memorial Day was officially declared an official federal holiday, and Congress changed its observance to the final Monday.

5. Independence Day 

Independence Day is a day of celebration and true meaning. It’s a day to rejoice in being born in the US and celebrate the founding of our great nation. Independence Day falls on July 4th every year. 

The Continental Congress approved a declaration stating that “all men are created equal” and “are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.” 

The declaration signed in 1776 declared the United States of America an independent nation, separate from Great Britain.

The day is celebrated with parades, picnics, barbecues, fireworks, and patriotic speeches. 

6. Juneteenth-19th July

Juneteenth is a celebration of emancipation and marks when former slaves in Texas found out they were free. 

The day originated from the slaves in Galveston, Texas. They were informed of their freedom on June 19th, 1865, two years after slavery was abolished throughout the entire nation by President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. 

On June 19th, 1865, it was declared by Major General Gordon Granger, who proclaimed while standing on Galveston’s historic Ashton Villa balcony.

7. Labor Day 

Labour Day was celebrated on the first Monday in September since 1882 when it was created by the labor movement and officially recognized by President Grover Cleveland to celebrate American workers for their achievements.

The holiday is designed to honor workers’ contributions to their country’s strength, prosperity, and well-being.

8. Columbus Day – The 2nd Monday in October

This day is in commemoration of Christopher Columbus. However, many states choose not to celebrate this holiday but mark it as a day of observance or recognition.

 Alternatives of the name have come up, including Indigenous people’s Day, Discoverer’s Day, Native American Day, Italian-American Heritage, and Culture Day.

9. Veterans Day – November 11th  

Veterans Day is a holiday that commemorates the service of American veterans for the country. It is celebrated on November 11th in the US Americans honor all military veterans who served their country bravely at home and abroad.

10. Thanksgiving Day-4th Thursday in November

Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude, not only for the abundance of food but also for family and friends. It is considered a symbolic feast, originating when the European settlers thanks for surviving a harsh winter.

11. Christmas day -December 25th

Christmas day is an important festival in many Christian countries to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. 

People enjoy this festival with their family and friends, sending Christmas wishes. They also send gifts to their loved ones during this time.

Others take the day before Christmas as a holiday, and other employers allow employees to have a day off. 


There are a lot of similarities between federal and national holidays. However, there are also some key differences between the two types of holidays.

 All the people may observe national holidays, while national holidays are typically only recognized by the government and its workers. We hope you’ve enjoyed this article on federal vs national holidays!