In the United States, Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of
the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is
commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, picnics, concerts, baseball games, political speeches and
ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States.
Independence Day is a national holiday marked by patriotic displays. Similar to other summer-themed events, Independence Day
celebrations often take place outdoors. Independence Day is a federal holiday, so all non-essential federal institutions (like the
postal service and federal courts) are closed on that day. Many politicians make it a point on this day to appear at a public
event to praise the nation's heritage, laws, history, society, and people.
Families often celebrate Independence Day by hosting or attending a picnic or barbecue and take advantage of the day off and, in
some years, long weekend to gather with relatives. Decorations (e.g., streamers, balloons, and clothing) are generally colored
red, white, and blue, the colors of the American flag. Parades often are in the morning, while fireworks displays occur in the
evening at such places as parks, fairgrounds, or town squares.
Independence Day fireworks are often accompanied by patriotic songs such as the national anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner", "God
Bless America", "America the Beautiful", "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", "This Land Is Your Land", "Stars and Stripes Forever", and,
regionally, "Yankee Doodle" in northeastern states and "Dixie" in southern states. Some of the lyrics recall images of the
Revolutionary War or the War of 1812.