The Fourth of July is a national holiday that marks the Continental Congress’s adaptation of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, naming the thirteen colonies an independent nation. Every year on the Fourth of July the US becomes a frenzy of patriotic excitement as citizens celebrate their independence.
Since this day happens in a summer month international students can expect to see celebrations happening outside, as the Fourth of July is a day where Americans can really enjoy the warm weather. If you’re going to be in the United States during the Fourth of July, here are some traditions you can (and should) participate in!
- Enjoy Some Delicious Barbecue – One of the most popular and delicious ways to celebrate the Fourth of July is to have a barbecue! You’ll see Americans with grills in public parks and backyards nearly everywhere you look. Grilling food outside is as much an opportunity to be with friends and family as eating some classic American food. Some food to expect may be hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, potato salad, corn on the cob, and apple pie. There will also probably be some fresh lemonade or sweet tea.
- Flaunt Your Red, White and Blue – It’s common for larger clothing stores in the US to sport American-themed options all year long, but close to July 4th you will see American flags and our national colors in nearly every store window! Americans love to flaunt their red, white and blue in the clothing they wear – some people even paint their faces in patriotic themes or sport temporary tattoos for the day.
- Watching a Firework Display – Another popular way to celebrate the Fourth of July is to watch fireworks. It’s common for people in the US to set off their own small fireworks in their neighborhoods, and others enjoy free firework shows in their city. The Fourth of July is the most popular holiday in the United States for fireworks, so there should be plenty of opportunities for you to see some in the town you’re staying in.
- Go to a Parade or Festival – Depending on where you live, a good deal of cities in the US will also host parades and/or festivals to celebrate our independence. These events are generally free of cost and often have live music, food, and large crowds. Of all the ways to celebrate, these events will be the most festive, so be sure to bring your red, white, and blue!
Regardless of how you choose to spend your Fourth of July in the United States we hope you enjoy the experience! Celebrating the Independence of a country that isn’t your home can be both opening and humbling , so try to keep an open mind towards holidays and traditions that may be a little different and be sure to savor the barbecue!