Colleges close during national days of importance.

Breaks at colleges and universities in the United States are often scheduled around national holiday celebrations.
For example, classes are canceled for a couple of days around Thanksgiving, and students often get up to a month off in December and January because of Christmas.
In addition to colleges, many government offices and workplaces are closed on a United States national holiday. Most stores and restaurants remain open, but they may have shorter hours. If you are a student with a job, find out from your employer if your office or place of work is closed.

United States National Holidays and Days of Note

Most universities and workplaces celebrate the following holidays by closing for the day:

  • New Year’s Day (Jan. 1)
  • Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
  • Independence Day (July 4)
  • Labor Day (first Monday in September)
  • Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday in November)
  • Christmas (December 25)

Many universities and workplaces also recognize these holidays:

  • Martin Luther King, Jr Day (third Monday in January)
  • Presidents Day (third Monday in February)
  • Easter (date varies, a Sunday in spring)
  • Columbus Day (second Monday in October)
  • Veterans Day (November 11)

Other national holidays or days of note throughout the United States include Mardi Gras (the date varies, but is in February or March), Valentine’s Day (February 14), St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), Halloween (October 31), Election Day (first Tuesday after the first Monday in November) and New Year’s Eve (December 31). Citizens throughout the United States will often recognize these days with special celebrations, but stores and schools are rarely closed in observance of them.

United States National Holidays Explained

Like many countries around the world, the United States celebrates several holidays that recognize the achievements of its citizens. Here are explanations of a few of the most common:
Memorial Day: Honors all Americans who have died in wars since the Civil War.
Independence Day: Celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
Labor Day: Recognizes the achievement of the nation’s workers.
Thanksgiving: A time to give thanks and recognize some of the nation’s first settlers.
Martin Luther King, Jr Day: Honors the birth of this US civil rights leader.
Presidents Day: Recognizes all American presidents.
Columbus Day: Honors Christopher Columbus, who is said to have discovered America.
Veterans Day: Honors all veterans of the United States.


Officially, the US has no “national” holidays. The country has federal holidays observed by government agencies, and some states have their own specific holidays, too. Depending on the region of the country you are in and local customs, you may celebrate a holiday unheard of in other parts of the United States.