Were any holidays celebrated in Jonestown?
Were people given time off on other days?

There were no traditional American or Christian holidays celebrated in Jonestown like Independence Day, Halloween, Christmas, or Easter. To the contrary – at least for the only Christmas during Jonestown’s last 15 months of existence – the Peoples Rally Notes of December 25, 1977, report Johnny Jones as saying, “it’s not Christmas, it’s Revolution Day.” How ever the community perceived it, Jones did specify on FBI Tape Q939 that they were going to eat meat that day.

There were no individual birthday celebrations either, but that was an extension from Temple life in the US. Instead, the Temple practice in the States was to celebrate all December birthdays on one day, all April birthdays on one day, etc.

There were a couple of undefined/undesignated “socialist holidays” which are noted in a couple of tapes from Jonestown, but without any dates associated with them, we can only guess which holiday they might be, such as the International Workers’ Day celebrated on May 1, or the anniversary of the October 1917 Revolution in Russia.

If there were any national holidays that would have been celebrated, they would have more likely been Guyanese, like Independence Day on May 26 or Emancipation Day on August 1. Again, there are no records of such.

This is not to say there were no special days of celebration. Most of them occurred when a visitor of some prominence came to the community. These included American supporters of the Temple like Carlton Goodlett, attorney Mark Lane, filmmaker Donald Freed, and even Concerned Relative-operative-turned-Temple supporter Joseph Mazor. There were also Guyana government officials, cultural groups from Georgetown, and experts in zoology and botany. There were officials from various embassies, mainly the American Embassy, but also Soviet. On these occasions, the residents of Jonestown could count on some time off from their jobs, a special dinner at night, and entertainment (although that occurred other times as well).

In addition to those days, the community was scheduled to get a half day off of work on Sundays, but those breaks were sometimes canceled or shortened, often at the last minute.

(The editors are grateful to Connor Ashley Clayton for his contributions to this answer.)