2021 United States Federal Holidays


United States Congress created these federal holidays. Employees who obtain a federal-type job typically have these days off which results in federal offices and buildings to be closed during these days. The following holidays do not include other holidays that certain states and/or cities possibly observe as local holidays. In addition to Federal Holidays, there are also Business Holidays that are slightly different.

Day Date Holiday
Friday January 1 New Year's Day
Monday January 18 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Monday February 15 Presidents Day
Monday May 31 Memorial Day
Sunday (Observed on Monday) July 4 Independence Day
Monday September 6 Labor Day
Monday October 11 Columbus Day
Thursday November 11 Veterans Day
Thursday November 25 Thanksgiving
Saturday (Observed on Friday) December 25 Christmas

Some holidays may be observed on a day when the holiday actually isn't celebrated. For example, if the holiday falls on a Sunday, it is usually observed on the following Monday since Sunday is considered a non-working day for federal employees. However, if a holiday happens to fall on a non-working day such as a Saturday, the holiday is typically observed on the preceding Friday. This year in 2021, Independence Day falls on a Sunday which results in the holiday being observed by federal employees on the following Monday, July 5th. Employees employed through the federal government receive compensation for their time off, also known as a paid holiday.

Federal holidays were implemented by Congress in 1870 with only 4 original holidays created. Theses holidays included New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Christmas and Thanksgiving. The remaining holidays were incorporated between 1870 through 1983, with the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. being the last U.S. federal holiday being added.

Fun Fact:

According to FRB Services, holiday benefits were only allotted to the approximately 5,300 federal employees working in Washington, D.C. This number did not expand until 1885 when federal holiday benefits increased to 50,600 employees.