Black History Month

Black History Month

image by WTCC instructor

Did you know that February is Black History Month? In the United States and Canada, we take time to remember and appreciate all of the things that black Americans (and Canadians) have added to our society and culture. We also look back at the things that have changed to give black Americans more of the rights they deserve. Here are some things we celebrate during Black History Month. Click each one for more information:

  • The Emancipation Proclamation – President Abraham Lincoln made slavery illegal and freed all slaves in 1863.
  • The Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution – The 15th Amendment gave black people the right to vote. It was added to the Constitution in 1870.
  • George Washington Carver – Carver was a botanist (plant scientist) and inventor. He was born a slave, but he was still a young man when slavery was abolished (ended/made illegal). He helped farmers to improve their lives by teaching them to plant different crops (plants for sale, like tobacco, cotton, corn, and peanuts). He is also famous for creating 105 recipes using peanuts.
  • Sojourner Truth – She was a slave who worked for the end of slavery and for women’s rights. Her baby son was sold to another slave owner, and she went to court to get her son back. She won, and her son was returned to her. She was the first black woman to win against a white man in court in a case like this.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. – We talked about Dr. King a couple of weeks ago, so you already know that he was one of the most important people in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. He worked for equal rights and equal treatment of black Americans under the law.
  • Malcolm X – Malcolm X lived at the same time as Dr. King. They both spoke about equal rights for black people. Malcolm X also wanted black Americans to be proud of their race and work hard to take care of themselves.
  • Rosa Parks – Mrs. Parks is famous because she sat on a bus, and when a white person wanted her to move to a different seat, she did not move. Even though she didn’t do anything illegal, she was arrested. Her actions gave other people courage to do the right thing and change the way black people were treated, especially in the American South.
  • Barack Obama – President Obama is the first African American president of the United States.

Your Turn

Choose one person or event from the list. Learn more, and write one paragraph in the comments to tell what you have learned!

Super Bowl Sunday!

Let’s talk about football. First, when Americans say “football,” they mean American football. When you are in the United States, you should also call it football. You do not need to say “American football.” This is football:


photo credit: JamieL.WilliamsPhoto via photopin cc

This is soccer:


photo credit: joncandy via photopin cc

Please do not say “football” when you are talking about soccer. Americans will be confused if you do that.

“I don’t understand football.”

You are not alone. There are a lot of rules in football, and most people don’t understand all of them, but here are the basics:

  • A team has 4 chances to move the ball 10 yards (about 9 meters). These 4 chances are called downs.
  • If the team moves the ball 10 yards, then they get 4 more chances to move the ball 10 more yards. They hope to do this several times to reach the opposite end of the field.
  • When a team moves the ball to the opposite end of the field and into the end-zone, they score a touchdown and receive 6 points.
  • After a touchdown, a team can kick the ball through two posts for 1 extra point, or they can throw or carry the ball into the end-zone again for 2 extra points.
  • If a team is very close to the end-zone, but they have no more downs (chances to move the ball 10 yards), they might try to kick the ball through the posts. This is called a field goal, and it scores 3 points.
  • The other team tries to stop the ball from moving by tackling (pushing or pulling players down to the ground) their opponents (enemies/people you are against).
  • Each football game has 4 quarters (periods).
  • Each quarter lasts for 15 minutes.

What/When is the Super Bowl?

Now that you understand football a little better, let’s talk about the Super Bowl. A bowl game is a championship or tournament game. The Super Bowl is the biggest championship game of the year for professional football teams. It determines which team is the best in the nation. This year, the Super Bowl is on Sunday, February 1 at 6:30 p.m. You can watch it on NBC (channel 5 in Raleigh).

When you see information about the Super Bowl, you will notice that it says “Super Bowl XLIX.” The letters at the end are Roman numbers. They mean 49. This is the 49th Super Bowl.

Who is playing in the Super Bowl?

This year, the teams in the Super Bowl are the New England Patriots (from Boston, Massachusetts) and the Seattle Seahawks (from Seattle, Washington). The Seahawks won the Super Bowl last year.

What do Americans do on Super Bowl Sunday?

