How to Show Holidays in the Calendar App for Mac OS X
With so many holidays scattered throughout the year, it’s easy to lose track of when is what, and on which day the next falls. Fortunately, the Mac Calendar app makes it simple to toggle the display of all holidays directly in the Calendar app, so you’ll never lose track over what date Palm Sunday, Earth Day, Thanksgiving, or Cinco De Mayo (ok that one’s easy) is, whether it’s this year or the next.
Sure, for most us, holidays in the USA have no particular impact on our employment status for that given day, but they can still be helpful to know for celebratory reasons or planning. At the very least, they make an important addition to our calendars when defining a schedule around the dates, even if it’s just a trip to the DMV to renew a license, or for sending out event invites.
How to Show Major Holidays on the Mac Calendar
Showing major holidays in the Calendar app of Mac OS X is remarkably simple, though most users will find the setting is not enabled by default on their Macs:
- Open the Calendars app and pull down the Calendar menu to select “Preferences”
- Under the ‘General’ tab check the box for “Show Holidays Calendar”
- Close out of Preferences and go back to the Calendar to see the holidays
The Holidays will immediately be visible in the Mac Calendar. Technically they appear within their own unique calendar, labeled as “US Holidays”, so they won’t muck up any existing calendars that you’ve made for work, home, school, or personal. Because the dates are contained within a separate calendar, you can also toggle them off quickly from the Calendar apps sidebar if their visibility is interfering with anything.
If you can’t see them immediately, flip to a month view where there’s a notable amount of special days to see them labeled on the specific dates, April is a good example:
Seen under the “Year” view, the holidays are scattered throughout the year as yellow highlights on the annual calendar:
While the screen shot demonstrates US-defined holidays, the feature should work with all other countries too.
If you’re big on celebrating and recognizing birthdays, there is also a “Show Birthdays” setting in the Calendar app preferences directly above the Holiday toggle, but keep in mind that the Holiday dates are imported from Apple directly depending on your country settings, whereas the birthday setting requires user input per specific details to be entered into your address book for each specific person.
And yes you can also turn off the holiday calendar if you don’t want to receive notifications about a holiday which you likely already know is approaching. Simply toggle the box for “Show Holidays Calendar” to be OFF within Calendar app preferences.