May Day is a public holiday usually celebrated on May 1. It is an
ancient northern hemisphere spring festival and a traditional
spring holiday in many cultures. Dances, singing, and cake are usually
part of the festivities. In the late 19th century,
May Day was chosen
as the date for
International Workers' Day
International Workers' Day by the Socialists and
Communists of the
Second International to commemorate the Haymarket
affair in Chicago.
International Workers' Day
International Workers' Day may also be referred
to as "May Day", but it is a different celebration from the
traditional May Day.
1 Orgins and Celebrations
2.1 United Kingdom
3 North America
3.2 United States
4 See also
6 External links
Orgins and Celebrations
May Day celebrations appeared with the Floralia, festival
of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, held on April 27 during the
Roman Republic era, and with the
Walpurgis Night celebrations of the
Germanic countries. It is also associated with the Gaelic Beltane,
most commonly held on April 30. The day was a traditional summer
holiday in many European pagan cultures. While February 1 was the
first day of spring,
May 1 was the first day of summer; hence, the
summer solstice on June 25 (now June 21) was Midsummer.
As Europe became Christianised, the pagan holidays lost their
religious character and
May Day changed into a popular secular
celebration. A significant celebration of
May Day occurs in Germany
where it is one of several days on which St. Walburga, credited with
Christianity to Germany, is celebrated. The secular versions
of May Day, observed in Europe and North America, may be best known
for their traditions of dancing around the maypole and crowning the
Queen of May. Fading in popularity since the late 20th century is the
giving of "May baskets," small baskets of sweets or flowers, usually
left anonymously on neighbours' doorsteps.
Since the 18th century, many Roman Catholics have observed May – and
May Day – with various May devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary
In works of art, school skits, and so forth, Mary's head will often be
adorned with flowers in a May crowning.
May 1 is also one of two feast
days of the Catholic patron saint of workers St Joseph the Worker, a
carpenter, husband to Mother Mary, and surrogate father of Jesus.
Replacing another feast to St. Joseph, this date was chosen by Pope
Pius XII in 1955 as a counterpoint to the communist International
Workers Day celebrations on May Day.
In the late 20th century, many neopagans began reconstructing
traditions and celebrating
May Day as a pagan religious festival.
May Queen on village green, Melmerby, England
Children dancing around a maypole as part of a
May Day celebration in
May Day rites and celebrations include crowning a
May Queen and celebrations involving a maypole. Historically, Morris
dancing has been linked to
May Day celebrations. Much of this
tradition derives from the pagan Anglo-Saxon customs held during
Old English name for the month of May
meaning Month of Three Milkings) along with many Celtic
Morris dancing on
May Day in Oxford, England, in 2004.
May blossom, the flower of the May tree or common hawthorn, Crataegus
Dancing the May Pole at
Llanelwedd in Wales, 1909.
May Day has been a traditional day of festivities throughout the
centuries, most associated with towns and villages celebrating
springtime fertility (of the soil, livestock, and people) and revelry
with village fetes and community gatherings. Seeding has been
completed by this date and it was convenient to give farm labourers a
day off. Perhaps the most significant of the traditions is the
maypole, around which traditional dancers circle with ribbons.
The spring bank holiday on the first Monday in May was created in
May Day itself – May 1 – is not a public holiday
England (unless it falls on a Monday). In February 2011, the UK
Parliament was reported to be considering scrapping the bank holiday
associated with May Day, replacing it with a bank holiday in October,
possibly coinciding with
Trafalgar Day (celebrated on October 21), to
create a "
United Kingdom Day".
Unlike the other Bank Holidays and common law holidays, the first
Monday in May is taken off from (state) schools by itself, and not as
part of a half term or end of term holiday. This is because it has no
Christian significance and does not otherwise fit into the usual
school holiday pattern. (By contrast, the
Easter Holiday can start as
late - relative to
Easter - as Good Friday, if
Easter falls early in
the year; or finish as early - relative to
Easter - as
Easter falls late in the year, because of the supreme significance
Good Friday and
Easter Day to Christianity.)
