People in the United States just finished celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the New Year. December and the end of November are so full of different holidays and celebrations that the time period is simply referred to as “the holidays.” Now that the holidays are all over, let’s take a minute to look forward to what’s next.
What are you doing for the holidays?
I am spending the holidays with my family.
Just for fun, I have put together a list of five other traditions that we celebrate in the United States that are holidays, but are not part of “the holidays”.
This is celebrated on February 2nd, just when everyone is starting to look forward to the end of winter. The story is that a groundhog will come out of his hole. If he sees his shadow, that means that winter will last for six more weeks. If he doesn’t see his shadow, then spring will come early. This tradition is usually celebrated more actively in Pennsylvania.
How do people celebrate? Well, in some places there are festivals with music, but these days most people just turn into the news station and listen to hear if the groundhog officially saw his shadow or not!
This will be on February 7th this year. Unlike the others, this is not an official holiday, but it is something that is celebrated by most people in the United States. American football fans get together with their friends and other fans to watch the Superbowl football game. Often people hold these parties at the house of whichever friend has the biggest television. People wear a jersey from their favorite team and eat lots of snacks as they watch.
How do I celebrate if I don’t really like American football? Don’t worry! People who don’t like watching the Superbowl often can enjoy these parties with their friends anyway, because the commercials during the games are considered to be some of the best advertising of the year. Companies spend millions of dollars to get a 60 second commercial spot during the Superbowl, and really make an effort to make the advertisements as fun as possible.
Celebrated on February 14th, this holiday was originally about the Christian Saint Valentine, who performed weddings for Christians during the Roman Empire. Now it is not a religious holiday, as much as a busy day for Hallmark (and other card makers), flower shops, chocolate companies and restaurants.
How do people celebrate? People often give chocolate, cards and flowers to the person they love. A lot of people will go out to eat at fancy restaurants or even propose on this day.
March 17th is a Christian holiday to celebrate the death of Saint Patrick. Now, it is a day where people in the United States celebrate their Irish family history. Even people who do not have family who came to the US from Ireland can join in the celebrations.
How do people celebrate? People wear green, often with images of a shamrock, and drink alcohol. There are a lot of parties, especially in cities with a higher population of people of Irish decent like Boston.
Note: If you decide to go to a party on this day, wear green!! If you don’t wear green, you might get pinched or worse…
This holiday is always April 1st. It is a day to be careful, especially of your friends!
How do people celebrate? People play little tricks on each other. For example, maybe you trade the sugar in the jar for salt (imagine putting that in your coffee!), or your colleague wraps your computer in plastic wrap! Be careful, because your friends have full right to play tricks on you, but you should only trick friends who you know well who won’t be very angry with you.
Like in every country, there are a lot of holidays! Questions? Ask in the Contact Form or book a class with me to learn more about holidays and traditions in the United States.