July 4—Independence Day

4th Thursday in November—Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day is the fourth Thursday in November, but many Americans take a day of vacation on the following Friday to make a four-day weekend, during which they may travel long distances to visit family and friends. The American Thanksgiving holiday began as a feast of thanksgiving in the early days of the American colonies almost four hundred years ago. Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of November, a different date every year. Thanksgiving is a time for tradition and sharing. Even if they live far away, family members gather for a reunion at the house of an older relative. All give thanks together for the good things that they have. In this spirit of sharing, civic groups and charitable organizations offer a traditional meal to those in need, particularly the homeless. On most tables throughout the United States, foods eaten at the first thanksgiving have become traditional. There are also Thanksgiving parades in many cities, including

¨ New York City: Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

¨ Chicago, Illinois: McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade

¨ Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 6abc IKEA Thanksgiving Day Parade

¨ Plymouth, Massachusetts: America's Hometown Thanksgiving Parade

¨ Houston, Texas: H-E-B Holiday Parade

¨ St. Louis, Missouri: Ameren St. Louis Thanksgiving Parade

¨ Detroit, Michigan: America's Thanksgiving Parade

¨ Seattle, Washington

¨ Fountain Hills, Arizona

¨ Stamford, Connecticut: UBS Parade Spectacular

¨ Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, Minnesota: Target Holidazzle Parades

¨ Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Celebrate the Season Parade

¨ Los Angeles, California: Hollywood Christmas Parade



Pumpkins are a Thanksgiving favorite for about 400 years



Turkey is an inseparable part of Thanksgiving celebration



Corn were a part of first thanks giving feast & are popular till date



Cranberry sauce is turkey's favorite thanksgiving feast partner



Cornucopia is a horn-shaped basket filled with fruits & goodies



Beans are regarded as the third of the Indian Three Sisters.

January 1—New Year’s Day

¨ January 1—New Year’s Day

¨ 3rd Monday in January—Martin Luther King Day

¨ January 20 (every 4th year) - Inauguration Day

¨ 3rd Monday in February—Washington’s Birthday

¨ Last Monday in May—Memorial Day

¨ July 4—Independence  Day

¨ 1st Monday in September—Labor Day

¨ 2nd Monday in October—Columbus Day

¨ November 11—Veteran’s Day

¨ 4th Thursday in November—Thanksgiving Day

¨ December 25—Christmas Day


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It originally honored the people killed in the American Civil War, but has become a day on which the American dead of all wars, and the dead generally, are remembered in special programs held in cemeteries, churches, and other public meeting places. The flying of the American flag is widespread.

In 1971, along with other holidays, President Richard Nixon declared Memorial Day a federal holiday on the last Monday in May. Cities all around the United States hold their own ceremonies on the last Monday in May to pay respect to the men and women who have died in wars or in the service of their country. Some hold parades and others hold memorial services or special programs in churches, schools or other public meeting places.

Memorial Day is not limited to honor only those Americans from the armed forces. It is also a day for personal remembrance. Families and individuals honor the memories of their loved ones who have died. Church services, visits to the cemetery, flowers on graves or even silent tribute mark the day with dignity and solemnity. On Memorial Day, the President or Vice President of the United States gives a speech and lays a wreath on the tombs. Members of the armed forces shoot a rifle salute in the air. Veterans and families come to lay their own wreaths and say prayers. It is a day of reflection.

However, to many Americans the day also signals the beginning of summer with a three-day weekend to spend at the beach, in the mountains or at home relaxing.

December 25—Christmas Day

Most Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth on December 25. Before the 19th century, many Americans worked on Christmas, but in the industrial era the holiday also began to honor universal values such as home, children and family life, and to incorporate secular customs like exchanging gifts and cards, and the decoration of evergreen trees. Before the 19th century, many Americans worked on Christmas, but in the industrial era the holiday also began to honor universal values such as home, children and family life, and to incorporate secular customs like exchanging gifts and cards, and the decoration of evergreen trees. Congress proclaimed Christmas a federal holiday in 1870. In 1999, a federal court acknowledged the secular aspects of Christmas in rejecting a claim that the holiday impermissibly endorsed and furthered a particular religious belief.