May Day was abolished and its celebration banned by Puritan
parliaments during the Interregnum, but reinstated with the
restoration of Charles II in 1660. May 1, 1707, was the day the
Act of Union came into effect, joining
Scotland to form
the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Queen Guinevere's Maying, by John Collier
For thus it chanced one morn when all the court,
Green-suited, but with plumes that mocked the may,
Had been, their wont, a-maying and returned,
That Modred still in green, all ear and eye,
Climbed to the high top of the garden-wall
To spy some secret scandal if he might,
In Oxford, it is a centuries-old tradition for
May Morning revellers
to gather below the Great Tower of Magdalen College at 6 am to
listen to the college choir sing traditional madrigals as a conclusion
to the previous night's celebrations. Since the 1980s some people then
Magdalen Bridge into the River Cherwell. For some years, the
bridge has been closed on
1 May to prevent people from jumping, as the
water under the bridge is only 2 feet (61 cm) deep and jumping
from the bridge has resulted in serious injury in the past. There are
still people who climb the barriers and leap into the water, causing
In Durham, students of the
University of Durham
University of Durham gather on Prebend's
Bridge to see the sunrise and enjoy festivities, folk music, dancing,
madrigal singing and a barbecue breakfast. This is an emerging Durham
tradition, with patchy observance since 2001.
Kingsbury Episcopi, Somerset, has seen its yearly
May Day Festival
celebrations on the May bank holiday Monday burgeon in popularity in
the recent years. Since it was reinstated 21 years ago it has grown in
size, and on May 5, 2014 thousands of revellers were attracted from
all over the south west to enjoy the festivities, with BBC Somerset
covering the celebrations. These include traditional maypole dancing
and morris dancing, as well as contemporary music acts..
Whitstable, Kent, hosts a good example of more traditional May Day
festivities, where the
Jack in the Green
Jack in the Green festival was revived in 1976
and continues to lead an annual procession of morris dancers through
the town on the May bank holiday. A separate revival occurred in
Hastings in 1983 and has become a major event in the town calendar. A
traditional sweeps festival is performed over the May bank holiday in
Rochester, Kent, where the
Jack in the Green
Jack in the Green is woken at dawn on May 1
by Morris dancers.
At 7:15 p.m. on
May 1 each year, the Kettle Bridge Clogs
morris dancing side dance across
Barming Bridge (otherwise known as
the Kettle Bridge), which spans the
River Medway near Maidstone, to
mark the official start of their morris dancing season.
Also known as Ashtoria Day in northern parts of rural Cumbria. A
celebration of unity and female bonding. Although not very well known,
it is often cause for huge celebration.
Maydayrun involves thousands of motorbikes taking a 55-mile
(89 km) trip from
London (Locksbottom) to the
East Sussex. The event has been taking place for almost 30 years now
and has grown in interest from around the country, both commercially
and publicly. The event is not officially organised; the police only
manage the traffic, and volunteers manage the parking.
Cornwall holds its annual Obby-Oss (Hobby Horse) day of
festivities. This is believed to be one of the oldest fertility rites
in the UK; revellers dance with the Oss through the streets of the
town and even through the private gardens of the citizens, accompanied
by accordion players and followers dressed in white with red or blue
sashes who sing the traditional "May Day" song. The whole town is
decorated with springtime greenery, and every year thousands of
onlookers attend. Prior to the 19th-century, distinctive May Day
celebrations were widespread throughout west Cornwall, and are being
revived in St. Ives and Penzance.
