July 4 celebrations in the US — also known as ‘Fourth of July’ — mark an incredibly significant moment in American history: it was the day the United States officially became its own nation after the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776. Prior to that, it comprised 13 colonies established by Great Britain.
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This year, the July 4 holiday falls on a Monday, giving revelers a chance to celebrate for three days, including the weekend. American citizens take part in festivities ranging from fireworks to parades, barbecues, carnivals, concerts, picnics, and such.
History and significance
Some Americans celebrated Independence Day in the summer of 1776 by arranging for a mock funeral for King George III of England, symbolic of the death of the Crown’s rule in the country.
While the first annual celebration of Independence Day happened on July 4, 1777, in Philadelphia, John Adams, a ‘Founding Father’ and the second president of the US, felt it should be celebrated on July 2. As such, he refused to attend the events of 4th of July, because he felt strongly about July 2 being the correct date.
Thomas Jefferson — who served as the third president of the country — became the first president to celebrate Independence Day at the White House in the year 1801. Horse races, parades, food and drinks were a part of the revelry, giving rise to a custom we see even today.
Interestingly, Fourth of July did not become a federal holiday until 1870; it did not become a paid holiday for federal employees until 1941!
Traditions and celebrations
Americans celebrate the day in both conventional as well as non-conventional manner. The former includes doing the customary stuff like setting off fireworks, having parades, barbecue parties (traditional food includes hot dogs, hamburgers and s’mores), wearing the colors of the American flag — red, white and blue — painting the face, and waving the flag
Some people, as part of non-conventional celebrations also wear the flag — make a nice costume out of it. They bake cakes using the colors red, white and blue, and display their patriotism by singing’The Star-Spangled Banner‘ (American national anthem), ‘God Bless America‘, and others.
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