Naturally Christians observe Christmas according to the traditions of their particular church. Besides the strictly religious traditions, however, other common Christmas practices are observed by people who are not religious or who are not Christian. In this way, some Christmas traditions have become American traditions.

To this day, Thanksgiving dinner almost always includes some of the foods served at the first feast: roast turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, pumpkin pie. Before the meal begins, families or friends usually pause to give thanks for their blessings, including the joy of being united for the occasion.

Independence Day is the national holiday of the United States of America commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Independence Day honors the birthday of the United States of America and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. It's a day of picnics and patriotic parades, a night of concerts and fireworks, and a reason to fly the American flag.

Communities have day-long picnics with favorite foods like hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, baked beans and all the fixings. The afternoon activities would not be complete without lively music, a friendly baseball game, three-legged races and a pie-eating or watermelon-eating contests. Some cities have parades with people dressed as the original founding fathers who march in parades to the music of high school bands. At dusk, people in towns and cities gather to watch the fireworks display. Wherever Americans are around the globe, they will get together for a traditional 4th of July celebration!

Last Monday in May—Memorial Day

1st Monday in September—Labor Day

First observed in New York City in September 1882, the Labor Day holiday commemorates the contributions of working men and women. In 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed legislation establishing the federal holiday. Labor union participation in annual parades remains common, while for many Americans the holiday demarks the unofficial end of summer and beginning of the school year.

Most Americans consider Labor Day the end of the summer, and the beaches and other popular resort areas are packed with people enjoying one last three-day weekend. For many students it marks the opening of the school year.

Most Americans send greeting cards to their friends and family at Christmas time. Some people who are friends or relatives and live great distances from each other may not be much in contact with each other during year - but will usually exchange greeting cards and often a Christmas letter telling their family news. The decorating of homes for Christmas is very common. Most American who observe Christmas have a Christmas tree in their homes. This may be a real evergreen tree or an artificial one. In either case, the tree is decorated and trimmed with small lights and ornaments. Other decorations such as lights and wreaths of evergreen and signs wishing a "Merry Christmas" can be found inside and outside of many homes.

To some extent, non-Christian holidays celebrated at roughly the same time of year — most prominently the African-American Kwanzaa and the Jewish Hanukkah — blend into a broader “holiday season.”

Gift-giving is so common at Christmas time that for most stores it means a sharp increase in sales. Stores, in fact, are full of shoppers from Thanksgiving time in late November until the day before Christmas. , Christmas shopping is a major activity of many Americans in the month of December. Gifts are given to children, members of the family and close friends. They are given to people who have done favors to others or who work for them. Some people bake cookies or make candies or other special food treats for friends and neighbors. Many businesses give their workers a Christmas "bonus" - gifts of extra money - to show appreciation for their work. Christmas is also a time when most Americans show great generosity to other less fortunate than they. They send money to hospitals or orphanages or contribute to funds that help the poor.

Capitol Christmas Tree

Thousands throng to the Times Square celebration in New York to count down to the New Year - a celebration that's carried live on TV networks across the U.S. At one minute before midnight, a lighted ball drops slowly from the top to the bottom of a pole on one of the buildings. People count down at the same time as the ball drops. When it reaches the bottom, the new year sign is lighted. People hug and kiss, and wish each other "Happy New Year!"

In the United States, the federal holiday is January first, but Americans begin celebrating on December 31. Sometimes people have masquerade balls, where guests dress up in costumes and cover their faces with masks. Most of the celebrating of New Year's Day takes place the night before, when Americans gather in homes or restaurants or other public places to enjoy good food and to wish each other a happy and prosperous year ahead. Balloons and paper streamers, fire crackers and other noisemakers are all around at midnight when the old year passes away and the new year arrives.