Cawsand and Millbrook in
Cornwall celebrate Flower Boat
Ritual on the
May Day bank holiday. A model of the ship The Black
Prince is covered in flowers and is taken in procession from the Quay
at Millbrook to the beach at
Cawsand where it is cast adrift. The
houses in the villages are decorated with flowers and people
traditionally wear red and white clothes. There are further
Cawsand Square with
Morris dancing and May pole
May Day has been celebrated in
Scotland for centuries. It was
previously closely associated with the
Beltane festival. Reference
to this earlier celebration is found in poem 'Peblis to the Play',
contained in the
Maitland Manuscripts of fifteenth- and
sixteenth-century Scots poetry:
At Beltane, quhen ilk bodie bownis
To Peblis to the Play,
To heir the singin and the soundis;
The solace, suth to say,
Be firth and forrest furth they found
Thay graythis tham full gay;
God wait that wald they do that stound,
For it was their feist day,
Thay said, [...]
The poem describes the celebration in the town of
Peebles in the
Scottish Borders, which continues to stage a parade and pageant each
year, including the annual ‘Common Riding’, which takes place in
many towns throughout the Borders. As well as the crowning of a
Beltane Queen each year, it is custom to sing ‘The
John Jamieson, in his Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language
(1808) describes some of the May Day/
Beltane customs which persisted
in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in parts of Scotland,
which he noted were beginning to die out.  In the nineteenth
Alexander Carmichael (1832–1912), collected the
song Am Beannachadh Bealltain (The
Beltane Blessing) in his Carmina
Gadelica, which he heard from a Crofter in South Uist. 
Scottish May Day/
Beltane celebrations have been somewhat revived in
the late twentieth century. Both
Glasgow organise Mayday
festivals and rallies. In Edinburgh, the
Festival is held
on the evening of May eve and into the early hours of
May Day on the
city's Calton Hill. An older
Edinburgh tradition has it that young
women who climb
Arthur's Seat and wash their faces in the morning dew
will have lifelong beauty. At the University of St Andrews, some of
the students gather on the beach late on April 30 and run into the
North Sea at sunrise on May Day, occasionally naked. This is
accompanied by torchlit processions and much elated celebration.
At the University of St Andrews, some of the students gather on the
beach late on April 30 and run into the
North Sea at sunrise on May
Day, occasionally naked. This is accompanied by torchlit processions
and much elated celebration.
Mayday festivals and rallies. In
Festival is held on the evening of May eve
and into the early hours of
May Day on the city's Calton Hill. An
Edinburgh tradition has it that young women who climb Arthur's
Seat and wash their faces in the morning dew will have lifelong
Celebrations among the younger generations take place on
May Day Eve,
Walpurgis Night in Finland, most prominent being the afternoon
"crowning" of statues in towns around the country with a student cap.
May Day is known as
Vappu in Finnish. This is a public holiday that is
the only carnival-style street festivity in the country. People young
and old, particularly students, party outside, picnic and wear caps or
other decorative clothing.
Many Finns make a special mead from lemons, brown sugar, and yeast
called "sima". It contains very little alcohol, so even children can
drink it. A similar product can also be bought in all stores. Finns
also make doughnuts and a crisp pastry fried in oil made from a
similar, more liquid dough called tippaleipä (fi) that resembles
Balloons and other decorations like paper streamers are seen
May Day or "Spring Day" (Kevadpüha) is a national holiday in Estonia
celebrating the arrival of spring.
More traditional festivities take place throughout the night before
and into the early hours of May 1, on the Walpurgis Night
Lily of the valley
On May 1, 1561, King
Charles IX of France
Charles IX of France received a lily of the
valley as a lucky charm. He decided to offer a lily of the valley each
year to the ladies of the court. At the beginning of the 20th century,
it became custom to give a sprig of lily of the valley, a symbol of
springtime, on May 1. The government permits individuals and workers'
organisations to sell them tax-free on that single day. Nowadays,
people may present loved ones either with bunches of lily of the
valley or dog rose flowers.
Maibaum in Munich, Germany.
Maibaum in Ellbach, Germany
In rural regions of Germany, especially the
Walpurgisnacht celebrations of pagan origin are traditionally held on
the night before May Day, including bonfires and the wrapping of a
Maibaum (maypole). Young people use this opportunity to party, while
the day itself is used by many families to get some fresh air. Motto:
"Tanz in den Mai" ("Dance into May").
