Amidst fireworks, family reunions, concerts, barbecues, picnics, parades, baseball games among many other celebrations, Americans will commemorate their independence day today, July 4.
In the United States, Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July or the Fourth, is a holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Independence Day, the only holiday that celebrates the United States, is a national holiday marked by patriotic displays. Similar to other summer-themed events, Independence Day celebrations often take place outdoors.
The day is a federal holiday, so all non-essential federal institutions (like the postal service and federal courts) are closed on that day.
Many politicians make it a point on this day to appear at a public event to praise the nation's heritage, laws, history, society, and people.
Families often celebrate Independence Day by having or going to a picnic or barbecue, and take advantage of the day off and in some years, long weekend to gather with relatives and friends.
People may also do fun and relaxing hobbies like any other day off such as swimming, fishing, boating, sunbathing, playing sports, or just kicking back and relaxing.
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Many stores are open on the fourth so people may go shopping.
In the evening, people may launch their own fireworks.
Decorations such as streamers, balloons, and clothing are generally coloured red, white, and blue, the colors of the American flag.
Parades often are in the morning, while fireworks displays occur in the evening at such places as parks, fairgrounds, or town squares.
In addition to a fireworks show, Miami, Florida lights Miami Tower with the patriotic red, white and blue on Independence Day.
New York City's fireworks display, shown above over the East Village, Manhattan.
Why USA celebrates Independence Day on July 4
The Fourth of July is one of America’s biggest holidays, with today’s celebrations including fireworks and parades across the USA. But what exactly is Independence Day and what does it celebrate? In July 1776, during the second year of the American Revolutionary War (1775–83), representatives from 13 North American colonies of the kingdom of Great Britain voted to declare themselves independent from the crown, forming the United States of America.
Two days after the historic vote, on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed – and each year since, Americans have celebrated.
Although the American Revolutionary War began in April 1775, the colonies did not initially demand complete separation from British rule; instead they sought more autonomy within the British Empire.
However, British treatment of the American colonists as clear rebels and enemies over the opening months of the conflict leant weight to arguments for independence and, on July 2, 1776, in Philadelphia’s State House, representatives from 13 of Britain’s colonies in North America voted, at last, to publicly break their bonds with the mother country and its King, George III.