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Holidays in the USA
Feast and festivals serve to meet specific social and psychological needs of the people of the country. Holidays can be religious and secular, national and local, official and unofficial.
In the USA there are 50 states, and there are many holidays. Such as New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas and so on.
celebrates the start of a new year. Americans celebrate New Year’s Day on the first day of January, but the celebration actually begins on December 31, New Year’s Eve, the night before New Year’s Day. Some people blow horns and whistles at midnight to announce the beginning of a new year. Some people shake hands, kiss, sing, and shout ‘’ Happy New Year!” New Year’s Day
Valentine’s Day Valentine’s Day People celebrate this holiday on February 14. It is day of love and friendship. They send greeting cards to their sweethearts and friends and ask them to “Be My Valentine”. This means be my friend or love.
Easter This holiday is celebrated on a Sunday in April or May. The week before Easter people color eggs. On Easter Sunday children wake up to find that the Easter Bunny has left them a basket of candy.
Independence Day On July 4, the United States celebrate Independence Day. It is called Independence Day, because on July 4, 1778, founding fathers declared that the United States would be free and independent from England.
is one of the best holidays for children. American children celebrate Halloween on October 31. Children wear masks and colorful costumes. The most popular costumes are ghosts, witches, and skeletons. The children walk door to door in the neighborhood and shout “ trick or treat!”. Most people give them a treat – candy or fruit. Halloween
Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday in November. This is a family holiday. On this holiday American families meet for a special dinner, usually with turkey and pumpkin pie. They give thanks to God for the past year. Thanksgiving Day
Americans celebrate Christmas on December 25. Christmas is a religious holiday and one of the happiest holidays of the year, because it is the day that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas
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Аннотация (Course Description):This home reading course will help students to develop their language abilities in all four skill areas — reading, writing, listening and speaking and to get some inform.
Holidays in the USA
Every nation and every country has its own customs and traditions. They reflect the history of the country and its cultural and religious traditions. There are some special holidays which are usually celebrated in a particular country. But there are also international holidays which are celebrated in all countries world-wide.
The history of the Americans is history of immigration. Immigrants brought their customs and traditions. That’s why the USA is a mixture of different cultures.
International holidays International holidays are holidays celebrated in different parts of the world – New Year, Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day , Easter, Helloween and so on.
St. Patrick’s Day St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on the 17th of March. St. Patrick is a patron of Ireland, who converted the Irish to Christianity. There are a lot of Irish people in the USA, that’s why St. Patrick is very popular here. Celebrations include prominent displays of the color green, feasting, and numerous parades. The holiday has been celebrated on the North American continent since the late 18th century.
Helloween Halloween is a festival that takes place on October 31. In the United States children wear costumes and masks and go trick-or-treating. Many of them carve jack-o’-lantens 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.
People in the United States honor their fathers with special day: Father’s Day. This holiday is celebrated on the third Sunday in June. Father’s Day dates back to 1909, when one daughter, a certain Mrs. Dodd from Spokane, Washington, wanted to honor her own father who had raised four sons and a daughter after her mother’s death. Although the first Father’s Day was observed in Spokane in 1910 and it has been likewise observed in many other states for many decades, Father’s Day did not become a national holiday until Senator Margaret Chase Smith helped to establish it as such in 1972. Giving cards and gifts is the tradition of this holiday. Children make them in schools. Many people make their own presents.
In the United States Americans honor their mothers and grandmothers, on the second Sunday in May. This day is set aside to show love and respect for mother. On Mother’s Day children give thanks for the support, love, care. Giving cards and gifts is also tradition. Children often make Mother’s Day gifts in school — decorated boxes and picture frames. Another common gift for mothers is the “mother ring,” a ring set with the birthstones of each of the members of the family.
National holidays in the USA Talking about national holidays in the USA I must say that many states have holidays of their own, but there are also major holidays observed in nearly all the USA. Let’s talk about some of them.
On January 15th, people in the United States celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a great civil rights leader who fought against racial discrimination. He said that people should be judged by their characters, and not the color of their skin. He believed in integration. He received national attention when he protested the injustice of segregated buses in Alabama. Martin Luther King is remembered in church memorial services, marches, and public ceremonies. People also listen to his speeches, watch TV documentaries. In schools, students read about this leader, study his writings and celebrate his memory with special programs. Politicians and performers also participate in celebrations to honor Martin Luther King.
The last Monday in May is Memorial Day. This is a national holiday to remember the dead. The first Memorial Day was many years ago after the Civil War (1861 –1865). After the war, people wanted to remember the dead. So around 1866, people began to decorate the graves of Civil War soldiers. People called this day Decoration Day or Poppy Day (Poppies are small red flowers). On the Memorial Day, Americans honor the servicemen who gave their lives in past wars. 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.
New Year’s Day, January, 1st.
Valentine’s Day, February, 14th.
It is not a national holiday. Banks and offices do not close, but it is a happy little festival in honour of St Valentine, patron of sweethearts and lovers. It is widely celebrated among people of all ages by the exchange of «valentines.» A «valentine» may mean a special greeting card or a little present. The greeting cards are often coloured red, have red trimmings and pictures of hearts.
