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7-я Районная научно-практическая конференция

учащихся общеобразовательных учреждений по иностранным языкам

«Мир вокруг нас»

Область: культурология


Independence Day in America

Малых Елена

МБОУ Якшур-Бодьинская гимназия, класс ___

Научный руководитель:

Копытова Екатерина Николаевна, учитель английского языка

Якшур-Бодьинский район



Introduction ……………………………………………………. 3

1. The origin of the holiday …………………………….. ……… 4

2. The celebration of the holiday………………………... ……… 7

3.Practical part …………………………………………………… 12

Conclusion ………………………………………………………. 15

List of Literature …………………………………………………. 16


Actuality: In Russia 2014 is announced “The year of culture”. Culture means different things to different people. For some it will be about heritage and respecting views and values of the past (literature, history, museums, painting), for others it will be the activities that are enjoyed (holidays and festivals).

This year on our English lessons we’ve studied the American culture. As the United States has so many people with backgrounds from all over the world, cultural festivals are very varied. Research has shown that there are at least 72 cultural festivals held in the United States each year. But one of the most important holiday is Independence Day. It is considered to be the birthday of America.

We were very interested in such holiday and decided to write a work about it.

So the aim of our work – to study this holiday more deeply.

We should:

1) find out the origin of this holiday;

2) study the ways people celebrate this holiday;

3) study the traditions connected with this holiday;

In our work we used such methods as work with encyclopedias and the Internet resources, interview of students, analyses of the results of the interview.

This work consists of the introduction, three chapters, practical work, the conclusion and the literature.

Chapter 1. The origin of the holiday

The United States celebrates many holidays—some that they share with other countries, and others that are uniquely American.

July 4m, or Independence Day, is the most important American holiday. It's the birthday of the United States of America. On this day, in 1776, America signed the Declaration of Independence and started the fight for freedom from British rule.

Before 1776, the King of England, George III, ruled the thirteen colonies in America. The colonists were tired of the taxes that George III imposed on them. "We have no representation in the British Parliament," they said, "so what right does he have to tax us?" "No taxation without representation" became their battle cry.[3]

In 1767, the British government placed new taxes on tea and paper that the colonists imported from abroad. The colonists got angry and refused to pay. George III sent soldiers to keep order.

In 1773, a group of colonists dressed up as Indians threw 342 chests of tea belonging to the East India Company into the waters of Boston harbour. King George didn't think it was funny. His reply to this "Boston tea party" was a set of laws to punish the colonists. Boston harbour was closed until the tea was paid for. More soldiers were sent there to keep order. ( See picture 1).

Picture 1. “Boston tea party”


But the "Intolerable Acts", as the colonists called King George's laws, served only to unite the colonies against the British rule. The War of Independence began.[3]

On July 4, 1776, the colonists declared their independence from Britain. Led by Thomas Jefferson, the representatives of all thirteen colonies met in Philadelphia to sign the Declaration of Independence. A large part of it was written by Jefferson himself. The document stated that the colonies were now "free and independent states" and officially named them the United States of America. It also said that all men had a natural right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." (See picture 2).

Picture 2. The Declaration of Independence


The following day, copies of the Declaration of Independence were distributed and, on July 6, The Pennsylvania Evening Post became the first newspaper to print the extraordinary document. People celebrated the birth of a new nation.

But the War of Independence dragged on until 1783 when the colonists finally won. The head of the Revolutionary army was George Washington, who later became the first President of the United States of America. In 1783, Independence Day was made an official holiday.[1]

Today, the country's birthday is widely celebrated with parades, public meetings, patriotic music and speech-making. There are picnics and barbecues, and in the evening there are big fireworks shows. Wherever Americans are around the globe, they will get together for a traditional 4th of July celebration!

Chapter 2. The celebration of the holiday

Independence Day is a national holiday marked by patriotic displays. Similar to other summer-themed events, Independence Day celebrations often take place outdoors. Independence 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.[1]

Families often celebrate Independence Day by hosting or attending a picnic or barbecue and take advantage of the day off and, in some years, long weekend to gather with relatives. Decorations (e.g., streamers, balloons, and clothing) are generally colored red, white, and blue, the colors of the American flag. Parades are often in the morning, while fireworks displays occur in the evening at such places as parks, fairgrounds, or town squares. (See picture 3).

Picture 3. The parade.


The night before the Fourth was once the focal point of celebrations, marked by raucous gatherings often incorporating bonfires as their centerpiece. In New England, towns competed to build towering pyramids, assembled from hogsheads and barrels and casks. They were lit at nightfall, to usher in the celebration. The highest were in Salem, Massachusetts (on Gallows Hill, the famous site of the execution of 13 women and 6 men for witchcraft in 1692 during the Salem witch trials, where the tradition of bonfires in celebration had persisted), composed of as many as forty tiers of barrels; these are the tallest bonfires ever recorded. The custom flourished in the 19th and 20th centuries, and is still practiced in some New England towns. (See picture 4).

Picture 4. Independence Day fireworks.


