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District of Columbia

District of Columbia Holidays

Discover upcoming public holiday dates for District of Columbia and start planning to make the most of your time off.

The District of Columbia follows federal guidelines when it comes to holidays that are recognized within the city.

Federal Employees in Washington DC are entitled to ten holidays, including Memorial Day, Labor Day and Columbus Day. Federal, city and state offices are closed on all recognized holidays. If a holiday falls on a Saturday, it is celebrated on the day before while Sunday holidays are celebrated on the Monday after the holiday.

The District of Columbia recognizes Emancipation Day as a holiday as well, with many offices and businesses closed on the Monday closest to April 16. The holiday recognizes the date in 1862 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act, freeing slaves in the District of Columbia, three years before slavery officially ended in the United States with the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment.

In 2005, Emancipation Day became an official public holiday in Washington, DC. Three other states celebrate the emancipation of slaves, all on different dates.

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