Independence Day aims at commemorating a very important event in the history of the USA – the passage of the Declaration of Independence. Even though it was actually on July 2, 1776, when the Congress – representatives of the Thirteen Colonies - had voted in favor of independence from Great Britain, the final approval of the Declaration of Independence took place two days later – on July 4. It was a real occasion for feasting – from that moment the Thirteen Colonies were finally independent from the British crown. They were now free and united as independent states.
In the first years the holiday was celebrated with parades and toasting the new nation that started to exist. The oldest tradition connected with celebrating Independence Day is the Bristol Fourth of July Parade that can be observed since 1785. Nowadays, it is a major midsummer holiday with firework shows, decorations (even desserts) in colors of the American flag, concerts of patriotic music and political speeches. At noon of Independence Day in military bases a “salute to the union” - a salute of one gun for each state is fired. Many Americans have family picnics or barbecues on that day, and many others make some trips, visit their friends or family. American flags can also be noticed outside the houses and other buildings. As John Adams, the second President of the United States and a signatory of the Declaration of Independence predicted, feasting the 4th of July also includes “shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations”. It really is celebrated “from one end of this continent to the other”, just like he wished.
Did you know?
Two of the Declaration of Independence signers – John Adams and Thomas Jefferson (the 2nd and the 3rd President of the United States) both died on the same day: July 4, 1826 – the 50th anniversary of the Declaration.