Happy Birthday America!
Americans celebrate July 4 as Independence Day, marking the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Picnics, baseball games, concerts, festivals, food-eating contests, and fireworks are just some of the ways Americans celebrate their national holiday.
There’s Gonna Be Fireworks! Schoolhouse Rock’s “Fireworks” is a musical celebration of the Fourth of July and the defining events that led to the Declaration of Independence.
Let’s take a look at independence celebrations in other countries around the globe. Match a number on the map to its corresponding description below. What similarities and differences do you notice?
1. Indonesia (August 17) The day begins with watching the flag being raised, and is followed by neighborhood street festivals celebrating their independence from the Netherlands. A popular activity is panjat pinang – climbing up a greased tree trunk to try and reach the gifts at the top.
2. Australia (January 26) Australia Day is their official national day and is celebrated with parades, fireworks, boat races, and concerts.
3. Ghana (March 6) The first African country to get its independence from the United Kingdom celebrates with fireworks, parades, marches, and parties on the beach.
4. Ukraine (August 24) People celebrate their independence from Russia with parades, concerts, and festivals.
5. France (July 14) Bastille Day marks the end of a monarchy, and the start of a republic. A military parade up the Champs Elysees, a famous boulevard in Paris, begins the day, followed by art festivals and parties.
6. Peru (July 28-29) Peruvians celebrate their independence from Spain for two days. It begins with a speech from the president, raising the flag, then fireworks, parades, and bullfights.
7. Mexico (September 16) Mexicans celebrate their independence from Spain with fireworks, concerts, fiestas, food, dance and music.
8. India (August 15) India celebrates its independence from England with a flag raising ceremony, followed by picnics and flying kites.