In the Rhineland,
May 1 is also celebrated by the delivery of a
maypole, a tree covered in streamers to the house of a girl the night
before. The tree is typically from a love interest, though a tree
wrapped only in white streamers is a sign of dislike. Women usually
place roses or rice in the form of a heart at the house of their
beloved one. It is common to stick the heart to a window or place it
in front of the doormat. In leap years, it is the responsibility of
the women to place the maypole. All the action is usually done
secretly and it is an individual's choice whether to give a hint of
their identity or stay anonymous.
May Day was not established as a public holiday until 1933. As Labour
Day, many political parties and unions host activities related to work
May Day has been celebrated in Ireland since pagan times as the feast
Beltane (Bealtaine) and in latter times as Mary's day.
Traditionally, bonfires were lit to mark the coming of summer and to
banish the long nights of winter. Officially Irish
May Day holiday is
the first Monday in May. Old traditions such as bonfires are no longer
widely observed, though the practice still persists in some places
across the country. Limerick, Clare and many other people in other
counties still keep on this tradition, including areas in Dublin city
such as Ringsend.
In Italy it is called Calendimaggio or cantar maggio a seasonal feast
held to celebrate the arrival of spring. The event takes its name from
the period in which it takes place, that is, the beginning of May,
from the Latin calenda maia. The Calendimaggio is a tradition still
alive today in many regions of Italy as an allegory of the return to
life and rebirth: among these Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy,
Emilia-Romagna (for example, is celebrated in the area of the Quattro
Province or Piacenza, Pavia, Alessandria and Genoa),
Umbria. This magical-propitiatory ritual is often performed during an
almsgiving in which, in exchange for gifts (traditionally eggs, wine,
food or sweets), the Maggi (or maggerini) sing auspicious verses to
the inhabitants of the houses they visit. Throughout the Italian
peninsula these Il Maggio couplets are very diverse—most are love
songs with a strong romantic theme, that young people sang to
celebrate the arrival of spring. Symbols of spring revival are the
trees (alder, golden rain) and flowers (violets, roses), mentioned in
the verses of the songs, and with which the maggerini adorn
themselves. In particular the plant alder, which grows along the
rivers, is considered the symbol of life and that's why it is often
present in the ritual.
Calendimaggio can be historically noted in
Tuscany as a mythical
character who had a predominant role and met many of the attributes of
the god Belenus. In Lucania, the Maggi have a clear auspicious
character of pagan origin. In Syracuse, Sicily, the Albero della
Cuccagna (cf. "Greasy pole") is held during the month of May, a feast
celebrated to commemorate the victory over the Athenians led by
Nicias. However, Angelo de Gubernatis, in his work Mythology of
Plants, believes that without doubt the festival was previous to that
of said victory.
It is a celebration that dates back to ancient peoples, and is very
integrated with the rhythms of nature, such as the
Etruscans and Ligures, in which the arrival of summer was of
May 1st is a day that celebrates Spring.
Maios (Latin Maius), the month of May, took its name from the goddess
Maia (Gr Μαία, the nurse), a Greek and Roman goddess of fertility.
The day of Maios (Modern Greek Πρωτομαγιά) celebrates the
final victory of the summer against winter as the victory of life
against death. The celebration is similar to an ancient ritual
associated with another minor demi-god
Adonis which also celebrated
the revival of nature. There is today some conflation with yet another
tradition, the revival or marriage of
Dionysus (the Greek God of
theatre and wine-making). This event, however, was celebrated in
ancient times not in May but in association with the Anthesteria, a
festival held in February and dedicated to the goddess of agriculture
Demeter and her daughter Persephone.
Persephone emerged every year at
the end of Winter from the Underworld. The
Anthesteria was a festival
of souls, plants and flowers, and Persephone's coming to earth from
Hades marked the rebirth of nature, a common theme in all these
What remains of the customs today, echoes these traditions of
antiquity. A common, until recently,
May Day custom involved the
annual revival of a youth called Adonis, or alternatively of Dionysus,
or of Maios (in Modern Greek Μαγιόπουλο, the Son of Maia).
