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Interesting Facts About American Holidays

Nov 16, 2007
Holidays in America usually include gathering with friends and family, feasting, and celebrating the joy of the holiday and togetherness. Regardless of the particular holiday's roots, this is a common practice. Of course, traditions and practices change depending upon which holiday people are celebrating.

Common Holidays:

Perhaps the most popular holiday in America is Christmas. This holiday is celebrated on December 25, and is the celebration of the birth of the baby Jesus. Americans normally mark the occasion with high festivity. Stringing colored lights and decorations outside, giving and receiving gifts from family members and friends, and enjoying a nice toasty cup of hot cocoa to battle the cold outside are some of the common activities.

One of the favorite things to do at Christmas is put up the Christmas tree. It is usually bedecked with sparkling lights and dangling ornaments. Most children in America receive gifts from Jolly Old Saint Nick on Christmas morning.

Another favorite American holiday is Halloween. Celebrated on October 31, this holiday has roots that extend back to Pagan Europe when families would leave food out for deceased loved ones. Now, children go door to door in their neighborhoods and receive candy or treats.

It is tradition, of course, to dress up. Children often dress up as spooky creatures like goblins, ghosts and witches, and sometimes they dress for the good in fairy costumes, clown outfits or their favorite super hero.

Independence Day in America is celebrated on July 4th. This day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and is a special holiday for Americans. Normally, people in America celebrate with backyard barbecues, picnics, or family get togethers. The nights are celebrated with fireworks and festivity.

Uncommon Holidays:

In the southern United States, in Mississippi and Louisiana, a holiday called Mardi Gras is a particular favorite. This holiday occurs on the Tuesday before the Christian season called 'Lent.' It is often called 'Fat Tuesday.' Mardi Gras is celebrated with flashy and sophisticated costumes and parades. Parade floats are filled with people who toss colored beads, doubloons, and other treats. This is a time of indulgence, merriment, and celebration before Lent kicks off.

Veterans day is probably not celebrated as highly as it should be in the United States. It takes place on November 11th, and commemorates men and women who have fought in the United States armed forces. At 11 a.m., a moment of silence is acknowledged in honor of those people.

America has a rich history of holidays, celebrations, and traditions. While the actual reason for the holiday is celebrated, the most important thing is getting together with loved ones and friends. Holidays are the perfect excuse for getting the entire family together and spending time with those we love the most.
About the Author
Alex Olson has a great interest in holidays all over the world. American holidays represent a particular interest for her. Being an experienced journalist, she wrote a number of highly popular articles on holidays in different countries.
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