The 4th of July in the United States is the day that marks the birth of the nation.  It is celebrated throughout the country, and is celebrated in a similar manner in most places.  Most businesses are closed on the 4th of July.

Communities and neighborhoods are a big part of the Independence Day traditions and celebrations.   A typical community will start the day with a parade.  The parade will be full of local groups walking in it.  Many community 4th of July parades will begin with the children of the community riding their bicycles.  It is typical that the kids will decorate their bicycles with red, white and blue streamers.  Fire trucks, local school bands, and local politicians are also very common in the 4th of July parades.  Many communities also include a group of veterans in the parade.  When a veteran’s group is passing your area, it is customary to stand up as a sign of respect.

All of these activities are very inclusive and are a great opportunity for an expat spouse to meet new people in the area.  Decorate your kid’s bike and join the celebration!

For the remainder of the day, many people enjoy getting together and having a picnic or a barbeque.  Many communities will have a festival, with bands, children’s games, and food.   The general theme of the day is to get together and enjoy the company of friends, neighbors and family.  Families will set up lawn chairs and blankets to sit on, so that when dusk arrives, they can sit and enjoy a fireworks show.

The United States is a very large place, and there are many regional customs.  However, the 4th of July is celebrated in much the same way throughout the country, and is a time to show pride in our nation.

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