4th of July Traditions That Americans Practice
America’s independence day, also known as the 4th of July is one of the most exciting holidays in the United States. Even if you are not from the States, you have probably heard about it. It is one of the biggest holidays in the US, probably bigger than Christmas and New Year’s Day. If you are curious about how the Americans celebrate this iconic holiday, check out these traditions they do.
Did you know that the first-ever 4th of July Parade was held in Bristol Rhode Island, way back in 1785! Less than two dozen people went to the said event. This may be one of the most shocking 4th of July facts considering how superb Americans celebrate it now. Each state has a unique way of celebrating independence day. You will not only see floats and marching bands, but few Americans also hold boat parade parties. For sure, each year’s parades are getting more extravagant.
Hanging the Flag
It is a no-brainer. However, every American household typically practices this. There are certain flag etiquettes that everyone should follow through. If you’re planning to display the Stars and Stripes then you should be familiar with them. For example, never let the flag touch the ground. Also, the flag should be placed in a well-lit area so anyone can easily recognize it. It is best to display the Stars and Stripes from sunrise to sunset.
No celebration will be complete without some music. We’re talking about big, loud music festivals! For example, New Orleans has the Essence Music Festival ever since 1995. Hundreds of thousands of people attend the said event every year. There’s also the Island Reggae Festival in Santa Clara, Humboldt Folklife Festival in Arcata, and the Mendocino Music Festival. You’ll never run out of music festival options if it’s the 4th of July. You might also score to see some pretty awesome lineup!
Unlike other countries who solemnly celebrate their independence days, the USA likes to end the celebration with a bang! Every year, for sure, America’s skies will be painted with all sorts of lights and colors. San Diego holds the Big Bay Boom every year. Since 2001, it has been one of the biggest fireworks display shows in the United States. Of course, there is also the famous Macy’s fireworks display in New York City. The first time that America celebrated Independence Day with fireworks is in 1777. It was an effective way to boost American morale.
Hotdog Eating Contests
For some people, this may be one of the bizarre traditions that Americans do every 4th of July. When it comes to this topic, one grand event comes to mind: Nathan’s Hotdog Eating Contest. It is held every year in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York. The mechanics of the game is simple; who eats the most hotdogs in 10 minutes will reign as the winner. Sounds pretty easy, right? As of writing, the reigning champion is Joey Chestnut, who was able to down 75 hotdogs. That’s around 16 pounds of meat! Americans eat around 150 million hotdogs on Independence Day alone.
Red, White, and Blue
Of course, painting the town red, white, and blue is a must. From little flaglets to clothes, the colors of the American flag are always proudly shown. The colors of the Stars and Stripes are known to represent justice, purity, and valor.
One famous icon that you will see parading these colors is Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam represents love for the country and has always been part of the American culture since the 19th century. Uncle Sam is also based on a real person, Sam Wilson, who is a businessman and known to feed the United States Army barrels of meat in 1812 during the war. If you visit a 4th of July event, don’t be surprised if you see a bearded man with the top hat walking on stilts!
This may be one of the most cherished traditions that Americans do. Usually, during the 4th of July, Americans hold a block party where neighbors come together and organize their festive parties. Kids from the block would play together, while the parents prepare the food. Staple foods? Of course, grilled meat and cans of beer. Open backyard parties and cookout are also a thing in the US every 4th of July.
Never Run Out of Options on 4th of July
How about you? How do you celebrate the 4th of July? If you are not an American citizen and are planning to go to the States for the said event, these are only some of the traditions that you can visit and enjoy. A little reminder though, it can get crowded when it’s Independence Day. However, you will surely have fun surrounded by people celebrating their patriotism!