Although the word "holiday" literally means "holy day," most American holidays are not religious, but commemorative in nature and origin. Because the nation is blessed with rich ethnic heritage it is possible to trace some of the American holidays to diverse cultural sources and traditions, but all holidays have taken on a distinctively American flavor.
In the United States, the word "holiday" is synonymous with "celebration! "
New Year's Day (January 1) On January first, Americans visit friends, relatives and neighbors. There is plenty to eat and drink when you just drop in to wish your loved ones and friends the best for the year ahead. Many families and friends watch television together enjoying the Tournament of Roses parade preceding the Rose Bowl football game in Pasadena California. In the warmer regions all around the country there are other games whose names are characteristic of the state. People watch the Orange Bowl game in Florida, the Cotton Bowl in Texas, and the Sugar Bowl in Louisiana. In most cultures, people promise to better themselves in the following year. Americans have inherited the tradition and even write down their New Year's resolutions. Whatever the resolution, most of them are broken or forgotten by February! ESC
Dr. Martin Luther King Day (Third Monday in January)
" I have a dream...
I have a dream that one day little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers
I have a dream today"
It is a time for the nation to remember the injustices that Dr. King fought. A time to remember his fight for the freedom, equality, and dignity of all races and peoples. A time to remember the message of change through nonviolence . ESC
Presidents' Day is celebrated in February to honor two of our greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. The holiday is celebrated in the United States on the third Monday in February . George Washington Born : February 22, 1732 at Wakefield, Westmoreland, Virginia Died: December 14, 1799 at Mount Vernon, Fairfax, Virginia President: April 30,1789 to March 4, 1797 Abraham Lincoln Born: February 12, 1809 in Hardin (now Larue) County, Kentucky Died: April 15, 1865 in Washington, District of Columbia Pres i dent: March 4th, 1861 to April 15, 1865 ESC
It i s a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. Arbor Day originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska, United States but is also celebrated by several other countries
The national holiday is celebrated every year on the last Friday in April ; it is a civic holiday in Nebraska. Each state celebrates its own state holiday . ESC
In the United States, Mother's Day was loosely inspired by the British day and was imported by social activist Julia Ward Howe after the American Civil War. However, it was intended as a call to unite women against war. In 1870, she wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation.
The first Mother's Day was celebrated on 10 May, 1908 . It continues to this day to be one of the most commercially successful U.S. occasions. Mother's Day is now the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant in the United States. ESC
Memorial Day is a time to remember the U.S. men and woman who lost their lives serving their country. Originally known as Decoration Day, it was established in 1868 to commemorate the dead from the Civil War. Over the years it came to serve as a day to remember all U.S. men and women killed or missing in action in all wars.
It has become both, a National Decoration Day of family graves, and the holiday that opens the summer season. It is celebrated with backyard barbecues, outdoor picnics, and parades.
Flag Day, is a day for all Americans to celebrate and show respect for the flag, its designers and makers. The flag is representative of the independence and unity as a nation.....one nation, under God, indivisible. The flag has a proud and glorious history. It was at the lead of every battle fought by Americans. Many people have died protecting it.
The United States is one of the few countries in the world that has an official day on which fathers are honored by their children. On the third Sunday in June, fathers all across the United States are given presents, treated to dinner or otherwise made to feel special. .
The origin of Father's Day is not clear. Some say that it began with a church service in West Virginia in 1908. Others say the first Father's Day ceremony was held in Vancouver, Washington. ESC
celebration into a general "last fling of summer" festival.
It grew out of a celebration and parade in honor of the working class by the Knights of Labor in 1882 in New York.
It has come to be recognized in the U.S. not only as a celebration of the working class, but even more so as the unofficial end of the summer season. In the northern half of the U.S. at least, the summer vacation season begins with Memorial Day and ends with Labor Day.
Columbus Day is celebrated in the United States to honor Christopher Columbus's first voyage to America in 1492 .
I t was Colorado, in 1905, that became the first state to observe a Columbus Day. Since 1920 the day has been celebrated annually, and in 1937 President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed every October 12 as Columbus Day. That's where it remained until 1971 when Congress declared it a federal public holiday on the second Monday in October. ESC
Veterans Day is an American holiday honoring military veterans. Both a federal holiday and a state holiday in all states, it is celebrated on the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I.
Veterans Day is largely intended to thank living veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served - not only those who died - have sacrificed and done their duty . ESC
Thanksgiving Day is a joyous family festival celebrated with lot of enthusiasm in US, Canada and several other countries. It is f estival commemorates the feast held by the Pilgrim colonists and members of the Wampanoag people at Plymouth in 1621. On this day people express gratitude to God for his blessings and give thanks to dear ones for their love & support. Feasting with family is an integral & most delightful part of Thanksgiving Day celebrations.
Religious holidays Native American Pow-Wows ESC
Christmas is a most important religious holy day for
Christians, who attend special church services to
celebrate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.
Since most Americans are Christian, the day is one on which most businesses are closed and the greatest possible number of workers, including government employees, have the day off. Many places even close early on the day before.
Easter (A Sunday between March 22 and April 25)
Easter is celebrated in USA with traditional fervor and gaiety.
Sunday church services and festive celebrations
blend together during the Easter weekend.
On Easter Sunday in New York and other cities,
large Easter parades are held where people turn out
in thei r fashionable outfits and trendy Easter bonnets.
St. Patrick's Day (March 17 or the preceding Saturday)
Many people who immigrated to the United States have come from Ireland. More than one-half of the soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War had Irish ancestors. Today, it is said, Irish descendants in the United States put on a noisier and bigger St. Patrick's Day celebration than the people in Ireland.
"Pow-wow" is the Algonquin Indian word for "ceremony", but the word holds a different meaning according to each native American Indian tribe.
Pow-wows mean different things to different people. The ceremony have changed with the times . Now instead of giving thanks to their gods for a war victory, Indians honor those of their tribes who have served in the American armed forces.