Christmas in the United States is celebrated on December 25. Americans celebrate it with family and close relatives. Representatives of all nationalities and faiths are looking forward to this holiday.
The most popular place to celebrate Christmas in the United States is New York. At the Rockefeller Center square in early winter (December 3-7), the main Christmas tree’s grand lighting occurs. About a million people are going to watch this show. For those who could not attend the solemn event, a live broadcast is held. There is a free outdoor ice rink on the square. Large-scale Christmas markets are opening in New York’s Bryant Park. Visitors will be delighted and surprised by a variety of gifts, toys, handmade souvenirs. At the fair, you can enjoy hot cocoa, mulled wine, and sweets.
Traditions and rituals
The United States is a country of immigrants. Christmas traditions combine the culture of different countries: England, France, Germany, Mexico, Italy. Local tribes have brought their own color to the customs.
On Christmas Eve (December 24), American believers attend services in Catholic churches. Many residents of the country make charitable contributions on this day. Homemakers bake pies, cookies and distribute them to friends and neighbors.
A common tradition for residents of all corners of America is Christmas with the family in the parental home.
There is a tradition in small towns to arrange theatrical performances on biblical subjects on the main squares on holiday. Children’s choirs sing Christmas carols.
The Christmas atmosphere reigns in the United States since the end of autumn. Residents of private houses begin an unspoken competition: whose house is most brightly and luxuriously decorated. They hang facades, trees, and shrubs with bright electric garlands. In the courtyards, glowing figures of Santa Claus, reindeer, snowmen are installed. On the front door hang a Christmas wreath, often made independently from coniferous branches and decorated with ribbons, cones, and berries. A Christmas tree is set up in the living room, decorated with balloons, figures of angels, sweets, and fruits. Children hang stockings by the fireplace for gifts. An ancient tradition is the decoration of houses with mistletoe. Americans believe that evergreen branches will protect the house from evil spirits.
Cities flash with festive illumination. Shop windows, cafes, restaurants are decorated with Christmas decorations. In shopping centers, you can see Santa Claus’ residences, in which children communicate with their favorite characters and receive gifts from them.
The main traditional dish on the Christmas table of Americans is stuffed baked turkey. Sometimes it is replaced with baked beef in cranberry sauce. The festive menu includes stewed cabbage with beans, baked fish, homemade sausages, potato pie with peas and prunes. In some areas of the United States, Housewives bake Christmas bread. A common dish in the southwestern states is a tamale, a corn tortilla wrapped in corn leaves with meat, cheese, and vegetables.
For dessert, apple and cherry strudels, chocolate puddings and mousses, ginger cookies are served. The favorite alcoholic drink at Christmas dinner is wine.
Americans usually choose expensive and practical gifts, which must be accompanied by a purchase receipt so that the owner of the item can return it to the store. In the last decade, cash certificates have come into fashion.
Children’s gifts for Christmas brings Santa Claus. This character rides a sled with reindeer, enters houses through chimneys, and leaves surprises under Christmas trees, in socks or shoes.
History of the holiday
The tradition of celebrating Catholic Christmas among Americans began to take root in the XIX century. Until the eighteenth century, the New World inhabitants were forbidden to celebrate this celebration since most of the colonists were puritans, Protestants, and Baptists.
The first national Christmas tree was erected in 1891 in front of the White House. In 1895, the US government recognized Christmas as a national holiday. December 25 became an official day off and the main holiday for Americans.
Cities and resorts
In winter, tourists are attracted to exotic resorts. The state of Florida will satisfy the tastes of pampered travelers. The east coast is washed by the Atlantic Ocean, whose high waves create ideal conditions for surfing fans. Children and their parents will be interested in visiting theme parks: Disney World, Kennedy Space Center, Daytona International Speedway, Cyprus Gardens, and Universal Studios.
The Pacific Ocean is located in the Hawaiian archipelago, which attracts year-round residents of the United States and foreign tourists. The Islands amaze with fantastic nature: tall palm trees, tropical flowers, wide sandy beaches. Big Island offers a visit to the Hawaiian volcanoes national Park. Maui is rich in diving centers. Coral colonies grow in the coastal waters, which are home to exotic fish and sea turtles. Beaches Pine-Trees, Banyans, Honolii attractive for surfers.
Fans of large-scale festivities and vivid impressions should go to New York. At the beginning of winter, the city turns into a decoration for a Christmas fairy tale. The Italian district of Brooklyn – Dyker heights-thanks to the lush illumination, has become popular among residents and tourists. Local rich people spend tens of thousands of dollars to decorate their old mansions. Some owners have fun dressing up as Santa Claus and distribute gifts and Souvenirs to passers-by. A walk through the Christmas district will be remembered for a lifetime.
Winter Philadelphia is famous for the Christmas Village fair. It is a village of trading houses in the style of the XIX century. There is an atmosphere of celebration and magic at the fair: Christmas melodies are playing, Santa Claus in disguise are walking around. You can buy everything from handmade national souvenirs to luxury jewelry from local merchants. Visitors to the fair will not be able to resist the aroma of festive delicacies: gingerbread, waffles, sausages, chocolate, and caramel.