Monday, July 4th, is a public holiday in the United States.
It is our Independence Day.
This post will quickly explain what Independence Day is, what Americans generally do during the holiday, and a little bit of vocabulary.
Goals of this Post
- Introduce you to some American history and culture
- You will learn some holiday and summer vocabulary
What is American Independence Day?
Basically, Independence Day is a summer holiday where the United States celebrates its independence from England.
On July 4th, 1776, American leaders signed the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia (my home city), declaring the USA a free and independent country, no longer under rule from England.
Independence Day has several different names
- Independence Day (obviously ;))
- July 4th
- The 4th of July
- The 4th
What do Americans do on The 4th of July?
John: “So, what are your plans for The 4th?”
Mike: “I’m watching the parade and going to a barbecue, you?”
John: “Heading to the beach.”
— Typical American conversation
July 4th is a public holiday, so most people are off from work.
Schools, banks, and offices are closed.
Hospitals and some stores stay open, however.
During the holiday, many people have barbecues outside. They eat hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill. Many people drink beer and just relax with family and friends.
Some towns and cities have a 4th of July parade with music and people waving their American flags.
Since the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia, Philadelphia is sometimes called “the birthplace of America.”
Therefore, Philadelphia is an important and historical city in America.
At night, there are fireworks in the sky in towns and cities all across the country.
Some people celebrate the 4th of July at the beach or on vacation, since it’s the summer time and people like to take advantage of the weather.
Essentially, we remember our history, and celebrate it by eating lots of food, partying, being with family and friends, and enjoying fireworks.
This year, The 4th falls on a Monday, so many people have a long weekend.
barbecue: (n.) a gathering where people cook food on the grill outdoors like chicken, fish, or beef. Often, hotdogs and hamburgers are eaten. Barbecues are fun events.
Are you going to the barbecue tomorrow?
Barbecue is also a verb that means to cook.
I will barbecue some burgers and ribs.
parade:(n.) a procession celebrating an event (like a holiday, for example) with marching bands, floats, and people.
Are you going to the Thanksgiving Day Parade?
Declaration of Independence: (n) A famous document that was signed on July 4, 1776 in Philadelphia that declared the United States of America an independent country.
The Declaration of Independence is in a history museum in Washington, DC.
fireworks: (n) during special events and holidays, these are launched in the sky and explode, making beautiful colors in the sky.
Did you see the fireworks after the baseball game last night?
take advantage of: (v.) a phrasal verb that means to make good on opportunities
John’s parents have a beach house, so he tries to take advantage of it as much as he can.
long weekend (phrase): a three (or more) day weekend; long weekends usually happen when a holiday falls on a Monday or Friday or when a worker takes a Monday or Friday off.
I have a long weekend coming up in October so I will go to the mountains.
In the comments below, tell me about your country’s famous holidays. It’s always great to learn about new cultures, isn’t it?
As always, feel free to ask me any questions in the comments as well.
Happy 4th of July from America! (I’m writing this while I stay at the beach, and I’ll watch fireworks at night.)
P.S. Feel free to share on Facebook and Twitter 😉 Thanks!