Many government offices close on federal holidays and some private businesses may close as well. If the holiday falls during the weekend, the government may observe it on a different day. Federal employees receive pay and many receive time off for federal holidays.
New Year's Day (January 1)
Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Third Monday in January)
Washington's Birthday (Third Monday in February)
Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)*
Independence Day (July 4)
Labor Day (First Monday in September)
Columbus Day (Second Monday in October)
Veterans Day (November 11)*
Thanksgiving Day (Fourth Thursday in November)
Christmas Day (December 25)
*Some people get Memorial Day and Veterans Day confused. On Memorial Day, America honors those who died while serving in the military. On Veterans Day, the country celebrates everyone who has served in the military.
Commonly Celebrated Holidays and Observances
Some holidays honor specific groups and events, such as Valentine’s Day, Earth Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Flag Day, and Halloween. These are not federal holidays. Some holidays and observances receive presidential proclamations.
Ethnic and Religious Holidays
Various ethnic and religious groups in the United States celebrate days with special meaning to them. Some of these holidays include Easter for Christians, the High Holy Days for Jews, Ramadan for Muslims, Day of Vesak for Buddhists, and Diwali for Hindus.
The United States issues paper currency and coins to pay for purchases, taxes, and debts.
American paper currency come in seven denominations: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) manufactures paper money. It also redesigns money, with new appearances and enhanced security features. BEP includes security features to prevent counterfeiting. Purchase commemorative or bulk versions of American currency through the Bureau's Money Store.
The United States no longer issues bills in larger denominations, such as $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 bills. But they are still legal tender and may still be in circulation. All U.S. currency issued since 1861 is valid and redeemable at its full face value.
The United States issues several denominations, with the most common being: 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, and $1. The U.S. Mint manufactures and circulates coins to pay for goods and services. It also issues collectible and commemorative coins for sale. These coins honor a person, place, or event.
If you have paper money that is extremely damaged, you can redeem it with the BEP. Examples of damaged paper money include:
- Bills that are less than one half of the bill
- Bills in such a condition that you're unable to tell the denomination.
Exchange dirty or torn bills at your local bank.
You can redeem bent or partial coins through the Mutilated Coin Redemption Program.
Official Language of the United States
There is no "official" language at the federal level for the United States. Although the most commonly used language is English, more than 300 languages are spoken or signed by the population. Some individual states list English as their official language. If you would like the United States or your state to adopt an official language, you should contact your elected officials.
The federal government is required to provide access to federal programs and federally assisted programs for people with limited English proficiency.
States and State Capitals
The Library of Congress provides historical information and fun facts about each state in the United States, including when it became a state, its nickname, and its capital.
If you need information on state programs and services, browse your state government website.
Do you have a question?
Ask a real person any government-related question for free. They'll get you the answer or let you know where to find it.
January 4, 2021