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 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

The United States of America is a large country in North America, often referred to as the "USA", the "US", the "United States", "America", or simply "the States". Home to the world's third-largest population, with over 310 million people, it includes both densely populated cities with sprawling suburbs and vast, uninhabited and naturally beautiful areas. With its history of mass immigration dating from the 17th century, it is a "melting pot" of cultures from around the world and plays a dominant role in the world's cultural landscape. It's famous for its wide array of popular tourist destinations, ranging from the skyscrapers of Manhattan and Chicago, to the natural wonders of Yellowstone and Alaska, to the warm, sunny beaches of Florida, Hawaii and Southern California.

Due to the number of major holidays in close proximity to each other, many Americans refer to the period between Thanksgiving in late November and New Year's Day as simply "the holidays." School and work vacations are commonly taken during this period.

  • New Year's Day (1 January) — most non-retail businesses closed; parades; brunches and football parties.
  • Martin Luther King Day (third Monday in January) — many government offices and banks closed; speeches, especially on African-American history and culture.
  • Super Bowl Sunday (usually the first Sunday in February) — The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the NFL American football league and the most-watched sporting event of the year; supermarkets, bars, and electronics stores busy; big football-watching parties.
  • Patrick's Day (17 March) — Irish-themed parades and parties. Expect bars to be crowded. They will often feature themed drink specials. The wearing of green or a green accessory is common.
  • Easter (a Sunday in March or April) — Christian religious observances. Depending on location, many restaurants, including franchised outlets of major national chains, may close. Major retailers generally open; smaller shops may or may not close.
  • Cinco de Mayo (5 May) — A minor holiday in most of Mexico often incorrectly assumed to be Mexican independence day which is really September the 16th, but nevertheless a major cultural celebration for Mexican-Americans. As with St. Patrick's Day, expect bars to be crowded, frequently with themed drink specials.
  • Independence Day / Fourth of July (4 July) — most non-retail businesses closed; airports and highways crowded; patriotic parades and concerts, cookouts and trips to beaches and parks, fireworks at dusk.
  • Labor Day (first Monday in September) — most non-retail businesses closed; cookouts and trips to beaches and parks; many stores have sales; traditional ending of summer tourism season.
  • Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November) — almost all businesses closed, including grocery stores and many restaurants; family dinners. Airports and highways are very crowded. The next day, known as "Black Friday," major Christmas shopping traditionally begins. Many non-retail employees are given Friday off or take it as a holiday.
  • Christmas (25 December) — almost all businesses, grocery stores, and many restaurants closed the evening before and all day. Airports and highways are crowded. Families and close friends exchange gifts; Christian religious observances.
  • New Year's Eve (31 December) — many restaurants and bars open late; lots of parties, especially in big cities.

            

 

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