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American Culture and Holidays


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Title: American Culture and Holidays

American Culture and Holidays
  • Grade 5 Unit 9
  • Grade 6 Unit 9

American Culture and Holidays
  • The United States is a big country.

American Culture and Holidays
American Culture and Holidays
  • Many United States citizens descended from
    European immigrants.

Immigrants arriving in America
American Culture and Holidays
  • Immigration is the act of moving to or settling
    in another country or region permanently.
  • An immigrant is someone who intends to reside
    permanently, and not a casual visitor or
  • America was seen as, the land of opportunity.

American Culture and Holidays
  • Why do people immigrate?
  • People immigrate for the following reasons
  • Professional
  • Political
  • Economic
  • To escape persecution
  • Sentimental
  • Much immigration occurs for economic reasons.

American Culture and Holidays
  • Defining one set of American culture, customs,
    traditions, behavior and way of life is
  • Unlike Korea, the United States does not have a
    homogenous population or a traditional homeland.

American Culture and Holidays
  • American culture is largely thought of as
    Western and most culture is adapted from
    European and British culture, with some
    influences from the native American Indians,
    Africans brought to the U.S. as slaves, and other
    more recent immigrants from Asia and elsewhere.
  • Additionally, due to its large size and the value
    placed on individualism, there are many
    integrated but unique subcultures within the U.S.

American Culture and Holidays
  • How old is America?

American Culture and Holidays
  • America was discovered in 1492 by Christopher

American Culture and Holidays
  • The British pilgrims colonized America in 1620

American Culture and Holidays
  • The United States was formed in 1776.

American Culture and Holidays
  • But How old is America?
  • America was around a lot longer than 1492.

American Culture and Holidays
American Culture and Holidays
  • About 1.5 million Native Americans lived in
    America before 1492.
  • We call these people the indigenous people of the
    Americas, or native American Indians.

American Culture and Holidays
  • Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492
    and exploited its native Americans, bringing them
    to Europe as slaves.
  • He also is credited for bringing many African
    slaves to America and Europe as a workforce.

American Culture and Holidays
  • Native Americans got the name Indians because
    Christopher Columbus thought he landed in the
    Indies, when really he landed on San Salvador, an
    Island in the Bahamas

American Culture and Holidays
  • The British pilgrims escaped religious
    persecution from Great Britain and arrived in
    Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620

American Culture and Holidays
  • Many pilgrims died in 1620.

American Culture and Holidays
  • American Indians feared the arrival of the
    British pilgrims, because their first experience
    with foreigners was Christopher Columbus, who
    killed many native American Indians, and made
    them slaves.
  • The British pilgrims were friendly, and made
    friends with the native American Indians.
  • The native American Indians helped the pilgrims
    plant and grow food.

American Culture and Holidays
American Baseball
  • o

American Baseball
  • Willie Howard Mays, Jr. born May 6, 1931 in
    Westfield, Alabama, played with enthusiasm and
    exuberance while excelling in all phases of the
    game - hitting for average and power, fielding,
    throwing and base running.
  • His staggering career statistics with the San
    Francisco Giants include 3,283 hits and 660 home
    runs. The Giants' superstar earned National
    League Rookie of the Year honors in 1951 and two
    MVP awards.
  • He accumulated 12 Gold Gloves, played in a
    record-tying 24 All-Star games and participated
    in four World Series. His catch of Vic Wertz's
    deep fly in the '54 Series remains one of
    baseball's most memorable moments.

American Football
  • o

American Football
  • Walter Jerry Payton
  • born July 25, 1954 in Columbia, Mississippi -
    died November 1, 1999 in Barrington, Illinois was
    an American football running back and is a member
    of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Payton spent
    his entire 13-year career (1975-1987) with the
    Chicago Bears.

American Basketball
  • Michael Jeffrey Jordan
  • Born February 17, 1963, in
  • Brooklyn, New York is a
  • former American National
  • Basketball Association
  • player, and is considered by many to be the
  • greatest basketball
  • player of all time.

