Can the definite article be used with special days or holidays?

Is it possible to use the definite article with holidays and special days like Flag Day and Valentine’s Day? For instance, are “the Flag Day”, “the Valentine’s Day”, or “the Christmas” correct?

I’m wondering because people can use either “the earth” or “Earth” and be grammatically correct with either one.


Yes and no. It’s not standard English, first of all. Holidays are usually considered to be names in and of themselves, so adding an article doesn’t make sense.

Second, a number of holidays are possessives. Valentine’s Day, Mothers’ Day, St. Crispin’s Day, etc. One does not add an article to possessive forms.

Earth as opposed to the earth is a different situation. Our world is the earth. However, in English the term the earth has been borrowed to be the name of our world as well, Earth. (There is the additional confusion that dirt can also be called earth.) It is because of this potential for ambiguity that science fiction writers will often use the term Terra for our world, and Sol for our sun.

(Consider Washington DC, which is served by an airport named Washington-Dulles International. One could say “I am going to the airport”, or “I am going to Washington Dulles International”. One would not say “I am going to the Dulles”.)

That all being said, while it is NOT standard English, it is not uncommon to use inappropriate articles for humourous effect. I frequently make references to “The Google”, and I can imagine students talking about “going home for the Christmas”.

Source : Link , Question Author : jess , Answer Author : Jonathan Garber

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