What Is Holi and Other Days On Apple's US Holidays Calendar?

Today is Holi, the Hindu Spring festival. It is one of many cultural and religious holidays included on Apple's default US Holidays calendar. Not everyone in the US celebrates all of the days on the US Calendar. Looking up the holidays you are unfamiliar with is an opportunity to learn about other holidays and cultures.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: What Is Holi and Other Days On Apple's US Holidays Calendar?.

Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Today is March 21, 2019 and it is Holi, the Indian Spring Festival. What does that have to do with your Mac? Well, if you look on your Mac's Calendar app you'll see Holi as listed there. It's part of the US Holidays calendar. Ever since Apple added it and a lot of other holidays to the US Calendar a few years ago people have asked the question what is Holi and what are some of these other holidays.

So what holidays are on the US Calendar? There are no official national holidays in the United States. Congress has determined that certain days, like Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Independence Day, and Christmas Day are federal holidays. Federal workers have off on those days and there are certain celebrations. Most states observe most of the federal holidays but not all of them. There are a variety of other days that states also observe. Private companies will usually have workers have time off on the days that are federal holidays and state holidays.

Now the US Calendar has those federal holidays on it. It also has a variety of state holidays. Then it has a combination of other things. Some holidays listed on the US Calendar are cultural or religious holidays. Some are basically just celebrations for all that are just for fun or for commemorating certain things like, for instance, Valentine's Day or Halloween.

So if you look at the holidays that are on the Apple calendar you can see they've kind of curated a list that they thought would make the most sense. It's the same as if you buy a printed calendar in the store. You'd look at a bunch of different printed calendars and you're going to see some holidays listed on there. Some will be there and some won't. I looked around at some calendars I had around my house and I noticed that sometimes they list some things and sometimes they don't. It just depends on whoever made the calendar. Apple had to make those calls as well.

Looking through the holidays here I saw some consistency in that the cultural holidays, so the religious holidays, seem to be ones that are celebrated by approximately a million people or more in the United States. So maybe that's why. Maybe they also took a look at other lists and determined what other calendar makers used for standard holidays as well. We don't really know. It's very similar to the playlists in Apple Music where they curate playlists of new music and music of certain genres and also looking at things like the News Lists and other things that Apple provides where it's kind of a curated list of things.

You don't have to use the US Holidays list. You can turn it off. You can Control click on it and Unsubscribe to it. You can search online for any standard calendar format that you can subscribe to and there are various sites that offer things, like say a calendar with only federal holidays on it. Or only holidays maybe of the culture you belong to or religion you belong to. But in the meantime I like to take a look at the different holidays that are on the list and use it as an opportunity to learn things.

So, as an example, here's the Wikipedia page for Holi and you can easily find great descriptions of all of these different holidays on Wikipedia. So you can see Holi is the Hindu spring festival. It's celebrated in India and Nepal. It's also known as the "Festival of Colors or the Festival of Love and signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet othesr, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships." Sounds like a great holiday for me. When I look for pictures of Holi I saw these. Of course now I really do recognize this holiday because it's been depicted in movies and television programs for awhile now. It's looks like a lot of fun and I think a lot of people travel to India for the festival.

Also I found out that there are places in the United States that actually have Holi festivals including a really big one in Utah. People in the United States now, whether they are Hindu or not, celebrate Holi and have a lot of fun with it. So I can see why Apple includes this in their US Holidays calendar.

Comments: 9 Responses to “What Is Holi and Other Days On Apple's US Holidays Calendar?”

    R Douglass
    1 month ago

    Gary, You didn’t answer what is probably a common question… Can I easily edit the supplied calendar to delete holidays I don’t want cluttering my calendar?

    1 month ago

    R Douglass: No. That is a calendar that you are subscribed to, not one of your own. So you can’t edit it. If you want a different set of holidays, you can search for and subscribe to another calendar or build your own from scratch.

    Diana DeAndrea
    1 month ago

    First of all, thank you for your comment on learning other cultures’ holidays and traditions. Being a tried & true Catholic, I have always been fascinated with other religions and their traditions. I believe that’s what helps us all to understand and respect each other. For a little laugh, I though that Apple just forgot to add the rest of Holiday onto Holi! Kudos for the information and to Apple for teaching us that concept. Just had to add my 2 cents for what it’s worth….

    1 month ago

    Totally agree with Diana on both points: (1) Thanks for the encouragement to learn about other cultures; and (2) I thought “Holi” was a typo. :-) So thanks for this post, Gary; now I know to be a little more curious when I see something on this calendar I don’t recognize and learn something by looking it up.

    Don Palmer
    1 month ago

    My wife and I have been baffled for an extended period of time by “Holi”. Your inquisitive and far-reaching mind
    has enlightened us once again. Thank you.

    1 month ago

    Holi – a festival that would allow, even encourage, ‘kids to be kids’ and go play outside with all kinds of dry and wet colors with friends for a few hours… a perfect welcome to spring :) Enjoy!

    1 month ago

    Gave up on trying to delete it several days ago.
    I should have thought outside of the box and researched it.

    Just tweeted your link.


    Lynda Farabee
    1 month ago

    Thank you so much for tackling this topic. I had no idea what “Holi” was or how to solve the problem.

    Carol Moncrief
    4 weeks ago

    Thanks so much for sharing this info. I love the inclusiveness behind the Apple holiday calendar.

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