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Prepositions with Holidays and Celebrations

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In the previous lesson about prepositions, you learned what prepositions to use with the exact time and other periods of time such as seasons.

What do you use with other dates such as Christmas or Ramadan? Did you know that sometimes you do not use a preposition at all? Complete this lesson to learn about more prepositions of time.

Video Activity

Watch Prepositions with holidays, celebrations, and periods of time and take good study notes.

Note. The video supports the information on this page. You can study the page and watch the video in any order.

Use “On” with Days and Dates

In another lesson you learned about using on with days and dates.

When these days and dates are holidays or celebrations, you also use on, but sometimes you may use other prepositions. We will see about those next.

Using “on” with days and dates

  • Sometimes I to work on Saturdays.
  • My brother and I are driving to Chicago on Christmas Eve. We’ll arrive on Christmas Day.
  • Where will you be on your birthday this year?
  • My wife and I met on Independence Day ten years ago.

Use “Over” or “For” to Refer to the Length of the Occasion

Sometimes you refer to a certain date or occasion as an exact date, so you use the preposition on (for example, on Independence Day).

Other times, you to refer to that date or occasion as a whole period of time. Then you can use over (for example, over Christmas).

When you use for, you also have the meaning of purpose or reason (for example, for Christmas).

Compare these sentences with “on,” “over,” and “for”

  • Where are you planning to be on Christmas?
    (on that day)
  • Where are you planning to be over Christmas?
    (during that time, which probably includes Christmas Eve and Christmas Day)
  • Where are you planning to be for Christmas.
    (to celebrate Christmas)
More sentences
  • What are you planning to do on the weekend?
  • What are you planning to do over the weekend?

Note. In some varieties of English, people say “at the weekend,” “at Christmas,” “at Easter,” and so on.

Use “During,” “Over,” “On,” “At,” or “For” with Long Dates or Holidays

Some dates or holidays such as Ramadan, Hanukkah, or Easter happen over long periods of time. Different prepositions can be used.

Compare these sentences with long dates or holidays

  • I’ll be in Chicago during (or over) Ramadan this year.
  • I’ll be in Chicago on (or at) Ramadan this year.
  • I’ll be in Chicago for Ramadan this year.
More examples
  • Jewish people light candles during (or over) Hanukkah.
  • Jewish people light candles over Hanukkah.
  • Jewish people light candles on (or at) Hanukkah.
  • Jewish people light candles for Hanukkah.

Note. “On” is generally used in American English; “at” is generally used in British English.

Important! Sometimes You Drop the Preposition

Do not use a preposition when you use last, next, every, this. You can also drop the preposition when with days of the week. For example, you say, “on Monday” but “this Monday” or “next Monday” without the preposition.

Check out Dropping Prepositions of Time for a lesson with more details and examples.


Complete a short exercise to assess what you have learned.

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“What should I learn next?”

Dropping Prepositions of Time shows when you use no preposition of time at all. Do not miss out on this important lesson.

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