THE USA HOLIDAYS 1
As you are learning English it is good to know not only about the language but also about the traditions that some of those English speaking countries have. Let’s start with the USA, the biggest country with English as its language.
Americans like any other nations have their own days of holidays and celebrations. Here are the major ones listed below.
New Year’s Day: January 1 (and New Year’s Eve: December 31)
Americans celebrate New Years Day just as many other countries do, though they do have a few customs that are their own. At midnight between December 31 and January 1, many Americans flood the area of Times Square, Manhattan, New York to "watch the ball drop." This special ball is made of crystal and electric lights. It hangs on a pole that is 77 feet (23 meters) high until 11:59 PM December 31, when it slowly begins to descend the pole until exactly midnight. Many other towns have their own version of the ball-drop, but most Americans who watch it do so on television, as it has been televised every year since 1907 (except during World War II).
Inauguration Day: January 20
This day is about when a new president is inaugurated into the office. So, it happens every four years.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Third Monday of January
On the third Monday of January, Americans remember the life and death of Martin Luther King Jr. and his fight for equal rights. Martin Luther King Junior (1929-1968) was a Baptist minister who was a leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He believed in advancing civil rights in a non-violent manner and received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his efforts. Unfortunately, he was assassinated, and many riots broke out because of his violent death. His "I have a dream" speech is well-known and well-loved among many.
Valentine's Day: February 14
This is actually a celebration of love and lovers give each other candies or flowers. The symbol of this day is a heart.
St. Patrick's Day: March 17
In celebration of St. Patrick's Day, many people dress in green and pinch those who don't. Others go to Irish pubs to drink beer. Interestingly, many (if not most) Americans celebrate the day, but don't know much about the man for which the day is celebrated.
Easter: Varies Based on Moon
In celebration of Easter, many families in the United States go to church in honor of the day Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Those who don't go to church (and even those who do) also celebrate by coloring eggs, having Easter egg hunts, and celebrating the Easter bunny (who hides baskets of treats for children).
April Fool's Day: April 1
Americans tend to celebrate April Fool's Day by playing tricks and pranks on each other and then declaring "April Fools!"
There is still much to come that will be covered in the next part.