Celebrate July 4th

The Fourth of July is celebrated as Independence Day, in honor of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. It is considered to be the birthday of the United States of America, and is celebrated with parades, fireworks, speeches, patriotic music and the American flag. Find ideas for celebrating Independence Day on our page of links.

Bunker Hill Day is June 17th

The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought on June 17, 1775 in Charlestown, Mass. The Continental Army lost the battle, but inflicted heavy casualties upon their British foes. Despite its name, the battle actually was fought primarily on neighboring Breed’s Hill, where the Bunker Hill Monument, built in 1843, now stands.

Learn more about this famous Revolutionary War battle and its observance on our page of links.

Flag Day is June 14th

Independence Day!Flag Day is celebrated on June 14th, as this is the anniversary of the Flag Resolution by which the Second Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the American Flag. Flag Day was celebrated unofficially for decades before President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation officially designating June 14th as Flag Day. In August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.

Dragon Boat Festival

The Dragon Boat Festival, or Duan Wu Jie, falls on May 30.

Dragon Boat Bow

Dragon Boat Bow by Russ Glasson, via Flickr

It is widely held that the Dragon Boat Festival commemorates the Chinese patriotic poet Qu Yuan (340-278 B.C.), who drowned himself rather than see his homeland invaded by a warring state. However, according to Yuan Chang-rue, a folklorist and professor at the Graduate School of Folk Culture and Arts, “[i]n ancient times, the Dragon Boat Festival, celebrated in early summer, reminded people that the ‘poison season’ of May, June and July, is beginning…” and was associated with health and well-being.

Today, the festival is highlighted by the dragon boat races and the eating of zongi, a sticky rice dish with a variety of fillings.

Shavu’ot is coming

Shavu’ot, the Festival of Weeks, occurs on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan (late May or early June). Shavu’ot, is a festival with both historical and agricultural significance. It commemorates the time when the first fruits were harvested and brought to the Temple, and celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. In 2017, Shavu’ot begins on May 30th and continues until June 1st.

Memorial Day is Coming

Memorial Day: Arlington National Cemetery 2011, by Celine Aussourd via Flickr

Memorial Day: Arlington National Cemetery 2011, by Celine Aussourd via Flickr

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May, and honors American men and women who died in military service to their country. It was started to honor Union soldiers who died during the Civil War, but now includes those who died in any war or military action. Many towns hold Memorial Day parades and many people visit cemeteries and memorials.

This year Memorial Day falls on Monday, May 29th.

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