In general, Americans love football and enjoy going to Super Bowl parties. However, not everyone watches the sport. Many people attend parties (and watch the game) for other reasons:

  • Commercials – Companies pay a LOT of money to show their commercials during the Super Bowl because they know that millions of people will see them. These companies often create new, interesting, entertaining commercials just for the game. Americans like to watch the commercials and choose their favorites.
  • Halftime Show – In the middle of a football game, the teams take a break. This break is called halftime. During halftime of the Super Bowl, famous singers perform for the audience. This year, Katy Perry will perform during the Halftime Show.
  • Food – Americans love food, and a Super Bowl party always has lots of it. Food at a Super Bowl party is usually finger food (food that can be eaten with the hands, not a fork). Chicken, Buffalo wings, chips, and other small appetizers are very common foods at a Super Bowl party.

Your Turn

Plan a Super Bowl party with your class! Ask each person to bring some food or drinks to share. Decide which team you prefer, and cheer for them during the game. Choose your favorite commercials. Enjoy Katy Perry’s performance. And have fun together!

Groundhog Day

An interesting holiday is coming on Monday, February 2 – Groundhog Day. Groundhog day is not a federal or religious holiday, so there is no vacation from work or school, but it is an interesting day to learn about.

What is a groundhog?

A groundhog, also known as a woodchuck, is a small, furry (covered with hair) animal that looks like a very fat squirrel. It can weigh 5-9 pounds (2-4 kg), and it lives under the ground in a hole. In the fall months, the groundhog eats a lot and gets very fat. Then it hibernates (sleeps) through the winter months, like a bear.

What is Groundhog Day?


photo credit: Eric Bégin via photopin cc

Groundhog Day is always on February 2, which is about halfway between autumn and spring. On Groundhog Day, the groundhog tells us if winter will continue for six more weeks, or if spring will come early. Here is what happens:

  • The groundhog comes out of its burrow (a hole in the ground where a groundhog lives).
  • If the groundhog sees its shadow, then winter will continue for six more weeks, it gets scared and goes back into its burrow to sleep some more.
  • If the groundhog doesn’t see its shadow, then the groundhog comes out of hibernation, and we know that spring will come early.

How do we know whether the groundhog sees its shadow or not?

A groundhog cannot talk, so we have to guess a little based on the weather. If the day is very sunny, we say that the groundhog saw its shadow, which means we will have six more weeks of winter. If the weather is cloudy or rainy on Groundhog Day, then the groundhog cannot see its shadow, and spring will come early.

Where did Groundhog Day start?

American Groundhog Day started in Pennsylvania in the 1800s. We believe it was a German custom, and when many Germans moved to Pennsylvania, they brought this custom with them.

Your Turn

Did you learn something new about Groundhog Day? Take this quiz to test your understanding!

New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year!

image by Wake Tech instructor ecparent

We hope 2015 is going well for you so far! What traditions do you have in your country when a new year begins? Do you eat special foods? Do you have a party? In the United States, people make New Year’s Resolutions. A resolution is a decision or a plan to do something in a new or different way. People believe that a new year is a good opportunity to make changes in their lives. Some of the most common resolutions are:

  1. Lose Weight
  2. Eat Healthy Food
  3. Save Money
  4. Pay Off Credit Cards
  5. Quit Smoking
  6. Volunteer to Help Others
  7. Get a Better Job
  8. Get an Education
  9. Take a Trip
  10. Try a New Hobby

Unfortunately, many people make plans in January, but give up quickly. In January, gyms make a lot of money because new people join, but by the end of February, many of those people have stopped going to the gym regularly. In January, people volunteer once or twice, but then many of them don’t volunteer again for the rest of the year.

Americans know that New Year’s Resolutions are rarely successful, yet every year, they try again.

Your Turn

Leave a comment with your answers to these questions:

  • Why do you think Americans make New Year’s Resolutions every year?
  • Do people in your country do this?
  • What resolutions will you make for 2015?

Black Friday Vocabulary

Your English classes will be closed for part of this week because of Thanksgiving. What are you going to do during the short break? Will you celebrate like Americans? What will you do on Friday? Many Americans will go shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. Will you go too?

What is Black Friday?

Right now, you are probably seeing and hearing advertisements everywhere for Black Friday sales events. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, and it is the busiest, craziest day of the year for shopping in the United States.

Black Friday is the day when many people start shopping for Christmas presents. They do this for two reasons:

  1. Most people do not have to work on Black Friday, so everyone has time to go shopping that day.
  2. All the stores want people to shop there, so they have special prices and deals (low prices).

