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Public Holidays

Delaware Public Holidays 2017

This page contains a calendar of all 2017 Delaware public holidays. Please scroll down to view.

Delaware celebrates eleven holidays that are also recognized by the federal government. On these days, state offices are closed and state employees are given paid days off for all holidays. However, there are some unique features about Delaware’s holiday law.

Delaware Holidays

Delaware recognizes all federal holidays, including Christmas, Independence Day and Thanksgiving. Saturday is also recognized as a legal holiday in Delaware. If a holiday falls on Saturday, it is observed on Friday while Sunday holidays are observed on Monday.

State employees are given paid days off on any federally recognized holiday. The same is true for some city and county employees as well. Private employers are not required to give employees paid time off for holidays. In addition, a private employer is not required to pay an employee more than their regular rate of pay if they are required to work on a holiday unless there is an agreement in place between employees and the employer to pay a higher rate on holidays. Federal employees and some government contractors must be paid holiday pay if they work on a holiday. Employers are also not required to close on a holiday. If they do decide to close, they are not required to pay an employee for the time the business is closed.

Regional Holidays

In Sussex County, Delaware, located in the southern section of the state, Returns Day is celebrated in the county seat of Georgetown on the Thursday after Election Day. The event began in 1791 when Delaware legislature required that all votes had to be cast at the county seat. All residents of each county had to travel to the county seat on election day to vote and then return to the county seat two days later to hear the results. In 1811, voting districts were created, but the Board of Canvassers continued to meet two days after the election in Georgetown to announce the results. Returns Day events ended in Delaware’s other two counties, but have continued in Georgetown for over 200 years. Although modern technology has eliminated the need for people to travel to Georgetown to hear election results, all county and city offices in Sussex County are closed, some for an entire day and others just half the day, to celebrate Returns Day. Local politicians who were rivals during the campaign, ride together in a parade and there is a ceremonial “burying of the hatchet” as the parade ends. Sand is brought in from Lewes, Delaware, which was the original county seat and the hatchet is buried in the sand in a box, signifying a return to civility in Delaware politics.

Returns Day is a celebration that is unique to Delaware. Most businesses remain open on the Thursday after election day. Many businesses along with county, state and local offices as well as schools are closed on Election Day. Only Sussex County schools close for Returns Day with many closing only half the day. All Sussex County government offices are closed on Returns Day.

Public Holidays 2017

This list has now been updated to reflect the official dates released by the Delaware State Government.

1 JanSunNew Year's Day
2 JanMonNew Year's Day Holiday
16 JanMonMartin Luther King Jr. Birthday
14 AprFriGood Friday
29 MayMonMemorial Day
4 JulTueIndependence Day
4 SepMonLabor Day
10 NovFriVeterans' Day Holiday
11 NovSatVeterans' Day
23 NovThuThanksgiving Day
24 NovFriThanksgiving Friday
25 DecMonChristmas Day