On Monday, October 9, millions of Americans will celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which is celebrated on the second Monday in October, is a holiday that honours the history and contributions of Native Americans. The holiday has become a replacement for federal holiday Columbus Day, which also falls on October 9, and which many have argued should no longer be celebrated due to the fact that Christopher Columbus does not deserve credit for “discovering” the Americas.
Currently, there are 29 states and 198 cities across the country that have chosen to adopt Indigenous Peoples’ Day, according to renamecolumbusday.org. In 2021 and 2022, President Joe Biden also issued proclamations declaring the holiday Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
First introduced by Congress in 1885 when it was decided that federal employees should have certain days off from work, the list of US federal holidays is made up of 11 days of significance that Americans recognise – and celebrate.
To ensure that these holidays are observed, certain guidelines have been put in place, with federal holidays that fall on a Saturday observed by federal employees on the previous Friday, while holidays that fall on Sunday are observed the following Monday.
On these 11 days, all non-essential federal offices are closed, while banks, post offices and schools may also be closed. However, that doesn’t mean that all Americans will receive a day off from work, as employees in the private sector may or may not get the day off, depending on their employer.
2023 federal holidays:
New Year’s Day: Sunday, January 1 (Observed Monday, January 2)
Martin Luther King Jr Day: Monday, January 16
Presidents’ Day: Monday, February 20
Memorial Day: Monday, May 29
Juneteenth: Friday, June 16
Independence Day: Tuesday, July 4
Labor Day: Monday, September 4
Indigenous Peoples’ Day (also observed as Columbus Day): Monday, October 9
Veterans’ Day: Saturday, November 11 (Observed Friday, November 10)
Thanksgiving: Thursday, November 23
Christmas: Monday, December 25
Other important days to note:
Valentine’s Day: Tuesday, February 14
St Patrick’s Day: Friday, March 17
Passover: Thursday, April 6
Good Friday: Friday, April 7
Easter: Sunday, April 9
Mother’s Day: Sunday, May 14
Father’s Day: Sunday, June 18