It’s time to fire up the grills, pull out your flags, and get your sunscreen on because Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner! Chances are all of these festive markers have you looking forward to the holiday. After all, the long weekend typically marks the start of summer cookouts, and offers a chance to relax and kick back at the beach with friends and family. That’s not to mention all of the prime opportunities for cute Memorial Day Instagram captions!)
Still, Memorial Day weekend is about so much more than grilling recipes, burgers, and ice cream. That Monday marks a thoughtful day of observance, centered on remembering and thanking the millions of Americans in uniform who gave their lives for this country. Memorial Day’s meaning is truly about those heroic women and men, and the remarkable sacrifices they made.
Still, in order to properly pause, reflect, and pay your respects to the soldiers to whom we owe our many freedoms, you’ll have to first know when to do so. When is Memorial Day in 2022? And more importantly, what’s the backstory behind this very significant holiday and its official flower, the Memorial Day red poppy? When did it become an official holiday in the United States?
Ahead, you’ll find answers to all of these questions, including the exact date for this year’s celebration.
When is Memorial Day in 2022?
This year, Memorial Day is on Monday, May 30, 2022. This means that Memorial Day weekend—the three-day span that encompasses Memorial Day—will take place from Saturday, May 28 through that Monday, May 30.
Is Memorial Day always the last Monday in May?
Yes! So, if you’re feeling guilty for not having known the date before reading this article, don’t be: Though the holiday is always held on the last Monday in May, the calendar date changes each year.
What is the history of Memorial Day?
Memorial Day officially became a federal holiday in 1971, but it had previously been observed in an unofficial capacity for quite some time. A similarly thoughtful, commemorative day reportedly took place all the way back on May 1, 1865 in Charleston, South Carolina. The History Channel reports that after the Civil War ended and Confederate soldiers left Charleston, a group of freed slaves gathered to bury and honor the bodies of Union soldiers via a small parade. And in 1868, Union General John A. Logan suggested that May 30 should be the first annual day dedicated to the memory of all soldiers who fell during the Civil War.
But the commemoration of such “memorial days” remained unofficial for several more decades. According to the Library of Congress, it wasn’t until 1950 that Congress would agree upon a resolution asking the president to “issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe Memorial Day, by praying, each in accordance with his religious faith, for permanent peace.” Nearly 20 years later in 1968, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was finally passed, which both declared that Memorial Day would take place on the last Monday in May and required that federal employees be granted a day off (which is why it’s a good idea to check open stores on Memorial Day before you head into town). In 1971, Memorial Day officially became a federal holiday intended to observe and honor the people who lost their lives while serving in the U.S. military. And if you’re interested to learn more, read these historical Memorial Day quotes and share them with everyone—it’ll remind them why we observe it!
After a the dark, gloomy days of winter and the pollen haze of spring, there is probably nothing that sounds better than warmer weather, blue skies, and a three-day weekend where we can (safely!) gather with friends and family for a backyard cookout and maybe some fireworks. And, if you’re like us, you’re eagerly anticipating the upcoming Memorial Day long weekend. After all, we typically consider Memorial Day as the unofficial start of summer.
Traditionally, the holiday weekend means a cookout of some sort, a spread of classic Memorial Day desserts, a patriotic playlist of fun tunes, and valuable time spent with family and friends who are family. To pump yourself up and get into the spirit of the day, check out some Memorial Day quotes that remind us why we’re proud to be Americans.
And to that end, it’s important to remember that this holiday is about so much more than a cookout or a change in the seasons. First and foremost, it’s observed to remember those who fought for our freedom—the heroes who gave their lives to protect the prosperity of our country. We hope you’ll pause and remember them this year and remind your children, family, and friends to do the same.
Still, no matter what your plans are for the weekend, you may be wondering: When is Memorial Day Weekend 2022? We all know that the holiday comes around every May, but its exact date changes year to year. Here, we’re sharing the exact date for 2022, plus some of the history of Memorial Day.
When is Memorial Day Weekend 2022?
This year, Memorial Day is on Monday, May 30, 2022. The date changes every year, but there actually is a method to the madness: Memorial Day is always held on the last Monday in May.
What is the history of Memorial Day?
Memorial Day was created to honor the brave people who died while serving in the U.S. military. One of the very first known observances took place way back on May 1, 1865, in Charleston, South Carolina, right after the end of the Civil War, according to the History Channel. A group of freed enslaved men, women, and children had buried the bodies of Union soldiers after Confederate soldiers evacuated Charleston. On May 1, people gathered for a parade in the fallen soldiers’ honor, singing hymns and placing flowers at the fighters’ graves.
A few years later, Union General John A. Logan declared there be a date of remembrance for those who died during the Civil War. He chose May 30, 1868, because it wasn’t already the anniversary of a battle. However, the Southern states opted to create their own day specifically for Confederate soldiers. As a matter of fact, there are nine states that still hold a commemoration for the people who fought for the Confederacy.
Though people certainly continued holding tributes for the fallen, Memorial Day was unofficial for many more years. Decades later, in 1950, the U.S. Congress agreed upon a resolution asking the president to “issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe…Memorial Day, by praying, each in accordance with his religious faith, for permanent peace.” Then, in 1968, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was passed, which declared that Memorial Day would occur on the final Monday every May. It also required a day off work for federal employees. Finally, in 1971, the anniversary officially became a federal holiday.