In the United States, states and cities are allowed to establish their own state and public holidays, apart from the federal holidays that have been proclaimed by Congress.
On these State Holidays, schools and businesses close, as well as non-essential local government offices, and most people get the day off work to celebrate.
State and Public holidays usually commemorate an important event or person that is significant to each state.
State Holidays in the United States
- Idaho Human Rights Day (Third Monday of January) - Idaho
This holiday is celebrated in the state of Idaho in conjunction with Martin Luther King Day. It celebrates human rights and encourages people to embrace diversity.
- Civil Rights Day (Third Monday of January) - Arizona and New Hampshire
Also combined with Martin Luther King Day, this holiday pays tribute to all civil rights activists throughout history.
- Inauguration Day (January 20) - D.C., Maryland, and Virginia
Celebrated every four years when the new elected President is sworn into office, this public holiday is a day off for federal employees in these three states.
- Lincoln's Birthday (February 12) - California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York
This holiday is commemorated in honor of one of the most beloved presidents in American history, Abraham Lincoln.
- Daisy Gason Bates Day (Third Monday of February) - Arkansas
Daisy Gason Bates was born in Arkansas, and a civil rights activist of played a role in integrating a Public School in the state.
- Mardi Gras (Day before Ash Wednesday) - Louisiana, Mobile Counties
Mardi Gras is a Carnival celebration, commemorated with big parades and parties.
- Texas Independence Day (March 2) - Texas
This holiday marks the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence, which granted Texas' independence from Mexico in 1836.
- Town Meeting Day (First Tuesday of March) - Vermont
On Town Meeting Day, people from 40 towns in Vermont get together on a public forum to speak their minds, discuss the business of their towns and State, and elect the local government.
- Evacuation Day (March 17) - Massachusetts
This day celebrates the evacuation of British troops from Boston during the Revolutionary War.
- Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day (March 26) - Hawaii
In honor of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole, one of Hawaii's most popular leaders.
- Seward's Day (Last Monday of March) - Alaska
Celebrating the United States purchasing the territory of Alaska from Russia.
- César Chávez Day (March 21) - California
Also celebrated in other states, but not as a State holiday, this holiday celebrates the birthday and life of César Chávez, and his work towards social justice.
- Emancipation Day (April 16) - District of Columbia
Celebrating the signing of the Emancipation Act by Abraham Lincoln, which made slavery illegal in the United States.
- Patriot's Day (Third Monday of April) - Maine and Massachusetts
Commemorating the battles of Lexington and Concord during the Revolutionary War.
- San Jacinto Day (April 21) - Texas
This day commemorates the Battle of San Jacinto, in the war for the independence of Texas.
- Arbor Day (Last Friday of April) - Nebraska
A day that promotes tree planting in the state of Nebraska.
- Truman Day (May 8) - Missouri
In honor of president Harry S. Truman, born in Missouri.
- Kamehameha Day (June 11) - Hawaii
This day pays tribute to Kamehameha the Great who united and established the Kingdom of Hawaii.
- Juneteenth (June 19) - New York
Also an official observance in all other states. This holiday celebrates the day when Union soldiers freed all slaves in Texas.
- West Virginia Day (June 20) - West Virginia
Commemorating the admission of West Virginia as a state into the United States of America.
- Pioneer Day (July 24) - Utah
Celebrating the original settlers, and the settling of the first pioneers in Salt Lake Valley.
- Victory Day (August 9) - Rhode Island
Also known as VJ Day, it commemorates the victory over Japan during World War II.
Celebrating Hawaii's admission into the United States of America in 1959.
- Alaska Day (October 18) - Alaska
Marking the anniversary of when Russia transferred Alaska's territory to the United States.
- Day After Christmas (December 26) - Kansas, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia
- What are the Federal Holidays in the United States?