Washington's Birthday

This federal holiday is celebrated every 3rd Monday of February each year.


Portrait of George Washington.

President’s Day or officially named as Washington’s Birthday is celebrated on the third Monday of February, in the United States of America which this year happened to fall on February 20th.

President George Washington the first President of the United States of America was born on February 22nd and another much loved and very popular President Abraham Lincoln was also born in the month of February and on the 12th, hence it is seen as a joint effort to recognize their services to the nation that February 20th was selected as President’s Day and named Washington’s Birthday which is a Federal holiday.

This day has now become a common day to honor all the Presidents of the United States of America, present as well the past, those living and those deceased.

Depending on the respective State the name could be construed a per what it would be called in that State hence it is sometimes called Washington’s Birthday, President’s Day, and also in some States as Washington’s and Lincoln’s Birthday.

It is a holiday in all States as well and depending on the calendar the event could be celebrated, any day between January 15th and the 22nd, as it is decreed as the third Monday of every February of every year. President George Washington was officially born on February 11th 1731, when at that time the entire British Empire adopted the Julian calendar which was termed later as the old style or old calendar, as the British considered themselves not to be bound by the Gregorian calendar which was being adopted by the Catholic Church in the Vatican along with the rest of the Catholic world since 1582.

There was utter confusion especially during the 1700’s where it was found that the British practiced Julian calendar was eleven days behind the Gregorian calendar, then to put things right the British too reverted to the Gregorian calendar in 1752 and those dates especially important ones like George Washington’s Birthday had to be re-calculated to the new Gregorian calendar.

Hence February 11th the day that President George Washington was born under new calculations came to be February 22nd which became then, for easy references as the third Monday of every February.

The Federal holiday to honor the first President of the United States of America was first enacted in 1879 initially to encompass all government offices in the capital Washington by an act of the United States Congress.

Then in 1885 it was extended to all Federal offices in all the States across the United States, and as the first Federal holiday to honor the first President or for that matter any President, the date was fixed on his birthday which was on February 22nd.

Then with the introduction of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, like most Federal holidays, on January 1st 1971 the Federal holiday honoring President George Washington and all other Presidents was shifted to the third Monday of February.

As this date does not coincide with George Washington’s actual birthday it is called President’s day in many States across the USA.

Federal Holidays of the USA by Year