The American Secular Holidays Calendar
First published on 1996 July 15;
last updated 2001 January 4 by Marcos J. Montes.
Holidays Covered |
Algorithms Used |
You will a receive a listing of the holidays covered below. For
holidays that occur on fixed dates, the day of the week is
provided. For holidays that occur with a fixed formula ("Last Monday
in May") the date is provided.
Federal Holidays & Government Documents
THIS SECTION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AS
GOVERNMENT RULES CHANGE. PLEASE CONSULT THE Office of Personnel Management SITE FOR
THE LATEST INFORMATION.
Official rules covering Federal Holidays in the USA may be found at
the Office of Personnel Management.
In particular, the dates for the current year may found at
the Federal Holidays
The following information in this section (in red on most browsers,
and between horizontal rules) is courtesy the OPM. My
comments are in [square brackets].
In-Lieu of Holidays: When a holiday falls on a
nonworkday outside a full-time employee's basic workweek, the day to
be treated as his or her holiday is the first workday preceding the
nonworkday except, if the nonworkday is Sunday, the next workday is
the holiday. Another exception is that agency heads have recently
been given authority to determine a different in-lieu of holiday for
employees on compressed work schedules. [This rule currently applies to
New Year's Day (Jan. 1), Independence Day (July 4), Veterans' Day
(Nov. 11), and Christmas (Dec. 25).]
Inauguration Day: January 20 of each fourth year
after 1965, Inauguration Day, is a legal holiday for Federal employees
and individuals employed by the government of the District of Columbia
employed in the District of Columbia, Montgomery and Prince Georges
Counties in Maryland, Arlington and Fairfax Counties in Virginia and
the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church in Virginia. When January 20
of any fourth year after 1965 falls on Sunday, the next succeeding day
selected for the public observance of the inauguration of the President
is a legal public holiday. [Please note: If Inauguration day falls on
Martin Luther King's Birthday, I believe the Federal employees
mentioned above only get one day off (the Monday) and not two days
off. The OPM has clarified to me that "In-Lieu of Holidays" rules do NOT
apply to Inauguration Day since the purpose of the day off is to ease
traffic congestion and make logistics easier for dignitaries, and to
encourage Federal Employees to welcome the new President at the parade,
The statutory listing of legal public holidays--along with statutory
requirements-- is found in section
6103 of title 5 of the United States
Code. Many rules apply to the administration of holidays including,
specifically Executive Order 11582, dated February 11, 1971, as well
as regulations found in Subpart
B and D
610 in Title
5 of the
of Federal Regulations. Both the title 5 of the United States
Code, and the Code of Federal Regulations are for sale by the U.S.
Government Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents, Mail Stop
SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-9328.
Dates NOT Covered by this Calendar
Religious holidays are not covered by this calendar, since this is for
secular holidays. Religious holidays such as the following
may be found elsewhwere.
Dates Covered by this Calendar
USA Federal Holidays and Celebrations
Work schedules may or may not be affected by these holidays.
- New Year's Day, January 1st.
- Birthday of Martin Luther King, third Monday in January.
- Inauguration Day, January 20th every four years,
starting in 1937.
- Washington's Birthday, third Monday in February since
1971; prior to that year, it was celebrated on the traditional date of
- Inauguration Day, March 4th every four years, pre-1937.
- Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May.
- Memorial Day, last Monday in May since 1971; from 1868
to 1970 it was celebrated on May 30, and was called Decoration Day for part
of that time.
- Flag Day, June 14th.
- United States of America's Independence Day, July 4.
- Labor Day, first Monday in September.
- Columbus Day, second Monday in October (federal
holiday since 1971).
- Election Day, Tuesday on or after November 2.
- Veterans Day, November 11th (except from 1971 to 1977,
inclusive, when it was celebrated on the fourth Monday in October; formerly
known as Armistice).
- Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November.
- Christmas Day, December 25th. I have finally
included this since it is a federal holiday, although it is not based
on a secular holiday.
Current Trading Holidays
A list of Current Trading Holidays is maintained at the New York Stock Exchange. The list of Historical Early Closings and Trading Stoppages of the NYSE is also
available. The biggest piece of extra information available is that Good
Friday is a banking holiday. Good Friday dates can be found on my Ecclesiastical
Calendar pages. When I have more time I'll see about adding this
to the algorithm's that compute the calendars for these pages.
Notable Dates for planning the Year
States in the USA are not required to use Daylight Saving
Time. However, if a state decides to use Daylight Saving Time, it must
begin and end Daylight Saving Time on the dates and time specifed by
- Daylight Saving time begins, (currently) first Sunday in
April (but not in Arizona, Hawaii, and most of the counties of Indiana);
beginning in 2007 Daylight Savings time will begin the second Sunday in March.
- Federal Income Taxes are due April 15th; if the
15th is a Saturday or Sunday, then the due date is the Monday after the 15th.
- Daylight Saving Time ends, last Sunday in
October (but not in Arizona, Hawaii, and most of the counties of
Indiana). Beginning in 2007, Daylight Savings Time will end the first
Sunday in November.
