American Holidays — Американские праздники 1
The population of the United States is made up of people of very many nationalities. Their predecessors came to America from different countries, and they brought their native celebrations with them. They all became Americans, but they kept many traditions of those countries they had come from. That is why the number of holidays in different states of America is different. But the most important holidays are marked throughout the United States. One of the greatest holidayes is Independence Day. It was on July 4, 1776, that the Declaration of Independence was signed, proclaiming independence of thirteen British colonies from Great Britain. July 4 has became the greatest holyday since. In the past this day was marked with big parades and fireworks, but now it is celebrated more quietly. Cities and towns are decorated with flags on that day, there are parades in some places, but most people just go on picnics to the countryside. Another great holiday is New Year’s Day. People see the old year off and the New Year in. Most people stay up all night, even children. At midnight many people go outside and shout «Happy New Year!» Some people set off fireworks and blow automobile horns which are heard everywhere. Everybody exchanges presents and good wishes. Offices, factories, banks and stores do not work on this day. Christmas is a religious holiday which symbolized the birth of Jesus Christ. By this day people set fur trees in their houses and decorate them with toys and candies. Children wait for Santa Claus who comes to every house and brings them presents. Before going to bed, children leave their shoes to find in them what they want most of all the next morning. Some people, especially young people, like to celebrate in good companies, in restarants and cafes, but most people prefer to stay at home with the whole family on this day. Thanksgiving Day is kind of religious holiday too. It falls on the fourth Thursday in November. On this day people thanks God for his goodness; besides, it marks the end of the harvest season on farms. It is a long-standing tradition to fry a large turkey for a fistive meal on this day. Thanksgiving has been celebrated since the first harvest festival in America in the autumn of 1621.