NEW YEAR’S DAY
MARTIN LUTHER KING’S BIRTHDAY
ST VALENTINE’S DAY
ST PATRICK’S DAY
APRIL FOOL’S DAY
TAKE YOUR DAUGHTER TO WORK DAY
10. MAY DAY
The population of the USA is made up of people of different nationalities. Centuries ago they brought with them their native celebrations. Some holidays which are marked in the US originated in America. There is no provision for national holidays in the USA. The number of holiday is different in different states – from 8 in the District of Columbia to 20 in Oklahoma.
NEW YEAR’S DAY
Love and joi come to you,
And to you your wassail, too !
And God bless you and send you
A happy new year !
Although in the United States the official holiday is January the 1st, the celebration really begins on December 31st. New Year’s Day is celebrated with parties which last beyond midnight so that everyone can see in the New Year and watch the Old Year out. Theatres, night clubs, restaurants are crowded. At 12:00 midnight when the ringing of bells popping of champagne bottles and fire crackers, and blowing of sirens and whistles announce the start of New Year. People throw streamers and confetti, shake hands, exchange kisses and embraces, and wish each other a “Happy New Year !” Some people gather in the street of big cities, they ring bells, shoot of guns and firecrackers. January 1st is celebrated with parades in some cities. One of the noisiest and most crowded of New Year’s Eve celebration take place in New York City at Time Square. Thousands of New Yorkers gather there, and millions of Americans across the country join them by TV.
Following a long, chaotic New Year’s Eve, Americans spend a quiet New Year Day. In most households everyone sleeps late, often enjoys meals and TV with the family and friends. Two famous New Year’s Day festivals are showed for national viewing: the Tournament of Roses and Mummer’s Parade. Both of these events have been American traditions for more than half a century.
The Mummer’s Parade, which take place in Philadelphia is a ten – hour spectacle. It was introduced in the US by Swedish immigrants. There are clowns, musicians, dancers – all led by King Momus dressed in bright satin.
The Tournament of Roses take place in Pasadena, California. Prizes are awarded to the cities with the most unusual and attractive floral displays. After the parade, the Rose Bowl football game, a struggle between two top - ranking college football teams, is played. Those events attract thousands of tourists and millions of TV viewers.
Besides champagne, streamers and noisemakers, other symbols of the New Year celebration include a clock or hour glass, an old man symbolizing the Old year, and a new baby symbolizing the New year. This may be an allusion to the ancient Roman god Janus, for whom the month of January is named. Legend has it that Janus had two faces, one looking into the past, and the other looking into the future. This certainly personifies the sentiments of many people who, on New Year’s Day think both about the past year with its achievements and shortcomings as well as looking forward with hope to a new and better year to come. Sincere and practical, many Americans even write down their “New year resolutions” to do specific things like giving up smoking, going on a diet, getting up earlier, spending less money on clothes, etc. Even though such resolutions are rarely kept, at least they make for a good laugh when the next New Year comes.
MARTIN LUTHER KING’S BIRTHDAY
“I have a dream that my four
children will one day live in a
nation where they will not be
judged by the color of their skin
but by the content of their
Martin Luther King
On January 15th, people in the United States celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a great civil rights leader who fought against racial discrimination. He said that people should be judged by their characters, and not the color of their skin. He believed in integration. He received national attention when he protested the injustice of segregated buses in Alabama.
Martin Luther King is remembered in church memorial services, marches, and public ceremonies. People also listen to his speeches, watch TV documentaries, and sing spirituals and the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome.” In schools, students read about this leader, study his writings and celebrate his memory with special programs. Politicians and performers also participate in celebrations to honor Martin Luther King.
The third Monday in January is a legal holiday to honor Martin Luther King.
ST VALENTINE’S DAY
It’s Valentine’s Day. And in the street
There’s freezing rain, and slush, and sleet.
The wind is fierce. The skies are gray.
I don’t think I’ll go out today.
But here inside the weather’s warm.
There is no trace of wind or storm.
And you just made the morning shine.
You said you’d be my Valentine.
Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14th. It isn’t a national holiday. Banks and offices are open this day, but it is a happy little festival in honor of St Valentine, patron sweethearts and lovers. In this day school children typically make valentines for their teachers and classmates and put them in a large decorated mailbox. It is customary on the day to send a “Valentine”, a card with affectionate message to someone you love, or to your best friends or a little present. The greeting cards are often colored red trimmings and pictures of heart.
