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.
All State Holidays in the United States by Month
- 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 newly 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.
- Mardi Gras (Tuesday before Ash Wednesday)- Louisiana
Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday, is a Christian celebration where people consume rich food with high-fat content before the start of Lent (a 40-day period of fasting).
- 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
This day marks the signing of the Alaska Purchase Treaty which made Alaska an official part of the US and no longer a part of 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.
- Pascua Florida Day (April 2)- Florida
This day marks the first time Florida was sighted by a Spanish explorer named Ponce de León.
- 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.
- American Family Day (First Sunday of August)- Arizona
Former Governor of Arizona, Bruce Babbit, made American Family Day an official state holiday. It is a day o cherish and celebrate familial bonds.
Celebrating Hawaii's admission into the United States of America in 1959.
- Bennington Battle Day (August 16)- Vermont
This is a holiday in Vermont to commemorate the Battle of Bennington, a significant battle during the Revolutionary, on August 16, 1777.
- Alaska Day (October 18) - Alaska
Marking the anniversary of when Russia transferred Alaska's territory to the United States.
- Cabrini Day (First Monday of October)- Colorado
Cabrini Day was proposed as a replacement for Columbus Day by now Governor Jared Polis. He wanted his people to celebrate a great humanitarian like Frances Xavier Cabrini instead of Columbus who exploited the indigenous people.
- Nevada Day (Last Friday of October)- Nevada
Originally known as the Admission Day, Nevada Day marks the admission of the state into the United States on October 31, 1864. It is celebrated grandly in Nevada including parades, musical performances, food stalls, and so on.
- Return Day- Delaware
- Day After Christmas (December 26) - Kansas, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia
This day is also known as Boxing Day in countries such as the UK, Canada, Australia, and Scotland. The Day After Christmas is usually a holiday in some states of the US where most educational institutions, Government organizations and businesses remain closed.
- Alabama Day (December 14)- Alabama
On this day in 1819, Alabama, which was initially a territory, officially became the 22nd state in the United States.
You might be interested to read about the Federal Holidays in the United States