USA: Holidays and events
The main holidays in the United States are listed in the table, with July 4th being considered the main holiday:
|January 1||New Year|
|Third Monday in January||Martin Luther King Day: Dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King, one of the most important leaders in the fight of the black population against racism and discrimination.|
|14th of February||Valentine’s day|
|Third Monday in February||Washington’s Birthday (“Presidents’ Day”): Officially the birthday of the capital Washington. However, many believe this day is set in memory of Presidents Washington and Lincoln, who were born on February 22nd and 12th, respectively.|
|Last Monday in May||Memorial Day: Holiday commemorating the dead|
|July 4||Independence Day: Considered the birthday of a free and independent America. The holiday goes back to the signing of the declaration of independence on July 4th 1776.|
|First Monday in September||Labor Day: National holiday since 1894 to honor the country’s working people.|
|Second Monday in October||Columbus Day: In memory of Christopher Columbus, who set foot on the American continent for the first time on October 12, 1492.|
|October 31||Halloween: The children dress up, go from door to door and ask for sweets and small gifts (“trick or treating”).|
|November 11||Veteran’s Day (originally “Armistice Day”): In memory of the soldiers of the First World War, which ended on November 11, 1918.|
|Fourth Thursday in November||Thanksgiving: Dating back to 1621, the year after the Puritans arrived in Massachusetts. After a harsh winter in which more than half of the immigrants died, the survivors turned to the Indians for help growing crops. As a thank you, the immigrants invented Thanksgiving, a kind of harvest festival.|
|25 December||Christmas Day|
Here is a selection of regular cultural events in the USA:
Burning Man: One -week art festival that has taken place every summer since 1986 in the Nevada desert, just under 200 km north of Reno. Every year it has a special motto, e.g. 2005 “Psyche – The Conscious, the Subconscious and the Unconscious”. The highlight of the annual events is the burning of a human statue – the “Burning Man”.
Academy Award of Merit: The most important American film award, which has been awarded annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1927. The prize statuette was designed by Cederic Gibbons. It is 34 centimeters high, weighs around four kilograms and depicts a knight with a sword on a roll of film. American and international films are awarded in various categories.
Golden Globe Awards: Awarded annually by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association since 1944 for motion pictures and television productions. It is – after the Oscar – the second most important award. A group of international journalists working in Hollywood will decide on the award.
Chicago Blues Festival: Every year since 1984 in early June for a long weekend (Thursday to Sunday) in Grant Park in Chicago; is considered the largest open-air blues festival in the world.
Boston Vegetarian Food Festival: Once a year, special dishes and local specialties are presented in Boston.
Great Rendezvous Festival: 10-day historical festival in Thunder Bay, Ontario (second week of July).
Remembering James Dean Festival: Every year in late September in James Dean’s hometown of Fairmount, Indiana.
Indian Summer Festival: Annually in September in Milwaukee. The visitors get an insight into the old and new Indian way of life and are entertained with the sounds of Indian flutes and drums, Indian dances, demonstrations of Indian handicrafts and delicious offers of Indian cuisine.
International Route 66 Mother Road Festival: Every year, visitors from around the world travel to Springfield for vintage cars, live entertainment with music and demonstrations around the legendary Route 66.
Christopher Street Day (CSD; called “Pride Parades” in America): Annually in the summer in New York City, festival of lesbians, gays and transgender people; Demonstration for the rights of gays, lesbians and transgender people, against their discrimination and exclusion.
Newport Folk Festival: Since 1959, annual folk music festival in Newport, Rhode Island; launched by jazz pianists George Wein and Albert Grossman.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Presents the way that US stands for the nation of United States as a two-letter acronym.
Sport is very important in the USA. The country’s athletes are always very successful at international sporting events. The USA has hosted Olympic Winter and Summer Games eight times.
Olympic Winter Games:
- 1932 and 1980 in Lake Placid, New York
- 1960 in Squaw Valley, California
- 2002 in Salt Lake City, Utah
Olympic Summer Games:
- 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri
- 1932 and 1984 in Los Angeles, California
- 1996 in Atlanta, Georgia
Regular international sporting events
Athletics: The New York City Marathon is held on the first Sunday in November each year. It runs from Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island via Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx to Manhattan. The New York marathon is demanding and runs around five to ten minutes slower than the big marathons in Germany such as Berlin or Cologne.
Formula 1: US Grand Prix once a year in Indianapolis since 1950
Tennis: US Open in New York, WTA tournament in Los Angeles
Kentucky Derby: Classic horse race for three year old breeding horses; fought in Louisville, Kentucky, since 1875; 200,000 visitors annually.