Q&AHow do American celebrate on 4th July?
Edith Asked 2 years

It’s 4th of July tmr,America’s national day. How do Americans celebrate on that day?And what it means to Americans?Actually,to be honest,1st Oct and the Chinese national holiday is no more than just a 7-day vacation for most Chinese.

2 Answers
Best Answer
Paul Staff answered 2 years

The fact being that Luke and I are siblings, I have essentially an identical 4th of July experience. All of what he has said has also been true for me. However, I think that I can still offer a fresh perspective. 
On Saturday, the 4th of July, I decided to film a video for Cloud English. I grabbed my iPad, iPad clip, and extendable camera rod with which I fashioned an absurd and enormous 8 foot long selfie stick (click the words selfie stick if you’re unfamiliar with this term). My goal was to interview everyday American’s on the day of greatest patriotism.
I began my inquiry into the American perception of its self with a man I’ve never met. He happened to be walking past my home when I burst out the door toting my camera-on-a-pole monstrosity. He agreed to the interview, and actually had some wonderful things to say. His view of the 4th of July began with the common talk of “A day to celebrate our country,” but turned into an opportunity to socialize and talk with neighbors and strangers whom we might never talk with under other circumstances. In his mind, the 4th of July is much more about community and outreach than it is about the actual day itself. In truth I hadn’t thought much about that perspective before, but I think I agree with him.
After my first interview I thought it would be a good idea to move into the downtown area. Every 4th there is a parade that runs down my street, takes a hard right on Sandusky St., and rolls north toward downtown. The parade began at 1:00 o’clock pm., and I walked the route beginning at 12:40. You see, people love parades, so they line the streets well in advance of the event as a way to secure proper positioning. It’s all about viewpoint and optimal candy-getting potential. I took this opportunity to interview anyone who would let me. A nice family consisting of an aged army veteran, sporting (wearing) a blue hat embroidered (written in stitching) with the words “NamVet” in gold. His loving wife had curled white hair, blue capris, and a white short-sleeved shirt with an American flag proudly displayed, sat to his left. On her lap was a little black haired boy not older than 4. His big brother, maybe aged 6, eyed me and my selfie stick with suspicion. The old folks answered as you might think, “Today is a day about celebrating our country, and thanking servicemen and women,” but the young children were much more honest. The older boy answered my question without hesitation, “candy and fireworks.” Yes, I think that’s what its about for many; though not all. 
I walked another mile up the street toward downtown. The crowds grew more condensed and the people a little more excited. Parents held their children close to them so they wouldn’t run into the street, and police offers were at every intersection directing traffic; both people and cars. I had nearly reached the end of the parade route when I black woman surrounded by at least 8 children (4 of them white, 4 of them black) yelled “what you got young man?” Immediately I knew she was referring to the giant pole with an iPad that I was carrying, so I smiled and explained what it was I was doing. This woman, I soon learned, was a wonderful person. She had recently adopted several children from Africa, and had already adopted numerous others. I, of course, asked her thoughts on the 4th of July. She told me “It’s about the melting pot.” Good answer.
 The “melting pot” is a term that refers to all of the different kinds of people that live in the United states. In America it is not supposed to matter what color you are, what country you come from, where you work, or how your name is spelled. Because so many different people from different countries, cultures, and ethnicities live in the same region, state, or city, we call it the melting pot. The woman went on to tell me how my own town is overly segregated. She said the white people live on the north end (weird, that’s where I live), and the black people live in the south end. She told me, “today the north end and the south end are both right downtown.”
I then interviewed one of her daughters who is from Uganda. She was maybe 11 or 12 years old and very well-spoken. The little girl told me that this was her second 4th of July. She told me that it was the most amazing thing she had experienced and she couldn’t believe the opportunity. I thought that was a pretty amazing.
I returned home and walked against the parade. I found it pretty lame, to be honest. There weren’t as many spectacles to be seen, but I still filmed it. When I arrived home, my family and I spent the day on the deck outside of the house talking, eating, drinking and laughing. We went to the fireworks that evening and oo’ed and ahh’ed. There were a lot of drunk people and a lot of laughing people.
So what is the 4th? Well, it’s different for all. Some, like the old veteran, it’s about his service to our country. I thank him. For others, it’s about candy and fireworks. For many, its about breaking down the barriers of segregation and difference. And, for some, it is a wonderful opportunity. For my generation, its usually about fun, friends, and booze. But that’s ok too.
The unique thing about the 4th of July is that it is a celebration of all of the people who I interviewed. The 4th of July is a celebration of being able to celebrate in any way you choose—I think that’s the way it was designed to be. 
I’m sure many parts of this will be difficult to understand. Please, if you need help, just ask. 

