Whether you are going to travel to the United States or to study in the United States, you must know its culture, and its customs beforehand, so that you are well prepared and that the culture shock does not affect you that much.
Let me help you discover the 8 most important customs of the United States:
- Spring Break / Easter (Spring Break): during March
- Saint Patrick’s Day: March 17
- The NCAA March Madness: During March
- Independence Day: July 4
- Halloween: October 31
- Thanksgiving Day: Third Thursday in November
- Christmas (Christmas): December 25
- American food
- American sports
Spring Break / Easter (Spring Break)
Spring Break in the United States is undoubtedly one of the craziest weeks of the entire course in American universities. To be more specific, it is a week that is given to students during the second semester of the course, the “Spring Semester”.
The week of Spring Break in the United States is dedicated solely and exclusively to the party and the enjoyment of the students. Whether on the coasts of the United States, in Mexico, in the Bahamas, or the Dominican Republic, any place is good to have fun for a few days at the beach.
Saint Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day in the United States is celebrated even more enthusiastically than in Ireland, and this is because of the more than 34 million Americans with Irish ancestors who live in the United States: 7 times more than the inhabitants of Ireland in total!
The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in the United States was held in New York on March 17, 1762, and not in Dublin as everyone might think.
The NCAA March Madness
The NCAA March Madness is a tournament that brings together the 68 best college basketball teams in the country, in a draw with direct elimination games, so it is practically impossible to predict what will happen. The odds of hitting the entire frame are estimated to be one in 5 BILLION.
The American Gaming Association estimates that about $ 10 billion will be wagered around the tournament results. In addition, bets only of the state of Nevada, where the city of Las Vegas is located, will reach the sum of US $ 295 million distributed in 70 million bets.
The 4th of July is the most important national holiday in the United States. The Thirteen Colonies of America declared that they were states and were no longer part of the British Empire, although the revolutionary war continued for some time afterward.
Fireworks, speeches, parties, and celebrations marked the day since the 18th century. In Bristol, Rhode Island, there was a 13-shot salute morning and evening in 1777. The city has since celebrated the oldest Independence Day celebration in the country. Many towns and cities in the United States have their annual celebrations.
Congress made the day an unpaid national holiday for federal workers in 1870, and in 1938 it became a paid holiday across the country.
Halloween has its origin in a Celtic holiday known as Samhain. Samhain celebrated the end of the harvest season and was considered the Celtic New Year. The ancient Celts believed that the line connecting this world to the Otherworld narrowed with the arrival of the Samhain, allowing spirits (both good and bad) to pass through this line.
In this way, family ancestors were honored while evil spirits were driven away. How did they do that? With the use of costumes and masks, trying to imitate the appearance of the spirits to avoid being harmed.
Thanksgiving is one of the most important traditions in the United States. It is the second favorite celebration after Christmas for Americans. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It is a celebration where all the families come together to dine on the famous stuffed turkey and give thanks for what they have.
88% of Americans have eaten turkey on Thanksgiving Day according to the “National Turkey Federation survey”. 48 million turkeys were consumed last Thanksgiving. In addition, Thanksgiving is accompanied by the madness of Black Friday and the massive parade with giant balloons through the street of Broadway in Manhattan, New York.
The Christmas season in the USA begins just the day after Thanksgiving and runs until January 6. It is one of the most popular holidays in the country and an estimated 9 out of 10 Americans celebrate Christmas. Its origin and meaning are the same as in other countries. It is a religious festival that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.
However, as you will see below, many of the traditions of the United States are different.
These traditions include:
- Decorating the houses with Christmas lights. The residential neighborhoods of the country become authentic light shows that will leave you open-mouthed.
- Christmas tree. This is a fundamental part of the holidays. All the families go together to buy the Christmas trees, which are natural pine trees sold at the “Christmas Tree Farms”.
- Also known as stocking. They are the socks for Santa in which each member of the family leaves sweets and gifts.
- The mistletoe or “mistletoe”. It is another of the most typical elements of Christmas in the United States. Every time two people meet under the mistletoe they have to kiss and pick fruit.
What can you say about American food? Love and hate in equal measure.
On one hand, most of us cannot resist a good hamburger or a crunchy pizza from time to time. On the other hand, you will surely regret it after thinking about the fat and calories in what you just ate. And above all, you will think about the hours you will have to spend in the gym to lower it.
Still, only one thing is clear. If you are going to travel to the United States, you have to try typical American food. You can choose from chicken wings, hamburgers, pizzas, brunches and breakfasts, and even Chinese, Italian or Mexican cuisine, which is already part of the American culture due to the importance of immigration in this country.
Sports in the United States
The United States is the world leader in the sports market with annual revenues exceeding $4.435 million in 2018. These figures represent almost 50% of the total income worldwide in the sports industry (9,585 million). The UK is its closest competitor with a 2018 revenue of 1.454 million.
Sporting events are real shows in the USA. In addition, the televisions do not stop broadcasting 24 hours a day and 7 days a week games and debates with analysts from all sports.
There is not much left to say but enjoy your next trip to the USA!