SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — In California, there were 11 holidays the state observed throughout the year but next year that number will increase.
According to the California Department of Human Resources, here are the paid holidays observed by the state:
- New Year’s Day
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- Presidents’ Day
- Cesar Chavez Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Veterans Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Day after Thanksgiving
- Christmas Day
New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas are all federal holidays.
When are these holidays observed?
Thanksgiving is held on the fourth Thursday in November, while Independence Day (July 4), Christmas (Dec. 25), and Veterans Day (Nov. 11) are always held on their respective days every year.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day are always held on a Monday, but never on the same date annually. Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday in May while Labor Day is on the first Monday in September.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day observes the civil rights icon’s birthday, typically held on the third Monday of January, while President’s day is on the third Monday in February.
When is Cesar Chavez Day observed?
Cesar Chavez Day is a holiday observed by the state of California on March 31 every year. It’s not officially a federal holiday, but California has observed it since 1995.
It’s observed every year on March 31 because that day is Chavez’s birthday.
Cesar Chavez Day became a federal commemorative holiday in 2014 after a 2014 proclamation from President Barack Obama.
There have been several campaigns to make Cesar Chavez Day a national holiday, but a rule in Congress prevents bills with federal holiday provisions from being introduced.
Is Juneteenth a State holiday?
Juneteenth recently became a holiday for state employees after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill on Sept. 29.
Assembly Bill 1655 allows state employees to take paid time off on June 19th or the nearest Friday or Monday if it falls on a weekend.
“I am immensely proud of the richness of diversity and backgrounds represented in our state and understand the importance of wanting to see one’s own experience in state holidays,” Newsom said in a signing message.
The bill was introduced by Assembly Members Reggie Jones-Sawyer, Mia Bonta, and Akilah Weber.
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day on which a Union general arrived in Texas and “inform(ed) enslaved Blacks of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended,” according to a state analysis of the bill. The announcement came more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
Juneteenth is one of three holidays that will be observed in California starting next year.
Genocide Remembrance Day
Public schools and community colleges are permitted to close every April 24 for Genocide Remembrance Day.
On Sept. 29, Newsom signed AB 1801 to observe the day as a state holiday, which also allows state employees to use eight hours of vacation time, annual leave or compensating time off of personal holiday credit.
Genocide Remembrance Day is held annually to commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide of 1915, which was a series of massacres and starvation of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire.
“Genocide Commemoration is more than a history lesson,” Newsom said in his signing message. “It is a powerful tool to engage people across generations in the sanctity of human rights, the enormity of crimes, and how to prevent future atrocities. Establishing a state holiday that commemorates genocides — both past and present — provides space for groups to heal and sends a powerful signal about our California values.”
Lunar New Year
On Sept. 29, Newsom signed AB 2596 to make Lunar New Year a holiday for any state employee. State employees are able to get eight hours of vacation, annual leave or compensation time off of personal holiday credit.
Lunar New Year is celebrated among numerous Asian cultures throughout the world.
“The Lunar New Year celebrates a chance to leave behind the troubles of the past year and invite prosperity and good luck moving forward,” Newsom said in his signing message. “Recognizing this day as a state holiday acknowledges the diversity and cultural significance Asian Americans bring to California and provides an opportunity for all Californians to participate in the significance of the Lunar New Year.
Native American Day
Recently, Native American Day became a paid holiday for court employees in California and judicial court systems were closed. The holiday falls on the fourth Friday of September and it became a paid holiday this year on Sept. 23.
“Proud to celebrate the first paid California Native American day for any court worker,” Assemblymember James Ramos tweeted on Sept. 21. “Thank you, California Judicial Council for sponsoring the bill, thank you Judge R. Glenn Yabuno presiding judge of the San Bernardino Superior Court, and his team, and the cultural performers.”