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in the United States
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7 form school 347
New Year’s Day is January 1. The celebration of this holiday begins the night before, when Americans gather to wish each other a happy and prosperous coming year. People gather in the streets of big cities, they ring bells, blow whistles and automobile horns. Some people shake hands, kiss, sing and shout “Happy New Year!” The ball drop at Times Square in New York City has become a national New Year’s festivity.
New Year’s Day
On January 15, Americans celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday.
It is celebrated as a national holiday dedicated to the life and ideals of the black fighter for civil rights.
This day is a symbol of the peaceful struggle of African-American population for constitutional equality and against racial discrimination.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Groundhog Day is a holiday celebrated on February 2 in the United States and Canada.
In the United States, the most important groundhog is Punxsutawney Phil who lives in a burrow called Gobbler's Knob near Punxsutawney.
If the hedgehog saw its shadow, then there would be six more weeks of winter and if the hedgehog did not see its shadow, it would remain outside signifying an early spring season.
On February 14, Americans celebrate Valentine's Day. It is the most romantic day on the calendar.
It’s a day of love and friendship.
On this day, Americans give special symbolic gifts to people they love. They also send special greeting cards called Valentines to such people. Most commonly, the gifts are candy or flowers.
Americans celebrate Presidents’ Day on the 3rd Monday of February as a federal holiday commemorating the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
They call George Washington "the father of the country" because he was the American general in the Revolutionary War. He was elected the first president of the USA.
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president. He kept the country together during the Civil War. Lincoln freed the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation.
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering all Americans who died while in the military service, who gave their lives in past wars. It is celebrated on the last Monday of May. Schools, clubs and churches decorate the cemeteries. They put up the flags on the graves of the army, navy and airmen. They hold memorial services in churches, halls, parks and cemeteries. There are also colourful parades and sports competitions.
April Fool’s Day
In 1562, in France, Pop Gregory introduced a new calendar for the Christian world, and the new year fell on January1. There were some people, who hadn’t heard or didn’t believe the change in the date, so they continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1. Others played tricks on them and called them “April Fools.”
Today, April Fool’s jokes are played mostly by children, who enjoy the holiday very much.
On the second Sunday of May American families celebrate Mother’s Day.
The American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914.
It celebrates motherhood and it is a time to appreciate mothers and mother figures. Many people give gifts, cards, flowers, candy, a meal in a restaurant or other treats to their mother and mother figures, including grandmothers, great-grandmothers, stepmothers, and foster mothers.
The third Sunday in June is Father’s Day in the United States. This day celebrates fatherhood and male parenting.
The idea of a special day to honor fathers and celebrate fatherhood was introduced from the United States. There, a woman called Sonora Smart Dodd was inspired by the American Mother’s Day celebrations to plan a day to honor fathers.
This is a day when people remember their fathers with presents and cards. People celebrate with family gatherings, picnics and sports activities.
In the USA, Father’s Day has been celebrated in June since 1910.
On June 14,1777, Congress proposed that the United States have a national flag instead of the British Union Jack. The thirteen stars of the flag represented the thirteen new states.
The first official Flag Day was observed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1893.
In August 1949, President Harry S. Truman proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day.
It is not a federal holiday, although many people display flags outside their homes and in their communities.
Independence Day is observed on the 4th of July as the birthday of the United States as a free and independent nation. On July 4, 1776, the United States of America proclaimed its independence from England by signing the Declaration of Independence.
Generally, picnics, parades and firework displays are held all over the country on this day.
Wherever Americans are around the globe they will get together to celebrate Independence Day.
This holiday is observed on the first Monday of September. Its purpose is to honor the nation’s working people. In many cities the day is marked by parades of working people representing the labor unions.
Most Americans consider Labor Day the end of the summer, and the beaches and other popular resort areas are packed with people enjoying one last three-day weekend. For many students it marks the opening of the school year.
This day commemorates Italian navigator Christopher Columbus’ landing in the New World on October 12, 1492. Most nations of the Americas observe this holiday on October 12, but in the United States, annual observances take place on the second Monday in October. The major celebration of the day takes place in New York City, which holds a huge parade each year.
Halloween is a festival that takes place on October 31. American children wear colourful costumes and masks and go trick-or-treating. Many of them carve jack-o'-lanterns out of pumpkins. Fortunetelling and storytelling about ghosts and witches are popular activities.
Halloween developed from new year festivals and festivals of the dead. Christian church established a festival on November 1 called All Saints' Day so that people could continue to celebrate their festivals.
This holiday was originally called Armistice Day and established to honor Americans who had served in World War I. It now honors veterans of all wars in which the U.S. has fought. Veterans’ organizations hold parades, and the president places a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
All stand in silence for a few minutes at eleven o’clock to honor the memory of those who fought for peace.
Thanksgiving Day is marked on the fourth Thursday of November.It a day for families and friends to get together for a special meal. The meal often includes a turkey, potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving Day is a time for many people to give thanks for what they have.
When the first settlers landed in America, their first year was very hard and many people died. But the Indians taught people how to plant corn and wild vegetables and in autumn they got a large harvest. Thanksgiving Day was their holiday, the day of giving thanks to God.
Americans celebrate Christmas on
It is a Christian holiday marking the birth of Jesus Christ.
Decorating houses and yards with lights, putting up Christmas trees, church celebrations, a special meal, giving gifts, and sending greeting cards have become holiday traditions even for many non-Christian Americans.
Children hang stockings for Santa Claus to fill with gifts.
Holidays go round and round.American Holidays: Traditions, Poems, Songs:-СПб.: «Химера»,1998