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North American Weekday Holiday Act

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In the US and Canada, a number of public holidays and observances occur on particular weekdays of a month, rather than on specific calendar dates (day of month).  This is apparently done in many instances to schedule their occurrence close to a weekend.  Unfortunately, the laws defining these holidays usually specify the weekday of a particular calendar month.  As a result, the actual occurrence of these holidays is haphazard from year to year, and the intervals between such holidays vary from year to year, making the planning of work, vacation, and academic schedules difficult.     

If all these holidays and observances were defined in terms of one specified date, then they would all occur at regular intervals from year to year.  I believe that the best date would be the first Thursday of January.  In this way, each such weekday holiday would always occur on the same ISO weekday in any given year.    

Below is a table showing a list of such holidays and observances, how they are currently defined, and how they could be redefined: 

 Holidays and observances, current and proposed definitions
US Holiday Canada Definition ISO weekdays Redefinition
ML King Day 3rd Mon/Jan W03-1 43% W04-1 57% 3rd Mon after 1st Thr
Presidents Day Family Day 3rd Mon/Feb W07-1 14% W08-1 86% 7th Mon after 1st Thr
Mothers’ Day 2nd Sun/May W18-7 25% W19-7 75% 18th Sun after 1st Thr
Victoria Day Mon before May 25 W21-1 96% W22-1 4% 20th Mon after 1st Thr
Memorial Day Last Mon of May W22-1 96% W23-1 4% 21st Mon after 1st Thr
Fathers’ Day 3rd Sun/Jun W24-7 82% W25-7 18% 23rd Sun after 1st Thr
Civic Holiday 1st Mon/Aug W31-1 25% W32-1 75% 31st Mon after 1st Thr
Labor Day 1st Mon/Sep W36-1 82% W37-1 18% 35th Mon after 1st Thr
Columbus Day Thanksgiving 2nd Mon/Oct W41-1 54% W42-1 46% 40th Mon after 1st Thr
Election Day 1st Tue after 1st Mon/Nov W44-2 4% W45-2 96% 44th Tue after 1st Thr
Thanksgiving 4th Thr/Nov W47-4 54% W48-4 46% 46th Thr after 1st Thr

—Walter Ziobro

See also Edit

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