Celebrated as a Federal holiday in the U.S., Presidents’ Day marks the birth anniversary of George Washington while also honoring Abraham Lincoln and others who provided their services in the office as Presidents of the United States of America. The day is celebrated on the third Monday of February every year.
While this is one way, a lot of people also understand Presidents’ Day to be a celebration day for all the United States presidents and their birthdays.
Why is Presidents’ Day Celebrated?
As to why the day is celebrated as a federal holiday, we need to understand a bit about how this day came into existence, for which we need to trace history back to the 1880s. This was the first time when the birthday of George Washington- then the commanding officer of the Continental Army and also the first President of the United States, was celebrated as a holiday.
While being the birth anniversary, there’s no fixed date for the day as per rules laid down in the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill by Congress in the year 1968, where a lot of federal holidays were shifted to Mondays, bringing a ‘uniformity’ to it all.
It would be safe to say that Presidents’ Day honors both Washington and Lincoln majorly.
How is Presidents’ Day Celebrated?
As the case with every celebration, food encompasses an integral part, and the dish traditionally associated with Presidents’ Day is cherry pie, as Washington chopping a cherry tree down in his youth is a tale.
Other than this, the food celebration also involves fish delicacies, as fish is something Washington was supposedly very fond of.
While corporate businesses used to remain closed earlier, there has been a change now, and they tend to remain open, offering sales and other promotions to engage more customers during the celebrations. On the other hand, the federal and state offices remain close.
In the case of educational institutions like schools and colleges, the holiday remains subject to class schedules. A few school districts, like New York City, for instance, celebrate by giving off for a whole week as a mid-winter break.
Presidents’ Day is also celebrated as a day of tribute to the general responsible for creating the very first military badge for the common soldier injured in battle, The Purple Heart.
The cultural celebrations differ in different areas, but all of them are lengthy in their celebrations. While Texas hosts a month-long tribute, Alexandria, Virginia hosts what is also known as the country’s longest and largest George Washington birthday parade.
The Very First Presidents’ Day
While we mentioned above that Presidents’ Day originated in the 1880s, it was in the year 1885 that the day was celebrated for the very first time, with the date being February 2022.
Interesting Facts About the Day
Here are a few facts you should know about Presidents’ Day-
- The birthday of Abraham Lincoln falls closely to George Washington’s, but it isn’t celebrated as a federal holiday. Many states celebrate his birthday on Presidents’ Day as well.
- In the 1980s, it became common practice for businesses to use Presidents’ Day for selling their old stock.
- A chunk of people is not mistaken when they refer to this day as Presidents’ Day or President’s Day. This is because some people celebrate just the birthday of George Washington, some celebrate Washington as well as Lincoln, and some celebrate all the Presidents.
- In all, there were four Presidents born in the month of February, namely George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, and William Harrison.
You can mark your calendars for this exciting festival, surely. Looking for the right calendar though? There are some good options for you right here! (2022 calendars)
President’s Day in 2019 and Beyond
|President’s Day 2019||18 February 2019||Monday|
|President’s Day 2020||17 February 2020||Monday|
|President’s Day 2021||15 February 2021||Monday|
|President’s Day 2022||21 February 2022||Monday|
|President’s Day 2023||20 February 2023||Monday|
|President’s Day 2024||19 February 2024||Monday|
|President’s Day 2025||17 February 2025||Monday|
2022 Popular Holidays List
|Jan-01||Saturday||New Year’s Day|
|Jan-17||Monday||Martin Luther King Day|
|Feb-21||Monday||Presidents Day (this post)|
|Mar-17||Thursday||St. Patrick’s Day|
All in all, Presidents’ Day entails a good amount of celebrations and festivities in the United States. What makes it all the more intriguing is the different contexts, historical events, and preferences it brings within a single day of celebrations.