FYI The financial markets distinguish bank holidays and exchange holidays in the US. On Bank Holidays it is not possible to settle a trade (take delivery of the cash/asset) and on Exchange holidays it is not possible to do a trade (on the exchange). A public holiday in the US might be a bank holiday, an exchange holiday, or both. However the terminology is not common parlance (I believe).The term started out referring to days when banks (in the U.K.) were closed so that bank employees could have a holiday. Before 1834, banks observed 33 days a year as bank holidays, and these were mostly saints' days and the typical church holidays like Christmas and Easter. In 1834, however, bank workers had most of those taken away such that the only holidays left were Good Friday, May 1st, November 1st, and Christmas Day. Yet, someone felt for the poor bank workers, so that in 1871, Sir John Lubbock's Act was passed, naming the following as bank holidays in England and Ireland: Easter Monday, Whit Monday, the first Monday in August, and Boxing Day (December 26). In Scotland they got New Year's Day, May Day, the first Monday in August, and Christmas Day. These holidays came to be appropriated by non-bank workers, but the term had already stuck. So, no matter for whom one works, one gets bank holidays.