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

Posted On: February 19, 2017

“Why are there so many 3-day weekends in the US?”
This was a question asked as we wrapped up an expat preparation program for assignees readying to move to the USA.
What's Up with so Many 3-day Weekends?

The 3-day weekend is typically known as “the long weekend” in conversational English.

Some new to the US may think the 3-day weekends is 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 (also Indigenous People’s 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 the Uniform Monday Holiday Act on Wikipedia or by watching this video on YouTube.


Author, Jennifer Kumar, has prepared over 2,500 expats for thier business travel and relocation to the US since 2010. Our program encompasses single assignees or families with options for spouse and youth coaching as well as options for preparing to study in the US as a professional. Our program, Work & Live in the USA is available for individuals or corporates.

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


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