STACKER (WSYR-TV) – In the United States, finding balance between working arduously at a job and meeting obligations to loved ones—not to mention finding time for a healthy social life and personal time—proves to be a perpetual balancing act.

Perhaps that’s why U.S. holidays are such a cornerstone in people’s personal and professional lives.

From religious holidays like Hanukkah, which offers a time of reflection and gratitude, to joyous occasions like New Year’s Eve, Americans appreciate the freedom to celebrate who they are on both a personal and community level while getting a needed reprieve from work.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that just 79% of workers in the private and state and local government sectors get paid time off for at least eight holidays per year.

Of course, the world continues to shift and, depending on the generation, attitudes and personal connection to certain holidays will differ, whether they are paid holidays or not.

What millennials are more likely to celebrate may not be the same as those in Generation X. And it will certainly differ from baby boomers, who interestingly have a different top holiday than millennials and Gen Xers.

To discover which U.S. holidays are most popular with the different generations, Pyn used data from YouGov and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics surveys to rank the most favored national and religious holidays. The analysis breaks ties based on the familiarity of a holiday.

Breakdown of the generations:

  • Baby boomers: 1946 – 1964
  • Gen X: 1965 – 1981
  • Millennials: 1982 – 1999

Because the data is based on surveys, there is some level of error inherent in these rankings, and true values may vary.

Here are the top holidays for three generations and their popularity among each group.

New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams and Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman, on a scissor lift, wait to light the world’s largest Hanukkah menorah during the celebration of the first night of Hanukkah in New York City, New York, November 28, 2021. (Photo by Yuki IWAMURA / AFP) (Photo by YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty Images)

15. Hanukkah

  • 52% of Americans have a positive view of Hanukkah
    — 54% of millennials
    — 46% of Gen X
    — 53% of baby boomers

Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights and the Feast of Dedication, is an eight-day Jewish holiday normally observed on the 25th day of Kislev, which translates to a modern day time period between late November and late December, depending on the year.

It commemorates the rededication and purification of the Second Temple of Jerusalem after several Maccabean triumphs over Antiochus IV Epiphanes and his forces in 164 B.C. People celebrate each day of the holiday by lighting a candle on a branched menorah, saying special prayers, and preparing delicious foods like challah, a braided bread.

GLASGOW – OCTOBER 02: Members of the public walk past a black postbox on Byres Road, featuring an image of Second Lieutenant Walter Tull it is one of four special edition postboxes by Royal Mail to mark Black History Month on October 2, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

14. Black History Month

  • 52% of Americans have a positive view of Black History Month
    — 64% of millennials
    — 49% of Gen X
    — 41% of baby boomers

Black History Month is the celebration of important events and people who are Black American or hail from the African diaspora.

The holiday was created in 1970 and was declared a U.S. national holiday by former President Gerald Ford in 1976. It is celebrated throughout the month of February, with many people taking time to learn more about national and local Black history in addition to attending commemorative events, parades, luncheons, and more. Over the years, more K-12 schools, higher education institutions, and businesses have also begun incorporating lessons and activities honoring Black history and leaders as part of Black History Month, increasing widespread awareness.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 14: Heart shaped balloons are displayed in the flower district on Valentine’s Day on February 14, 2020 in New York City. Across Manhattan and the nation, couples are celebrating their love on Valentine’s Day with flowers, cards and special meals. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

13. Valentine’s Day

  • 57% of Americans have a positive view of Valentine’s Day
    — 60% of millennials
    — 52% of Gen X
    — 59% of baby boomers

The day for lovers often gets a bad rap for being a marketing grab, but many have made the holiday their own by turning it into “Galentine’s Day”—a ladies’ only celebration—or “Palentine’s Day” to spend with good pals. There’s no doubt that today’s holiday is a far cry from its origins of celebrating two Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine. In 2022, Americans spent $23.9 billion on their loved ones for Valentine’s Day, according to the National Retail Federation.The holiday is particularly well-received among baby boomers, who range in age this year from ages 58 to 76.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 17: Marching bands participate in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade down 5th Ave. on March 17, 2022 in New York City. Known as the world’s largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade, New York is welcoming back the annual event after holding a virtual event last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Dozens of bands, performers politicians, and other groups made their way up Fifth Avenue in a celebration of Irish heritage. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

