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Frequently Asked Questions
An eager students raises her hand to ask a question about Presidents' Day

Is Presidents' Day secular or religious?

This is a common question. Some people celebrate Presidents’ Day in a more religious fashion– going to services at their local city halls, listening to Austrian boy choirs perform presidential hymns with gravitas, and making this a special time to give thanks for George Washington and all he sacrificed to build this country. 
However, the secular tradition of Presidents’ Day is more predominant in modern times. This tradition includes donning presidential attire, decking the halls with tinsel and perhaps a stump speech stemp, joining in the popular dance craze “The Cherry Tree Chop,” and opening gifts from Hannibal Hamlin. Presidents’ Day is most commonly a holiday spent with friends and family mingling, singing, and generally making merry.

What are common Presidents' Day traditions?

On Presidents’ Day, we most importantly take a break from work, school, or whatever other stressors are happening in our lives, and celebrate with those we love. 
Classically, people decorate their homes for the festivities with various different staples of home decoration, including lights, paper chains, banners, and wreaths. 
Prior to the day, people send Presidents’ Day cards to friends and family members, wishing them good tidings for a joyous holiday.
On Presidents’ Day Eve, everyone prepares for Hannibal Hamlin to come and bring gifts to all the good people. But remember, if you’ve been naughty, he may leave you a subpoena!
On the holiday, people gather at parties, often in attire akin to former presidents, to sing Presidents’ Day carols, partake of the presidential feast, exchange presidential trivia and lore, and generally make merry.

When is Presidents' Day?

This upcoming year (2025), Presidents' Day is Monday, February 17th.

In 2026, it will be on Monday, February 16th, and in 2027, February 15th.
Presidents' Day is always on the third Monday in February. Though it was initially celebrated on Washington's Birthday (February 22), in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill.

Because of this, Presidents' Day is not on a set date, but it will always fall between February 15-21.

What constitutes traditional Presidents' Day lore?

The most influential part of Presidents’ Day lore is the story of Hannibal Hamlin, former vice president who brings gifts to those who have been good this year.
Other celebrated characters of the holiday include:
Harry the Hairy Eagle, a bald eagle who was anything but bald
Mooly Wooly and Pauline, notable cows and presidential pets of William Taft

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