United States National Holidays: A Guide to Celebrations
The United States of America is a melting pot of cultures and traditions. It is no wonder that the country has numerous national holidays celebrating various events and icons. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the major national holidays in the US, their significance, and how they are celebrated.
New Year’s Day – January 1st
New Year’s Day is the first day of the year on the Gregorian calendar. It is celebrated with much pomp and gaiety in the US. The day is usually marked with parties, fireworks, and parades. Many people also make resolutions, which they try to keep throughout the year.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day – Third Monday of January
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a federal holiday that honors the American Baptist minister and civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The day is celebrated on the third Monday of January. It is a day of remembrance, reflection, and service to others.
Presidents’ Day – Third Monday of February
Presidents’ Day is a federal holiday that honors all the US Presidents. The day was initially celebrated on February 22nd, George Washington’s birthday. But, in 1971, it was moved to the third Monday in February. Many people take advantage of the long weekend to travel or engage in outdoor activities.
Easter – March/April
Easter is a religious holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The date of Easter changes every year and is determined by the lunar calendar. In the US, Easter is celebrated with church services, easter egg hunts, and traditional meals such as ham or lamb.
Memorial Day – Last Monday of May
Memorial Day is a federal holiday that honors Americans who have died while serving in the military. The day is marked with parades, family gatherings, and visits to cemeteries or memorials.
Independence Day – July 4th
Independence Day marks the anniversary of the United States’ Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776. The day is celebrated with fireworks, barbecues, parades, and family gatherings.
Labor Day – First Monday of September
Labor Day is a federal holiday that celebrates American workers and their contributions to the country’s economy. It is also viewed as the unofficial end of summer. Many people celebrate the day by traveling, attending parades or concerts, or simply relaxing with friends and family.
Columbus Day – Second Monday of October
Columbus Day is a federal holiday that commemorates the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492. It is also seen as a celebration of Italian-American heritage. In recent years, there have been calls to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day, to recognize the contributions and history of Native Americans.
Veterans Day – November 11th
Veterans Day is a federal holiday that honors all American military veterans. The day was originally called Armistice Day and marked the end of World War I. In the US, Veterans Day is celebrated with parades, ceremonies, and the laying of wreaths at memorials.
Thanksgiving Day – Fourth Thursday of November
Thanksgiving Day is a traditional holiday that celebrates the blessings of the year, including the harvest. It is a day for families and friends to come together and share a meal. Common dishes include roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie.
Christmas Day – December 25th
Christmas Day is a Christian holiday that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. It is celebrated with church services, gift-giving, and traditional meals such as ham or turkey. In the US, Christmas celebrations often begin in early December and continue through to New Year’s Day.
The United States has a rich and diverse culture that is reflected in its national holidays. They are an opportunity to come together as a nation and celebrate the events and people that have shaped the country’s history. Whether you’re enjoying a parade, sharing a meal with family and friends, or simply taking a day off, national holidays are a time to reflect, relax, and appreciate the things that matter most.
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