American Ice Hockey
  • o

American Ice Hockey
  • Wayne Douglas Gretzky, OC born January 26, 1961
    is a former professional ice hockey player and
    current head coach and part owner of the Phoenix
    Coyotes. Born in Brantford, Ontario, Canada, he
    is known as The Great One, and considered by many
    probably the most crazy, and talented hockey
    player ever. He received the highest Canadian
    civilian award, the order of Canada in 1984 from
    Queen Elizabeth II

American Soccer
  • Mia Hamm born Mariel Margaret Hamm on March 17,
    1972 in Selma, Alabama is an American soccer
  • Hamm garnered the respect of soccer experts and
    built a large fan base in the United States,
    where she played for 17 years as a member of the
    United States women's national soccer team.

American Soccer
  • Mia is widely considered the best woman to have
    ever played the game, having been named FIFA
    World Player of the Year twice.
  • Mia holds 2 Olympic Gold medals, and 1 Silver

American Lacrosse
  • o

  • Eldrick "Tiger" Woods born December 30, 1975,
    from Cypress, California, is an American golfer
    who is considered one of the greatest golfers of
    all time.
  • He has won more times on the PGA Tour than any
    other active golfer and he holds the PGA Tour
  • Woods, who is of mixed race, is credited with
    prompting a major surge of interest in the game
    of golf, especially among racial minorities and
    younger people in the United States.

  • Venus and Serena Williams have gone from knocking
    ratty, old balls against a concrete wall in
    Compton, Californnia, to being the Queens of
    women's tennis. The sisters are two of the
    top-ranked tennis players in the world, and Gold
    Medal winners in the Olympics.

  • The King of Rock and Roll
  • Elvis Presley Jan. 8, 1935 Aug. 16, 1977

  • Madonna
  • Madonna Louise Ciccone Born August 16, 1958 in
    Bay City, Michigan is an American multi-Grammy
    Award winning Pop and Rock singer and composer,
    Golden Globe winning actress and bestselling
  • Making her debut in the early 1980s, she has
    become the most successful female solo artist of
    all time

  • Michael Joseph Jackson Born August 29, 1958 in
    Gary, Indiana is an American musician, singer,
    dancer, songwriter, record producer, and
    philanthropist known by his fans and peers as the
    King of Pop.

  • In America anyones dreams can come true with the
    American hit TV series, American Idol.
  • Millions of talented, and not-so-talented
    singers, actors and performers, and "would-be's"
    audition to become a finalist... And the next
    American Pop Star.

  • Kelly Brianne Clarkson Born April 24, 1982 is an
    American singer who won the first season of
    American Idol and has since gone on to have a
    successful recording career.
  • She has had six top-10 United States singles,
    including three number-one radio hits from the
    same album (Breakaway), and both of her albums
    have entered the top five on the Billboard Top
    200 chart.

American Art
  • Andy Warhol transformed contemporary American art
    and challenged preconceived notions about the
    nature of art and erased traditional distinctions
    between fine art and popular culture.

American Art
  • o

American Art
  • o

American Art
  • Andy Warhol began as a commercial illustrator,
    drawing Campbell's Soup Cans from 1961-62. Then
    on, most of Warhol's best work was done over a
    span of about six years, finishing in 1968, when
    he was shot.

Pride in my State
  • o

Pride in my State
  • California is located on the west coast of the
    United States. It is by far the most populous
    state in the U.S., as well as the most physically

Pride in my State
  • If California were an independent nation, it
    would have the fifth largest economy in the
  • The state's official nickname is
  • "The Golden State"

Pride in my State
  • o

Pride in my Governor
  • o

American Culture and Holidays

American Culture and Holidays
  • Holidays of the United States vary with local
  • In addition to the holidays we will discuss, each
    state has many state holidays they celebrate with
    the day off from school and work.

