Celebrating Independence Day

On the 4th of July, we traditionally celebrate the anniversary of the declaration of the United States’ independence, but did you know that is not when Independence Day celebrations first began? Even though the U.S. celebrates its independence from England on that day, the holiday itself is largely based on English traditions.

When the Declaration of Independence was signed, a staged party was planned to celebrate independence from England, though nothing official was ever done for the day to become a holiday. Because the crowds were so large, it was assumed that the colonizers were interested in separating from the English and the holiday continued.

While the celebrations of the eighteenth century were essentially a political movement, today’s Independence Day celebrations are based on the actual freedom the U.S. gained from England. In the last two hundred plus years, the celebration has been about our own independence as the United States of America.

Modern day 4th of July festivities now include parades, feasts, festivals, and other large gatherings of people.  Many festivals and parades are held in town parks.

Popular foods to be served on the holiday include hamburgers, hotdogs, corn on the cob, and macaroni or potato salads.

In addition to family gatherings, many people associate the 4th of July with fireworks. While fireworks are largely a Chinese tradition, they are popular with millions of Americans to help celebrate the day with brilliant colorful displays sometimes set to music.

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