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American Culture - Us National Holidays & Celebrations

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U. S. National Holidays & Celebrations!

Let's Celebrate!

Americans find many reasons to celebrate. On a National scale there are 10 Federal Holidays. Not all States recognize the same Holidays as the Federal Government. States and local governments have a separate list of Holidays which may be different from the Federal list. Holidays may have a religious or non-religious origin. One thing Holidays do have in common: most companies give us a paid day off to celebrate! There are many other Days with attached significance that provide us the opportunity to enrich our lives. In any case, Americans love any excuse to celebrate!

Federal Holidays

From The Office of Personnel Management:

Federal law (5 U.S.C. 6103) establishes the following public holidays for Federal employees. Please note that most Federal employees work on a Monday through Friday schedule. For these employees, when a holiday falls on a non workday -- Saturday or Sunday -- the holiday usually is observed on Monday (if the holiday falls on Sunday) or Friday (if the holiday falls on Saturday). Following are the Federal Holidays:

New Years Traditions

Katie Hart's Family New Year

On New Year's day our family gets together and exchanges gifts. It is the same people that just met one week earlier for Christmas. The only difference is that we give gifts on a much smaller scale. Where for Christmas I might have gotten a sweater set, for New Year's I will get a set of hangers or some socks. The tradition started when Granny Scott was doing her after Christmas cleaning. She found a lot of small inexpensive gifts that she forgot to give to everyone. She quickly had an idea. Our family believes that whatever you are doing on the first day of the year is what you will be doing the rest of the year. She called everyone and told them to be at her house by eight o'clock on New Year's Day. Her reasoning was to have everyone to get up early. That way they would not oversleep at all that year. Everyone came over. That means that the family would be close all year long. The entire family helped cook breakfast and the all ate together. That meant that they would eat good food all year long. After all of that, she surprised everyone with their gifts. She loved to have parties and give gifts. On New Year's day, the first day of the year, she gave gifts. That meant that she would give gifts all year long. For every year after that our family always gets together and gives small gifts and eats lunch together.

Memorial Day

Have you ever wondered what the level of Human Sacrifice has been to establish and preserve The United States of America?

Family Tradition

Memorial Day is when we, wear our poppies, fly our Flags and place flowers and flags on the graves of Military Personnel. Many volunteers and Volunteer Organizations march in patriotic parades. Frequently there is a reading of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Patriotic speeches are made and declarations by The President and Heads of the Armed Services are also read. We all take time to remember the Human sacrifice it has taken to establish and maintain this great Nation of ours. Later in the day on Memorial Day, time is set aside for picnics and other outdoor activities. This Holiday generally marks the beginning of the Summer Season.

Independence Day

The 4th of July

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Family Tradition

Independence Day, also known as The 4th of July, is when we celebrate our Freedom with Flags, Picnics and Fireworks. Many volunteers and Volunteer Organizations march in patriotic parades. There are reenactments of the writing and signing of The Declaration of Independence. Politicians give rousing patriotic speeches and we all take a moment to remember what a gift we have in this great Nation of ours. Many Americans mark the 4th of July as the middle of the summer.


Independence day is celebrated on the 4th of July as a National Holiday. This is the Anniversary of the adoption of The Declaration of Independence. Signing of the document completed in August 1776.1

The first Independence Day was celebrated on July 8, 1776; 4 days after the signing of The Declaration of Independence.

In the early years fireworks, cannons and guns were fired and there were many deaths from the celebrations. By the early 1900's many laws had been enacted by states outlawing fireworks because of the deaths.2

Congress made July 4th a National Holiday in 1941. It has become the greatest secular holiday in the United States.3

Labor Day

Family Tradition

Labor Day is the day we honor American Working People. We fly our Flags, observe parades, listen to speeches reviewing Labor's contributions to our society and picnic outdoors. This Holiday generally marks the end of the Summer Season and the start of the school year.

Labor Day is a Federal Holiday honoring working people; it is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It is celebrated on the first Monday in September throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada. The day is marked by speeches reviewing labor's contributions to society, along with parades and fine food consumed outdoors. This Holiday marks the end of the Summer and is usually the last big picnic day in the U.S. It also marks the start of a new school year.

Matthew Maguire, a machinist from Paterson, New Jersey, and Peter J. McGuire, a New York City carpenter, are generally considered the Founders of Labor Day. The first Labor Day parade in the U.S. was held in New York City in September 1882. In 1887, Oregon became the first state to make Labor Day a legal holiday. Other states soon followed. President Grover Cleveland signed a bill in 1894 making Labor Day a national holiday after striking workers were killed and their leaders jailed in an incident in Illinois.

Labor groups in the Canadian cities of Ottawa and Toronto first organized parades and rallies in 1872, ten years before the first Labor Day celebration in the United



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