American Culture and Holidays
  • New Year's Day, January 1st
  • Martin Luther King Day, third Monday in January
  • Groundhog Day, February 2
  • Presidents Day (Washington and Lincoln), third
    Monday in February
  • Valentine's Day, February 14
  • St. Patrick's Day, March 17
  • April Fools Day, April 1
  • Easter, varies by year, Sunday in spring
  • Mothers' Day, second Sunday in May
  • Memorial Day, last Monday in May
  • Fathers' Day, third Sunday in June
  • United States of America's Independence Day, July
  • Labor Day, first Monday in September
  • Patriot Day, September 11
  • Columbus Day, second Monday in October
  • Halloween, October 31
  • Veterans Day, November 11th
  • Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November
  • Christmas Day, December 25th

New Year's Day
  • January 1st
  • Traditions of the season include the making of
    New Year's resolutions.
  • Popular modern resolutions might include the
    promise to lose weight or quit smoking.
  • Other traditions of the season include the making
    of New Year's resolutions.

Martin Luther King Day
  • Third Monday in January
  • The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., an
  • African-American clergyman, is
  • considered a great American because of his
    tireless efforts to win
  • civil rights for all people through
  • Non-violent means.
  • Since his assassination in 1968, memorial
    services have marked his birthday on January 15.
  • In 1986, that day was replaced by
  • the third Monday of January, which was declared a
    national holiday.

Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day
  • February 2
  • Tradition states that one must observe a
    groundhog's burrow on this day.
  • If the groundhog emerges and fails to see its
    shadow because the weather is cloudy, winter will
    soon end however, if the groundhog sees its
    shadow because the weather is bright and clear,
    it will be frightened and run back into its hole,
    and the winter will continue for six more weeks.
  • Punxsutawney Phil lives in a small town in
    Pennsylvania, and works one day a year to
    forecast the weather. He is a very famous
    meteorological groundhog.

Presidents Day
  • Washington and Lincoln
  • Third Monday in February
  • February 22 is George Washingtons birthday, hero
    of the Revolutionary War and first president of
    the United States.
  • February 12 is Abraham Lincolns
  • birthday, the president during the Civil War.
  • The two days have been joined, and the
  • holiday has been expanded to embrace all past

Valentine's Day
  • February 14
  • Americans give presents, usually
  • Candy, flowers, or jewelry to
  • the ones they love.
  • Korea Valentine's Day has emerged, thanks to a
    concentrated marketing effort, as a day on which
    women give chocolates to men they like.
  • Rather than being voluntary however, this has
    become for many women especially those who work
    in offices an obligation, and they give
    chocolates to all their male co-workers,
    sometimes at significant personal expense.

St. Patrick's Day
  • March 17
  • Although not an official holiday,
  • most employers show consideration by
  • allowing them to take these days off.
  • Irish Americans celebrate the old country's
  • patron saint, St. Patrick, on March 17 this is a
    high-spirited day on which many Americans wear
    green clothing in honor of the "Emerald Isle."

April Fools Day
  • April 1
  • Although not an official holiday, is a notable
  • day celebrated in many countries.
  • The day is marked by the commission of
  • hoaxes and other practical jokes of varying
    degree, the aim of which is to embarrass the

April Fools Day
  • On April Fool's Day, 1996 the fast food chain
    Taco Bell took out a full page ad in the New York
    Times to announce their purchase of the Liberty
    Bell. The full text of the ad read as
    followsTaco Bell Buys The Liberty BellIn an
    effort to help the national debt, Taco Bell
    ispleased to announce that we have agreed to
    purchase theLiberty Bell, one of our country's
    most historic treasures.It will now be called
    the "Taco Liberty Bell" and willstill be
    accessible to the American public for
    viewing.While some may find this controversial,
    we hope ourmove will prompt other corporations
    to take similar actionto do their part to reduce
    the country's debt.In a related release, the
    company explained that people and corporations
    had been adopting highways for years, and that
    Taco Bell was simply "going one step further by
    purchasing one of the country's greatest historic
    treasures."Reaction to this announcement was
    decidedly mixed. Thousands of people called the
    National Historic Park in Philadelphia where the
    Liberty Bell is housed to angrily protest the
    decision to sell the bell. However, most people
    seemed to realize that the advertisement was an
    April Fool's Day joke. Taco Bell revealed the
    prank at noon on April 1st in a press release
    describing their earlier announcement as "The
    Best Joke of the Day."The White House even got
    in on the joke when Mike McCurry, the White House
    spokesperson, suggested that the federal
    government would also be "selling the Lincoln
    Memorial to Ford Motor Co. and renaming it the
    Lincoln-Mercury Memorial." The hoax paid off
    for Taco Bell. Their sales during the week of
    April 1st spiked upwards by over half a million
    dollars compared to the week before.

