Independence Day, also commonly known as the Fourth of July, commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. A federal holiday, it’s also the National Day of the United States.
There’s no doubt about it – Independence Day is the major highlight of the long American summer. The holiday is usually associated with the great outdoors where baseball games, carnivals, picnics and parades take centre stage. For Americans, it’s an important family event and an average of 41 million people spend the holiday at somebody else’s home.
One of the core traditions of the Fourth of July is the barbecue. When it comes to the classic Independence Day barbecue party, Americans don’t mess around - 87 percent of households have an outdoor grill. In fact, the week is serious economic business. At least 155 million hotdogs are devoured around the United States on the Fourth. Americans purchase about 190 million pounds of beef in the two weeks leading up to the event.
These figures pale in comparison to chicken. At least 700 million pounds of chicken is purchased in the week leading up to the Fourth of July. If dinner was serious, dessert is epic. Americans wolf down 500 million gallons of ice-cream at picnics all around the country on any given Independence Day.
Given that it’s the National Day of the United States, things certainly get patriotic. Streamers, balloons, and clothing are coloured red, white and blue, while an estimated $5 million worth of flags are imported from China. One can’t mention the Fourth of July without mentioning fireworks. An average of $600 million is spent on fireworks in the United States during the holiday, and New York has the largest display, sponsored by Macy’s.