A holiday is a period set aside for public holiday or custom where normal everyday activities, particularly work or school including church, are halted or significantly reduced. In general, public holidays are marked by special observances or celebrations to let people celebrate or honor an occasion or tradition of historical or cultural importance. The time of a holiday usually coincides with a national celebration or holiday like New Year’s Day, Christmas, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day and so on. Holidays may be commemorated with special events like parades, dinners, street parties and social gatherings or socializing among relatives and friends.
Holidays also help in strengthening relations among nations and promote international tourism. A few internationally acclaimed holidays are: New Year’s Day, Pearl Harbor Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and so on. In the United States, many states observe some form of official holiday pay; in fact, most federal law recognizes 12 major holidays throughout the year as designated compensations for employees. Some of these major holidays are: New Year’s Day, Christmas, Good Friday, President’s Day, Veterans Day, Easter, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day, International Volunteer Week, Thanksgiving, and so on.
Federal holidays paid holidays and national holidays paid holidays are very popular in the United States. For the most part, U.S. federal holidays and state holidays have precedence over local holidays when it comes to work timings and observance. On that note, most employees who are scheduled to work on a federal holiday will be required to work overtime pay. In addition, all employees who are scheduled to work on the same day as federal holidays, will be affected by the holiday pay requirements.
For most European and American cultures, and many other countries throughout the world, there is currently no official national holiday in the United States. In Europe and the United States, there are a variety of official holidays celebrated around the globe. As an example, on Christmas Day, people in the northern hemisphere enjoy shopping and dinner while in Europe and the United States they enjoy a more relaxed, quiet lifestyle. However, in the vast majority of the world, Christmas and other traditional holidays are not recognized by the government. Because of this there are no official federal holidays celebrated during the Christmas season or during the opening and closing days of the summer calendar. In some cases, schools and public buildings observe English language classes on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day.
In addition to the differences between celebrating state and federal holidays, the way in which they are observed varies from one country to the next. In Canada for example, there is a long weekend of rest and relaxation following the long Christmas break. In most European nations, celebrations for New Year’s Eve and World Youth Day are incredibly joyous affairs. While in the United States many people celebrate the beginning of the summer by enjoying fireworks and hamburgers. However, regardless of the variations among the countries that celebrate different holidays each year, the spirit of love, happiness and renewal that is the hallmark of every holiday makes them one of the most popular of all holidays.
As the holiday season approaches it is important to remember that thanksgiving does not have to take place on the first day of the week! On Thanksgiving Day, traditionally, thanksgiving food is served as part of dinner. On the second day of thanksgiving, many families visit the victims of the tragedy that befell the victims of the earthquake on Boxing Day. For these reasons, thanksgiving remains a popular time of year for people of all ages.