aileeailee replied 2 years ago

A clear picture of a National Day in America was shown in my mind thank for your lively description.

Fan Ben replied 2 years ago

I like this answer,so vivid!

iamuwajimayaiamuwajimaya Staff replied 2 years ago

Fascinating. Looking forward to the vid.

iamuwajimaya Staff answered 2 years

Great question.

Simply, the 4th of July celebration is not a simple vacation for people. Students will already be on summer vacation, and people with jobs may only have one or two days off, so that isn’t really a big aspect of the holiday.
I should mention, people from different places in the U.S. celebrate in different ways, but it’s generally true that the holiday focuses on the four Fs: Fun, Food, Friends and Family. It’s not the same as Christmas or Thanksgiving, where people mostly do things indoors, and only with family. Rather, to celebrate Independence Day, people do all kinds of fun outdoor activities–have BBQs, fairs, parades, and lots of other things.

I think I can best explain it with memories from my childhood:

Every year during the 4th of July Holiday (Independence Day) there’s a three-day-long festival called the Fireman’s Festival, which supports the fire department in the small town where I’m from, Greenwich, Ohio. The festival starts with a parade. Fire trucks and massive floats made and decorated by people from different local companies and school groups drive down Main Street. People throw candy into the crowds lined up beside the road. The cars go really slowly; there’s a lot of noise and excitement. Little kids with bags run into the street to grab the candy. Marching bands play in the parade and there may be other interesting performers. I remember specifically an old fat man dressed as a clown in a car not much bigger than his body, laughing and throwing candy as he drove down Main Street.

The parade ends and people go into the fair grounds. There are carnival rides, games, all kinds of ‘fair food’ (French fries, hot dogs, etc.), and in my town, a softball tournament. Softball is a form of baseball in which the ball is tossed slowly to the batter. The teams are made up of players from different nearby towns, and are sponsored by local businesses. It’s fun to watch and lasts usually three days.

Each night there are special events: a truck pull, a tractor pull, and a demolition derby. These events are certainly not held in cities, but for small rural places with lots of farmers and rednecks, they’re hugely popular. The truck pull and tractor pull are a type of contest in which each driver tries to drag a heavy weight farther than others. Sounds boring, I know (I think it’s boring) but the crowds love it.

The demolition derby is the last event on the final night. It’s simple: Many cars in a rectangular space smash into each other. The last car still running wins. It sounds totally made-up, but this really happens during the Independence Day weekend in my town.

The last and most important thing that people in all places in America do is watch fireworks shows. These are organized by specialists and carefully designed (not just random fireworks). The end of the fireworks show is the grand finale–an exciting barrage of light and booms. Fun and beautiful.

Not everybody in America celebrates like I’ve described. In cities, things are really different, but one thing is common everywhere: Friends and family get together to have fun, relax and eat. It’s a summer blast tinted by patriotism–a celebration of American freedom.

iamuwajimayaiamuwajimaya Staff replied 2 years ago


Fan Ben replied 2 years ago

Got it, Sir!

iamuwajimayaiamuwajimaya Staff replied 2 years ago

A blast is something fun. For example, I had a blast. Tinted is about being colored in someway, like blue-tinted windows. Tinted by patriotism means that there is an element or tone of patriotic mood during the celebration.

Fan Ben replied 2 years ago

How to understand the last sentence “it’s a summer blast tinted by patriotism-a celebration of American freedom.”?

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