Independence Day fireworks are often accompanied by patriotic songs such as the national anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner", "God Bless America", "America the Beautiful", "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", "This Land Is Your Land", "Stars and Stripes Forever", and, regionally, "Yankee Doodle" in northeastern states and "Dixie" in southern states. Some of the lyrics recall images of the Revolutionary War or the War of 1812.

Firework shows are held in many states, and many fireworks are sold for personal use or as an alternative to a public show. Safety concerns have led some states to ban fireworks or limit the sizes and types allowed. Illicit traffic transfers many fireworks from less restrictive states.

A salute of one gun for each state in the United States, called a “salute to the union,” is fired on Independence Day at noon by any capable military base.

In 2009, New York City had the largest fireworks display in the country, with over 22 tons of pyrotechnics exploded. Other major displays are in Chicago on Lake Michigan; in San Diego over Mission Bay; in Boston on the Charles River; in St. Louis on the Mississippi River; in San Francisco over the San Francisco Bay; and on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.. During the annual Windsor-Detroit International Freedom Festival, Detroit, Michigan hosts one of the world's largest fireworks displays, over the Detroit River, to celebrate Independence Day in conjunction with Windsor, Ontario's celebration of Canada Day.[3]

While the official observance always falls on July 4th, participation levels may vary according to which day of the week the 4th falls on. If the holiday falls in the middle of the week, some fireworks displays and celebrations may take place during the weekend for convenience, again, varying by region.

The first week of July is typically one of the busiest American travel periods of the year, as many people utilize the holiday for extended vacation trips.

Unique facts of the celebrations:

  • Held since 1785, the Bristol Fourth of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island is the oldest continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States.

  • Since 1868, Seward, Nebraska has held a celebration on the same town square. In 1979 Seward was designated “America's Official Fourth of July City-Small Town USA” by resolution of Congress. Seward has also been proclaimed Nebraska's Official Fourth of July City” by Governor James Exon in proclamation. Seward is a town of 6,000 but swells to 40,000+ during the July 4 celebrations.

  • Since 1912, the Rebild Society, a Danish-American friendship organization, has held a July 4 weekend festival that serves as a homecoming for Danish-Americans in the Rebild municipality of Denmark.

  • Since 1972, Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City

  • Since 1959, the International Freedom Festival is jointly held in Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario during the last week of June each year as a mutual celebration of Independence Day and Canada Day (July 1). It culminates in a large fireworks display over the Detroit River.

  • Numerous major and minor league baseball games are played on Independence Day.

  • The famous Macy's fireworks display usually held over the East River in New York City has been televised nationwide on NBC since 1976. In 2009, the fireworks display was returned to the Hudson River for the first time since 2000 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson exploration of that river.

  • Since 1970, the annual 10 kilometer Peachtree Road Race is held in Atlanta, Georgia.

  • The Boston Pops Orchestra has hosted a music and fireworks show over the Charles River Esplanade called the "Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular" annually since 1973. The event was broadcast nationally from 1987 until 2002 on A&E, and from 2003 until 2012 on CBS (who aired the final hour of the event in primetime). In 2013, CBS dropped the Pops broadcast, with no reason given; however, executive producer David G. Mugar believed that an encore presentation of the Macy's fireworks on NBC aired at 10:00 PM ET/PT was successfully counterprogramming the Boston Pops, since the broadcast lost as much as 20% of its audience in 2012 in comparison to 2011. As it did prior to the cancellation, the full concert continues to air locally by Boston's CBS affiliate WBZ-TV.

  • On the Capitol lawn in Washington, D.C., "A Capitol Fourth", a free concert, precedes the fireworks and attracts over half a million people annually.[3]

Chapter 3. Practical part

In our practical work we asked our classmates these questions:

1. When do Americans celebrate Independence Day?

2. When was the Declaration of independence approved?

3. Do Americans work on this day?

4. What is the traditional July 4 meal?

5. What activities are popular on this day?

We’ve got such results:

1. When do Americans celebrate Independence Day?

65 % of pupils know the answer

35% of pupils don’t know the answer


2. When was the Declaration of independence improved?

Nobody knows the answer.


3. Do Americans work on this day?

65 % of pupils know the answer

35% of pupils don’t know the answerhello_html_4f57a686.gif

4. What is the traditional the fourth of July meal?

Nobody knows the answer.


5. What activities are popular on this day?

25 % of pupils know the answer

75% of pupils don’t know the answer



So, we have studied the most important holiday in America “Independence Day.” It has its own history, customs and traditions.

The United States gained independence as a result of gradual and painful process.

Each year on July 4, Americans celebrate that freedom and independence with barbecues, picnics, and family gatherings. Through the Internet we are learning about and communicating with people of different nations, with different languages and different races throughout the world. Bringing the world closer with understanding and knowledge can only benefit all nations.

But we see that pupils in Russia don’t have much information about this important holiday of the USA. So, our work has practical value. It can be used as additional material for reading on our English lessons.

List of Literature

1.American Festivals. – Спб: Питер Пресс, 2010.

2.Longman Dictionary of English Language and Culture. – Harlow, Essex: Longman Group UK Limited, 2001.










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Дата добавления 04.11.2015
Раздел Иностранные языки
Подраздел Другие методич. материалы
Номер материала ДВ-121992
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