In a simple theatrical ritual, the significance of which has long been
forgotten, a chorus of young girls sang a song over a youth lying on
the ground, representing Adonis,
Dionysus or Maios. At the end of the
song, the youth rose up and a flower wreath was placed on his head.
The most common aspect of modern
May Day celebrations is the
preparation of a flower wreath from wild flowers, although as a result
of urbanisation there is an increasing trend to buy wreaths from
flower shops. The flowers are placed on the wreath against a
background of green leaves and the wreath is hung either on the
entrance to the family house/apartment or on a balcony. It remains
there until midsummer night. On that night, the flower wreaths are set
alight in bonfires known as St John’s fires. Youths leap over the
flames consuming the flower wreaths. This custom has also practically
disappeared, like the theatrical revival of Adonis/Dionysus/Maios, as
a result of rising urban traffic and with no alternative public
grounds in most Greek city neighbourhoods, not to mention potential
conflicts with demonstrating workers.
On May Day, Bulgarians celebrate Irminden (or Yeremiya, Eremiya,
Irima, Zamski den). The holiday is associated with snakes and lizards
and rituals are made in order to protect people from them. The name of
the holiday comes from the prophet Jeremiah, but its origins are most
It is said that on the days of the Holy Forty or
come out of their burrows, and on Irminden their king comes out. Old
people believe that those working in the fields on this day will be
bitten by a snake in summer.
In western Bulgaria people light fires, jump over them and make noises
to scare snakes. Another custom is to prepare "podnici" (special clay
pots made for baking bread).
This day is especially observed by pregnant women so that their
offspring do not catch "yeremiya" — an illness due to evil powers.
On May Day, the Romanians celebrate the arminden (or armindeni), the
beginning of summer, symbolically tied with the protection of crops
and farm animals. The name comes from Slavonic Jeremiinŭ dĭnĭ,
meaning prophet Jeremiah's day, but the celebration rites and habits
of this day are apotropaic and pagan (possibly originating in the cult
of the god Pan).
The day is also called ziua pelinului ("mugwort day") or ziua
bețivilor ("drunkards' day") and it is celebrated to ensure good wine
in autumn and, for people and farm animals alike, good health and
protection from the elements of nature (storms, hail, illness, pests).
People would have parties in natural surroundings, with lăutari
(fiddlers) for those who could afford it. Then it is customary to
roast and eat lamb, along with new mutton cheese, and to drink
mugwort-flavoured wine, or just red wine, to refresh the blood and get
protection from diseases. On the way back, the men wear lilac or
mugwort flowers on their hats.
Other apotropaic rites include, in some areas of the country, people
washing their faces with the morning dew (for good health) and
adorning the gates for good luck and abundance with green branches or
with birch saplings (for the houses with maiden girls). The entries to
the animals' shelters are also adorned with green branches. All
branches are left in place until the wheat harvest when they are used
in the fire which will bake the first bread from the new wheat.
May Day eve, country women do not work in the field as well as in
the house to avoid devastating storms and hail coming down on the
Arminden is also ziua boilor (oxen day) and thus the animals are not
to be used for work, or else they could die or their owners could get
It is said that the weather is always good on
May Day to allow people
"Os Maios" is celebrated throughout Portugal, with special focus on
the northern territories. These festivities are a continuum of the "Os
Maios" of Galiza. People put the yellow flowers of Portuguese brooms,
known as giestas, on windows, doors, gates and every doorway of
houses, granaries, cars, etc., which they collect on the evening of
the 30th of April when the Portuguese brooms are blooming, to defend
those places from bad spirits, witches and the evil eye. This must be
done before midnight. In ancient times, this was done while playing
traditional night-music. In some places, children were dressed in
these flowers and went from place to place begging for money or bread.
On the 1st of May, people also used to sing "Cantigas de Maio",
traditional songs related to this day and the whole month of May.