  • In Western Christianity, Easter
  • always falls on a Sunday between
  • March 22 and April 25, celebrating
  • the Christian belief in the
  • resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  • For Christians, Easter is a day
  • of religious services and the
  • gathering of family.
  • Many Americans follow old traditions of coloring
    hard-boiled eggs and
  • giving children baskets of candy.

  • In the United States, the Easter
  • holiday has been largely
  • secularized, eggs are hidden at
  • night and other treats are
  • delivered by the Easter Bunny
  • in an Easter basket.
  • On the next day, Easter
  • Monday, the president of the
  • United States holds an annual
  • Easter egg hunt on the White
  • House lawn for young children.

Mothers' Day
  • Second Sunday in May
  • The President issued a proclamation calling
  • Mothers Day as a public expression of love
  • and reverence for all of the mothers of the
  • United States.

Memorial Day
  • Last Monday in May
  • The President issued a proclamation
  • Calling on the people of the United States to
  • observe Memorial Day by praying, according
  • to their individual religious faith, for
  • permanent peace
  • Designating a period of time on Memorial
  • Day during which the people may unite in
  • prayer for a permanent peace

Memorial Day
  • Celebrated on the fourth Monday of May, this
  • holiday honors the dead.
  • Although it originated in the aftermath of the
  • Civil War, it has become a day on which the
  • dead of all wars, and the dead generally, are
  • remembered in special programs held in
  • cemeteries, churches, and other public
  • meeting places.

Fathers' Day
  • third Sunday in June
  • The President issued a proclamation
  • urging the people of the United States to offer
  • public and private expressions of Fathers
  • Day to the abiding love and gratitude they
  • have for all the fathers of the United States.

Independence Day
  • July 4
  • honors the nation's birthday -- the signing of
  • the Declaration of Independence on July 4,
  • 1776.
  • It is a day of picnics and patriotic parades, a
    night of concerts and fireworks.
  • The flying of the American flag is widespread.
  • On July 4, 1976, the 200th anniversary of the
    Declaration of Independence was marked by grand
    festivals across the nation.

Independence Day
In the United States, Independence Day, also
called the Fourth of July. It is a federal
holiday celebrating the adoption of the
Declaration of Independence in 1776, declaring
independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Independence Day
It is commonly associated with parades,
barbecues, picnics, baseball games, and various
other public and private celebratory events.
Fireworks have been associated with the Fourth
of July since 1777.
Labor Day
  • first Monday in September
  • The first Monday of September, this holiday
  • honors the nation's working people, typically
    with parades.
  • For most Americans it marks the end of the
  • summer vacation season, and for many
  • students the opening of the school year.

Patriot Day
  • September 11
  • The President issued a proclamation calling on
    State and local
  • governments and the people of the United States
    to observe
  • Patriot Day with appropriate programs and
  • All departments, agencies, and instrumentalities
    of the United
  • States and interested organizations and
    individuals to display
  • the flag of the United States at halfstaff on
    Patriot Day in honor
  • of the individuals who lost their lives as a
    result of the terrorist
  • attacks against the United States that occurred
  • September 11, 2001
  • The people of the United States to observe a
    moment of silence
  • on Patriot Day in honor of the individuals who
    lost their lives as
  • a result of the terrorist attacks against the
    United States that
  • occurred on September 11, 2001.

