Juneteenth around the world in 2022

Juneteenth around the world in 2022
The Juneteenth flag symbolizes freedom and justice for Black Americans and African Americans. Image via Office Holidays

  How long until Juneteenth?
Juneteenth
  Dates of Juneteenth around the world
2023 Various Jun 16, Jun 17, Jun 19
US Virgin IslandsFri, Jun 16Government Holiday (in lieu)
USA Jun 16, Jun 17, Jun 19
AlabamaMon, Jun 19Regional Holiday
IdahoMon, Jun 19Regional Holiday
IllinoisMon, Jun 19Regional Holiday
MaineMon, Jun 19Regional Holiday
MassachusettsMon, Jun 19Regional Holiday
MissouriMon, Jun 19Regional Holiday
NebraskaMon, Jun 19Regional Holiday
New YorkMon, Jun 19Regional Holiday
OhioMon, Jun 19Regional Holiday
TexasMon, Jun 19Regional Holiday
VirginiaMon, Jun 19Regional Holiday
WashingtonMon, Jun 19Regional Holiday
LouisianaSat, Jun 17Government Holiday
LouisianaFri, Jun 16Government Holiday (in lieu)
New JerseyFri, Jun 16Government Holiday
2022 Various Jun 17, Jun 18, Jun 19, Jun 20
US Virgin IslandsMon, Jun 20Government Holiday (in lieu)
USA Jun 17, Jun 18, Jun 19, Jun 20
AlabamaMon, Jun 20Regional Holiday (in lieu)
IdahoMon, Jun 20Regional Holiday (in lieu)
MassachusettsMon, Jun 20Regional Holiday (in lieu)
MissouriMon, Jun 20Regional Holiday (in lieu)
NebraskaMon, Jun 20Regional Holiday (in lieu)
New YorkMon, Jun 20Regional Holiday (in lieu)
OhioMon, Jun 20Regional Holiday (in lieu)
VirginiaMon, Jun 20Regional Holiday (in lieu)
IllinoisSun, Jun 19Regional Holiday
MaineSun, Jun 19Regional Holiday
New YorkSun, Jun 19Regional Holiday
TexasSun, Jun 19Regional Holiday
WashingtonSun, Jun 19Regional Holiday
LouisianaSat, Jun 18Government Holiday
LouisianaFri, Jun 17Government Holiday (in lieu)
New JerseyFri, Jun 17Government Holiday
2021 Various Jun 18, Jun 19
US Virgin IslandsFri, Jun 18Government Holiday (in lieu)
USA Jun 18, Jun 19
MassachusettsSat, Jun 19Government Holiday
New YorkSat, Jun 19Government Holiday
TexasSat, Jun 19Government Holiday
AlabamaFri, Jun 18Regional Holiday (in lieu)
IdahoFri, Jun 18Regional Holiday (in lieu)
IllinoisFri, Jun 18Regional Holiday (in lieu)
LouisianaFri, Jun 18Regional Holiday
MarylandFri, Jun 18Regional Holiday (in lieu)
MissouriFri, Jun 18Regional Holiday (in lieu)
NebraskaFri, Jun 18Regional Holiday (in lieu)
New JerseyFri, Jun 18Regional Holiday
OhioFri, Jun 18Regional Holiday (in lieu)
VirginiaFri, Jun 18Regional Holiday (in lieu)
2020 USAJun 19
New York Fri, Jun 19Government Holiday
Texas Fri, Jun 19Government Holiday
Virginia Fri, Jun 19Government Holiday
2019 USAJun 19
Texas Wed, Jun 19Government Holiday
  Summary

Juneteenth is a federal holiday and state holiday in several states. It commemorates the date in 1865 when news of the emancipation of African American slaves reached Galveston

  Which countries observe Juneteenth in 2022?
  US Virgin IslandsJun 20Government Holiday (in lieu)
  USAJun 17Government Holiday (in lieu)
  USAJun 17, Jun 18Government Holiday
  USAJun 19Regional Holiday
  USAJun 20Regional Holiday (in lieu)
Related holidays

When is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth National Independence Day is a US federal holiday. It was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Thursday June 17th 2021.

Juneteenth is a state holiday observed in the American states of Massachusetts, New York, Texas, and Virginia on June 19th each year.  In New Jersey, Juneteenth is observed as a state and public holiday on the third Friday in June.

From 2022, it will be a legal state-paid holiday in Maine, Illinois, and Washington state.

If June 19th falls on a weekend, the federal holiday and most state holidays will observe a holiday on the closest working weekday.

All other states apart from South Dakota officially recognize Juneteenth and have an official observance of the day, and most states hold celebrations. 

Officially known as Emancipation Day and also called Juneteenth Independence Day and Freedom Day, Juneteenth is a portmanteau word for June and nineteenth and commemorates the June 19th 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas and the emancipation of African-American slaves throughout the Confederate South.

History of Juneteenth

On January 1st 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared the end of slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation. Two and half years later, and two months after the end of the Civil War, Union troops arrived in Galveston on June 19th 1865 to find that news of the proclamation had not yet reached Galveston and that people were still being held as slaves in Texas.

The leader of the Union Troops, General Gordon Granger then formally announced the emancipation from the balcony of the former Confederate Army headquarters.

The reason why the news about the emancipation took so long to reach Texas is subject to speculation. One theory is that the messenger who was originally sent with the news had been killed before he reached Texas. A more likely scenario is that the local slave owners simply held onto the information, ignoring the emancipation order.

Although the news of the emancipation reached towns at different times across the South, there was a collective decision to recognize 19th June as the date of the emancipation. The date of the proclamation itself (January 1st) wasn't considered as the people wanted to mark the date when the slave's lives were actually affected by the new freedom.

The annual commemoration of this date, which became known as Juneteenth, was seen as a stabilizing and motivating presence in the lives of African-Americans in Texas, who despite their newly-acquired freedom, still faced many uncertainties and challenges.

Celebrations include parades, storytelling, barbecue and baseball. Strawberry soda pop is the drink of choice and the building from which General Granger read the Proclamation is now a historic landmark.

While Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States, it wasn't until 1980 that it was made an official state paid holiday in Texas, through the efforts of Texas state Rep. Al Edwards, D-Houston. Note that state offices are not closed, but are staffed by a "skeleton crew."

In 2020, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced that state employees would receive an additional 8 hours holiday on June 19th.

According to the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation, 49 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation to officially recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday or special day of observance.

Juneteenth flag

The Juneteenth flag was created in 1997 by Ben Haith, the founder of the National Juneteenth Celebration Foundation. 

Each element represents a facet of freedom for Black Americans:

The bursting outline around the star is inspired by a nova - a new star, representing a new beginning for the newly freed slaves. The white star in the center of the flag has a dual meaning, Haith said. It represents both Texas, the Lone Star State, but also the freedom of all Black Americans in all 50 states. The curving arc across the width of the flag represents a new horizon: the opportunities and promise that lay ahead for Black Americans. The red, white and blue represents the American flag, a reminder that the enslaved people and their descendants were and are Americans. 

Sources

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