Difference Between Memorial Day and Celebration Day

To honour the death of every fallen soldier of every American War, Memorial Day is celebrated every last Monday of the month of May. Also known as Decoration Day this name came into being when the purpose of the day was extended to mourn the martyrdom of every dead soldier for the American cause.


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Key Takeaways

  1. Memorial Day honors fallen military personnel, while Celebration Day commemorates various events.
  2. Memorial Day is a national holiday in the United States, while Celebration Day’s significance varies by country and culture.
  3. Both days involve gatherings and events, but Memorial Day ceremonies are more solemn.

Decoration Day VS Memorial Day

The difference between Decoration Day and Memorial Day is that Decoration Day was celebrated to honour the dead of the Civil War, whereas Memorial Day is celebrated to honour the death of all war heroes who died for the American cause. Decoration Day derives its name from the tradition in which people used to decorate the graves of the dead.

Decoration Day VS Memorial Day

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It was the tradition of decorating the Graves of the dead which was common in the region before and after the Civil War.

Women and groups of women used to decorate the graves to thank the martyrdom for their sacrifice and valour.

Memorial Day has a very controversial origin, as more than 25 villages and states claim to have observed it. This federal holiday got its name during the late 19th century.

Be it the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, or any war which claimed American lives finds, it mention on this day.

Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisonDecoration DayCelebration Day
Origin timeIt was first official used in 1868 by General John A. Logan.It came into being in the late 19th century.
War concernedIt was celebrated to remember only the dead of Civil War.It is celebrated to remember every Martyr for The American cause.
CustomIt was based on the old custom of decorating graves of the dead.It is unofficial starting date of summer in America.
Federal HolidayIt was not a federal holiday.It is a federal holiday.
OrganizationIt was not organized.It is organized.

What is Decoration Day?

As the name suggests, women and groups of women used to decorate the Graves of the dead who lost their lives during the Civil War. It is a centuries-old tradition.

One of the prominent names is General John A. Logan, among others. It was celebrated in different parts of the country.

It was celebrated with a cycling competition, and veterans and soldiers used to march along. Evidence can be found in the Prints and Photographs division.

It is very hard to pinpoint this holiday’s exact origin as so many villages, towns, and cities claim to be the birthplace. It, however, found its first mention in 1868 when the commander of The Grand Army of the Republic declared it a holiday.

Southern women used to decorate the graves long before the end of the Civil War, and it found its precedents in so many states long before it got its proper name.

What is Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is nothing but an extended form of Decoration Day. This federal holiday is celebrated to mourn the entire Martyrdom who fell for The American Cause.

This is an annual holiday which is originated from Waterloo, New York. President Lyndon Johnson gave the place this pride as it was the place which was observed formally for the first time.

In 1971, federal law made the last Monday of May the observation day for the holiday.

National observation takes place at the historic Arlington National Cemetery, where The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is decorated with a garland.

First, it is raised quickly at sunrise and then lowered immediately to half-staff until noon. It is then flown at full staff till sunset.

It was when the USA found itself amidst World War 1 that people started observing the day to mourn the death of all the fallen soldiers.

Main Difference Between Celebration Day and Memorial Day

  1. Memorial Day is celebrated every last Monday of the month of May, whereas Celebration Day is celebrated on the 30th of May.
  2. Celebration Day is a federal holiday, whereas Celebration Day was not so for a long period of time.
Difference Between Memorial Day and Celebration Day
  1. https://search.proquest.com/openview/e2b07dc149c1e20bd3734814ff92c1d8/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=1818448
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0957926512471762

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