How Do Americans Spend Their Holidays?

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The Fourth of July honors the birthday of the United States and is considered to be the most important national holiday. Americans have been celebrating it as a federal holiday since 1941, but the birth of American independence dates back to the far 1776 year.

That year, on the fourth of July, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence and the Thirteen Colonies of America became independent from the British Empire. The delegates who drafted the Declaration of Independence were Thomas Jefferson, the future president at the time, John Adams, Ben Franklin, and Roger Sherman. The first and only person who signed the document on that particular day was John Hancock, while the other delegates (or the representatives of thirteen colonies) put their names in August 1776.

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In spite of the fact that Thirteen Colonies became officially independent states, the American Revolution continued without regard to anything. However, this thing did not stop the people in Philadelphia to celebrate the Independence Day. Soon other states followed their example and started the national tradition of celebrating the 4th of July as the greatest holiday.

How Has the Fourth of July Been Celebrated?

Although the American Revolution ended up in 1783, the celebration of the national holiday never stopped from the day the Declaration of Independence was signed. Independence news quickly spread throughout North America, and very soon all major city of states received this joyful news. Philadelphia and Massachusetts are supposed to be the first states to make the day marked Fourth of July a very significant holiday.

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Before the revolution, American people used to spend their holidays with bells ringing, parades, concerts, speechmaking, processions, and bonfires. Since 1776, they made a habit of using the firework displays to start celebrating the Fourth of July. Actually, fireworks are the official symbol of Independence Day and the most popular activity associated with this holiday. The reason why it became such a tradition for the states to have firework displays is not of funny nature. In the 18th century, the nation used to set firing of cannons and guns at all big festivals. But later, after the war ended, the government took a course for public safety and replaced the firearms with fireworks.

Some cities distinguished from other ones in celebrating the Fourth of July. For instance, in Bristol, people practiced a salute of 13 gunshots in 1777. The native of North Carolina, Johann Friedrich Peter wrote a song called the “Psalm of Joy”, which was the first song in the history of America dedicated to the Independence Day. The orchestra from Boston composed and played the national songs like the American National Anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner”, “God Bless America”, “America the Beautiful”, and “1812 Overture”.

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From the late 18th century to our days, the Americans’ festivities to honor the Day of Independence included fireworks, concerts, big parades and parties, bonfires, the firing of cannons and muskets, feasts, speeches, and other activities. But in the recent years, Americans have made this celebration more a kind of family holiday that gathers relatives and friends to spend a good time together. On the Fourth of July, most people have a habit of getting for barbecues or reunions, while others see this day as a perfect opportunity to go on vacations and travel around their country.

As it can clearly be seen, the Fourth of July, or Independence Day, is the most patriotic and joyful holidays among Americans. The nation began to celebrate it immediately after the release of the Declaration of Independence, which affirms the Americans’ loyalty to their land.