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South Carolina Legal Holidays Laws

South Carolina celebrates many of the same legal holidays as the rest of the United States, such as New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the 4th of July, and Thanksgiving. Interestingly, South Carolina law doesn’t specify the when Thanksgiving Day is, as it does with all of the other holidays. Instead, South Carolina merely celebrates the National Thanksgiving Day when the federal government does, which has changed. Between 1863 and 1939, Thanksgiving was on the last Thursday of November, but since 1941 it’s officially been the fourth Thursday, partially motivated by a desire to ensure a longer holiday shopping season.

The most controversial holiday celebrated by South Carolina is Confederate Memorial Day. In 2012, State Representative Boyd Brown, Democrat from Winnsboro, called for the end of taking Confederate Memorial Day off as a legal holiday, but to continue to celebrate it. Former State Rep. Brown merely saw it as an inefficient holiday.

A list of the legal holidays in South Carolina and the statute where you can find them are available in the table below.

Code Section South Carolina Code Section 53-5-10: Legal Holidays Enumerated and Holiday Schedules of Public Colleges and Universities
Holidays South Carolina observes the following days as holidays with state government offices and public schools taking the day off:
  • New Year's Day – January 1st
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday – the third Monday of January
  • George Washington's Birthday and President’s Day – the third Monday of February
  • Confederate Memorial Day – May 10th
  • Memorial Day – the last Monday of May
  • Independence Day – 4th of July
  • Labor Day – the first Monday in September
  • Veterans Day – November 11th
  • Thanksgiving and the Friday after Thanksgiving – the fourth Thursday in November and the day after
  • Christmas Eve, Christmas, and Boxing Day (although it’s not officially called that in South Carolina) – December 24, 25th, and 26th
  • Any general election days

Whenever a legal holiday falls on a Sunday, it’s celebrated on the following Monday. Whenever the holiday falls on a Saturday, it’s celebrated on the preceding Friday. That way, you always get a three-day holiday weekend.

Note: State laws change regularly, you may want to do your own legal research to ensure the accuracy of this list before planning your next vacation over a South Carolina state holiday.

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