Presidents Day – A February Holiday

This “floating Monday” holiday, which falls on the third Monday of February, is officially known as Washington’s Birthday. However, as Washington’s Birthday (February 22) and Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12) fall close to each other, these two days were combined into one holiday colloquially known as ‘Presidents Day.’ 

Presidents Day is both a federal holiday, and for most banks, a bank holiday, also. 

What’s the Official Name of the Holiday? 

Is it Presidents Day (a day for many Presidents), President’s Day (a day for a single President) or Presidents’ Day (a day for two specific Presidents)? Frankly, I am not sure there is a standard as there is no consensus. Even when seeing President’s Day sales flyers, we can see many different spellings of this term. Each of the three Presidents Day images in this blog are from various sale ads, for instance. (And, for that reason, purposefully, in this blog, I have not chosen one particular spelling.) 

What’s for sale on Presidents Day? 

The late night shows all joke that this time of the year is a best time to get a new mattress, home appliance or bed (mattress), which doesn’t seem far from the truth seeing the ads on TV or online. Other sales include good deals on winter clothing as the season is coming to an end (and in some stores swimwear, such as bikinis are seen). But, actually it seems almost anything is up for grabs as a sale item. Stores of all categories have sales just to be able to jump on the sales bandwagon. 

So, What is Celebrated On Presidents Day? 
School children may have special lessons on Washington or Lincoln around this time of the year. Some younger students may also learn about American money and coins to correlate which Presidents are on which kinds of money. If Presidents Day is seen as a day to celebrate any or all Presidents, then lessons may focus on the great deeds of any President. 

Adults really don’t celebrate Presidents Day in my experience. I am also not familiar with community parades, flag hoisting or any other public celebration or commemoration (however, if your area of the US does hold a public gathering, do let us know in the comments below). However, in 2017, some are celebrating ‘President’s Day’ as ‘Not My President Day’ with anti-Trump rallies.

Is it a Day Off Work (or School)?

While President’s Day (officially known as Washington’s Birthday) is a Federal Holiday, so government offices, schools and post offices have the day off, most office-going people do have to go to work. Additionally, many schools end up having the whole week off. This week may be known as ‘mid-winter break.’ 

What is open or closed on Presidents Day?
Though we know schools are closed, government offices are closed and most banks are closed, it is up to the discretion of each business or entity to remain open, have abbreviated hours or close. In some areas public services like buses or garbage pick up may be halted. Watch your local NBC, CBS or NBC channel to know more about your local area, to see updates like in the video below from KHON, a FOX affiliate in Hawai'i. 

Is Mid-Winter Break the Same as Spring Break?

No. These two weeks off are very different. While mid-winter break is typically for schools (Kindergarten through 12th grade), Spring Break is both for school and college students. Spring break tends to fall anytime between late February and mid April depending on the academic calendar and area of the country. A majority of spring break week-long holidays tend to fall during Easter time.

Small Talk for Presidents Day

There really is no greeting or wish for this day. As far as small talk at work, people may talk about: 
  • What their kids may be doing to spend their time during their break.
  • Day care for kids during mid-winter break. (Now a days there are mid-winter camps!)
  • How they may need to rearrange their work day to be with their kids during the week.
  • If they are planning on going to sales or buying stuff.

Note, both talking about children and cost of things are two sensitive small talk topics in the U.S. office. Typically, these topics may be bought up indirectly until we get to know a person.

When is Presidents Day:

2017: Monday, February 20
2018: Monday, February 19
2019: Monday, February 18
2020: Monday, February 17
2021: Monday, February 15

When is Mid-Winter Break:

2017: Monday, February 20 – Friday, February 24
2018: Monday, February 19 – Friday, February 23
2019: Monday, February 18 – Friday, February 22
2020: Monday, February 17 – Friday, February 21
2021: Monday, February 15 – Friday, February 19

What are Other February Holidays in the U.S.?

Groundhog Day - February 2nd
Valentine's Day - February 14th 
Mardi Gras - February 28th (date changes yearly)

More Videos about Presidents Day

Presidents Day Sales NBC 9 Cincinnati, Ohio 

Snow storms are common during this time of the year, as reported by WLWT, NBC Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Read more about common weather patterns in the US.)