May Day is celebrated throughout the country as Los Mayos (lit. "the
Mays") often in a similar way to "Fiesta de las Cruces" in many parts
of Hispanic America. By way of example, in Galicia, the festival (os
maios, in the local language) consists in different representations
around a decorated tree or sculpture. People sing popular songs (also
called maios,) making mentions to social and political events during
the past year, sometimes under the form of a converse, while they walk
around the sculpture with the percussion of two sticks. In Lugo
and in the village of Vilagarcía de Arousa it was usual to ask a
tip to the attendees, which used to be a handful of dry chestnuts
(castañas maiolas), walnuts or hazelnuts. Today the tradition became
a competition where the best sculptures and songs receive a prize.
In the Galician city of
Ourense this day is celebrated traditionally
on 3 May, the day of the Holy Cross, that in the Christian tradition
replaced the tree "where the health, life and resurrection are,"
according to the introit of that day's mass.
The more traditional festivities have moved to the day before,
Walpurgis Night ("Valborgsmässoafton"), known in some locales as
simply "Last of April". The first of May is instead celebrated as
International Workers' Day.
In Poland, there is a state holiday on May 1. It is currently
celebrated without a specific connotation, and as such it is May Day.
However, due to historical connotations, most of the celebrations are
Labour Day festivities. It is customary for labour
activists and left-wing political parties to organize parades in
cities and towns across
Poland on this day. The holiday is also
commonly referred to as "Labour Day" ("Święto Pracy").
May Day is closely followed by May 3rd Constitution Day.
These two dates combined often result in a long weekend called
"Majówka". People often travel, and "Majówka" is unofficially
considered the start of the barbecuing season in Poland. Between these
two, on May 2, though formerly a working day, there is now a patriotic
holiday, the Day of the Polish Flag (Dzień Flagi Rzeczypospolitej
Polskiej), introduced by a Parliamentary Act of February 20, 2004.May
Day has a public holiday too.
May Day is celebrated in some parts of the provinces of British
Columbia, New Brunswick and Ontario.
In Toronto, on the morning of 1 May, various Morris Dancing troops
from Toronto and Hamilton gather on the road by Grenadier Cafe, in
High Park to "dance in the May". The dancers and crowd then gather
together and sing traditional
May Day songs such as Hal-An-Tow and
Celebrations often take place not on
1 May but during the Victoria Day
long weekend, later in the month and when the weather is likely to be
better. The longest continually observed
May Day in the British
Commonwealth is held in the city of New Westminster, BC. There, the
May Day celebration was held on 4 May 1870.
May Day festivities at
National Park Seminary
National Park Seminary in Maryland, 1907.
May Day festivities at Longview Park in Rock Island, Illinois, c. 1907
May Day was also celebrated by some early European settlers of the
American continent. In some parts of the United States, May baskets
are made. These are small baskets usually filled with flowers or
treats and left at someone's doorstep. The giver rings the bell and
May Day ceremonies in the U.S. vary greatly from region to
region and many unite both the holiday's "Green Root" (pagan) and "Red
Root" (labour) traditions.
May Day celebrations were common at women's colleges and academic
institutions in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, a
tradition that continues at Bryn Mawr College and Brenau
University to this day.
In Minneapolis, the
May Day Parade and
Festival is presented annually
In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre
In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre on the first
Sunday in May, and draws around 50,000 people to Powderhorn Park.
May Day is also known as Lei Day, and it is normally set
aside as a day to celebrate island culture in general and the culture
of the Native Hawaiians in particular.. Invented by poet and local
newspaper columnist Don Blanding, the first Lei Day was celebrated on
1 May 1927 in Honolulu. Leonard "Red" and Ruth Hawk composed "May Day
Is Lei Day in Hawai'i," the traditional holiday song.
Flores de Mayo
Beltane, the Gaelic
May Day festival
Fiesta de las Cruces, a holiday celebrated 3 May in many parts of
Spain and Hispanic America
List of films set around May Day
May devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary
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1 May 2017.
