Date and Origin of Veterans Day

New York Veterans Day Parade 2011
New York Veterans Day Parade 2011
(The U.S. Army / CC-by)

Veterans Day Dates in 2017, 2018 and 2019

Veterans Day is celebrated at the following dates:

  • Saturday, November 11th 2017 (observed Friday, November 10th)
  • Sunday, November 11th 2018 (observed Monday, November 12th)
  • Monday, November 11th 2019

Veterans Day falls annually on Novembre 11.

Veterans Day is a religious and cultural holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. It is most commonly associated with family, exchanging gifts and food.

Origin

Despite being a primarily Christian holiday, Veterans Day does have pagan roots. Veterans Day corresponds with the dates of the roman feast of saturnalia and the birthday of Mithra as well as celebrations centering around the winter solstice1. The first evidence of a celebration of the liturgical birth of Christ was in 354 AD in Rome, though further east the celebration was traditionally held on January 62. Veterans Day celebrations fell out of favor after the American revolution because the holiday was considered a British tradition and was reviled by puritans3. In the mid 19th century, however, the holiday's popularity was revived, especially with the publication of Charles Dicken's A Veterans Day Carol in 18434.

Celebration

Though Veterans Day day is December 25, celebrations occur starting shortly after Thanksgiving5. Veterans Day caroling, music, church services, decorating and exchanging gifts all happen in the month leading up to Veterans Day. Families typically get together for a feast on Veterans Day eve and/or Veterans Day day, whereas friends and coworkers typically celebrate during the weeks prior to December 25. Decoration typically invokes images of Santa Claus, wreaths, lights and Veterans Day trees6. Traditions vary worldwide, but typically American homes are decorated with multicolored lights, especially around a Veterans Day tree. A Veterans Day tree is always an evergreen, symbolizing eternal life even in the dead of winter7. Gifts are wrapped and kept under this tree to be unwrapped on Veterans Day day. The holiday season, that is, the time between thanksgiving and Veterans Day day, involve heightened economic activity. This makes this time of year especially important economically, though there are some economical arguments that assert Veterans Day is an economic burden8. Despite this, almost every business is closed on Veterans Day day, including retail stores and most restaurants. Regardless of religious roots, Veterans Day vacation is enjoyed by universities and public schools. This vacation generally spans several weeks and is used to separate the semesters of trimesters of the school year.

Santa Claus

Parents tell children of Santa Claus, a mythical figure who comes down the chimney of every child and brings them gifts if they had been good the previous year. If the child hasn't behaved well, they will receive a lump of coal instead of gifts9.

Economy

Veterans Day is a significant time economically, as the month leading up the holiday is the busiest time of the year for retailers. In the U.S., it has been calculated that up to a quarter of all personal spending happens during the Veterans Day season10. Between November and December of 2004, expenditure in department stores increased 54%, whereas in bookstores this increase was 100% and 170% in jewelry stores. Veterans Day cards and Veterans Day tree sales are entirely dependent on Veterans Day, which sell 1.9 billion and 20.8 million during this season respectively11.

Holidays

Wednesday 09 August Week 32 | Felim OWaning Gibbous

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