12. St. Patrick’s Day

  • 61% of Americans have a positive view of St. Patrick’s Day
    — 62% of millennials
    — 62% of Gen X
    — 60% of baby boomers

St. Patrick’s Day’s namesake was an important patron saint of Ireland who spread Christianity throughout the country and died on March 17 in A.D. 461. The holiday has become quite the brouhaha in the U.S.: St. Patrick’s Day represents a single-day, 174% spike in beer sales nationwide.

A girl dressed as a bride takes part in a Halloween celebration early on November 1, 2012, in Pristina. AFP PHOTO/ARMEND NIMANI. (Photo credit ARMEND NIMANI/AFP via Getty Images)

11. Halloween

  • 65% of Americans have a positive view of Halloween
    — 70% of millennials
    — 68% of Gen X
    — 58% of baby boomers

The beloved Old Hallow’s Eve features celebrations varying from the traditional trick-or-treating to horror movie marathons.

Halloween evolved from early Celtic bonfire festivals and the wearing of costumes to scare away ghosts to All Hallows’ Eve, the day before the celebration of All Saints’ Day on Nov. 1 each year. While every generation loves Halloween, the highlight of what is commonly called “spooky season” is most popular among millennials.

Confetti flies in the air at Times Square on New Year’s Eve in New York City on December 31, 2021. (Photo by Yuki IWAMURA / AFP) (Photo by YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty Images)

10. New Year’s Eve

  • 66% of Americans have a positive view of New Year’s Eve
    — 69% of millennials
    — 65% of Gen X
    — 59% of baby boomers

The New Year’s Eve tradition dates back to ancient Babylon around 4,000 years ago. The holiday observes the final day of the Gregorian calendar year. Today, the event is centered around sparkling drinks, fireworks, and year-end parties—making it perenially popular for younger generations.

NEWTON, MASSACHUSETTS – APRIL 11: Boston Phillips, 11, dressed as a chick, and Landon Phillips, 12, dressed as the Easter Bunny, wave to cars during a drive-through Easter photo session at StoryHeights Church on April 11, 2020 in Newton, Massachusetts. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced the church to move their Easter services online to comply with social distancing protocols. A stay-at-home order has been put in place by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker through May 4. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

9. Easter

  • 69% of Americans have a positive view of Easter
    — 63% of millennials
    — 69% of Gen X
    — 73% of baby boomers

Easter is a Christian holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days following his crucifixion death. Most popular among older Americans, it is observed on the first full moon after the spring equinox, which means it can fall anywhere from late March to late April depending on the year. The holiday often falls around the same time as the Jewish holiday of Passover.

HOUSTON, TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 05: The Sereal family gather for the Labor Day holiday on September 05, 2022 in Houston, Texas. Labor Day was first celebrated in the U.S. in 1882 in New York City. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

8. Labor Day

  • 69% of Americans have a positive view of Labor Day
    — 63% of millennials
    — 71% of Gen X
    — 77% of baby boomers

Labor Day takes place on the first Monday of September and is meant to celebrate the contributions of America’s working class.

The holiday was first observed in 1882 by New York City union members who organized a parade to celebrate their organizations. More than 20,000 people showed up; by 1894, Labor Day was recognized as a federal holiday. The holiday is particularly well-received among baby boomers, who range in age from ages 58 to 76.

SAN RAFAEL, CA – JUNE 15: A Home Depot customer walks by a display of Father’s Day gift cards at a Home Depot store on June 15, 2006 in San Rafael, California. Retail outlets are promoting Father’s day gift buying in hopes that the holiday will become more profitable for businesses. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

7. Father’s Day

  • 69% of Americans have a positive view of Father’s Day
    — 68% of millennials
    — 69% of Gen X
    — 70% of baby boomers

Father’s Day was first celebrated in 1910 in the state of Washington, but not recognized as a national day to honor dads until 1972. It may not rival Mother’s Day in terms of overall popularity, but a clear majority of of Americans observe this celebration of dads.

