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Time Off

Not all Americans are free to celebrate holidays at all times. Whether they must work or not depends upon the importance of the holiday, the demands of seasonal work, holidays agreed to in union contracts and other factors.

Many newspaper reporters, radio broadcasters, hospital workers, police, fire fighters and workers who provide other essential services must work on holidays. All working Americans, however, do get vacation time. Most take their vacations during the summer months—as is common in other nations.

The amount of vacation time varies greatly, but most people get one or two weeks a year after working for the same company for a year or more. More vacation time is given after longer periods of work.

This brief description of holidays shows that for some of these special times, the customs of all or most Americans are very much the same. For others, however, the customs can vary greatly.

Those who feel strongly about the labor unions, for example, see Labor Day as a day on which to demonstrate labor solidarity in a public way. For others, Labor Day means a day off to go for a ride in a car, to go for a final swim or to hold a family get-together.

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