English

American Independence Day on the Fourth of July

In the United States, Americans celebrate Independence Day to commemorate the Declaration of Independence that was adopted on July 4, 1776. Every year, Americans gather on the Fourth of July to celebrate with parades, parties, and fireworks. Independence Day is a patriotic celebration for Americans and is often one of the highlights of the summer season. 

History

Independence Day, also known as the Fourth of July, is the most significant national holiday in the United States. On July 4, 1776 the Thirteen Colonies of America declared themselves to be states that were no longer under British rule. This marked an important moment during the Revolutionary War that was fought between the British Empire and the Thirteen Colonies of America. Even though the war continued for seven more years after the Declaration of Independence, Americans view the Fourth of July as the beginning of the United States. 

Since the 18th century, celebrations have taken place throughout the United States to mark the holiday. Almost every town and city in the United States has an annual celebration which often includes a parade and fireworks show. Traditionally, many Americans celebrate Independence Day with a family get-together, such as a picnic or barbecue. 

How to Celebrate

In the United States, people love to celebrate their holidays. For many Americans, the Fourth of July is associated with parties, fireworks, excessive eating, and red, white, and blue everything. Here are some tips for celebrating the Fourth of July - 

1. Have a Barbecue or Picnic: invite friends and family to come together for a food-focused celebration. Prepare hamburgers on the grill or organize an international potluck. You can even make an American rock music playlist for more fun. 

2. Watch an American Film: Americans have plenty of patriotic films to choose from. There is even a science fiction blockbuster film with the holiday in the title - Independence Day! Have a movie night and watch a film such as Top Gun, Airforce One, or Captain America. Pair the movie with popcorn and a sugary soda to make it over the top. 

3. Light sparklers: Independence Day is known for its extravagant fireworks shows and you can have your own miniature version with some sparklers.

Austro-American Society of Carinthia

In 1946 the Austro-American Society (AAS) was founded in Vienna. Since then, the organization has grown into a nation-wide society that is focused on fostering understanding and friendship between the Austrian and American cultures. The Austro-American Society of Carinthia is one of the oldest branches in Austria and also belongs to the Federation of European American Associations. The AAS of Carinthia is very active and provides opportunities for members to practice English, learn about American culture, and participate in American customs and celebrations.

We spoke with Dr. Jur. Kurt A. Wagner who is the president of the Austrian-American Society of Carinthia. For him and many Americans, “Independence Day is an opportunity to be independent, make your own decisions, and be responsible for your own destiny.” Every year the AAS of Carinthia hosts a lively Fourth of July summer party in Klagenfurt. As a part of its motto “you are very welcome” all are invited to participate in this fun American celebration.

For more information on the Austro-American Society of Carinthia check-out their website at https://sites.google.com/site/oeagktn/. They organize lectures, exhibitions, regular Stammtische meetings, have our own internet radio station (WEL - Welcome Radio 105.5) and provide English-language resources including access to native-speaker English teachers. They welcome all members who are interested in their activities. The AAS of Carinthia is also on Facebook for more up to date information on events in Carinthia - https://www.facebook.com/austroamerican.carinthia

Text: Chelsea Navarro, July 2018