Happy 4th of July!

fireworks

The Fourth of July may be the most important holiday, in terms of American history. It is, after all, the day we celebrate our freedom from England, which is why this day is also referred to as Independence Day. As the name states, we celebrate this holiday on the 4th of July every year.

History

We declared our freedom from England on July 4, 1776, with the drafting of the Declaration of Independence. It was first publicly read a few days later on July 8, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. You can click on the image below to see a transcript of the the Declaration of Independence as well as the original document.

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The video below provides a brief history of, and some interesting facts about, the 4th of July.

Around the 4th of July, you can expect to see lots of red, white, and blue decorations, as these are the colors of the American flag.

 

Traditions

Shooting fireworks

Probably the oldest tradition on the 4th of July is shooting fireworks! When you think of the 4th of July, you think of wonderful firework shows. Public firework displays can be seen is most major cities around the country, and depending on where you live, fireworks are also sold to individuals to shoot.

Barbecuing

Another very popular tradition is having a barbecue on the fourth. People will get together with family and friends, start the grill, and enjoy each other’s company (and hopefully nice weather) before heading off to a firework show or shooting fireworks themselves.

Hotdog eating contest

Associated with grilling, though a much newer tradition, is the annual hotdog eating contest at Coney Island, New York. Here, contestants gather to see who can eat the most hotdogs in an allotted period of time. To learn more about the competition, go to Nathan’s Famous.

 

Wherever you are this Fourth of July, there is probably a fireworks display somewhere nearby. Check it out, and enjoy participating in a long-standing American tradition!

Happy 4th of July!

Eid Mubarak!

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Eid al-Fitr is celebrated at the start of the 10th month of the Islamic (lunar) calendar. This year it is estimated to begin on July 6, as it is marked by the sighting of the new moon. This marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, the month during which Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset. This is typically celebrated by the community coming together for special prayer. The rest of the day is spent with family and friends. In some countries, Eid can be celebrated for as many as three days.

If you know any Muslims, wish them “Eid Mubarak” during this time.