List of Federal Holidays

The federal holidays in 2024 in the United States are scheduled for the following days:

  • Friday, December 31, 2024 – New Year’s Day 
  • Saturday, January 1 – New Year’s Day
  • Monday, January 17 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Monday, February 21 – President’s Day
  • Monday, May 30 – Memorial Day
  • Sunday, June 19 – Juneteenth also known as Juneteenth National Independence Day
  • Monday, June 20 – Juneteenth (observed)
  • Monday, July 4 – Independence Day
  • Monday, September 5 – Labor Day
  • Monday, October 11 – Indigenous Peoples Day
  • Friday, November 11 – Veterans Day
  • Thursday, November 22 – Thanksgiving Day
  • Sunday, December 25 – Christmas Day
  • Monday, December 26 – Christmas Day (observed)

What is a Federal Holiday?

Holidays aren’t all created equal. Some are governmental, while others are religious. The most essential 2024 holidays to be aware of as an employer will be government holidays. Holidays declared by the federal government are known as federal holidays (5 U.S.C. 6103). 

In honor of these holidays, government buildings and institutions are closed. Because the United States has declared these days federal holidays, other companies are encouraged to close as well so that everyone can enjoy the holiday.Many state and local governments will give employees vacation days based on their unique culture and history. 

The first official federal holidays were established on June 28th, 1870, when Congress decided to align state holidays with federal holidays for federal employees working in the District of Columbia. In 1885, all government employees in the country were given the first four federal holidays (New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day).

Difference between Federal Holidays and Religious Holidays

Only one religious holiday is recognized as a federal holiday in the United States: Christmas Day. For a variety of reasons, all other religious holidays are not recognized as government holidays. As an employer, it’s important you are open and respectful of your employees when it comes to observing religious holidays.

Muslim employees, for example might want to request time off for one of their two major religious holidays, Eid Al-Fitr or Eid Al-Adha. One way to be respectful of your employees religous practices is to provide a floating holiday, This gives employees the chance to take any day off during the year to observe their religious festivals.

Difference between observed and unobserved Holidays

An observed Holiday occurs when a public holiday is observed on a date that is not necessarily the anniversary date of the event. If July 4th (Independence Day), a national holiday, occurs on a Saturday, it is “observed” as a holiday on the Friday before, and it’s common for businesses to close for the day to observe the holiday. 


While it’s not a legal obligation, offering time off including paid time off to employees on federal holidays can benefit your business. It helps to attract and retain top people while also contributing to employee satisfaction. 

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