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US Federal Holidays 2020: When are they and how many do you get this year?

Chelsea Ritschel

With January around the corner, it will soon be time to say goodbye to 2019 and welcome in the new year.

In addition to a fresh new start, 2020 also means getting to celebrate the first federal holidays of the year.

On January 1, Americans, and others around the world, will celebrate New Year’s Day. A few weeks later, people living in the US will celebrate another federal holiday on January 20, in honour of Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday.

Federal holidays, often observed with paid time off from work, were created by Congress in 1885 when it was decided that federal employees should have certain days off from work.

As time went by, Congress added historical days of significance to the list of federal holidays, bringing the total number to 10.

To ensure that government employees were able to celebrate these days, the government enacted certain guidelines for observing federal holidays.

Federal holidays that fall on a Saturday are observed by federal employees on the previous Friday, whereas holidays that fall on Sunday are observed the following Monday.

On these days, non-essential federal government offices are closed and banks, post offices and schools may also be closed.

For employees in the private sector, federal holidays may or may not mean a day off – as businesses cannot legally be required to observe the holiday. Fortunately, most employers will give employees the day off for certain federal holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas – or pay employees extra for working on the day.

Whether you plan to book a vacation during a long weekend or are simply looking forward to the next day off from work, these are the dates of federal holidays in 2020.

2020 federal holidays:

New Year’s Day: Wednesday, January 1

Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr: Monday, January 20

President’s Day: Monday, February 17

Memorial Day: Monday, May 25

Independence Day: Saturday, July 4

Labor Day: Monday, September 7

Columbus Day: Monday, October 12

Veterans' Day: Wednesday, November 11

Thanksgiving: Thursday, November 26

Christmas: Friday, December 25

Other important days to note:

Valentine’s Day: Friday, February 14

St Patrick’s Day: Tuesday, March 17

Good Friday: Friday, April 10

Easter: Sunday, April 12

Mother’s Day: Sunday, May 10

Father’s Day: Sunday, June 21

Halloween: Saturday, October 31

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