I hear the commercials, but I don’t understand! Help!

In the TV and radio commercials, you have probably heard some words that explain these deals, but you might not know what they mean. Here are some of the words you might hear or see in a Black Friday ad (advertisement/commercial).


screen shot of Target ad

BOGO – Buy one, get one. Sometimes, if you buy one thing, you can get another one for free. If an ad says BOGO 50% off, that means that if you buy one, you can get a second one at half price. The ad to the right is for a BOGO 30% off deal. On Black Friday at Target, if you buy one iTunes gift card, you can save 30% on a second iTunes gift card.

Cyber Monday – the Monday after Thanksgiving. When the weekend is finished and people go back to work, stores want to continue making money, so they sell things on their websites. Cyber Monday is the biggest online shopping day of the year. It’s the day when people spend the most money shopping online.

cyber sale – low prices only available online. You must buy things from a store’s website to get cyber sale prices. The prices are higher in the stores.


screen shot of Target ad

doorbuster deal/doorbuster savings/early bird specials – low prices for people who shop early. If a store opens at 8:00 a.m., the store might have extra-low prices until 9:00 a.m. These low prices early in the morning are doorbuster deals. Listen to commercials closely to find out the hours when you can get these low prices. In the ad to the left, the doorbuster deal does not end at a specific time. It ends when there are no more of these toys.

exclusions – things that do NOT have a lower price while other things do. Some ads say things like, “40-60% off everything in the store!! Some exclusions apply.” This means that some things are not on sale even though everything else in the store is.

lay-away – the process of paying for something little by little while the store keeps it. If you buy something with credit, you take it home immediately and pay for it later. If you put something on lay-away, the store keeps it until you pay for it completely. When you have paid 100% of the price, you take it home. Not all stores do lay-away. You should ask if you want to buy something expensive.

limited quantities – not enough for everybody. The new PlayStation 4 came out on Friday, and they were all gone from every store before the day was done because quantities were limited. Sometimes stores will give you a free gift when you spend a certain amount of money, but they don’t have enough gifts for everyone, so when all the gifts are gone, you can’t get one no matter how much money you spend.

night owl deals/specials – low prices for people who shop late. Stores want to have shoppers shopping all the time, but they know that people are tired after work and just want to go home. They have night owl deals so that people have a good reason to go shopping late at night when they’re tired and just want to go to bed. Listen to commercials closely to find out the hours when you can get these low prices. Some stores begin their Black Friday sales ON THANKSGIVING, so after you eat your turkey, you can start shopping!

price match – Stores will sell something to you at a lower price if you can prove that another store is selling it for the lower price. If you see a toy at Wal-Mart for $50, but you get an ad in the mail from Target that says the same toy is $45, you can take the ad to Wal-Mart, and they will sell you that toy for $45. They are matching Target’s price.

rain check – buying something at a lower price after the sale has ended. Let’s say you want to buy a toy for your son. You see an ad that says the toy is on sale. Normally, it costs $50, but this week only, it costs $35. You are excited. You go to the store, but they don’t have the toy because other people have already bought them all. They had limited quantities of the toy, and now they are sold out, and the store won’t have any more of that toy until next week (after the sale is over). Ask if you can have a rain check. A rain check is a note from the store’s manager that gives you permission to buy something at the sale price after the sale is over. You can go back to the store next week and buy the toy for $35. Many stores, especially during Black Friday sales, will not give you a rain check.

red dot clearance – low prices on items with a red circle. Sometimes, a store needs to sell all of an item to make room for something new. They will sell these items at a very low price because they want people to buy all of them. This is a clearance sale. They might put a colored sticker on the clearance items so you know which ones they are. Usually this sticker is red, but sometimes a store will have different colored stickers for different discounts. Maybe a blue sticker means 30% off. Maybe a green sticker means 40% off. Maybe a red sticker means 75% off. Each store is different, but there are usually signs that explain the different colors.

sold out – The store has sold all of something. There are no more.

steal – a very good deal (a very low price). Normally, “steal” is a verb that means to take something that is not yours. In this case, a steal is a deal that is so good, a price that is so low, that it feels like you are stealing it (but you aren’t). If you buy a new, 40-inch, flat-screen TV that works perfectly for $75, that is a steal.

while quantities last/while supplies lastuntil there are no more. When a store has limited quantities of something, you can only pay the low price for it while the store has them. When there are no more, you cannot buy it. They might receive more next week, but the price will be higher (regular price).

