Presidents Day 2018
Presidents Day 2018 will take place on Monday, February 19th. Presidents Day is a quintessentially American holiday which celebrates both the incumbent Commander-in-chief as well as their predecessors. Though the holiday has undergone some changes in its meaning and purpose, the spirit of the occasion remains the same. Presidents Day is recognized by the federal government and celebrated across the nation annually.
When Do We Celebrate Presidents Day?
Presidents Day is celebrated on the third Monday of February each year. The date reflects the holiday’s original purpose of celebrating George Washington’s birthday, which falls on the twenty-second, though the holiday eventually evolved into a more general celebration.
The specific date on which Presidents Day falls is not static. The holiday can land between the fifteenth and the twenty-first of each calendar year. Presidents Day 2018, for instance, took place on the nineteenth of the month.
Presidents Day has been celebrated nationally as far back as 1885, making it an impressively storied American tradition.
Why Do We Celebrate Presidents Day?
Presidents Day is a significant holiday for a number of reasons, the bulk of which correlate directly to concepts of American unity and nationalism. As already mentioned, the holiday shifted from being specifically about George Washington to celebrating all presidents, a decision made to create a broader celebration of the long list of American leaders. That said, some states, such as Virginia, still use the name ‘Washington Day.’
Often cited reasons as to why Presidents Day is a federally recognized holiday include paying respect to deceased Presidents, as well as to create a general sense of patriotism among American citizens.
As a federal holiday, Presidents Day is often used as a vacation day for students and federal employees. The holiday isn’t given the same weight as behemoths like Thanksgiving on a corporate level, however, so the general workforce is at the whim of their employer in regards to an additional vacation day.
The holiday has some similarities to the British tradition of celebrating the current monarch’s birthday nationally. Presidents Day also has parallels with any federal holiday created with the intention of perpetuating the concept of nationalism and unity among citizens of a specific country.