The holiday falls on the third Sunday of June each year.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 17: The statue of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at his memorial site on the edge of the Tidal Basin, which was dedicated in 2011, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 17, 2022 in Washington, DC. Democrats are trying to pass John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act this week which will counter the various voting suppression laws passed in multiple Republican states in the wake of the 2020 elections. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

6. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

  • 70% of Americans have a positive view of Martin Luther King Jr. Day
    — 73% of millennials
    — 68% of Gen X
    — 69% of baby boomers

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a celebration of the civil rights leader who dedicated his life to making the United States a more equitable place for all. MLK Day takes place on the third Monday of January, which typically falls near King’s Jan. 15 birthday.

TODAY — Pictured: Lori Bergamotto on Thursday, May 9, 2019 — (Photo by: Zach Pagano/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

5. Mother’s Day

  • 74% of Americans have a positive view of Mother’s Day
    — 72% of millennials
    — 72% of Gen X
    — 79% of baby boomers

Mother’s Day typically falls on the second Sunday of May and celebrates moms and mother figures. This holiday has a huge commercial stronghold, with Americans spending $3.7 billion this year on flowers, outings, and meals for the mother figures in their lives, according to the National Retail Federation. The organization also estimated that in 2022, Americans spent an average of $245 per person for Mother’s Day.

FAIRFIELD, CT – MAY 26: A float commemorating the Korean War participates in the annual Memorial Day Parade on May 26, 2014 in Fairfield, Connecticut. Across America towns and cities will be celebrating veterans of the United States Armed Forces and the sacrifices they have made. Memorial Day is a federal holiday in America and has been celebrated since the end of the Civil War. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

4. Memorial Day

  • 75% of Americans have a positive view of Memorial Day
    — 66% of millennials
    — 77% of Gen X
    — 85% of baby boomers

Memorial Day honors members of the U.S. armed forces who lost their lives during war.

It falls on the last Monday in May and, not surprisingly, is very popular among 85% of baby boomers. It makes sense for military holidays to have favor with members of this generation considering they were born in the wake of World War II and lived through their own wartimes including those in Korea and Vietnam.

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – NOVEMBER 13: A fan holds up a “Thank You” sign for Veterans Day during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on November 13, 2022 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

3. Veterans Day

  • 77% of Americans have a positive view of Veterans Day
    — 67% of millennials
    — 80% of Gen X
    — 87% of baby boomers

Often confused with Memorial Day, Veterans Day falls annually on Nov. 11 and honors all veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.  As might be expected, the generation it is most popular with is baby boomers at 87%, which is the highest percentage for them among all holidays.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 01: A view of Rockefeller Center during the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 01, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

2. Christmas

  • 78% of Americans have a positive view of Christmas
    — 75% of millennials
    — 78% of Gen X
    — 81% of baby boomers

The Dec. 25 holiday has expanded beyond its religious significance over centuries. Even those who don’t practice Christianity often take part in cultural traditions, including decorating, gift-giving, charitable acts, and other forms of celebrations that take place for months leading up to the actual day. It’s become a significant contributor to the economy in the U.S., with the average American spending almost a grand on holiday expenses in 2021.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 25: The Smokey the Bear balloon during the 95th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 25, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

1. Thanksgiving

  • 79% of Americans have a positive view of Thanksgiving
    — 76% of millennials
    — 81% of Gen X
    — 85% of baby boomers

Thanksgiving takes the top spot among popular holidays, with 79% of Americans being all for gathering with family and friends around a giant table for some feasting. The holiday is bookended by the massive Macy’s Day Parade in New York City, streamed by more than 50 million viewers, and Thanksgiving-day football—with the American Kennel Club’s National Dog Show thrown in the mix as cooking gets started.

The holiday generally celebrates a time of harvest and, of course, tradition reigns supreme among older generations.

This story originally appeared on Pyn and was produced and
distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.