Your Turn

How many of these Black Friday words can you find in this K-Mart Black Friday ad?

K-Mart Black Friday Ad

screen shot of K-Mart ad

What do Americans do on Thanksgiving?

You know the history of Thanksgiving, and you’ve heard about some of the food that people eat at a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. But maybe you’re still curious. What do Americans do all day? What is happening in an American home on Thanksgiving?

I asked some American friends to share with you their family traditions. Here’s what they said.


My favorite memories include my mom teaching me how to clean and prep a turkey, how to cook a pie without burning the crust, and how to do “the oven dance” with all the food so it all ends up hot and on the table at the same time.”  ~Chelsea

In this sentence, “prep” means prepare. Chelsea’s mother taught her how to prepare a turkey before putting it into the oven. “The oven dance” is the act of putting food into the oven, taking other food out, and putting some things in at the same time. You might need to move things inside the oven to make more room for other things. When the food moves around the oven and the kitchen so much, it’s like a dance.

One of my favorite recipes is the creamed Vidalia onions my grandmother used to make (my mom’s mom). I now make them.”  ~Webb

In many American families, several people make and bring food to share at Thanksgiving. Webb’s grandmother made a special onion dish when she was alive, but now Webb makes it.

Turkey Stuffing

photo credit: Alexandra Moss via photopin cc

We usually have turkey with dressing, green bean casserole, corn pudding, strawberry gelatin and sweet potato casserole. Desserts are pecan pie and apple pie with ice cream, of course!”  ~Kate

When you hear the word “dressing,” you probably think about salad dressing. Kate is talking about turkey dressing, which is also called “stuffing.” It is made with bread, broth, onions, spices, and sometimes pieces of turkey or sausage.


Grandma's Turkey Bowl

Grandma’s Turkey Bowl – Photo by WTCC Instructor A. Thompson

We usually watch football games on TV.”  ~Kate

Football is played mostly in the fall, and there are a lot of big football games on TV on Thanksgiving Day because nobody is working. Everyone is at home relaxing.

We have a big football game, with a trophy and everything. It’s Grandma’s Turkey Bowl.”  ~Angela

The most important football games of the year are called bowl games (the biggest one is the Super Bowl). The winner of a bowl game gets a trophy. Angela’s family plays football together on Thanksgiving, and the winner gets a trophy just like the professionals!


We do a big family shindig. My parents have been hosting these past few years, and every family unit brings something to contribute to the meal. Usually it’s assorted family members, but some years friends join as well. If it’s a large enough crowd (and when the whole family comes, it is), we set two tables, and the rule is you have to sit with different people for dessert.” ~Megan

A “shindig” is a party. Megan’s family is large, so they use two tables, and they change places between dinner and dessert. When she says, “every family unit brings something to contribute,” she means that she brings food, her brother and his wife bring food, her aunt and uncle bring food, her cousin and her husband bring food, and they share all the food.

My favorite is when all the family can visit.”  ~Kate

Kate and her husband have two children and four grandchildren. She loves the years when everyone can come to visit. Sometimes her children spend Thanksgiving with their in-laws, though, so they don’t always get to be together on Thanksgiving.


Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

photo credit: gigi_nyc via photopin cc

We watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!”  ~Olivia

Many cities have a parade on Thanksgiving, but the most famous one is in New York. You can watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV this year just like many American families!

Things You Didn’t Know about Thanksgiving

Many students know the history of Thanksgiving. Pilgrims (people who left England for religious freedom and new opportunities) moved to the northeastern part of the United States to start a new life. It was very difficult in the beginning, and a lot of people died. However, the British and the Native Americans became friends, and soon, there was enough food for everyone. They celebrated their success for three days in 1621, and that was the first Thanksgiving.

