Columbus Day

Every October, we celebrate the day Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas.  While on a quest to find a new route to trade with India, Columbus landed in the Americas and, because the Western Hemisphere was previously unmapped, he believed he had landed in India.  Many people assume that Columbus discovered the Americas, but because there were already indigenous people on this continent, he did not actually DISCOVER it-  but he did introduce the continent to Europe!

In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared Columbus Day to a National Holiday and, while there is some controversy over the holiday, it is still observed on the second Monday of every October. This year Columbus Day is celebrated on Oct. 10. Many schools and businesses will be closed.

Halloween

One of Americans’ favorite holidays is quickly approaching- Halloween!  This holiday is celebrated every year on the last day of the month – October 31. Here is a quick run-down on the holiday, as well as a fun video to help you enjoy an American Halloween too!

Traditions:

  • Trick-or-treating – this is usually reserved for children, going from house to house dressed up
    in costume asking for candy
  • Houses are decorated with spider webs, tomb stones, ghosts, and skeletons
  • Carving pumpkins – families carve faces or other designs into pumpkins, set them on the porch and place a candle inside to see the glowing design that was carved

Carved Pumpkins

 

Things to do:

  • Haunted houses – people find it fun and exciting to be chased by people carrying chainsaws, machetes, and other weapons in an attempt to frighten them (all fake of course!)
  • Cornfield mazes – try to find your way out in the dark!
  • Halloween/costume parties – adults who have outgrown trick-or-treating still want to have fun. They get dressed up in a costume and go to parties where there is usually Halloween music, food that looks like bugs or body parts, and a costume competition.