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.
2016 Federal Holidays
Friday, January 1: New Year’s Day Monday, January 18: Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, February 15: Washington’s Birthday Monday, May 30: Memorial Day Monday, July 4: Independence Day Monday, September 5: Labor Day Monday, October 10: Columbus Day Friday, November 11: Veterans Day Thursday, November 24: Thanksgiving Day Monday, December 26: Christmas Day*
*December 25, 2016 (the legal public holiday for Christmas Day), falls on a Sunday. Most federal offices will be closed on Monday, December 26, 2016, in observance of Christmas Day.
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 no longer issues bills in larger denominations, such as $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 bills. However, they are still legal tender and may still be in circulation.
The United States issues several denominations, with the most common being: 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, and $1. The U.S. Mint is responsible for manufacturing and circulating coins to pay for goods and services. It also issues collectible and commemorative coins that honor a person, place, or event and are available for purchase.
If you have paper money that is extremely damaged, you can redeem it with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Examples of damaged paper money include bills that are less than one half of the bill, or in such a condition that you are unable to tell the denomination of the bill. If you have paper money that is dirty, defaced, torn, or more than half of the original size, you can take it to your local bank to exchange it for a bill that is in better shape.
If you have any coins that are fused, melted, or mutilated in any other way, you can send them to the U.S. Mint for evaluation. You can exchange other coins that aren't severely damaged at your local bank.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) provides a website called WelcometoUSA.gov, which helps new immigrants find basic information on how to settle in the United States. The site also provides federal government resources and organizations that can assist you in learning English, applying for U.S. Citizenship, tips on managing money, finding child care and much more. They provide a free downloadable and comprehensive Welcome to the United States guide, which is available in 14 languages.
Museums collect and care for objects of scientific, artistic, or historical importance and make them available for public viewing. They generally concentrate on a particular subject, and most belong to one or more of the following categories:
Fine Arts or Applied Arts
Anthropology and Ethnology (branch of anthropology that analyzes cultures)
There is no "official" language at the federal level for the United States. Although the most commonly used language is English, there are over 300 languages 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. To access more information about this topic, please visit the Limited English Proficiency website.
The continental U.S. (including Alaska) spans five time zones. American Samoa, Hawaii, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin islands are located in additional time zones.
Daylight Saving Time (DST) is a widely used system that adjusts the official local time forward ("spring ahead") from the official standard time during summer months, usually by one hour.