In the UK in May we get two Bank Holidays, one on the first Monday for Labour Day and then another on the last Monday of May. There isn’t another until the end of August and that is it until Christmas!
I will be in New England for Memorial Day and in Florida for American Labor Day in September but have visited on other holidays.
It got me thinking what other holidays happen annually in the States and why.
January – New Years Day
Martin Luther King Jr Day . To remember the work of the Civil Rights leader who was born on 15 January. My birthday as well but I doubt there will be a day to remember me!
February – President’s Day (George Washington’s Birthday) but it also is a commemoration of all Presidents of America but primarily Washington and Lincoln whose birthdays were 22 and 12 February respectively.
May – Memorial Day – To honour all those who have served in the Armed Forces. Originally it was in honour of those who were in the Civil War and was made an official holiday in 1971 and extended to all those who have served in the forces. The village of Waterloo near Seneca Falls claims to be where Memorial Day was founded and has the signage to prove it. This is still disputed.
July – Independence Day – Fireworks!! What would have happened if there had been a tail wind across the Atlantic?
September – Labor Day. This day honours the American Labor movement and the contributions that they have made to the prosperity of America.
October – Columbus Day. Celebrated on the second Monday of October to celebrate Christopher Columbus arriving onto American land in 1492.
November – Veteran’s Day. To remember the fallen in all conflicts on November 11 when the gun’s of the first World War fell silent. If it falls on a Sunday then the Monday, the next day is taken as a holiday.
– Thanks Giving. The third Thursday in November. Also known as Turkey Day. One lucky turkey gets a Presidential pardon. Pumpkin Pie, sweet potato – say no more. This is the most observed holiday and from a UK perspective flights on this day are very empty back to the UK. Downside is BLACK FRIDAY that has crossed the Atlantic.
December – Christmas Day. Turkey’s in American can breathe a sigh of relief!
All of these holidays have one thing in common and that is although the Federal departments are closed the SALES are amazing!