All you need to know about the holidays: the secrets and secrets of the New Year and Christmas in the USA
Christmas is the main American holiday, thanks to Hollywood it is known on all continents. Christmas traditions as we imagine them in American culture began to take root only towards the end of the 19th century. Prior to that, celebrating Jesus' birthday was tantamount to a crime and could be fined. This is discussed in the video Russian America TV.
The fact is that Christmas is a Catholic holiday, and most of the colonists who lived in the United States at that time were Puritans, Baptists, Protestants. For them, some Catholic traditions seemed unacceptable.
The first state to change this was Louisiana in 1837. The governor decided to make December 25 an official day off, although back then no one dressed up Christmas trees in the United States, maybe only a small layer of immigrants from Germany, from where this tradition came from.
But in 1843, the writer Charles Dickens published his “Christmas Carol in Prose”, it just talked about elegant Christmas trees, gifts and Christmas carols. The book instantly became a bestseller in all English-speaking countries, at the same time instilling new traditions.
All Christmas traditions are somehow intertwined with pagan holidays, because after the winter solstice, when the night is the longest and the shortest day, the pagans celebrated the approaching spring and the power of the sun, this always happened around December 25th.
Santa Claus also became a symbol of Christmas thanks to the writer. In 1822, Clement Moore invented a Christmas tale in which the magical character Santa Claus gave children presents for Christmas.
And in 1863, the political cartoonist popularized Santa already as a hero giving gifts to everyone. The main of these gifts was a peaceful sky above his head. On December 25, no shots were heard on all fronts of the then Civil War (1861-1865), it was a day without military operations, which also contributed to the establishment of Christmas as a peaceful and unifying holiday.
Perhaps that is why the hero of the Civil War, General Ulysses Grant, in 1870, as President of the United States, declared Christmas a national holiday and a universal day off.
Both the Christmas tree and Santa Claus stay with the Americans until the New Year, some Americans can even take Christmas and New Year holidays and have a good rest, starting to celebrate December 24th on Christmas Eve with a traditional googol-mogul and ending January 1 with a fruit punch.
On the subject: Christmas in the USA: How Religion Affects American Politics
January 1 is also a national day off and, unlike Christmas, has been that way since the very appearance of the United States. Its main symbol is the newborn Baby New Year, which is born on New Year's Eve and over the next year matures and grows old in order to transfer its place to a new baby exactly 12 months later.
New Year's celebration in the United States looks very similar to the celebration in the countries of the former USSR, here I also meet him at the table with friends, fireworks are launched, gather in the squares and together count the last seconds of the outgoing year.
This countdown is probably the most canonical New Year's tradition, which has been repeated since 1907 in New York. A minute before midnight, a huge ball is dropped from a height of 23 meters in Times Square, which falls for exactly 1 minute and the whole square counts down in chorus for the last 10 seconds. As soon as the ball touches the ground, the New Year begins.
The story of Christmas and New Year in the United States is a mixture of traditions, beliefs and a small fraction of commercial interest. Americans love to give presents and do it with pleasure not only on New Year and Christmas, but also on other holidays. After all, the main thing is not what you give, but how you celebrate the holiday and with whom.
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