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Columbus Day 2024 in the United States

Columbus Day, which is on the second Monday of October, celebrates Christopher Columbus' arrival to the Americas on October 12, 1492. This is an important date in many Italian-American communities; it is controversial in some Native American communities.

Is Columbus Day a Public Holiday?

Columbus Day 2024 is a state holiday in 22 states, a state legal holiday in Tennessee, and a federal holiday in 28 states.
Columbus Day parade.

Columbus Day parade.

©iStockphoto.com/Ryan Rahman

Observe Columbus Day

Some Americans celebrate the anniversary of the discovery of their country with church services and other activities. In some towns and cities, special church services, parades and large events are held. Many celebrations happen in the Italian-American community. The celebrations in New York and San Francisco are particularly noteworthy. In Hawaii Columbus Day is celebrated as Discoverers' Day, but it is not a state holiday.

Many states now celebrate Native Americans' Day/Indigenous People's Day instead of Columbus Day.

What’s Open or Closed?

Columbus day is a public holiday in many parts of the United states, but is not a day off in some states. Some government offices are closed because Columbus Day is still a federal government holiday.

In Tennesse, Columbus Day is a legal holiday according to the Tenn. Code Ann. § 15-1-101 (2019), but the Governor can substitute the day after Thanksgiving for Columbus Day for the purpose of closing state offices. When this occurs, state employees do not get a day off on the second Monday of October. Instead, they get the Friday after the fourth Thursday of November as a holiday.

Many businesses and shops are open in states that don't have Columbus Day as a public holiday. Schools are not required to close but check with your school district or school calendar on Columbus Day school holiday closures. The same goes for post offices - check with your local post office.

Long Weekend

Since Columbus Day falls on Monday, it is one of the public holidays in the United States that always create a long weekend.

About Columbus Day

Christopher Columbus is often portrayed as the first European to sail to the Americas. He is sometimes portrayed as the discoverer of the New World. However, this is controversial on many counts. There is evidence that the first Europeans to sail across the Atlantic were Viking explorers from Scandinavia. In addition, the land was already populated by indigenous peoples, who had 'discovered' the Americas thousands of years before.

Columbus Day originated as a celebration of Italian-American heritage, due to the explorer´s origins in Italy. The holiday was first held in San Francisco in 1869. The first state-wide celebration took place in Colorado in 1907. Thirty years later, Columbus Day become a holiday across the United States. Since 1971, it has been celebrated on the second Monday in October. The date on which Columbus arrived in the Americas is also celebrated as the Día de la Raza (Day of the Race) in Latin America and some Latino communities in the USA. However, it is a controversial holiday in some countries and has been re-named in others.

Columbus Day celebrations are controversial in some American communities because the settlement of Europeans in the Americas led to the deaths of a large proportion of the native people. Some have argued that this settlement was a direct result of Columbus' actions. It has also been argued that Columbus should not be honored for discovering North America, as he only went as far as some islands in the Caribbean and never set foot on mainland America.

Note: timeanddate.com states the facts and issues associated with this observance but does not disclose its opinion on the matter.

Columbus Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2019MonOct 14Columbus DayFederal Holiday 
2019MonOct 14Columbus DayState HolidayAll except AK, AR, CA, DE, FL, HI, MI, MN, ND, NM, NV, OR, SD, TX, VT, WA, WY
2020MonOct 12Columbus DayFederal Holiday 
2020MonOct 12Columbus DayState Legal HolidayTennessee
2020MonOct 12Columbus DayState Holiday22 states
2021MonOct 11Columbus DayFederal Holiday 
2021MonOct 11Columbus DayState Legal HolidayTennessee
2021MonOct 11Columbus DayState Holiday22 states
2022MonOct 10Columbus DayState Holiday22 states
2022MonOct 10Columbus DayState Legal HolidayTennessee
2022MonOct 10Columbus DayFederal Holiday 
2023MonOct 9Columbus DayState Legal HolidayTennessee
2023MonOct 9Columbus DayState Holiday22 states
2023MonOct 9Columbus DayFederal Holiday 
2024MonOct 14Columbus DayFederal Holiday 
2024MonOct 14Columbus DayState Holiday22 states
2024MonOct 14Columbus DayState Legal HolidayTennessee
2025MonOct 13Columbus DayState Legal HolidayTennessee
2025MonOct 13Columbus DayState Holiday22 states
2025MonOct 13Columbus DayFederal Holiday 
2026MonOct 12Columbus DayState Holiday22 states
2026MonOct 12Columbus DayState Legal HolidayTennessee
2026MonOct 12Columbus DayFederal Holiday 
2027MonOct 11Columbus DayState Holiday22 states
2027MonOct 11Columbus DayState Legal HolidayTennessee
2027MonOct 11Columbus DayFederal Holiday 
2028MonOct 9Columbus DayState Legal HolidayTennessee
2028MonOct 9Columbus DayFederal Holiday 
2028MonOct 9Columbus DayState Holiday22 states
2029MonOct 8Columbus DayState Legal HolidayTennessee
2029MonOct 8Columbus DayState Holiday22 states
2029MonOct 8Columbus DayFederal Holiday 

While we diligently research and update our holiday dates, some of the information in the table above may be preliminary. If you find an error, please let us know.