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

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January

  • 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.

February

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. 

March 

Mardi Gras is a Carnival celebration, commemorated with big parades and parties. 

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. 

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.

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. 

April

Celebrating the signing of the Emancipation Act by Abraham Lincoln, which made slavery illegal in the United States.

Commemorating the battles of Lexington and Concord during the Revolutionary War.

This day commemorates the Battle of San Jacinto, in the war for the independence of Texas.

A day that promotes tree planting in the state of Nebraska.

May

  • Truman Day (May 8) - Missouri

In honor of president Harry S. Truman, born in Missouri.

June

This day pays tribute to Kamehameha the Great who united and established the Kingdom of Hawaii.

Also an official observance in all other states. This holiday celebrates the day when Union soldiers freed all slaves in Texas.

Commemorating the admission of West Virginia as a state into the United States of America. 

July

Celebrating the original settlers, and the settling of the first pioneers in Salt Lake Valley. 

August

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.

October

Marking the anniversary of when Russia transferred Alaska's territory to the United States. 

December

  • Day After Christmas (December 26) - Kansas, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia

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