Here are some things you might NOT know about Thanksgiving:

  • The pilgrims probably didn’t eat many of the foods at the first Thanksgiving that Americans eat now. They probably did not have turkey, pumpkin pie, or potatoes!
  • George Washington announced the first national Thanksgiving holiday in 1789, 168 years after the pilgrims celebrated the first time.
  • In 1829, a woman named Sara Josepha Hale started writing letters to the president because she wanted Thanksgiving to be a national holiday. At that time, each state decided when it would celebrate. She wrote letters for 30 years! She wrote letters to at least five different presidents.
  • Finally, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln announced that the whole country would celebrate Thanksgiving on the final Thursday in November. This happened during the Civil War, and President Lincoln was trying to keep the country together. Maybe he hoped that a national holiday would help everyone feel united again.
  • In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt made Thanksgiving one week earlier. This was during the Great Depression, and Roosevelt wanted to give people more time to shop for Christmas presents so that businesses could get more money.
  • In 1941, Roosevelt officially changed the day of Thanksgiving from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday in November.
  • Every year, the president pardons (forgives, or gives no punishment to) a turkey on Thanksgiving. That turkey gets to retire on a farm instead of being eaten by a family.

This video includes all of the information I just gave you. Watch, listen, and see how much you can understand.

Your Turn

The answers to these questions are also in the video. Write a comment, and tell us which ones you heard!

  1. How many deer did the Indians kill to give as gifts to the colonists?
  2. What do we call the meat of a deer?
  3. How did the pilgrims eat cranberries at the first Thanksgiving?
  4. Why did Sara Josepha Hale want to have a Thanksgiving celebration?
  5. Name 3 recipes written by Sara Josepha Hale.
  6. How did people feel about President Roosevelt moving the date of Thanksgiving?
  7. Who was the first president to pardon a turkey?

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

photo credit: dean.franklin via photopin cc

Did you know that Mt. Rushmore just celebrated its 73rd birthday? It was completed on Halloween (October 31) in 1941, after 14 years of construction. Here is some more information about Mt. Rushmore.

Where is Mt. Rushmore?

It is located in an area of South Dakota called the Black Hills.

Whose idea was it?

The idea for the Mt. Rushmore sculpture came from a man named Doane Robinson. He wanted to bring attention to his state, South Dakota, and invite more tourists to visit.

Who designed it?

An artist named Gutzon Borglum designed Mt. Rushmore. He was born near the area that is now South Dakota, but at that time, South Dakota was not a state. Borglum was born in 1867, and South Dakota became a state in 1889. Borglum studied art in Paris, where he became friends with the famous sculptor Auguste Rodin.

How big is it?

Mt. Rushmore is very big. The park is almost 2 square miles (more than 5 km). Each president’s face is 60 feet tall (as tall as a 6-floor building). Each president’s nose is about 20 feet long (6 meters). Their eyes are about 11 feet wide, and their mouths are about 18 feet wide. If they could open their mouths, your whole family could probably walk inside.

Which presidents are carved into the mountain?

The faces of 4 U.S. presidents are carved (cut) into the mountain. Each president represents an important time in U.S. history.

  • George Washington is there because he was the first president. He represents the beginning of the nation.
  • Thomas Jefferson is there because the United States doubled in size during his time in office. He represents the geographical expansion (growth) of the nation.
  • Abraham Lincoln was in office during the Civil War. He represents the time when the nation stayed together after almost separating.
  • The fourth president is Theodore Roosevelt. He was in office at the beginning of the 20th century, which was a time of great economic growth for the United States. Cars were being produced (the Ford Motor Company was established in 1903), men were learning to fly (the Wright brothers flew America’s first airplane in 1903), and more people were getting opportunities to succeed in business. Roosevelt also established the National Parks System, and Mt. Rushmore is a national park. For people in the early 1900s, Roosevelt would have represented the future of the nation.

How did they build it?

Four hundred men worked for 14 years to carve Mt. Rushmore. They used dynamite to break off giant pieces of rock. Then they used hammers and nails to make the details of the faces.

How much did it cost to build it?

It cost about 1 million dollars to build Mt. Rushmore. In today’s money, that would be more than $11 BILLION!!

How many people died while building it?

You might not believe this. NO ONE died while working on Mt. Rushmore. Well, the designer, Gutzon Borglum, died several months before the sculpture was completed, but he was 73 years old, so his death was not related to the construction of Mt. Rushmore. His son finished the project.

Halloween Safety

Halloween is coming THIS Friday, October 31!! This is a fun holiday for children, but getting hurt is not fun at all, so here are some tips (suggestions/ideas) for staying safe and enjoying Halloween.

