Holidays in the United States

A holiday is an ordinary day set apart by law or custom, where normal activities, particularly work or school including church, are either completely stopped or significantly reduced. In general such holidays are arranged to enable people to commemorate or celebrate an occasion or belief of spiritual or cultural importance. Holidays are very special time for family and friends to get together and have fun, but more than this, they are a period of relaxation and downtime for the people concerned. People go on vacation for different reasons, some go out of the country for a vacation; others take a sick leave from their jobs. For others, it is part of their job to take and organize holidays.


It can be expensive to arrange and plan holidays for one’s self. Therefore, several United States based companies provide assistance by sending their employees holiday pay. Such companies generally extend holiday pay to their employees either for a fixed number of days or for an indefinite period depending upon their contract with the employer. This is particularly very helpful to employees who are not regular on the job and those whose contract does not specify any definite holiday pay date.

Holidays are special in other words, and the expenses associated with them are similarly exceptional. For instance, in the US, Christmas holidays are among the most expensive times of the year in terms of the cost of Christmas gifts. On the contrary, the cheapest time of the year to go on holiday is late September through November. There is no specified holiday pay for the holiday period of January as this falls under none of the federal holidays. Consequently, the cost of holidays is variable and dependent upon each individual case.

Federal holidays are very well-established among the people of the United States. Among these is the Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Pearl Harbor Day, and Washington’s Birthday. Moreover, public holidays and observances such as Thanksgiving and Flag Day are also observed regularly throughout the country. In short, when it comes to public holidays, the United States celebrates mostly its national holidays and other occasions such as birthdays.

The word holiday in the United States is usually associated with the English language, whereas the English word holiday is supposed to be derived from the French word les folies which means “serene time”. Some vacationers also use the word holiday in describing their travels to the United States. For example, one may say that his/her visit to the states of the united states was a peaceful word holiday. However, in Canada, there are no word holiday and rather, vacationers describe their travel experience as summer vacation, hiking holiday, fishing holiday, etc.

The holidays celebrate the values most Americans believe in such as family, country, and religion. In other words, the holidays celebrate the American way of life, values and traditions. There is no question that the United States has some of the most vibrant, creative and colorful culture anywhere in the world. However, the holiday season in the United States does not necessarily reflect these values or beliefs but instead serves as a time to remind Americans that they are the citizenry of a country that recognizes various different religions and cultural practices.