America’s Essential Holidays
Holidays are the most joyful time of the year for all people. A holiday is basically a day set apart by law or custom, where public activities, particularly work or school including church, are totally stopped or reduced. In most cases, holidays are planned to let people commemorate or celebrate an occasion or belief of religious or cultural importance. Holidays also give us the opportunity to get away from it all and relax and enjoy ourselves. A holiday gives people the chance to spend quality time with loved ones and friends and to spend time enjoying the beautiful sights and sounds of the world around them. Holidays are the perfect time to break free of the stress of the everyday routine.
There are many holidays across the world, some with religious significance and others with no religious significance at all. For example, Valentine’s Day is a special holiday dedicated to love. The day is February 14th and is celebrated around the globe with extravagant parties and gifts. Some of the most prominent symbols associated with love and romance include red roses, chocolate roses, hand written love notes and poems, and other gifts that convey love and affection. Valentine’s Day is internationally recognized as the day for lovers.
Many other holidays have universal, year-round meaning. Some of these are Christmas, Hanukkah, St. Patrick’s Day, Saint Nicholas, and Halloween. While each of these holidays has its own particular celebrated time, they all share one thing in common: eating foods that bring joy and happiness to the people who partake in them. Holidays represent the spirit of good wishes and good thoughts. When you exchange happy holidays with friends and loved ones, you are sending out positive messages of love and hope for the future.
While most of the public holidays listed above occur on Mondays, there are some holidays that occur on a Thursday. Thanksgiving, for example, falls on a Friday. Unlike public holidays, which are usually scheduled for mid-week days, public holidays occur on any weekday that follows the calendar’s date. Regardless of when these special occasions occur, they offer people the opportunity to take part in the festive, free-flowing atmosphere of the holiday season.
An additional major holiday in the United States is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a historic religious holiday that began in the early seventh century. A harvest festival, it was originally developed to provide food on the table for thanksgiving to God. Thanksgiving continues to be celebrated across the country every year on the fourth Thursday of October. The tradition of having a large Thanksgiving dinner in the evening followed by a night of dancing and fellowship is still widely practiced today.
One of the most enduring traditions in the United States, other than Thanksgiving, is Christmas. On Christmas Day, Christmas stories are read in many homes. Children light tree lights and distribute candy canes to each other. Adults enjoy holiday dinners, watching reindeer and snowmen playing in the streets. As the name suggests, the celebration of the wintertime holidays has been enjoyed by Americans for more than three centuries; making it one of the most popular of all holidays.