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インディペンデンス・デイとは?

2016.07.01

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What is Independence Day?

It’s almost the Fourth of July, which for Americans like myself is our Independence Day in the United States.  July Fourth in the U.S., is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, by the Continental Congress declaring that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and no longer part of the British Empire.  Americans often celebrate this holiday outdoors with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivalsfairspicnicsconcertsbaseball gamesfamily reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States.

to commemorate(v.)-(祝辞[儀式など]によって)〈…を〉記念する,〈…の〉記念式挙行する.

to declare(v.)-〈…を〉宣言する布告する公表する.


Why do we celebrate the 4th?

During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2nd, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence. This was proposed by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia (my home state!) and it declared the United States independent from British rule.  After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by Thomas Jefferson . Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4th. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:

The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.

Adams's prediction was off by two days. From the start, Americans celebrated independence on July 4th, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2nd, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.

How do we celebrate?

Families often celebrate Independence Day by hosting or attending a picnic or barbecue and take advantage of the day off by gathering with relatives. We usually decorate everything in red, white, and blue, the colors of the American flag, which many people hang outside their homes. Parades are often in the afternoon, while fireworks displays occur in the evening at such places as parks or town squares.  In New York City, hundreds of ships gather in the harbor every year, and from the roof of my building, we could watch seven different fireworks displays all around the city… it was magical.

If you are in America this time of year, make sure you take part in the festivities, the experience is as American as apple pie!

Idiom of the Week

as American as apple pie

Having qualities that are thought to be typical of the US or of the people of the US. 

ex. Blue jeans are asAmerican as apple pie.



Come spend the summer with Berlitz, beat the heat, and learn more!


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