But what is Easter Monday other than just another manic Monday?
I see that in Eastern Christianity, Easter Monday is observed in a special way. The day is called "Bright Monday" or "Renewal Monday," and there is a service similar to Easter Sunday, and there is an outdoor procession. But most years, Eastern Orthodox Easter isn't the same day as the Easter that gets so much attention in the United States. It does happen to be the same day this year.
But Easter Monday is not a federal holiday. And — I had to look a while to figure this out — pushing Tax Day to Tuesday has nothing to do with Easter. It's about Emancipation Day, the Washington D.C. holiday. This holiday — which affects the government located in D.C. — does not mark the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, which happened on a January 1st, a day that is already the New Year's holiday. It marks the signing of the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act, which happened on April 16, 1862. The 16th is the holiday, but it fell on a Sunday, so it's celebrated on Monday.
"The passage of the Compensated Emancipation Act came nearly nine months before the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation":
The act, which set aside $1 million, immediately emancipated slaves in Washington, D.C., giving Union slaveholders up to $300 per freed slave. An additional $100,000 allocated by the law was used to pay each newly freed slave $100 if he or she chose to leave the United States and colonize in places such as Haiti or Liberia.Emancipation Day could push Tax Day to a Tuesday that's not the 15th if it falls on a Sunday or a Monday. That has happened in the years since the first official city holiday in 2005. It was a Sunday in 2006, and it was a Monday in 2007 and 2012. So Tax Day has fallen on a non-Monday, non-15th before. I don't remember noticing. And I hadn't noticed that a holiday that was not a federal holiday could affect the whole nation like this.
In Washington, D.C., April 16 has been celebrated as Emancipation Day since 1866. An annual parade was held to commemorate the signing of the act until 1901, when a lack of financial and organizational support forced the tradition to stop; it restarted in 2002. In 2000, the Council of the District of Columbia made April 16 a private holiday—or one on which city employees are not given a free day off—and on July 9, 2004, council member Vincent Orange proposed making the day a public holiday. 2005 marked the first year that Emancipation Day was celebrated as an official city holiday in Washington, D.C.