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Праздники в Америке / Holidays in America

People in every culture celebrate their holidays. American people mostly commemorate something by their holidays. There are no federal (national) holidays in the USA. There are no such days when all employees in America get a day off at work and when all businesses stop. Each of 50 states has its own laws about the holidays. In practice, however, most states observe ten federal (“legal or public”) holidays, which are set by the Government:

  • New Year’s Day (January 1st)
  • Martin Luther King Day (third Monday in January)
  • Washington’s Birthday (third Monday in February)
  • Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
  • Independence Day (July 4th)
  • Labor Day (first Monday in September)
  • Columbus Day (second Monday in October)
  • Veterans’ Day (November 11th)
  • Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November)
  • Christmas Day (December 25th)

New Year’s Day is on January 1st, but Americans begin celebrating it on December 31st, on New Year’s Eve with masquerade balls or watching TV broadcast of Times Square in the heart of New York City. At midnight people hug and kiss and wish each other “Happy New Year!” On January 1st Americans visit their friends, relatives and neighbours to wish the best for the year ahead and have plenty to eat and drink.

Martin Luther King Day is observed on the third Monday of January. He was a minister who fought against discrimination and for equality of black people. On this day there are quiet memorial services and ceremonies in honour of Dr. King and his lifelong work for peace in the States.

Until 1971 Americans had two federal public honour days in February: the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on February 12th and the birthday of George Washington on February 22nd. Since 1971 there is one single federal public holiday, the Presidents’ Day, observed on the third Monday of February in honour of all past Presidents of the United States of America.

On February 14th there is St. Valentine’s Day. It is a traditional celebration of love and romance when people send cards, flowers, sweets and other gifts to their sweethearts and friends.

There is an Irish national holiday, celebrated in the U.S. called St. Patrick’s Day. The main activity on this day is simply wearing green clothes. Also Americans decorate everything with green shamrocks.

There is a nice holiday for mothers on the second Sunday in May called Mother’s Day. On this day American children of all ages do something special for their mothers to show their love.

Easter is a celebration of the Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus. As well as in Russia, it is the day for religious services and family gatherings. Many Americans follow old traditions: colour hard-boiled eggs and give children baskets of candies.

June 14th is Flag Day. It is the commemoration of the American Flag. All Americans in the country display the Stars and Stripes outside their homes and offices.

In America fathers are honoured by their children on Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June.

Independence Day is celebrated on July 4th. On this very day in 1776 the USA announced that it would be free and independent from England and the final draft of the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

On Columbus Day, October 12th, Americans celebrate the discovery of America made by Christopher Columbus.

One of the funny days falls on October 31st. It is famous Halloween. It is actually All Saints’ Day’s Eve. This holiday is of Celtic Origin. Children wear bright costumes of witches, ghosts, skeletons, black cats, pirates and popular heroes. They walk from door to door and shout, “Trick or treat!” (i.e. “Give me something or I’ll play tricks on you”). However, nowadays they do not follow the tradition of wearing scary costumes. Any costume will do. The most popular ones are costumes of football stars and film characters.

Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. This holiday started almost 400 years ago in 1620 when British colonists gave a feast of thanksgiving for a good harvest and also to thank the Indians for their help. Turkey, corn, pumpkins and cranberry sauce are symbols, which represent Thanksgiving Day. On this day all the Americans get together at home with their families and eat a big turkey dinner.

Americans celebrate Christmas on December 25th. It is a religious Christian holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It is a day of giving and receiving presents. Christmas Trees are decorated and children wait for their presents from Santa Claus.

Nowadays, spring break or March break is a very popular holiday with school and university students. It is a week-long recess from studying in early spring. Spring break may vary from the end of February to later days in April, but many schools are out for at least one week in March. Some schools call this “March break” when it is a middle week in March. This time is notoriously known for big-time parties.


Перевод некоторых слов:

to celebrate – отмечать, a holiday – праздник, to commemorate – запечатлевать, an employee – работник, a day off – выходной, to observe – соблюдать, New Year’s Day — Новый год (1 января), The Birthday of Martin Luther King — День рождения Мартина Лютера Кинга, St. Valentine’s Day — День св. Валентина (14 февраля), Presidents’ Day — День Президентов, St. Patrick’s Day — День св. Патрика (ирландский религиозный праздник), Easter — Пасха, resurrection of Jesus Christ — воскресение Иисуса Христа, Mother’s Day — День матери, Father’s Day — День отца, Independence Day — День Независимости (4 июля), Columbus Day — День Колумба (12 октября), Halloween — Хэллоуин (31 октября), Thanksgiving Day — День Благодарения, Christmas — Рождество (25 декабря), a masquerade ball – маскарадный балл, TV broadcast – телевизионная трансляция, Times Square – Таймс Сквер (площадь), to hug – обнимать , discrimination – дискриминация, equality – равенство, a memorial service – мемориальная служба, a sweetheart – возлюбленный, a shamrock – трилистник, hard-boiled eggs – яйца, вареные вкрутую, the Declaration of Independence – Декларация Независимости, a witch – ведьма, a ghost – приведение, a skeleton – скелет, a scary costume – пугающий костюм, Any costume will do. – Любой костюм подойдет., a feast – праздник, thanksgiving – благодарение, cranberry sauce – клюквенный соус, a pumpkin – тыква, a turkey – индюшка, spring break = March break – весенние каникулы, a week-long recess – амер. каникулы (школьные, университетские и т. п.) длиной в неделю, This time is notoriously known… – Это время хорошо известно…


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