- Holidays and Celebrations
List of American Holidays. Part 2: Easter, Passover, April Fool's Day, Mother's Day Memorial Day, Independence Day
Welcome to the second article of the List of American Holidays series. Last time I talked about New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day, today I’ll tell about other holidays celebrated in the United States, including some of the purely American holidays like Memorial Day and Independence Day.
Easter falls on a different day in March or April every year based on the lunar cycle. But in the United States, it is not purely religious holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, but also a fun time for kids. All the kids are waiting for an Easter Bunny who brings sweets and colored eggs in his Easter basket. The rabbit symbolizes fertility, which means life, and eggs are known to be a symbol of rebirth and new life. One of the interesting activities for American kids on Easter is an "Easter egg hunts" where they should find hidden colored eggs.
This is an important Jewish holiday held in memory of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. At that time, the Jews were slaves, and their leader Moses led them away from Egypt to the "Promised Land". The most important thing in Passover celebration is a meal which consists of the dishes of symbolic importance, like an egg (the symbol of life) or salt water (which means the tears of sadness of slavery).
April 1. April Fool's Day
On this day, it is common to play jokes on people.
Second Sunday of May. Mother's Day
The holiday which honors mothers, motherhood and maternal bonds. In the United States, Mother's Day is one of the biggest days for sales of flowers and greeting cards.Churchgoing is also very popular. Mother's Day has the highest church attendance after Christmas Eve and Easter. Many Americans celebrate the day with carnations, colored if the mother is living and white if she is deceased.
Last Monday of May. Memorial Day
This holiday appeared after the Civil War to commemorate soldiers on both sides who fell in battle.
July 4. Independence Day
This holiday is celebrated since 1777, this is the country’s birthday. On this day in 1776, colonists in Philadelphia signed the Declaration of Independence from Britain. It was written by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and mostly Thomas Jefferson. One of the signers, John Hancock, wrote his name in large letters so that King George of England could read it without his glasses. Consequently, today someone’s signature can be referred as his or her John Hancock.
The nation’s birthday is celebrated with fireworks, patriotic music, cookouts (outdoor grilled food), and by wearing red, white, and blue.
That’s it for today. Stay tuned for the next list of American holidays list where I’ll talk about Labor Day, Rosh Hashanna/Yom Kippur, Columbus Day and Halloween.