How To: Make a holiday

Hunter Mckenzie, Reporter

Creating an original holiday is a little more difficult than one might think. To create an official National holiday, the idea must be passed by Congress. It is a complicated process, but it is possible. First,  one must contact the local congressperson and give them the idea, then ideally within a few years the holiday idea will have made it to Congress.

Getting the idea passed requires a little bit of word-twisting because there are only technically 10 National Holidays. They are New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Washington’s Birthday (better known as Presidents’ Day), Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. There is only one person who can declare a holiday and have it go straight to Congress and that is the President.

For example, Martin Luther King Jr. Day took nearly two decades to establish. MLK Day was the first added since Memorial Day which was created in 1948.  There is a day set aside for making holidays, March 26th, that is Make Your Own Holiday Day.  This holiday was made by The Wellness Permission League. Although it can not be considered a “National holiday” because it has not been passed by Congress yet, many people attest that it is a holiday.

Although an executive order allows a one-time holiday to be declared, the approval of Congress is required to make a holiday part of the yearly National Calendar. Even then, the states are not required to follow the congressional commision. In the 1980s, for example, Arizona did not give workers the day off on MLK Day; Arizona voters finally approved the holiday in 1991 because there was a massive tourist boycott.

The key is finding a good reason to celebrate and create a National holiday. If a good reason is found, then one can do what some religious groups or families do. That is celebrate the “holiday” for themselves. At this point in history, the opportunities are endless of what one can celebrate about, it is just that one might be celebrating by oneself until it is passed by the government.