^ Morrison, David (13 April 2012). ""May Day" reunion weekend
festivities draw more than 300 to Brenau campus". Brenau University.
1 May 2017.
^ "MayDay · In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre". In
the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre. Retrieved 8 May
May Day is Lei Day". Flowerleis. Archived from the original on June
^ "A History of Lei Day" (PDF). City and Council of Honolulu. Archived
from the original (PDF) on 25 March 2009.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to May Day.
Meet Thomas Morton of Merrymount Extensive visual, textual and musical
studies of American
May Day customs since the first
were held at the Ma-Re Mount or Merrymount plantation on Massachusetts
Bay in May 1627, hosted by Englishman Thomas Morton; and, last year
the state of Massachusetts' Governor Deval Patrick proclaimed
May 1 as
Thomas Morton Day.
May Day classroom resources
Maypole Dancing – Archive Footage"
Website with information on modern Hawaiian Lei Day celebration with
information on the lei as a traditional Hawaiian cultural art
May Day Songs with references
Dancing up the Sun –
May Day Morris Dancing celebrations in North
May Day Customs and Celebrations
Holidays, observances, and celebrations in the United States
New Year's Day
New Year's Day (federal)
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day (federal)
Confederate Heroes Day (TX)
Fred Korematsu Day
Fred Korematsu Day (CA, FL, HI, VA)
Idaho Human Rights Day (ID)
Inauguration Day (federal quadrennial, DC area)
Kansas Day (KS)
Lee–Jackson Day (formerly Lee–Jackson–King Day) (VA)
Robert E. Lee Day
Robert E. Lee Day (FL)
Stephen Foster Memorial Day (36)
The Eighth (LA, former federal)
Super Bowl Sunday
American Heart Month
Black History Month
Washington's Birthday/Presidents' Day (federal)
Georgia Day (GA)
Lincoln's Birthday (CA, CT, IL, IN, MO, NJ, NY, WV)
National Girls and Women in Sports Day
National Freedom Day (36)
Primary Election Day (WI)
Ronald Reagan Day
Ronald Reagan Day (CA)
Rosa Parks Day
Rosa Parks Day (CA, MO)
Susan B. Anthony Day
Susan B. Anthony Day (CA, FL, NY, WI, WV, proposed federal)
Ash Wednesday (religious)
Mardi Gras (religious)
Irish-American Heritage Month
National Colon Cancer Awareness Month
Women's History Month
St. Patrick's Day (religious)
Spring break (week)
Casimir Pulaski Day
Casimir Pulaski Day (IL)
Cesar Chavez Day
Cesar Chavez Day (CA, CO, TX, proposed federal)
Evacuation Day (Suffolk County, MA)
Harriet Tubman Day
Harriet Tubman Day (NY)
Holi (NY, religious)
Mardi Gras (AL (in two counties), LA)
Maryland Day (MD)
National Poison Prevention Week
National Poison Prevention Week (week)
Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole Day (HI)
Saint Joseph's Day
Saint Joseph's Day (religious)
Seward's Day (AK)
Texas Independence Day
Texas Independence Day (TX)
Town Meeting Day (VT)
Palm Sunday (religious)
Good Friday (CT, NC, PR, religious)
Easter Monday (religious)
Confederate History Month
April Fools' Day
Confederate Memorial Day
Confederate Memorial Day (AL, MS)
Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust
Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust (week)
Emancipation Day (DC)
Jefferson's Birthday (AL)
Pascua Florida (FL)
Patriots' Day (MA, ME)
San Jacinto Day
San Jacinto Day (TX)
Walpurgis Night (religious)
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Jewish American Heritage Month
Memorial Day (federal)
Mother's Day (36)
Cinco de Mayo
Harvey Milk Day
Harvey Milk Day (CA)
Law Day (36)
Loyalty Day (36)
Malcolm X Day
Malcolm X Day (CA, IL, proposed federal)
