Each year, the United States federal government formally recognizes ten holidays. When those holidays come around, most federal offices close, and federal employees typically get the day off. Often, other kinds of business and organizations also shut down on federal holidays. By understanding which days are federal holidays, you can anticipate potential days off from work, business closures, and more. With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about the 2021 federal holiday schedule.
Federal Holiday Schedule 2021
The United States has ten official federal holidays. On those days, government entities – including the United States Post Office – typically close for the day. The only exceptions are usually agencies and employees responsible for safety and security, as their presence is required – at least to a degree – all year-round.
It is important to note that there are a couple of unique events that push some additional holidays into the 2021 calendar. This includes Inauguration Day, which only happens every four years and only applies to federal employees in the “inauguration area,” as well as the New Year’s Day 2022 holiday being observed on December 31, 2021.
Here is a list of the federal holidays for 2021:
- New Year’s Day – Friday, January 1
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – Monday, January 18
- Washington’s Birthday (Presidents Day) – Monday, February 15
- Memorial Day – Monday, May 31
- Independence Day (Observed) – Monday, July 5
- Labor Day – Monday, September 6
- Columbus Day – Monday, October 11
- Veterans Day – Thursday, November 11
- Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 25
- Christmas Day (Observed) – Friday, December 24
- New Year’s Day (Observed) – Friday, December 31
Three holidays are being observed on days other than the one that is the actual holiday. The reason is, whenever a federal holiday falls on a weekend, the day it’s observed is moved to either the Friday before or the Monday after. This ensures that federal employees get a day off from work.
USPS Schedule Will Slightly Differ
Additionally, the USPS schedule will slightly differ from the one above. While most federal offices operate Monday through Friday. The post office is also open on Saturdays. As a result, if a federal holiday falls on a Saturday, USPS observes it on the actual day. To ensure they aren’t closed an extra day, USPS operates on the Friday instead.
For USPS, they will be open on Friday, December 24, but closed on December 25. For the New Year’s Day 2022 holiday, USPS will close on Saturday, December 31, but will be open on Friday, December 31.
What Closes on Federal Holidays?
The federal government isn’t necessarily the only thing that closes on federal holidays. Here is a list of businesses, agencies, and organizations that are often closed on most (if not all) federal holidays:
- Mail and Package Delivery Services
- K-12 Schools
- Day Cares
- Trade Schools, Colleges, and Universities
- Banks and Credit Unions
- Stock and Bond Markets
- Medical and Dental Offices
- Professional Services Offices (Lawyers, Accountants, etc.)
Here is a list of entities that may close on at least a couple of federal holidays:
- Pharmacies and Drug Stores
- Grocery Stores
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Non-Federal Holiday Schedule
Many people celebrate holidays that aren’t part of the federal holiday calendar. While business closures may not come with these events. They can occur on occasion. For example, Costco and Target close on Easter Sunday, even though it isn’t a federal holiday.
Here is a look at some of the most widely celebrated non-federal holidays and when they happen in 2021:
- Valentine’s Day – Sunday, February 14
- Patrick’s Day – Wednesday, March 17
- Good Friday – Friday, April 2
- Easter – Sunday, April 4
- Mother’s Day – Sunday, May 9
- Father’s Day – Sunday, June 20
- Halloween – Sunday, October 31
While none of the holidays above are technically federal holidays, that doesn’t mean federal employees won’t incidentally have the day off. Most offices don’t open on Sundays, regardless of whether it’s a holiday. As a result, federal workers can usually celebrate Sunday holidays with loved ones, even if they aren’t part of the federal holiday calendar.
Do you follow the federal holiday schedule? Are there any 2021 federal holidays that you’re really looking forward to celebrating above the others? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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