The following is only a brief list of the main
festivals in the Unites States. For further information I suggest you
unit on British and American Festivals created
by Silvia Montrucchio for Edurete.org.
The American main Festivals [E1]
In the United States a lot of
have ‘Open House’ . It was the first president of the U.S.,
Washington, to introduce this tradition in the late 1700s. During ‘Open
the front door of many houses is open all day to let relatives and
to visit. On New Year’s Day it is cold
in many parts of the States, but in the southern states it is warm an
these places there are parades and American football games, which are
Luther King Day
Americans celebrate this festivity on the
Monday in January. This is quite new a public holiday in the U.S.:
it started in 1983. Every year American
Martin Luther King’s work by celebrating this bank holiday. All the
close for a day. People try to remember what Dr King believed in.
Day - 14th February
Lovers celebrate Valentine’s Day on 14th
February. People in love use to exchange cards and presents: flowers,
particular, chocolates or jewellery. In the U.S. young schoolchildren
school as many valentine’s cards as the number of children in
They don’t put names on the envelopes, but only inside the cards.
their classroom with colourful pink and red decorations and the teacher
each child a card and some sweets.
In the United States people
Presidents’ Day on the third Monday of February. This festivity
birthdays of two great presidents, George Washington and Abraham
people put their American flag outside their homes and some go to visit
Washington’s home in Virginia, or
Lincoln’s in Illinois.
The Christians celebrate the resurrection
Christ. Easter Day is on the first Sunday after the full moon in March.
Christians go to church on Easter Dai in the morning. But there are
non-religious Easter traditions: one of these is Easter Bonnet [E1]
parades. Girls and boys make their own
original Easter bonnets and march in parade. The most famous
bonnet parade is in New York
Very popular is also the tradition of Easter Eggs and Easter Bunnies.
Day – 4th July
Americans celebrate the birth of America
ideals of freedom, equality and opportunity for everybody by putting an
American flag on public buildings and schools.
Every city and town organizes celebrations and there are red,
blue decorations on the streets. Picnics and barbecues are quite a
of celebrating Independence Day, but costume parades are famous in the
spectacular rodeos are typical in the West.
The first Monday in September Americans
celebrate Labour Day. It means a day of rest from work. It started in
On the second Monday of October Americans
celebrate Columbus Day: they remember Christopher Columbus’s voyage to America
– 31st October
October 31 is Halloween: it is a fun event
the United States, Great Britain
and, now, in many countries too. It has Celtic origins. It is popular to buy
a big pumpkin and make a jack-o’-lantern to be put in front of
window. Many children and adults wear scary costumes and masks.
Children go ‘trick
or treating’ [E1] [I1]
in the evening, visiting their neighbours’ houses in
Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on the
Thursday of November. This tradition started with Pilgrim Fathers and
foundation of the colony of Plymouth.
This is probably the most American holiday. People travel long
distances to be
with their families for the traditional dinner of roast turkey and
– 25th December
This festivity celebrates the birth of
Christ. Some Christians go to church at
midnight on Christmas Eve, while others go on Christmas morning. The
celebrate Christmas together at home, playing games and watching
movies on television. American’s most famous Christmas tree is at the Rockerfeller Center
on Fifth Avenue
in New York.
This spectacular Christmas tree has nearly five miles of lights!
Year’s Eve – 31 December
In America many people go to
restaurants or nightclubs. In New York city
of people go to Times Square to
some American cities office workers throw their old calendars out of
on 31 December: they are throwing the old year away. By the evening
there is a
lot of paper in the streets!