Apostrophe in St. Patrick’s Day & AP Style for Holidays

By Lauren Edwards

Yes, there is an apostrophe in St. Patrick’s Day.

And also in Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Lincoln’s Birthday and Valentine’s Day.

It’s also in New Year’s Day — uppercase as a proper noun (the holiday’s name) but lowercase if you’re wishing someone a happy year ahead.

Lincoln’s Birthday for the holiday, but “Lincoln’s birthday is on Feb. 12.”

Likewise, “season’s greetings” also has an apostrophe.

But no apostrophe in Veterans Day, Presidents Day or of course Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

No “S” in Groundhog Day.

No “S” in daylight saving time — and lowercase — but PDT, EST, etc.

Lunar New Year — preferred over Chinese New Year because it’s not just for China

Columbus Day, Indigenous People‘s Day — both acceptable, depending on locality

Winter holidays:

New Year‘s

New Year‘s Day

New Year‘s Eve

Happy New Year!

Partially lowercase if used this way:

Have a happy new year.

We wish you a merry Christmas.

Sending season‘s greetings,

Happy holidays!

Season’s greetings!

Always lowercase unless part of a proper noun:

summer, fall, winter, spring — but the Winter Olympics (proper noun)

summertime, summer solstice

Fourth of July, July Fourth, Independence Day — all three are acceptable and uppercase

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Lauren Edwards is a former reporter for the Associated Press. She has been creating, customizing and delivering workshops for science and technology teams since 2000.

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