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Nationally Celebrated Holidays

Of the holidays on the following list, not all are celebrated by everyone, nor are they celebrated in all parts of the country in the same fashion. It is possible that only children or members of a particular religion will be celebrating.

New Year's Day* (January 1)

Celebration of New Year's Day usually occurs the night before (December 31), known as New Year's Eve, when it is common for groups of people to have a party to celebrate the coming of the New Year. It is customary to make loud noises at midnight when the New Year officially arrives; embracing and kissing others at the party at midnight is not unusual.

Martin Luther King Day* (Third Monday of January)

Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was an African-American clergyman who is recognized for his tireless efforts to win civil rights for all people through nonviolent means.

Good Friday* (The Friday before Easter)

Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Easter Sunday* (Date varies)

Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For children, baskets of candy and dyed, hard-boiled eggs are hidden by a mythical Easter Bunny. The children seek out the hidden eggs.

Memorial Day* (Fourth Monday of May)

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's military service.

Halloween (October 31)

A children's holiday associated with jack-o-lanterns and witches, cats, and ghosts for decorations. Children often go to parties in costumes or go "trick or treating." This means going door to door in costume, saying "trick or treat" hoping to be given a piece of candy or fruit. An adult accompanies young children.

Thanksgiving Day* (The last Thursday in November)

A harvest celebration stemming from harvest-time festivities in the original American Colonies. Traditionally, families gather and prepare a large meal of turkey, pumpkin pie, and other dishes.

Christmas Day* (December 25)

It began as a Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, but is now a widely celebrated day of feasting and gift giving. Preparations, including gift-buying and decorating homes and public places, begin as early as October. Santa Claus, who is a mythical figure, is said to visit the homes of children on the night of December 24 and leave gifts for them while they sleep.

*School Holiday