Is Good Friday and Easter Monday A Federal Holiday?

Easter Sunday is fast approaching, marking the end of Holy Week for Christians around the world. Two significant dates associated with the religious holiday are Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Good Friday, which falls on Friday, April 15th, this year, is always celebrated on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday and commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary nearly 2,000 years ago. Many will observe the day by fasting and attending church services and reenactments.

Similarly the day after Easter Sunday, aka Easter Monday, which falls on Monday, April 18th, is seen by many as a day of remembrance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Both days are significant to the Christian calendar, but does that make them federal holidays?

Good Friday

Despite it's importance to Christians around the U.S., Good Friday is not a federal holiday. This means that federal offices will remain open and federal employees will be working. The U.S. Post Office will be open, as will UPS and FedEx. Banks will be open but business hours may vary. Other services such as public libraries will also remain open along with major retailers, shops, convenience stores, pharmacies and food establishments.

Most public schools will remain open, however, Catholic schools and other religious institutions may close to observe the holy day. Some schools will also incorporate Good Friday into their spring break.

The U.S. stock market will be closed, including the New York Stock Exchange Market and Nasdaq, meaning that trades will not be processed on this day and will have to be complete by Thursday or moved to the following week.

However, to complicate matters, Good Friday is currently recognized as a state or government holiday in 12 states— Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas. In these states, state and local government offices and courts will be closed, as will some banks and post offices. Public libraries and schools may also be closed.

It is always best to call any establishments you wish to visit ahead of time to confirm openings, no matter what state you live in.

Easter Monday

While it is celebrated as a bank holiday or public holiday in countries around the world, Easter Monday is also not a federal holiday in the U.S. and is not nationally observed. It is also not a recognized state holiday in any state, although North Dakota informally celebrates the day, as do some cities in New York, Michigan, and Indiana. Banks will again remain open, as will city, state and federal offices, public services and retailers.

Although there isn't an official national observance, the U.S. still has a few Easter Monday traditions such as the White House Easter Egg Roll hosted by the U.S. president and first lady. The official event, for children and their parents, dates back to 1878 and includes the Egg Roll race, egg decorating and appearances from the Easter Bunny.

Full list of federal holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (third Monday of January)
  • President's Day (third Monday of February)
  • Memorial Day (last Monday of May)
  • Juneteenth (June 19)
  • Independence Day (July 4)
  • Labor Day (first Monday of September)
  • Indigenous Peoples' Day or Columbus Day (second Monday of October)
  • Veterans' Day (November 11)
  • Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday of November)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)
Washington DC Capitol dome and waving flag
Washington DC Capitol dome with waving American flag. Good Friday and Easter Monday are not recognized as federal holidays even though Good Friday is a holiday in several states. Getty Images

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