Basic overview of Presidents Day.

Note: the first ad is from BMW, the second is from and the third from Ford. Ads are used only for demonstration purposes. The companies have not paid for sponsored ads on Authentic Journeys, nor does Authentic Journeys do business with these companies.

What's Up with so Many 3-day Weekends?

"The Long Weekend" seems to be as American as apple pie. Americans may not think so, as we (me included) are so used to them. But, talking to people in India who work on global teams with Americans, many find the three day weekend an alluring idea. 

Of course, many of the holidays that create these long weekends are moved specifically to create the three day respite rather than having a day off mid week, which would stifle productivity, I guess.  

The three day weekend became common place less than 50 years ago in 1971. The holidays that were moved to Monday under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act were/are: 
  • Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday, the 3rd Monday of January, originally January 15
  • Washington's Birthday (Presidents Day), 3rd Monday of February, originally February February 22
  • Memorial Day, last Monday in May, originally May 30
  • Labor Day, first Monday in September 
  • Columbus Day, 2nd Monday in October, observed in some states on October 12 

The only holiday that was initially added to this Act, but then removed was Veterans Day

Learn more about this Act on Wikipedia or by watching the video below. 

Related Posts: 
American Holidays Throughout the Year 
The confusing American vacation 

How to Find Good Quality Insurance For Your US Visit

When you’re heading to a foreign country, working out what sort of health coverage you need can be tricky. Local health laws, care standards and medical costs can be a mystery. Finding a health insurance plan when traveling can be remarkably easy, but finding good quality cover that won’t leave you high and dry when you need care can be more difficult. 

Having previously covered what your insurance options might be when traveling to the US for business, this time we’re going to discuss how to make sure you’re finding not only a good plan but also the best deal available for that coverage. 

Where to find good insurance? 

Opportunities to buy insurance are everywhere; airlines and booking agents will offer travel insurance when you purchase your tickets, online comparison websites advertise good deals on plans, and many insurers themselves have worked hard to make their brands synonymous with the phrase “insurance”. As a traveling expat consumer, how do you know where the best place to go is? 

Booking agent and airline-linked travel insurance 

Often when you’re booking an overseas flight, the airline or booking agent you’re using will offer you the option to purchase travel insurance with your flights. Insurance will be sold by the airline or agent, but will generally be provided through an insurer such as American International Group (airline Emirates use AIG subsidiaries and affiliates depending on where in the world you fly with them from).

Purchasing insurance through these channels will generally have the lowest premium cost available. They’re also simple and easy to use; you will be provided with your insurance policy details at the same time you receive your flight details. The risk is that their cheaper price can often indicate low benefits and limits, meaning needing care abroad can sometimes end up with more out-of-pocket costs. 

Online comparison websites 

Online insurance quote comparison websites, such as India’s Policybazaar, are big business. These sites have tools available for expats to have a number of quotes populated for them from a database, based on a few questions about them and their traveling plans. This means greater choice over what you choose to pay for your travel insurance, and what benefits and limits you include.

A drawback is that these sites require you to do a lot more reading of the fine print yourself, as well as putting an expectation on you to understand insurance language. Otherwise you might be caught out with some policy jargon that makes you believe you’re covered for something you’re not.

Using an insurance broker

Insurance brokers work out the best possible price for a travel insurance plan while ensuring you get the sort of coverage you need. They’re a purchasing assistant, navigating the market and leveraging their established relationships with insurers, as well as a servicing agent who can help you make claims and support you through any issues (something airlines and websites won’t do).

A professional broker, such as Pacific Prime Singapore, can take a lot of the hassle and mystery out of finding appropriate health care coverage if you’re heading to the United States. If you have a business trip coming up and you need an insurance plan, contact their expert advisors today for a free quote!

About the Author

Luther Putu is a Marketing Executive for the international insurance broker Pacific Prime, an intermediary known for simplifying insurance matters. Their team works tirelessly to ensure their clients understand how healthcare works around the world, so they can get the best deals on insurance premiums wherever they are.


The information in this post is for research purposes. Authentic Journeys does not promote or advertise Pacific Prime (or related links in the post), nor have the two companies done business together. 

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