Easter is in memory of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon between March, 22, and April, 25. The 40 days before Easter are called Lent. Just before Easter, schools and colleges usually close. Students have a week or ten days of spring vacation.
Easter is a church holiday, and many churches have an outdoor sunrise service. People give each other presents of eggs which are the symbol of new life. There is a popular belief that wearing three new things on Easter will bring good luck throughout the year.
Washington’s Birthday, February, 22d.
In addition to commemorating the birth of the United States’ first President, it’s a great day for shoppers. The department stores of Washington, DC, stated a national tradition of sales marked by unusual bargains. It is not a national holiday. Many schools, offices and banks close for this day, some stay open. The US Congress observes the birthday of George Washington with speeches and readings from his works.
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New Year’s Day, January, 1st
- People stay awake until after midnight on December 31st to «watch the Old Year out and the New Year in.» Many parties are given on this night. Theatres, night clubs, restaurants are crowded. When midnight comes, they greet the New Year: people gather in the streets of big cities, they ring bells, blow whistles and automobile horns, some shoot off guns and firecrackers
Valentine’s Day, February, 14th
- It is not a national holiday. Banks and offices do not close, but it is a happy little festival in honour of St Valentine, patron of sweethearts and lovers. It is widely celebrated among people of all ages by the exchange of «valentines.» A «valentine» may mean a special greeting card or a little present. The greeting cards are often coloured red, have red trimmings and pictures of hearts
- Easter is in memory of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon between March, 22, and April, 25. The 40 days before Easter are called Lent. Just before Easter, schools and colleges usually close. Students have a week or ten days of spring vacation. Easter is a church holiday, and many churches have an outdoor sunrise service. People give each other presents of eggs which are the symbol of new life. There is a popular belief that wearing three new things on Easter will bring good luck throughout the year
Washington’s Birthday, February, 22d
- In addition to commemorating the birth of the United States’ first President, it’s a great day for shoppers. The department stores of Washington, DC, stated a national tradition of sales marked by unusual bargains. It is not a national holiday. Many schools, offices and banks close for this day, some stay open. The US Congress observes the birthday of George Washington with speeches and readings from his works
Memorial Day, May, 30th:
- It is a national holiday. Schools, banks and offices close for the day. On that day, Americans honour the servicemen who gave their lives in past wars. 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. In addition to solemn services Memorial Day is often marked by other, more joyful ceremonies: colourful parades, sports competitions.
Independence Day, July, 4th:
- On this day, in 1776, America signed the Declaration of Independence. It is a national public holiday celebrated with fireworks and speeches praising «Americanism, democracy, free enterprise».
Labor Day, the first Monday in September
- It is a holiday of recreation. It marks the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. Vacation time is over. Resorts, camps and beaches close . Parents go to summer camps and take their children back home
Halloween, October, 31st
- Halloween is the day or evening before All Saints’ Day. Halloween customs date back to a time when people believed in devils, witches and ghosts. They thought that these evil spirits could do all kinds of damage to property. Some people tried to ward off witches by painting magic signs on their barns. Others tried to scare them away by nailing a piece of iron, such as a horseshoe, over the door. Now most people do not believe in evil spirits. On this day they just have a nice holiday. Children dress up as ghosts and witches and go out into the streets to beg. They go from house to house and say: «Trick of treat!», meaning «Give me a treat or I’ll play a trick on you». People give them candy, cookies and apples. A favourite custom is to make a jack-o’-lantem. Children scrape out a pumpkin and cut the outlines of eyes, nose and mouth in its side. They light a candle inside the pumpkin to scare their friends. This custom refers to a man named Jack who still wanders around the earth lighting his way with a pumpkin lantern
- On this day, the radio and television broadcast services held at the National Cemetery in Arlington. High officials come from Washington to attend these services. They place a wreath of flowers at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. All stand in silence for a few minutes at eleven o’clock to honour the memory of the servicemen killed in the two World Wars
Thanksgiving Day, the fourth Thursday in November
- In the USA it is a national holiday. It was first celebrated in 1621 by the Pilgrim Fathers after their first good harvest. Thanksgiving is a family day, for it is customary for all members of the family to gather at the home of their parents. The family eats a large traditional dinner, usually with turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie
Christmas Day, December, 25th
- It is usually a one-day official holiday, but it is preceded and followed by festive parties, and marked by special church services, gift-giving and feasting. Christmas is a family holiday. Schools and colleges close between Christmas and New-Year’s Day. People stay at home and spend the time with their families. Everybody tries to come home for Christmas. People send cards or Christmas greetings to family and friends away from home. Every family tries to have a Christmas tree, which is beautifully decorated. Santa Claus comes from the North Pole in his sleigh, dressed in red cap and jacket, entering the house from chimney. He is a merry and fat individual. He has gifts of whatever kind you may wish for — nothing is too fabulous nor too trivial for him to provide