Q:

What are the major holidays?

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Quick Answer

Major U.S. holidays include Thanksgiving, Christmas, Independence Day, Halloween, St. Valentine’s Day and Passover. Other holidays are Lincoln’s birthday, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, Mother’s Day and Easter.

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What are the major holidays?
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Full Answer

Thanksgiving is a holiday in the United States that takes place on the fourth Thursday of November by an act of Congress. President Lincoln issued a national proclamation in 1863 to celebrate this holiday. Although many Americans believe that Governor Bradford of Plymouth Colony invented Thanksgiving, scholars believe that the holiday has been celebrated in some form or other since ancient times.

Christmas is a holiday to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ. Independence Day celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. All American states celebrate Independence Day. St Valentine’s Day is a festival that honors St. Valentine. It replaces what was originally a pagan festival before being recast to a Christian holiday and celebration of love.

The Passover festival is also named the “Feast of Unleavened Bread.” It commemorates the Jews' escape from Egypt’s rule in ancient times. The Jews ate the unleavened bread as they escaped. Since then, no religiously observant Jew allows leavened bread in his home during Passover. Halloween is the “Eve of All Saints,” also called Hallowmas and All Hallows. Halloween customs include masquerading, bonfires and ghost tales.

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