Whatever the reasons, Americans of all ages love to send and receive valentines and to hear and sing the thousands of new and traditional love songs which flood television and radio programs on that day.
Among all the red hearts, birds, love letters, candies, chocolates and kisses which comprise symbolism and realia, Cupid or Eros is the unquestioned favorite in personifying the spirit of the day. According to Greek ( later Roman ) tradition. Cupid was the eternally child – like son of Venus, the goddess of love. Although he remained a baby, he could fly and was equipped with a tiny bow and countless golden arrows special power, and that is why if Cupid shot you with his arrow, you would fall in love with the first person you met.
So St Valentine’s Day is the day of love for many people.
Until 1986 this holiday was in fast two holidays: Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday, celebrated on February 12, and George Washington’s Birthday, celebrated on February 22. Their birthdays are celebrated on the 3rd Monday in February.
Abraham Lincoln was President during the Civil War ( 1861 – 1865 ). He led the fight to keep the nation together and free the slaves. His life ended tragically. He was killed at the theatre during the performance soon after the victory of the North. In honor of this great man a beautiful memorial has been built in Washington, D. C.
George Washington led the American Army to victory in the War for Independence. Later he was elected President of the United States and was in office for 8 years (1789 –1797). The national capital of the United States, a state and several towns are named after George Washington. In addition to commemorating the birth of the US’s first President, it’s a great day for shoppers. The department stores of Washington, D. C., started a national tradition of sales marked by unusual bargains. The US Congress observes the birthday of G. Washington with speeches and reading from his works.
ST PATRIC’S DAY
It’s a great day for the Shamrock,
For the flags in full array,
We’re feeling so inspirish,
Sure because for all the Irish
It’s a great, great day!
On March 17th, Americans celebrate an Irish religious holiday, St Patrick’s Day. It is a day to remember the Irish people in the United States and Ireland. Ireland is a country with a lot of green grass and shamrocks. Shamrock are small plants with three leaves. There is a lot of green in Ireland, so green is Ireland’s national color.
People often wear green clothes on St Patrick’s Day. There are parades in many cities with large Irish population, but the largest parade is in New York. Many people go to parties. They sing, dance, and eat Irish food. Some drink green beer.
St Patrick was a priest in Ireland many years ago. He taught the Irish people about God. St Patrick died on March 17th in the year 461.
Beginning in 1845, many Irish people moved to the United States. They came because there wasn’t enough food to eat in Ireland. St Patrick’s Day celebrations helped the Irish remember their country, their music and their families. Many Americans say, “Everyone is Irish on St Patrick’s Day.”
APRIL FOOL’S DAY
The first of April, some do say,
It set apart for All Fool’s Day.
But why the people call it so,
Nor I, nor they themselves do know.
But on this day are people sent
On purpose for pure merriment.
April Fool’s Day is celebrated on April 1st. It is the day for harmless tricks and good laughs. The origin of April Fool’s Day or All Fool’s Day goes back to the dilemma faced by many Europeans in 1562 when Pope Gregory introduced a new calendar, one which shifted the start of new year from its traditionally warm nesting place of April 1st to the cold and dreary date of January 1st.
Today in the United States both children and adults play small tricks on each others. If the trickster is still around he or she may take credit for his deed by shouting “April Fool !” but probably not before you’ve spoiled your cup of morning coffee or tea. If you are innocent victim of such mischief, your first reaction may be to “wring the scoundrel’s neck.”
American author and satirist Mark Twain summed up the nature of the holiday thus: “The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.”
The earth is a garden.
It’s a beautiful place.
For all living creatures,
For all the human race
April 22 is a special day around the world. On that day inhabitants of Earth celebrate Earth Day. Earth Day is a time when many people show that they care for our fragile planet. They show concern about the threats the planetfaces – destruction of the rain forest, holes in the ozone layer, the greenhouse effect, too much garbage, and all forms of air and water pollution. It is a day for people to learn what they can do to preserve the planet Earth.
The first Earth Day was held in the U.S. twenty two years ago, in April 1970. At that time, Americans were just beginning to learn about the problems facing the planet.