Learning English through fun & facts
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Halloween, holiday observed on the evening of October 31 in most areas of North America and in some areas of Western Europe. The holiday is symbolically associated with death and he supernatural. Halloween falls on the eve of All Saints ’ Day, also known as Halloween or hallow man, a holy day in the Roman Catholic AND Anglican churches. Originally a pagan festival of the dead, All Saints’ Day was established by the Catholic Church in the 9th century to honor Christian Saints. All souls’ day, a holy day established by the Catholic Church in the 10th century, is also closely linked to Halloween. All Souls’ Day, on November 2, is observed to help purify the spirits of the dead. Halloween is historically related to similar folk holidays celebrated in other countries. The of the Dead, a Mexican holiday that coincides with All Souls’ day, blend Roman Catholic and Native America traditions about the souls the dead, On the Day of the Dead, Mexican decorate their homes with playful imagery of animated human skeletons, leave offerings of food for wandering spirits, and tend the graves of their deceased relatives.



Contemporary customs



On Halloween many children dress in costumes and go from house to house to ask for candy by saying “Trick or Treat!” the saying implies that the children will play a trick on their neighbors if there are not given a treat.




Valentine’s Day


Saint Valentine’s Day, a holiday honoring lovers. It is celebrated February 14 by the customs of sending greeting cards or gifts to express affection, the cards, known as valentines, are often designed with hearts to symbolize love. The holiday probably drives from the ancient Roman feast of Lupercalis (February 15). The festival gradually became associated with the feast day (February 14) of two Roman martyrs; both named St. Valentine, who lived in the 3rd centaury. St. Valentine has traditionally been regarded as the patron saint of lovers.




Thanksgiving Day


Thanksgiving Day, legal holiday observed annually in the United States on the forth Thursday of November. In Canada, Thanksgiving falls on the second Monday in October. Its origin probably traces to harvest festivals that have been traditional in many parts of the world since ancient times. Today Thanksgiving is mainly a celebration of domestic life, centered on home and family. Most people celebrate Thanksgiving by gathering with family or friends for a holiday feast.





Christmas, annual Christian holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Most members of the Roman Catholic Church and followers of Protestantism celebrate Christmas on December 25, and many celebrate on the evening of December 24 as well. Members of mist Orthodox churches around the world also celebrate the holiday on December 25, some Orthodox Christians in Russia, Ukraine, the holy land (the historic region of Palestine). And elsewhere American Church observe Christmas on January 6. Following the unique custom of celebrating both the birth and baptism of Christ on the same day.

The official Christmas season, popularly known as either Christmastide or the Twelve Days of Christmas, extends from the anniversary of Christ’s birth on December 25 to the feast of Epiphany in January 6. On the Epiphany, some Catholics and Protestants celebrate the visit of the Magi while Orthodox Christians, who call the feast Theophany, celebrate the baptism of Christ.






New Year’s Day


New Year’s Day, first day of the year, January 1 in the Gregorian calendar. In the middle ages most European countries used the Julian calendar and observed New Year’s day on March 25, called Annunciation Day and celebrated as the occasion on which it was revealed to Mary that she should give birth to the Son of God. With the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1582. Roman Catholic countries began to celebrate New Year’s Day on January 1. Scotland accepted the Gregorian calendar in 1600; Germany, Denmark, and Sweden about 1700: and England in 1752. Traditionally the day has been observed as a religious east. But in modern times the arrival of the New Years has also become an occasion for spirited celebration and the making of personal resolutions. The  Jewish New Year s called Rosh Hashanah, or the Feast of Trumpets, and is prescribed y the old Testament as a holy Sabbath, it is celebrated (generally in September) on the first and second days of Tishri. The Chinese celebrate New Year’s Day sometimes between January 1 and February 219 of the Gregorian calendar. It is their most important holiday.




Independence Day


Independence Day, or the Forth of July, the most important national holiday in the united state. It commemorates the formal adoption of the independence by the continental congress on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The declaration, written by a committee headed buy Thomas Jefferson, is an eloquent statement of the American colonies’ intention to become an independent nation. It broke the formal ties between the colonies and Britain after he ideals on which he nation was founded.

Although the singing of the declaration was not completed until August 1776, the fourth of July holiday has been accepted as the official anniversary of U.S. independence. It was not declared a legal holiday until 1941, however. Today it is celebrated in all states and territories of the United States.

The first celebration took place in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776, four day after declaration of independence was adopted. On that day the declaration was read aloud, city bells rang, and bands played. Within a few years the forth of July was observed throughout most of the new nation, although until 1783 the city of Boston, Massachusetts, commemorated independence Day on march 5, the date of the Boston Massacre. An elaborate Forth of July celebration was held in Philadelphia in 1788, following the ratification of the constitution of the United States.

Several important U.S. projects were started on Independence Day. Work on the Erie Canal in New York state began on July 4, 1828, July 4 was the date selected in 1848 for laying the cornerstone of Washington Monument in the U.S. capital.


Independence Day celebrations today:

The forth of July is celebrated publicly with parades and marching bands, patriotic speeches, and displays of fireworks. Many communities have concerts that conclude with “the stars and stripes forever,” a patriotic march and salute to the American flag composed by John Philip Sousa. Flags fly from many buildings and homes, and some towns decorate public buildings in the color of the flag: red, white, and blue.

Many American observe the Independence Day holiday by having picnics, barbecues, or other outing with friend and family. Community fireworks displays take place in the evening. The forth of July fireworks displays in many large cities are broadcast on television.





By Mahsa Ebrahimi









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