Relocating to the United States means learning a new culture, and a major part of the American culture is holidays. Federal holidays are typically observed nationally as official days off from work and school. You’ll also notice another way Americans celebrate holidays…major shopping sales!
So mark your calendar and learn more about each of these American holidays:
New Year’s Day
Welcome to the New Year! The American calendar starts on January 1st, and many American’s see it as a time to reflect on the years past and create goals and resolutions for the future.
Martin Luther King Day
Martin Luther King Jr. was an activist and leader in the civil rights movement in the mid-20th century. Each year his birthday is observed on the third Monday in January in memory of his contributions to the United States.
This holiday, celebrated each year on the third Monday in February, was created to honor two of the United States greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.
This day was created to commemorate the U.S. soldiers who have died while serving in the military. Local parades are often held to honor those in military service. On the last Monday in May, Americans typically celebrate by getting together for barbecues and picnics.
Also known as the Fourth of July, is a U.S. federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from Britain. This holiday is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, and barbecues.
Often looked at as the symbolic end of summer, Labor Day is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. Celebrated on the first Monday in September, it constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the United States.
Celebrated on the second Monday in October in honor of Christopher Columbus’s first voyage to the Americas in 1492.
Halloween also known as All Hallows Eve, is observed yearly on October 31st. It is a fun holiday tradition that has been celebrated in the U.S. since the 1940’s. Children dress up in costumes and go door-to-door in their neighborhoods reciting the phrase “Trick-or-Treat” to collect candy. Yum!
An official U.S. holiday that honors people who served in the United States Armed Forces. Celebrated on November 11th, it coincides with Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day, in other parts of the world which commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I.
Thanksgiving is a major holiday in the United States observed on the fourth Thursday of November. It celebrates the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians coming together in unity for an autumn harvest feast in 1621. Thanksgiving is typically celebrated by family and friends joining together for a large meal and giving thanks.