Most Important National Days & Holidays

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New Yearโ€™s Day

Observed on January 1st. It celebrates the first day of the new year.

Martin Luther King jr. Day

Observed on the third Monday of January. This is a holiday that celebrates the birthday of Martin Luther King jr, perhaps the most well known American civil rights activist.

The holiday was first signed into law by President Ronald Reagan, and recognized in all 50 states in the year 2000.

Today it is a federal holiday, where government employees do not have to work, and the overwhelming majority of private companies also give their employees this day off.

Numbers in Spanish | Days of the Week | Months and Seasons in Spanish

Numbers in Spanish | Days of the We...
Numbers in Spanish | Days of the Week | Months and Seasons in Spanish

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Vocabulary

Civil rights
Refers to the right that all citizens have to economic, political and social freedom and equality.

Assassination
Refers to the murder of a prominent person done suddenly and secretly, and usually for political reasons.

Question:ย What contributions have other promoters of non-violence activist made to the world?

Presidentโ€™s Day

Is celebrated on the third Monday of February and it honors George Washington, the first president of the United States.

While officially the holiday celebrates George Washington, it is sometimes used to celebrate other presidents, especially Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson.

It is celebrated with a parade that takes place on 5th avenue in New York City, that is nationally televised. It is also a federal holiday, and the majority of private companies give their employees the day off.

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Vocabulary

Parade
Is a public procession that often celebrate a special day or event. It can include marching band floats, balloons, and dancers among other things.

Question:ย How are important leaders celebrated in your country?

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Memorial Day

Is observed on the last Monday of May. It is a federal holiday that honors and remembers people who have died serving in the American Armed Forces.

It is not only a day of remembrance, it is also the unofficial beginning of summer. Memorial day weekend sparks the summer driving season, and is the day where many beaches and pools across the country open.

The weekend is often celebrated with large summer themed parties, and barbecues.

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Vocabulary

Sacrifice
Has many meaning. In the context of Memorial Day it means to give up something for the sake of others. ย 

Honor
Means to regard someone or something with great respect or to pay public tribute.

Question:ย How is the military appreciated in your country?

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Independence Day

Is celebrated on July 4th of every year. It commemorates the adoption of The Declaration of Independence, which took place on July 4th 1776. It is not the day that America won its independence from Britain, it is the day that the intention was declared.

The day is celebrated by large firework displays across the country. Itโ€™s the only summer federal holiday, and like Memorial Day is celebrated by parades and barbecues.

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Vocabulary

Independance
Being independant or under self- rule. This may happen due to one party separating from another.

Commemorate
Can mean to celebrate an event by doing something.

Question:ย What do you like to do to celebrate your countryโ€™s independence or formation?

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Halloween

Is October 31, it also known as all hallows eve or all saints eve. It is celebrated in many countries around the world.

While today it is primarily a day for kids to dress up in costumes and show them off to their community, while trick or treating, it was traditionally a religious holiday has been transformed into pagan fun.

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Vocabulary

Pagan
A religion, or religious beliefs ย that is different from the norm

Trick or treat
The act of dressing up in a costume and asking for candy.

Question:ย If you could dress up as anything what would it be?

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Thanksgiving

On the fourth Thursday of November in America. While it is celebrated in multiple countries on different dates, in the US itโ€™s tradition dates back to 1621 in Plymouth Massachusetts.

It is a celebration that was brought to the country by Pilgrims and Puritans who had emigrated from England in the early 1600s. It was traditionally a day to celebrate after a harvest.

However the current American tradition celebrates the native Americans helping the pilgrims grow crops in their new country.

The day is traditionally celebrated with turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, corn bread, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pie. This is traditionally the biggest family holiday of the year., Where most people will gather with their family to celebrate and eat.

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Vocabulary

Pilgrim
Is a traveler or wanderer. It is also someone who travels to a place for religious purposes.

Harvest
The process or period of time when crops are gathered.

Question:ย What is the most important family holiday in your country?

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Christmas day

Is a Christian religious holiday celebrated on December 25th, and commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. It is marked by spending time with family.

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Vocabulary

Santa Claus
Is a figure that originates in Western Christian culture, who brings gifts to well behaved children.

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New Yearโ€™s Eve

Takes place on December 31st, and is the last day of the year.

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