Columbus Day
  • Second Monday in October
  • The President issued a proclamation
  • designating the second Monday in October as
  • Columbus Day
  • Calling on United States Government officials to
  • display the flag of the United States on all
  • Government buildings on Columbus Day
  • and inviting the people of the United States to
  • observe Columbus Day, in schools and churches,
  • with appropriate ceremonies that express the
  • sentiment befitting the anniversary of the
  • discovery of America.

Columbus Day
  • On October 12, 1492, Italian navigator
  • Christopher Columbus landed in the
  • New World.
  • Although most other nations of the Americas
  • observe this holiday on October 12, in the
  • United States it takes place on the second
  • Monday in October.

  • October 31
  • The evening before All Saints or All Hallows
  • Day), American children dress up in funny or
  • scary costumes and go "trick or treating"
  • knocking on doors in their neighborhood.
  • The neighbors are expected to respond by
  • giving them small gifts of candy or money.
  • Adults may also dress in costume for
  • Halloween parties.

Veterans Day
  • November 11th
  • Originally called Armistice Day, this holiday
  • was established to honor Americans who had served
  • in World War I.
  • It falls on November 11, the day when that
  • war ended in 1918, but it now honors
  • veterans of all wars in which the
  • United States has fought.
  • Veterans' organizations hold parades, and the
  • president customarily places a wreath on the
  • Tomb of the Unknown soldiers at Arlington
    National Cemetery, in Washington, D.C.

Thanksgiving Day
  • fourth Thursday in November
  • Many Americans take a day of vacation on the
    following Friday
  • to make a four-day weekend, during which they may
    travel long
  • distances to visit family and friends.
  • The holiday dates back to 1621, the year after
    the Puritans
  • arrived in Massachusetts, determined to practice
  • dissenting religion without interference.
  • After a rough winter, in which about half of them
    died, they turned for
  • help to neighboring Indians, who taught them how
    to plant corn and
  • other crops. The next fall's bountiful harvest
    inspired the Pilgrims to give thanks by holding a
  • The Thanksgiving feast became a national
    tradition -- not only because so many other
    Americans have found prosperity but also because
    the Pilgrims' sacrifices for their freedom still
    captivate the imagination.
  • To this day, Thanksgiving dinner almost always
    includes some of the foods served at the
  • first feast roast turkey, cranberry sauce,
    potatoes, pumpkin pie. Before the meal begins,
  • families or friends usually pause to give thanks
    for their blessings, including the joy of
  • being united for the occasion.

Thanksgiving Day
  • Generally observed as an expression of gratitude,
    usually to God for the bounty of the autumn
  • In the United States, the holiday is celebrated
    on the fourth Thursday in November.

Christmas Eve
Celebrated the night before Christmas Day,
involves decorating the Christmas tree and
celebrating with family and friends at Christmas
Christmas Day
  • December 25th
  • A Christian holiday celebrating the birth of
    Jesus Christ.
  • Decorating houses and yards
  • with lights, putting up
  • Christmas trees, giving gifts,
  • and sending greeting cards
  • have become traditions even
  • for many non-Christian
  • Americans.

Christmas Day
There are many things about Christmas celebrated
around the world like Santa Claus.
Christmas Day
Decorating your house in Christmas lights
Christmas Day
Hanging Christmas stockings over the fireplace
Christmas Day
Visiting Santa Claus in your town and telling him
what you want for Christmas.
Christmas Day
Building Snowmen
Christmas Day
And of course presents!!!
Christmas Day
Christmas means more than presents and lights and
decorations, it is a general feeling of
happiness, and everyone should get involved and
share the Christmas Spirit.
Christmas Day
Christmas isnt just a Christian or Commercial
holiday, It is a time of year to remember and
celebrate our families and friends wherever they
are in the world. We can do this by sending
Christmas Cards.
Christmas Day
Receiving Christmas Cards is just as much as fun
as sending them.
New Years Eve
New Year's Eve the last day of the year, December
31st. It is a separate observance from the
observance of New Year's Day. In 20th-century
Western practice, the celebration involves
partying until the moment of the transition of
the year, generally at local midnight.
Fireworks and a Champagne toast is also a
major part of the New Years Eve festivities.
New Years Eve
  • January