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Lesson Transcript

Ryan: Top 5 Important Dates in America. I'm here with Chihiro.
Chihiro: Hi everyone, I'm glad you can join us for this lesson. Now, America has a lot of interesting celebrations throughout the year. In this lesson, we are going to learn about 5 holidays that are near and dear to the hearts of the American people.
Ryan: We’re going to go in reverse order though, which means we’ll start with number 5.
Chihiro: Yes, but there are more than 5 holidays in America, so we had to leave out some big ones like Valentine’s day, Easter, Memorial Day and Halloween.
Ryan: Maybe we can cover them in a future lesson. So, what’s the first one?
Chihiro: Coming in at number 5 is Super Bowl Sunday.
Ryan: Super Bowl Sunday is not an actual holiday in America, but since it falls on Sunday, it is widely observed.
Chihiro: It is the championship game of the National Football League, the major professional football league.
Ryan: The game draws one of the biggest if not the biggest audiences of any TV event each year.
Chihiro: Even people who are not usually football fans will tune in.
Ryan: Yes, there often viewing parties with beer, barbecue, and soda.
Chihiro: And often during halftime, people will go outside and play football in the street.
Ryan: That’s right. The game is also famous for its TV commercials.
Chihiro: Since the audience is so big, many companies make special commercials for the event.
Ryan: These are quite popular and talked about the next day at work. OK, what comes in at number 4?
Chihiro: Number 4 on our list is New Year’s Eve.
Ryan: New Year’s Eve and not New Year’s Day?
Chihiro: Yeah, I think New Year’s Day is when people sleep in and get over their hangovers.
Ryan: And watch college football.
Chihiro: Right, but people like to celebrate New Year’s Eve with parties or at bars.
Ryan: So, there’s a lot of drinking and maybe some games.
Chihiro: Yes, and the highlight of the night is the countdown to end the year.
Ryan: That’s when people gather around, usually around the TV and count down the last ten seconds together.
Chihiro: Yes, and they usually use the TV footage of the ball drop in New York City to synchronize their count with.
Ryan: Yes, and when they reach zero, they yell out “Happy New Year!”
Chihiro: And single people usually try to kiss someone. This can be a cause of much anxiety if you don’t have a date.
Ryan: Yeah, you can see people rush around at the last minute trying to find the right person to kiss.
Chihiro: And if you can’t find a nice enough person to kiss, well then I guess it would be a bad start to a new year. Oh well, life goes on, so let’s carry on to the next holiday on our list.
Ryan: Number 3 on our list is Independence Day, the 4th of July.
Chihiro: Yes, this is a day when Americans celebrate America.
Ryan: It’s a day to remember America declaring its independence from Britain.
Chihiro: Yeah, before July 4, 1776, America was a group of British colonies.
Ryan: But after much frustration about the treatment they were receiving from the King of England, the colonists met together and had Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence.
Chihiro: These days it is celebrated with games and picnics and barbecues in backyards, parks and beaches.
Ryan: Yeah, and don’t forget the fireworks!
Chihiro: Yes, people will gather to watch public fireworks and also use smaller, safer fireworks at home.
Ryan: Okay, so now we’re down to #2 on our list.
Chihiro: Number 2 is Thanksgiving Day.
Ryan: Yeah, Thanksgiving Day is held on the third Thursday of November each year.
Chihiro: Yes, and it’s celebrated by getting together, usually with extended family, and is marked by eating lots of food.
Ryan: That’s right. The most traditional food to eat on Thanksgiving is turkey. And since turkey is a large bird, it almost requires that you have a big group of people to eat it.
Chihiro: Yes, turkey is traditional because it reminds us of how the early European settlers in America shared a harvest meal with the Native Americans long ago.
Ryan: That’s right. So, Thanksgiving is not only a harvest celebration like they have in other countries, but it reminds Americans of the many things to be thankful for.
Chihiro: So, while people are stuffing themselves with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, they also like to remember all the things they have to be thankful for over the past year. That is if they don’t OD on food and forget to remember.
Ryan: Yes, and it’s also a day to watch football!
Chihiro: Yeah whatever.
Ryan: Anyway, that leads us to the number one special day on our list.
Chihiro: That’s right, number one on our list is Christmas Day.
Ryan: This day, the 25th of December is really big in America – like Thanksgiving, a lot of people travel across the country to be with their relatives.
Chihiro: Christmas is a time for giving presents and eating feasts.
Ryan: That’s right. The gift-giving makes it especially popular with children.
Chihiro: But, of course, adults like gift-giving too. And, of course, eating.
Ryan: That’s for sure! Most people gain weight during the holiday period between Thanksgiving and New Year and the biggest culprit is Christmas.
Chihiro: Yeah. People like to make big meals and deserts and cookies!
Ryan: Yup. Some people serve turkey again, but you also see ham, roast beef and other dishes.
Chihiro: And there’s egg nog. Non-alcoholic for the children, but adults can add rum or brandy to spice it up. We hope you have the chance to visit America during one of these holidays so that you can experience it for yourself! Thanks for listening, see you soon!
Ryan: Bye for now!