Military Spouse Day
National Day of Prayer
National Day of Prayer (36)
National Defense Transportation Day (36)
National Maritime Day (36)
Memorial Day (36)
Truman Day (MO)
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgender Pride Month
Father's Day (36)
Bunker Hill Day
Bunker Hill Day (Suffolk County, MA)
Carolina Day (SC)
Emancipation Day In Texas /
Flag Day (36, proposed federal)
Helen Keller Day
Helen Keller Day (PA)
Honor America Days (3 weeks)
Jefferson Davis Day
Jefferson Davis Day (AL, FL)
Kamehameha Day (HI)
Festival (Philadelphia, PA)
Senior Week (week)
West Virginia Day
West Virginia Day (WV)
Independence Day (federal)
Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea (HI, unofficial)
Parents' Day (36)
Pioneer Day (UT)
American Family Day (AZ)
Barack Obama Day
Barack Obama Day (IL)
Bennington Battle Day (VT)
Hawaii Admission Day / Statehood Day (HI)
Lyndon Baines Johnson Day
Lyndon Baines Johnson Day (TX)
National Aviation Day
National Aviation Day (36)
Service Reduction Day (MD)
Victory over Japan Day (RI, former federal)
Women's Equality Day
Women's Equality Day (36)
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
Labor Day (federal)
California Admission Day
California Admission Day (CA)
Carl Garner Federal Lands Cleanup Day (36)
Constitution Day (36)
Constitution Week (week)
Defenders Day (MD)
Gold Star Mother's Day
Gold Star Mother's Day (36)
National Grandparents Day
National Grandparents Day (36)
National Payroll Week (week)
Native American Day (CA, TN, proposed federal)
Patriot Day (36)
Hispanic Heritage Month
Rosh Hashanah (religious)
Yom Kippur (religious)
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Disability Employment Awareness Month
Filipino American History Month
LGBT History Month
Columbus Day (federal)
Alaska Day (AK)
Child Health Day (36)
General Pulaski Memorial Day
Indigenous Peoples' Day
Indigenous Peoples' Day (VT)
International Day of Non-Violence
Leif Erikson Day
Leif Erikson Day (36)
Missouri Day (MO)
National School Lunch Week
Native American Day (SD)
Nevada Day (NV)
White Cane Safety Day
White Cane Safety Day (36)
Native American Indian Heritage Month
Veterans Day (federal)
Day after Thanksgiving (24)
Election Day (CA, DE, HI, KY, MT, NJ, NY, OH, PR, WV, proposed
Family Day (NV)
Lā Kūʻokoʻa (HI, unofficial)
Native American Heritage Day (MD, WA)
Obama Day (Perry County, AL)
Christmas (religious, federal)
Alabama Day (AL)
Christmas Eve (KY, NC, SC)
Christmas (KY, NC, SC, TX)
Hanukkah (religious, week)
Indiana Day (IN)
Kwanzaa (religious, week)
National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (36)
New Year's Eve
Pan American Aviation Day (36)
Rosa Parks Day
Rosa Parks Day (OH, OR)
Wright Brothers Day (36)
Varies (year round)
Eid al-Adha (religious)
Eid al-Fitr (religious)
Ramadan (religious, month)
(federal) = federal holidays, (state) = state holidays, (religious) =
religious holidays, (week) = weeklong holidays, (month) = monthlong
holidays, (36) = Title 36 Observances and Ceremonies
Bold indicates major holidays commonly celebrated in the United
States, which often represent the major celebrations of the month.
See also: Lists of holidays, Hallmark holidays, public holidays in the
United States, New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the United States
Public holidays in the United Kingdom
New Year's Day
May Bank Holiday
Summer Bank Holiday
England and Wales
Spring Bank Holiday
Saint Patrick's Day
Spring Bank Holiday
Battle of the Boyne (Orangemen's Day)
St Andrew's Day (optional)
Public holidays in the Republic of Ireland
New Year's Day
Saint Patrick's Day