United States laws currently establishes eleven public holidays for Federal employees. Since most Federal employees work on a Monday through Friday schedule, when a holiday falls on the weekend the holiday usually is observed on Friday if the holiday falls on Saturday or on Monday if the holiday falls on Sunday.
For every federal holiday, many businesses also observe the federal holiday schedule. Of course, for many other employees it’s a regular workday, although often with overtime pay.
Listed below are the businesses that typically close and those that remain open on federal holidays.
What’s closed and open on federal holidays
Closed: All government facilities, non-retail businesses or services (banks, offices, etc.), public libraries, school, and community centers are closed. Post offices are closed and there is no mail delivery. Paid street parking is free on Federal holidays. Some public transportation operates on reduced service, especially commuter routes (more info below).
Note on Columbus Day (2nd Monday in October): Washington State does not recognize Columbus Day as a state holiday. Therefore, federal offices and U.S. post offices are closed, there is no mail delivery, bond markets that trade in U.S. government debt are closed, and most banks. However, in Washington State, state and local government offices and facilities are open, public schools are in session, and street parking must be paid. Most bus service is on REGULAR schedules.
Open: Retail stores, grocery stores, drug stores, gas stations, parks, and golf courses are open. Garbage collection is normal. Puget Sound Ferries are on regular schedule.
Public Transportation: Most bus service is on reduced schedules. For specific route information, listed below are the links to public transit services in the Puget Sound region:
- Everett Transit (see: Everett holiday service list)
- Kitsap Transit (see: Kitsap holiday service list)
- Seattle/King County Metro buses (see: Metro holiday service list)
- Community Transit / Snohomish County Transit (see: CT holiday service list)
- Sound Transit / Link light rail and commuter trains (see: Rail holiday service list)
- Tacoma/Pierce County Transit (see: Pierce holiday service list)
- Washington State ferries operate throughout Puget Sound. See: ferry schedules by date. Get free travel alertsvia email or text message to stay informed of conditions on your route.
2023 Federal Holiday Dates
Listed below are the 11 Federal Holidays for 2023 (opm.gov)
- *Monday, January 2: New Year’s Day (normally January 1)
- Monday, January 16: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (3rd Monday in January)
- **Monday, February 20: Presidents’ Day aka Washington’s Birthday (3rd Monday in February)
- Monday, May 29: Memorial Day (4th Monday in May)
- Monday, June 19: Juneteenth National Independence Day
- Tuesday, July 4: Independence Day
- Monday, September 4: Labor Day (1st Monday in September)
- ***Monday, October 9: Columbus Day (2nd Monday in October)
- *Friday, November 10: Veteran’s Day (normally November 11)
- Thursday, November 23: Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday)
- Monday, December 25: Christmas Day
*When federal holidays fall on a Saturday or Sunday, they are observed on Friday or Monday, respectively.
**Washington’s Birthday is the federally recognized holiday though many locations use President’s Day.
***Columbus Day is still the federally recognized holiday though many states have adopted other traditions, including Washington State.
2023 Other Holidays & Special Events
The following holidays are not federal holidays but are often recognized by communities with celebrations such as festivals or parades. When possible, we put these events on our Calendar of free and cheap things to do every day (greaterseattleonthecheap.com).
- Sunday, January 22, 2023: Lunar New Year – Year of the Rabbit (or Cat for Vietnamese Tet)
- Monday, February 2: Groundhog Day – six more weeks of winter if sunny or an early spring if cloudy
- Sunday, February 12, 2023: Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ
- Tuesday, February 14: Valentine’s Day
- Tuesday, February 21: Mardi Gras
- Tuesday, March 7: Holi (Festival of Colors)
- Sunday, March 12: Daylight Savings time begins (2nd Sunday)
- Friday, March 17: St. Patrick’s Day
- Monday, March 20: Spring equinox
- Thursday, March 23: Ramadan begins (ends Saturday, April 22 with Eid al-Fitr)
- Wednesday, April 5: Passover begins at sundown
- Sunday, April 9: Easter Sunday
- Monday, April 17*: Federal Income Tax Day
- Monday, May 1: May Day
- Friday, May 5: Cinco de Mayo
- Sunday, May 14: Mother’s Day (2nd Sunday in May)
- Wednesday, June 21: Summer solstice
- Sunday, June 18: Father’s Day (3rd Sunday in June)
- Friday, September 22: Autumn equinox
- Tuesday, October 31: Halloween
- Wednesday, November 1: Day of the Dead
- Sunday, November 5: Daylight Savings ends (1st Sunday)
- Friday, November 24: Black Friday. In Washington State, the day after Thanksgiving is a paid holiday for state employees, known as Native American Heritage Day
- Friday, December 7: Chanukah (Hanukkah) begins at sundown
- Thursday, December 21: Winter solstice
- Sunday, December 24: Christmas
- Tuesday, December 26: First day of Kwanzaa
- Sunday, December 31: New Year’s Eve
*April 15 is usually the Federal Income Tax filing deadline. When it falls on a weekend or a holiday, the filing deadline is pushed to the next business day.
