The word holiday is derived from the Old English word haligdaeg, meaning “holy day”; the original meaning of the term was a religious celebration. Today, the word holiday refers to a day or period of time set aside for celebration. In some countries, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, a holiday is the equivalent of a vacation. Many sovereign nations also observe a holiday based on historical events, such as a religious holiday or an important date in their calendar.
The United States celebrates Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday of November every year. Many people celebrate this holiday by hosting a big party, celebrating the beginning of a new year. Many people drink champagne as the clock strikes midnight and kiss those around them. New Years is also a time for making New Year’s Resolutions, lists of things they want to accomplish during the year. Whether you choose to celebrate the new year in style or take time off from work, there is sure to be something to enjoy during this season.
The United States is divided into 50 states, each of which has jurisdiction over holidays. Federal holidays are recognized by the President and Congress. Most states observe these federal holidays, while smaller cities and counties may choose to ignore them. However, employers with 15 or more employees must grant requests for religious observances that aren’t included on their holiday calendar. This is a way to avoid the issue of discrimination from religious beliefs. But there are many challenges to celebrating religious holidays at work.
In addition to Christmas and Hanukkah, other major holidays are observances of the year. Some religions do not celebrate holidays, while others do. The Christian Church celebrates Christmas on Dec. 25, but Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7. In addition, Hindus celebrate Diwali, a five-day festival starting on Nov. 6 in 2018 and ending Oct. 27 in 2019. Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan and begins at sundown on June 4 in 2019. Hanukkah, a seven-day Jewish holiday celebrated between Dec. 10 and December 25, is also a popular holiday. Despite the religious differences, many employers honor this holiday with a little creativity.
For UW students, there are 11 scheduled holidays this year. For employees to receive holiday pay, they must be in a pay status on the day before and following the holiday. Additionally, employees must be in a pay status on the normal workday immediately before and after the holiday. However, this isn’t enough for some businesses. Whether you’re a student or a parent, public holidays can have a big impact on your business, so it’s a good idea to keep track of these events.
Another great way to reduce waste is to donate gifts of time. Several million pounds of waste are generated every year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Give your loved ones a gift that will be used and appreciated. Volunteering at a soup kitchen or babysitter’s office, or even attending a museum or full moon walk can also be a great way to give back. If you’re short on cash, you can also offer to make holiday bouquets or videotape favorite family stories.