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Puerto Rican Public Holidays in 2018

As a U.S. commonwealth, Puerto Rico observes the traditional holidays of the United States and also observes nine local public holidays. On these observed holidays, most banks and state agencies are closed. Check with the establishement for specific schedules.

January 1
Año Nuevo (New Year's Day)

Puerto Ricans welcome the New Year surrounded by family and friends. Traditional food is served: arroz con gandules, roasted pig, pasteles, coquito, pitorro, rice pudding or tembleque.

January 6
Día de los Tres Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day or Epiphany)

Celebrations are held to commemorate the day that the three Wise Men (Balthasar, Melchoir and Gaspar) brought gifts to the Christ child. On the evening of January 5, it is traditional for children to fill a box with fresh grass and put it underneath their beds, for the Wise Men's camels. The Wise Men will then take the grass to feed the camels. The boxes of grass are exchanged for gifts.

January 8
Conmemoración del Natalicio de Eugenio María de Hostos (Eugenio María de Hostos Birthday)

Celebrated on the second Monday of January, this is an official holiday of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. It celebrates the life and achievements of Eugenio Mar’a de Hostos, a writer and statesman who was prominent in the fight for independence and the end to slavery in the late 19th century.

January 15
Conmemoración del Natalicio de Martin Luther King, Jr. (Martin Luther King Birthday)

Celebrated on the third Monday in January, this is a federal and commonwealth official holiday. It celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American civil rights leader. He is most well-known for his campaigns to end racial segregation on public transport and for racial equality in the United States.

February 14
Día de San Valentín (Valentine's Day)

Celebrated annually on February 14. Chocolate, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine.

February 19
Día de los Presidentes (Presidents' Day)
(third Monday in February)

Celebrated on the third Monday in February, this is federal and commonwealth official holiday. Presidents's Day, officially Washington's Birthday, honors presidents of the United States, including George Washington, the USA's first president.

March 22
Día de la Abolición de la Esclavitud (Emancipation Day)

Emancipation Day is an official holiday of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, commemorating the abolition of slavery on March 22, 1873, the island was still a colony of Spain. On that date, the Spanish National Assembly banned slavery in Puerto Rico. Slave owners were given monetary compensation for each slave.

March 30
Viernes Santo (Good Friday)

A religious holiday, Good Friday is an official public holiday in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Marked by much activity on the predominantly Catholic island. Colorful religious processions and ceremonies take place in every town. Good Friday takes place on the Friday before Easter, with all businesses closing for the day.

April 1
Domingo de la Resurrección (Easter Sunday)

It commemorates Jesus Christ's resurrection from death, as written in the Christian bible. Easter Sunday is not a public holiday; most businesses follow regular Sunday opening hours.

April 16
Conmemoración del Natalicio de José de Diego (José de Diego Birthday)
(third Monday in April)

Celebrated on the third Monday in April, this is an official commonwealth holiday. It celebrates the life and achievements of Jose de Diego y Martinez, a statesman, poet, journalist, lawyer and advocate for Puerto Rican independence from Spain and the United States, Jose de Diego was an important figure in the history of island.

May 13
Día de las Madres (Mother's Day)

Celebrated on the second Sunday in May, this is not a federal holiday. It celebrates motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society.

May 28
Recordacion de los Muertos de la Guerra (Memorial Day)

Celebrated on the last Monday in May, this is a federal and commonwealth holiday. To remember the people who died while serving in the United States's armed forces. Memorial Day (formerly known as Decoration Day) began with a May 1865 ceremony held by former slaves to commemorate the overwhelming number of brave soldiers who had lost their lives in the Civil War.

June 17
Día de los Padres (Father's Day)

Celebrated on the third Sunday in June, this is not a federal holiday. It is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood.

July 4
Día de la Independencia de Estados Unidos (Independence Day)

A federal and commonwealth official holiday. It commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

July 16
Conmemoración del Natalicio de Luis Muñoz Rivera (Luis Muñoz Rivera's Birthday)

Celebrated on the third Monday in July, this is a commonwealth holiday. It celebrates the life and achievements of Luis Munoz Rivera, a prominent journalist, poet, and politician who advocated independence from Spain and later, the United States.

July 25
Conmemoración del Estado Libre Asociado (Commonwealth Constitution Day)

Formerly called Occupation Day, this official Commonwealth of Puerto Rico holiday commemorates the anniversary of American troops landing at Guanica in 1989.

July 27
Conmemoración del Natalicio de José Celso Barbosa (José Celso Barbosa Birthday)

It celebrates the life and achievements of Dr. Jose Celso Barbosa, a medical doctor, a sociologist, an early advocate of statehood and founder of the Republican Party. Often referred as the "Father of the Statehood" for Puerto Rico movement within in the New Progressive Party.

September 3
Día del Trabajo (Labor Day)

Celebrated on the first Monday in September, this is federal and commonwealth official holiday. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the United States.

October 12
Descubrimiento de América (Columbus Day)

Celebrated on the econd Monday in October, this is federal and commonwealth official holiday. Columbus Day commemorates the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas on October 12, 1492.

October 31
Halloween

Celebrations include costume parties and trick-or-treating.

November 11
Día del Veterano (Veteran's Day)

Celebrated annually on November 11, this is federal and commonwealth official holiday. This day marks the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended the World War I hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in 1918. Veteran's day is a remembrance of all United State military veteran's, past and present.

November 19
Día del Descubrimiento de Puerto Rico (Discovery of Puerto Rico Day Observed)

Celebrated on November 19, this is an official commonwealth holiday. It commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus on Puerto Rico's northwest coast in 1493. Columbus landed on the coast near present day Aguada on his second voyage to the New World in 1493.

November 22
Día de Acción de Gracias (Thanksgiving Day)

Celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, this is federal and commonwealth official holiday. Traditionally, this holiday celebrates the giving of thanks for the autumn harvest, it has been celebrated since 1789. It also marks the beginning of the Holiday (Christmas) season.

December 24
Noche Buena (Christmas Eve)

On the night of Christmas Eve, family and friends gather together for festivities and dinner. In addition, children will leave food for Santa Claus and his reindeer who would bring them presents.

December 25
Navidad (Christmas Day)

Christmas is observed as a commemoration of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Santa Claus leaves presents under the Christmas tree.

December 31
Fin de Año (New Year's Eve)

Celebrates the end of one year and at the stroke of midnight, the beginning of a new year.





Did You Know?

The biggest JC Penney in the world is located in Plaza Las Américas mall in Puerto Rico.