2024 Federal Holiday Dates
Listed below are the 11 Federal Holidays for 2024 (opm.gov). If federal holidays fall on a Saturday or Sunday, they are observed on Friday or Monday, respectively.
- Monday, January 01, 2024: New Year’s Day
- Monday, January 15, 2024: Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
- *Monday, February 19, 2024: Washington’s Birthday (aka Presidents’ Day)
- Monday, May 27, 2024: Memorial Day
- Wednesday, June 19, 2024: Juneteenth National Independence Day
- Thursday, July 04, 2024: Independence Day
- Monday, September 02, 2024: Labor Day
- **Monday, October 14, 2024: Columbus Day
- Monday, November 11, 2024: Veterans Day
- Thursday, November 28, 2024: Thanksgiving Day
- Wednesday, December 25, 2024: Christmas Day
*Washington’s Birthday is the federally recognized holiday though many locations use Presidents, President’s or Presidents’ Day.
**Columbus Day is still the federally recognized holiday though many states have adopted other names. Washington State does not observe Columbus Day. Washington State observes Native American Heritage Day, the day after Thanksgiving Day.
Washington State holidays
The following list contains the national and state holidays recognized in Washington State: RCW 1.16.050 (wa.gov):
- New Year’s Day (January 1)
- Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday (3rd Monday in January)
- Presidents’ Day (3rd Monday in February), commemorates the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington
- Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
- Juneteenth (June 19)
- Independence Day (July 4)
- Labor Day (1st Monday in September)
- Veterans Day (November 11)
- Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November)
- *Native American Heritage Day (Day after Thanksgiving Day)
- Christmas Day (December 25)
* Columbus Day is not a legal holiday for Washington State employees, but Native American Heritage Day is a state holiday.
Washington State recognizes the following days: RCW 1.16.050 (wa.gov), but they are not legal holidays for any purpose:
- January 11, recognized as human trafficking awareness day
- January 13, recognized as Korean American day
- January 26, recognized as Washington army and air national guard day
- February 19, recognized as civil liberties day of remembrance
- March 9, recognized as Billy Frank Jr. day
- March 30, recognized as welcome home Vietnam veterans day
- March 31, recognized as Cesar Chavez day
- April 9, recognized as former prisoner of war recognition day
- April 10, recognized as Dolores Huerta day
- April 16, recognized as Mother Joseph day
- May 15, recognized as water safety day
- July 27, recognized as national Korean war veterans armistice day
- August 7, recognized as purple heart recipient recognition day
- September 4, recognized as Marcus Whitman day
- 4th Saturday of September, recognized as public lands day
- October 12, recognized as Columbus day
- 2nd Sunday in October, recognized as Washington state children’s day
- December 7, recognized as Pearl Harbor remembrance day
- December 18, recognized as blood donor day
Event calendar of free and cheap things to do
Listed below are all events on our calendar for the next 30 days.
Friday, December 8, 2023
Saturday, December 9, 2023
Sunday, December 10, 2023
Monday, December 11, 2023
Tuesday, December 12, 2023
Wednesday, December 13, 2023
Thursday, December 14, 2023
Friday, December 15, 2023
Saturday, December 16, 2023
Sunday, December 17, 2023
Monday, December 18, 2023
Tuesday, December 19, 2023
Wednesday, December 20, 2023
Thursday, December 21, 2023
Friday, December 22, 2023
Saturday, December 23, 2023
Sunday, December 24, 2023
Monday, December 25, 2023
Tuesday, December 26, 2023
Wednesday, December 27, 2023
Thursday, December 28, 2023
Friday, December 29, 2023
Saturday, December 30, 2023
Sunday, December 31, 2023
Monday, January 1, 2024
Tuesday, January 2, 2024
Wednesday, January 3, 2024
Thursday, January 4, 2024
Friday, January 5, 2024
Saturday, January 6, 2024