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Almost every day of the year is either a holiday or is observed for a special commemoration.

Holidays are dates that are set aside in honor of historical, cultural, or religious events or in the name of people of who have made a significant contribution to national affairs. Holidays generally hold significant meanings and values for individuals, countries, religious groups, organizations, or cultures.

Some holidays are recognized internationally and some are celebrated within individual countries. Some are celebrated by people of certain cultures, backgrounds, or religious affiliations. National holidays are usually set aside by laws that mandate nationwide observation. There are also state and local holidays that are indigenous to particular states or regions.

There are holidays that have their origins in more recent years while some have been around for hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of years. Christmas and Easter have been celebrated for thousands of years while Thanksgiving Day in the United States, though observed since the early 1600's, was proclaimed a national holiday in 1863. The Fourth of July has been celebrated in the United States since the American Revolution but was not proclaimed a national holiday until 1941.

Although certain holidays are set up to give workers time off with pay for that day, many are not. Holidays such as Christmas, New Years Day, Martin Luther King Day, The 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Memorial Day are usually given off with pay. On paid holidays, employees are paid time and a half or double time if they go to work that day.

If the holiday is not a sanctioned paid day off, they are considered working holidays. There are many of them throughout the year. National Freedom Day, Child Health Day, Chinese New Year, Armed Forces Day, Flag Day, Easter Sunday, and New Year's Eve are observed but are not considered national holidays.

Although holidays may appear to hurt the economy because of work slow downs or stoppages, it is just the opposite. It gives workers a day off and many of them use that time to shop, go to movies, sporting events, museums, parks, take trips and to do things that they enjoy doing. And each activity cost money to pursue so, in other words, a lot of money is spent on holiday pursuits.

Holidays are important because large quantities of merchandise are bought and sold during these times and many of the companies that produce and manufacture these products reap the benefits when people are able to take a day off and are able to spend the time shopping and buying their products.

Holidays are good for merchants, large and small businesses, for workers, and they are good for the economy.

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