Holiday Traditions in the US

Holiday Traditions in the US - inlingua Washington DC
Holiday Traditions in the US

Each culture has its own holiday traditions, but for students studying English, it is a wonderful idea to learn about English holiday traditions. While some English holidays are celebrated in countries around the world, there are unique traditions for American holidays. If you are one of the lucky students who are taking English courses in Washington DC, you are in for a treat.

Language schools in DC, such as inlingua, provide students with the perfect chance to fully immerse themselves in American culture, thereby, giving students the opportunity to celebrate American holiday traditions. If you have always wanted to learn English and learn more about American holidays, then make studying English in DC a priority. As this list will show you, DC is the best place to learn English and participate in American holiday traditions.

New Year’s Eve

While New Year’s Day is celebrated on January 1st, New Year’s Eve on December 31st is typically when Americans start their celebrations. It is traditional to stay up until midnight to say goodbye to the ending year and welcome the new year. In the US, you should expect champagne toasts, the song “Auld Lang Syne” played on repeat, and kissing at midnight. Since DC is a metropolitan city, students studying English in DC will have plenty of New Year’s Eve party options.

MLK, Jr. Day

On the third Monday in January, Americans honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a major leader in the civil rights movement. For those who study English in DC, they can honor his legacy in a special way. DC is home to both the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which makes learning about this influential leader easy.

Valentine’s Day

In the US, Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love. Traditionally, couples show their affection for one another by giving cards, treats, and gifts. While schools are still in session, people still find ways to celebrate. This often means going on special dates or attending Valentine’s Day parties. Newcomers should expect to see the colors red and pink everywhere they go on this holiday.

President’s Day

On the third Monday of February, Americans honor their presidents. President’s Day originally celebrated the birthday of George Washington, but it later evolved to honor President Lincoln, who helped abolish slavery. Now, people see President’s Day as a way to honor all the past presidents. Again, students attending English language schools in DC have a front row seat to history. DC is home to several presidential memorials, museums, and the White House making it the perfect place to learn about the Presidents of the United States and honor them on this holiday.

St. Patrick’s Day

While St. Patrick’s Day did not begin as an American holiday, it is still celebrated widely throughout the United States. Individuals use this day to celebrate Irish heritage and culture. One of the most traditional aspects of St. Patrick’s Day in the US is the amount of green you will see. Everyone celebrating the holiday wears green and many attend festive celebrations. Those living in DC may even be lucky enough to see the fountain on the North side of the White House lawn dyed green!


Easter is a Christian holiday that is celebrated by many in America. This religious holiday recognizes the resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, even those who are not religious participate in some of the Easter holiday traditions. For example, Easter typically includes Easter baskets, Easter eggs, and the Easter Bunny. Children (and some grown-ups) participate in Easter egg hunts across the US, but the most famous one happens in Washington DC on the White House lawn.

Independence Day

The Fourth of July marks the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Essentially, Americans view this day as their birthday. Therefore, across the US, there are parties and celebrations. The most popular tradition includes fireworks. What better place to celebrate the nation’s birthday than in the nation’s capital? Students at inlingua, a premiere language school in DC, have the chance to take part in the patriotic celebrations that will take place all around them in the city. Plus, DC students can visit the National Archives in Washington DC to see the actual Declaration of Independence.


Thanksgiving in celebrated on the last Thursday of November. This holiday celebrates the feast shared by Christopher Columbus and the Native Americans. On this day in America, families eat feasts that often include turkey. The turkey is so much a part of the Thanksgiving tradition that the President of the United States holds a ceremony pardoning White House turkeys. In addition to eating huge meals, Thanksgiving is also a time when individuals declare their thankfulness. Some other fun traditions that happen on this holiday include watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and American football.


Christmas traditions vary around the world. In the US, Christmas is celebrated for a whole season. While Christmas falls on December 25th, it is traditional for Christmas decorating to begin the day after Thanksgiving. While many individuals celebrate Christmas as Jesus’ birthday, other individuals celebrate the holiday by just celebrating Santa’s arrival. For example, it is common for children to hang stockings for Santa to fill with goodies after he comes down the chimney. People decorate Christmas trees and their homes with festive lights while listening to Christmas carols.

However, as DC is a cultural melting pot, students studying English in DC should not be surprised to learn that Christmas is not the only holiday celebrated at this time of year. Those of the Jewish faith celebrate Hanukkah, which is the “Festival of Lights.” This is also a religious holiday that involves gift giving. Additionally, many Americans celebrate Kwanzaa, which begins the day after Christmas. This non-religious tradition encourages African-Americans to explore their heritage.

Washington DC is the perfect place to learn about American holidays and join in on the fun.

Think learning English in DC sounds fun? You’re right! Contact us today for more information.