Technically, summer doesn't start until June, but we all know the unofficial beginning of the dog days is Memorial Day Monday because it usually marks the first day students and teachers are free for three months and the day public pools open for underwater fun. But the holiday falls on a different date every year, so marking your calendar for its arrival can be a bit confusing. If you're wondering when Memorial Day 2019 is so you can make your long weekend plans stat, it's coming up soon.
As Time and Date explained, Memorial Day is always on the last Monday in May, which is why it's on a different date every year. This year, that Monday is May 27, so it's at the very tail end of the month. The holiday, which is intended to honor all American personnel who died in any war, has been celebrated on that Monday since Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1971, in order to give all federal employees a three-day weekend in remembrance of the fallen as History reported. Traditions surrounding the holiday have changed over the years; it was designed to be a somber holiday to remember those lost in the Civil War, but Memorial Day is largely a source of happiness and revelry for the majority of Americans today, who see it as an opportunity to welcome summer.
The history of Memorial Day really isn't focused on much by the media, so it makes sense most people look at the day as a cause for partying and vacationing more than anything else. Plus, giving the entire country a freebie does lend itself to a vacation mentality, especially since you literally can't accomplish much from your to-do list. Because federal employees have the day off, you can't go about your daily business, as post offices, banks, the stock market, and DMVs are all closed on Memorial Day, according to USA Today. A few things are open, like grocery stores with limited hours or movie theaters, but the entire country pretty much stops working for the day. Aside from lifeguards and maybe those who work on or near the beach.
Despite the fact that we pay most attention to the fun aspects of Memorial Day, there are definitely ways to incorporate the history of it to your observance as well if you want to give your kiddos perspective on the day and why such a holiday even exists. You can take your little ones to a Memorial parade, do patriotic themed crafts, or just make sure you're talking to them about its roots. This list gives a rundown of activities you can do as a family to help your children grasp the concept of paying homage to those we've lost in conflict while also enjoying the time spent with family.
Whether you're going to spend Memorial Day reflecting on its historical significance or frolicking at the pool, the good news is you'll probably have no work at all to do, so your family can spend the day together. Summer is so close you can taste it.