Other Widely Celebrated Observances
These usually don't affect work schedules.
- Groundhog Day, February 2.
- Lincoln's Birthday, February 12.
- Valentine's Day, February 14.
- Washington's Birthday, February 22.
- St. Patrick's Day, March 17.
- April Fools's Day, April 1.
- Earth Day, April 22 (since 1970; see Earthday.net)
- Administrative Assistants' Day, which once upon a time
was Secretaries' Day, is the Wednesday of the last full week of
April (that is, the Wednesday before the last Saturday in April)
since 1955; see this site for more
- Arbor Day is often the last Friday in April (since
1872), but since planting conditions vary, it may occur from September to May;
please consult the National Arbor
Day Foundation's list of Arbor Day
- Mothers' Day, second Sunday in May (36 USC
- Fathers' Day, third Sunday in June (36 USC
- Parents' Day, fourth Sunday in July (36 USC Sec. 142c).
- Grandparents' Day, Sunday after Labor Day (36 USC
- Columbus Day (traditional), October 12.
- United Nations Day, October 24.
- Halloween, October 31.
The primary algorithm that I use in order to determine when the
various dates will fall in any particular month is one that connects a
particular date to a day of the week. I found this algorithm in the Calendar FAQ by
2.5. What day of the week was 2 August 1953?
To calculate the day on which a particular date falls, the following
algorithm may be used (the divisions are integer divisions, in which
remainders are discarded; % means all we want is the remainder):
a = (14 - month) / 12
y = year - a
m = month + 12*a - 2
For Julian calendar: d = (5 + day + y + y/4 + (31*m)/12) % 7
For Gregorian calendar: d = (day + y + y/4 - y/100 + y/400 + (31*m)/12) % 7
The value of d is 0 for a Sunday, 1 for a Monday, 2 for a Tuesday, etc.
Then I sat down and came up with this formula in order to calculate
dates such as "The third Monday in January". I suspect these have been
derived and written down somewhere by someone else; in any case, these
formula are easy to derive, and useful for computing various holidays
in electronic calendars.
First, let the above formula be called DoW(year,month,dayinmonth),
which specifies that its arguements are the year (in numerical form),
the month (1-12) and the day in the month (day number in month, 1-31).
In all the below formula, the following common-sense relation is used:
-1%7 = 6; -2%7=5; .. -6%7=1, -7%7=0. Also, an N-day is a Sunday (N=0),
through Saturday (N=6).
The most generic formula is then:
Date In Month that is an N-day ON OR AFTER date Year-Month-Day =
Day + (N - DoW(Year,Month,Day))%7 .
Date In Month that is an N-day ON OR BEFORE date Year-Month-Day =
Day - (DoW(Year,Month,Day) - N)%7 .
These lead to quick formulae for determining the date of the first,
second, third, fourth and fifth occurence of a Sunday, Monday, etc., in
any particular month:
First N-day: N1 = 1 + (N - DoW(Year,Month,1))%7 ;
2nd N-day : N2 = 8 + (N - DoW(Year,Month,8))%7 ;
3rd N-day : N3 = 15 + (N - DoW(Year,Month,15))%7 ;
4th N-day : N4 = 22 + (N - DoW(Year,Month,22))%7 ;
5th N-day : N5 = 29 + (N - DoW(Year,Month,29))%7 .
(Note: Use common sense when trying to calculate the fifth N-day:
check to see if the value you obtain is greater than the number of
days in the month; if it is, the there is no fifth N-day in that
Two visitors to this page, Timothy Barmann and Bobby Cossum, have
independently suggested that the above five equations can be simplified
into just one equation. Let Q be the occurence (first, second, third,
fourth, fifth), and N will still represent the day of the week, as
the Q-th N-day: NQ = 1 + (Q-1)*7 + (N - DoW(Year,Month,1))%7;
the Q-th N-day: NQ = 7*Q - 6 + (N - DoW(Year,Month,1))%7.
So, to find the first Friday using the above equations, use Q=1, N=5; the
third Monday is found using Q=3, N=1, etc.
In order to find, for example, the LAST Monday in a month, we need to
know the length of the month; for all months except February, this is,
of course, fixed. In any case, we have:
ND=Number of last day in month;
Last N-Day : NL = ND - (DoW(Year,Month,ND) - N)%7 .
Example: What date is the last Monday in May, 1996?
- The last day in May is May 31, so ND=31.
- Monday is what we want, so N=1
- The day of the week of May 31, 1996 is found by following the first
So, May 31st is a Friday; then
- So, the last Monday in 1996 May is May 27.
I have some pages with other algorithms that may be of interest to
anyone wishing to prepare an electronic calendar.
Algorithms to calculate the date of Easter in the Western tradition include
Oudin's Algorithm, and Carter's Algorithm. Calculations of the date of
Easter in the Orthodox tradition use Gauss' Algorithm.
to this page according to Alta
Last updated 2001 January 4.
Copyright © 1996-2001 by Marcos J. Montes.
Please visit my Ecclesiastical
Marcos J. Montes