American Holidays — Американские праздники 3
Each of 50 states establishes its own legal holidays. But there are holidays, which are common to all federal offices. They are the New Year Day, Washington Birthday — «President’s Day», Memorial Day, Independence Day and Thanksgiving Day. There are also many traditional holidays such as St’ Valentine’s Day, Mothers’ Day and Halloween. Perhaps the «two most American holidays» are the 4th of July and Thanksgiving Day. The Independence Day is like a big national party. It takes place through over the country: in neighborhoods, beaches or in parks. Some towns and cities have parades with bands and flags and many politicians try to give a patriotic speech if there are any listeners. But what makes this holiday exciting is the atmosphere of enjoyment. Families have beach parties with hot-dogs and hamburgers, volleyball, fireworks and rockets at night. The national birthday is also the nation’s greatest annual summer party. Like X-mas Thanksgiving Day is the day for families to come together. Traditional foods are prepared for the feast — turkey or ham, cranberry sauce and corn dishes, breads and rolls, pumpkin pies. St’ Valentine’s Day, February 14th, is sweethearts’ day when people who are in love express their affection for each other in gay and merry ways. The cards may be different but the message is the same: «Will you be my Valentine?» Halloween means «»holly evening». It takes place on the 31st of October. It is connected with witches and ghosts. At parties people dress up in strange costumes and pretend they are witches. They cut horrible faces in potatoes and pumpkins and put a candle inside which shines through the eyes. People may play different games such as trying to eat an apple from a bucket of water without using their hands. In recent years children dressed in white sheets knocked on doors at Halloween and ask if you like trick or treat. If you give them smth nice — a treat — they go away. But if you don’t they play a trick on you, such as making a lot of noise or pilling floor on your front doorstep.