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Photo: bulbspark (Shutterstock) April 15 is not tax day this year—that’s on April 18—but it’s the first day of Passover, Good Friday, and National Glazed Spiral Ham Day . Most financial markets, including the New York Stock Exchange, will be closed for the day, but banks will be open and mail will be delivered. Most stores will be open, but many schools will be closed. It’s an official holiday in 10 states, but not the other 40, and about 20% of American workers will enjoy a day off. So, what gives? Is Good Friday a holiday or not? How we determine the holiday-ness of a given day is actually more complicated than you might think. It involves the nuanced interplay between the federal government, state governments, the private sector, and the collective unconscious of the citizenry. Federal holidays, state holidays, municipal holidays, and public holidays When it comes to holiday-definition, people who live in autocratic nations have it easy. The leader declares October 8 “Glorious Celebration of the People’s Victory Day,” and everything moves accordingly. Here in the United States, though, our troublesome “freedom” makes things messier. We don’t have “national holidays” in the U.S., as no one is compelled to follow the lead of the federal government in these matters, so the most “official” kind of holidays we have are federal holidays. These are days that congress and the president determine require people to take a day off work. There are 11 most years, with an extra one […]