Costume Safety

reflective tape

These cones have reflective tape, so you can see them in the dark.
photo credit: giveawayboy via photopin cc

  • Make sure your child’s costume fits. If it is too long, or if the shoes are too big, your child might trip and fall down.
  • Make sure your child can see. If your child’s costume has a mask, check that the holes are big enough and that the mask fits the child’s face correctly. If your child’s costume has a hat, make sure the hat is not too big. You don’t want it to fall down and cover your child’s eyes.
  • Make sure other people can see your child. If your child goes trick-or-treating (going to different houses, asking for candy) in the dark, he/she needs to have bright clothes or reflective strips so that drivers can see him/her.
  • Make sure all face paint is safe for skin. Look for “Non-Toxic” on the package to be sure it is safe to put on your body.
  • Make sure everything is flame resistant. “Flame resistant” means it will not catch fire easily. Jack-o-Lanterns are very common at Halloween, and most Jack-o-Lanters have a candle burning inside of them. If part of your child’s costume falls into a Jack-o-Lantern, you don’t want the costume to catch on fire. Flame resistant costumes and make-up will help to keep your child safe from fire.

Trick-or-Treat Safety

  • Most children go trick-or-treating between 5:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. After 9:00, it will be darker and more dangerous.
  • An adult should always go with young children.
  • Older children should have an approved route (path/way/trail) and a time to come home. Make a map of your neighborhood. Mark the direction your children will go and the houses they will visit. Decide what time they should come home, and give them a mobile (cell) phone in case of emergency.
  • All children should know how to call 9-1-1 in case of emergency. Talk to your children about different kinds of problems and when to call 9-1-1. For example, if a young child falls and hurts his knee, don’t call 9-1-1, but call a parent. If someone breaks a bone, call 9-1-1 AND a parent.
  • Only visit houses that have their porch lights on. If a house does not have its porch lights on, then the people are not home, or they do not want children to trick-or-treat there.
  • Never go into the house of a person you don’t know very well. Children should use the toilet at home before they go trick-or-treating. If they need to go while they are out, they should ask to use the toilet at the house of a friend.
  • Stay with a group. Children should never go trick-or-treating alone, and they should stay with a group at all times, especially when crossing the street.
  • Do not walk through yards. Stay on sidewalks and walkways. People might have garden hoses, sticks, or other things in their yards that children can trip on. Also, some people don’t like it when someone walks on their grass.
  • Do not eat any candy before you get home. Parent should look at all candy to make sure it is not open or rotten.

Halloween Health

  • Think about buying treats that are not candy. Pencils, stickers, small toys, or coloring books are great treats, but they don’t have all the sugar and calories of candy.
  • Check your child’s treats before they start eating. Make sure the candy has not been opened. Make sure it looks fresh. Make sure it doesn’t look strange in any way.
  • Save some candy for later. Your children might receive a lot of candy, and they will want to eat all of it immediately. However, think about allowing them to eat some now, but save the rest for later. It is healthier to eat 1 piece of candy every day than to eat 30 pieces at one time.
  • Give kids a healthy meal before they go trick-or-treating. This will help them not to eat all of their candy right away.

Indoor Trick-or-Treating

If you don’t think your neighborhood is safe for trick-or-treating, or if the weather is bad, you can take your children (ages 10 and under) to the mall closest to you, and they can trick-or-treat in the stores!

  • Cary Towne Center – 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Crabtree Valley Mall – 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
  • Triangle Town Center – NO TRICK-OR-TREATING
Happy Halloween

image by instructor ecparent

Learn about Holidays

As we learn about the calendar,  we also learn about holidays. Holidays are  days that we celebrate or honor a special event or person.

  • Some holidays are religious like Christmas or Easter.
  • Some holidays celebrate historic figures like President’s day (George Washington, Abraham Lincoln) , Martin Luther King Day or Columbus Day
  • Some celebrate a historic event like the 4th of July (America’s Independence Day) and Thanksgiving
  • On some holidays we honor and remember groups of people like Memorial Day (America’s soldiers), Labor Day (workers) or  Mother’s and Father’s Days.
  • Some holidays remind us of the nations that Americans came from (St Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo)
  • Some holidays are just plain fun (St Valentine’s day, Mardi Gras,  Halloween, New Year’s Eve).

We don’t always have a day off for a holiday but on federal holidays, banks and most government offices are closed.

Here is a short video that goes over the major U.S. holidays

Write a comment and tell us about your favorite holiday and why you like it so much.