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A holiday is day set aside by a nation or culture (in some cases, multiple nations and cultures) typically for celebration but sometimes for some other kind of special culture-wide (or national) observation or activity.

Based on the English words holy and day, holidays originally represented special days of the Christian Church calendar. The word has evolved in general usage to mean any special day, or even non-special day on which school and/or offices are closed such as Sunday.

In late 20th century, Saturday has become increasingly considered holiday as well as Sunday.

In Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom; a holiday is also a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation (e.g. "I'm going on holiday to Majorca next week."), like an American "vacation".

Table of contents
1 Public Holiday
2 Consecutive holidays
3 Religious holidays
4 National holidays
5 Farmy Holiday
6 Others
7 Humorous, Entertaining Holidays
8 Related Topics
9 External links

Public Holiday

A public holiday or legal holiday is a holiday endorsed by the state. Public holidays can be either religious, in which case they reflect the dominant religion in a country, or secular, in which case they are usually political or historical in character.

Consecutive holidays

Consecutive holidays are a string of holidays taken together without working days in between. They tend to be considered a good chance to take short trips, for example. In late 1990s, the Japanese government passed a law that increases the likelihood of consecutive holidays by moving holidays fixed on certain day to a relative position in a month such as the second Monday. A well-known consecutive holiday in Japan is golden-week, roughly lasting a whole week. Similar phenomenon appears in Poland during holidays of 1st and 3rd of May, when taking few days of leaves can result in even 9 days long holidays. This is called The Picnic or (Majówka).

The US Congress changed the observance of Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, and Washington's Birthday from fixed dates to certain Monday's in 1968 (effective 1971). Several states had passed similar laws earlier.

Religious holidays

Buddhist holidays

Celtic, Gaelic, and Neopagan holidays

Christian holidays

See also liturgical year.

Hindu holidays

Islamic holidays

Jewish holidays

Main article: Jewish holidays

National holidays



For more information see Australian public holidays.


See the list at Public holidays in Belgium for the names of the holidays in Flemish and Walloon.


Civil holidays:

Religious holidays recognized by law or custom:


See list at List of Public Holidays in Canada


Traditional holidays:

People's Republic of China: Republic of China (Taiwan): See also:


Some of the specific Cypriot holidays include:

See Holidays in Cyprus for the complete list.


See Holidays in Denmark.


See Holidays in Finland


See Holidays in France.


See Holidays in Germany.


See Holidays in India.


See Public Holidays in the Republic of Ireland.


See Holidays in Italy for a complete list.


See Japanese Holidays.


See Holidays in Latvia.


See Holidays in Malaysia for a complete list.


See Holidays and celebrations in Mexico.

The Netherlands

See the complete list of public holidays in the Netherlands.

New Zealand

See Holidays in New Zealand.


See Holidays in Poland for background information.


See Public holidays in Russia.


Mondays are public holidays for any public holiday that falls on a Sunday.

South Africa

See Public holidays in South Africa.


See Holidays in Sweden.

United Kingdom and Crown dependencies

United States

See also: Holidays of the United States

Unlike countries where holidays are required by law, there are no national holidays in the United States. However, the United States Congress has created federal holidays for employees of the United States Government. While these are not legal holidays outside of the District of Columbia, most states have declared state holidays to coincide with these federal holidays. In spite of numerous attempts, the United States has never established true national holidays.

The holidays, and the days on which they are normally celebrated, are:

There is also one legal holiday in the United States that is not a federal holiday: Election Day is only observed as a holiday in Presidentialial election years, which coincide with leap years. The federal government still observes Veterans Day on 11 November. The state of Washington does also, because it was admitted to statehood on 11 November 1889.

Puerto Rico

Mondays are public holidays for any public holiday that falls on a Sunday. See also Holidays in Puerto Rico for a detailed list.

Farmy Holiday



Many other days are marked to celebrate events or people, but are not strictly holidays as time off work is rarely given.

Humorous, Entertaining Holidays

Some humorous events have captured the attention of the public, to the point where they have been promoted as annual events. These "funny" holidays are generally intended as humorous distractions and excuses to share laughs among friends.

Related Topics

External links