26 AMERICAN HOLIDAYS – podcast episode 26 – transcript

This time our episode is about American Holidays, such as: Memorial Day, Labor Day, Independence Day and many more.  

Here’s the transcript, as usual.  

All the best,  



Listen to the episode on iTunes or here:




M- Today, we’re talking about “American Holidays!”


M- Cindy, today we’re going to discuss American holidays.


C- Our friend Laura suggested that topic didn’t she? Hi Laura!


M- Yes, she did! Hi Laura!


C- Ok, that’s a fun topic…let’s do it!


M- Now Cindy, we all pretty much know about the big holidays like Christmas and Halloween…


C- Oh, I love Halloween!


M- But could we talk about some of the other holidays as well?


C- Sure, let’s take it month by month then, beginning with January 1st- New Year’s Day.


M- What do Americans do on New Year’s Day?


C- Recover from New Year’s Eve.


M- …besides that…don’t you celebrate with family and make ‘’NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS”?


C- That’s true. Some families have lunch together on New Year’s Day and specific foods are prepared to bring things like good luck, health and prosperity in the coming year.


M- Which foods are those?


C- Well, it depends on the individual family traditions and the region you live in, but just to name a few: cabbage, black eyed peas, and fish.


M- And what about those New Year’s resolutions?


C- Many of us make 1 or 2 ‘’New Year’s resolutions” at the beginning of every year. These are promises we make to ourselves or loved ones to better ourselves in some way.


M- Can you give us some examples?


C- Oh sure, the most common would be to commit to taking better care of yourself in the form of a healthful diet and exercise. Many people would like to quit smoking too, that’s a very popular New Year’s resolution.


M- And it’s a very good idea too.


C- Or your focus could be on family. You might want to make a commitment to work less and spend more time with your loved ones.


M- That’s nice, so a New Year’s Resolution is a promise to improve your life in some way?


C- Exactly.


M- How many holidays do you have in America?


C- That’s an interesting question. In doing my research for this podcast, I learned that there are no national holidays in America and that each of the 50 states has jurisdiction over its own holidays.


M- Oh, that’s interesting!


C- Isn’t it? But, there are ten days in the year that are proclaimed as holidays for federal government employees. Most states do observe these holidays and they are called ‘’legal’’ or ‘’public’’ holidays. In other words- no mail will be delivered and most likely the banks will be closed as well.


M- TEN LEGAL HOLIDAYS. Can you go over the list for us, with a brief explanation for each one?


C- Sure, no problem. First off, we have NEW YEAR’S DAY. That’s January 1st and it’s a day of relaxation, recovery (if you’ve celebrated too much the night before), renewal…and football- there’s always football games televised on New Year’s Day!


Second: MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY, that’s in honor of slain African American civil rights activist Reverend Martin Luther King. He’s honored on the 3rd Monday in January.


Number 3: PRESIDENTS DAY in honor of George Washington. He was the first President of The United States of America. We celebrate Presidents Day on the 3rd Monday in February.


Number 4: MEMORIAL DAY in honor of our fallen soldiers who have died in all wars. Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday in May. It’s also known as the ‘’kick off’’ to the start of summer vacation.


M- In other words, hotels in tourist destinations (like the beach) are more expensive after Memorial Day?


C- You got it!


M- Ok, that’s four holidays, there are six more.


C- Number five: Independence Day…


M- or as it’s more famously known : The 4th of July!


C- I love the fourth of July! THE 4TH OF JULY or INDEPENDENCE DAY commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence and our independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. If any listeners are lucky enough to be in America on July 4th, it’s a lot of fun. We celebrate with picnics, parades, fireworks, music, family & friends. It’s one of my favorite holidays.


M- And holiday number six?


C- Number 6 would be LABOR DAY, that’s the first Monday in September. Labor Day honors the American worker. Labor Day is bittersweet for a lot of us because it signals the end of summer. If you’re vacationing in The States during Labor Day weekend then you should know that hotels (especially those at the beach) are going to be more expensive during Labor Day weekend.


M- Good advice.


C- Also, airline tickets will cost more and traffic on the highways will be jam packed with travelers. Everyone will be trying to capitalize on that very last weekend of summer.


M- So maybe it’s a good idea to plan your vacation for just a week before or after Labor Day Weekend?


C- Personally, I think it’s an excellent idea. You’ll save money, tourist areas won’t be quite as crowded and the traffic will be less likely to give you a headache. I’ve gotten some lovely hotel rooms at the beach for a fraction of the cost by reserving after Labor Day.


M- Smart. How about holiday #7?


C- Holiday# 7 is October 12th- Observance of Marta Innocenti’s Birthday!


M- Cindy, thank you- although I am flattered, I don’t think my birthday is a federal holiday in America.


C- No, not yet, but I’m sure it will be one day. Ladies & Gentlemen, not only is October 12th the birthdate of our lovely & talented host, Marta Innocenti, but it is also the day CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS arrived in the Americas back in 1492. And Marta, since Columbus was a fellow countryman who landed in the Bahamas on your birthday, I will ask you to give everyone the proper pronunciation of his name…


M – Cristoforo Colombo.


C- Grazie mille. (=Thank you very much – in Italian)


M- Prego. (= you’re welcome – in Italian)


C- Holiday #8 is VETERANS DAY, observed on November 11th. This is a day where we honor all American Armed Service Veterans.


M- Holiday #9?


C- Number 9 is THANKSGIVING, observed on the fourth Thursday in November. Thanksgiving is a non-religious holiday. It’s generally shared at home with family members, but you can celebrate it any way you like-with family or friends, at home or in a restaurant. It’s a day to be reminded and thankful for all that we have. Thanksgiving is a holiday with humble origins and the most common foods shared at the Thanksgiving table are: Roasted Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Dressing (or Stuffing) a kind of casserole made with bits of vegetables and cubed bread, Cranberry Sauce (similar to jam or jelly), Gravy (a sauce made from the roasted turkey juices), Corn and Bread.


M- Sounds delicious, I’m getting hungry!


C- Well, you’re in luck because we only have one holiday left to talk about!


M- Let me guess…Christmas Day!


C- You’re right! CHRISTMAS DAY, celebrated on December 25th!


M- if I’m not mistaken you spent last Christmas on an airplane, right?


C- …I did! Three planes, actually! But for all normal Americans, who prefer to spend their holiday on the ground, it’s a great time of the year. In fact, it’s so great we think it deserves an episode all on its own.


M- At Christmas time.



C – Well, that’s it for now, we’re finished with American holidays but before we go we have some very special people to thank.


M – Yes, some new followers on podomatic : Ishi, Giantsun Juu, Sirinapa, Mywjch. Our friends on facebook : Olfa, Krewa, Kirshan, Omed, Karolina, Irina, Blerta, Helena Maluluka, Zhipeng Li, Key Cee, Sarah Rose, Maria, Sergio, Gertraud, Gilberto, Soha. And on twitter: Andrea, Ana Paula, Chantha Seng, Vanesa, Tamara, Jarvin, Anna Loseva, Carl Pierre, Kotova, Joseph Yu, Yuliya. I’m sure I have mispronounced your names and I’m sorry.


C – But believe us when we say our sentiments are heartfelt : thank you.


M – And again a big thank you to our friend Laura who is now in Australia. Go check her blog at : www.mydestinationaustralia.wordpress.com


Thank you so much for listening and see you soon, bye bye!


C – Bye bye!





Some Additional American Holidays:


Valentine’s Day, February 14th- celebrated by giving flowers and candy. Some couples may choose to celebrate with a special meal or by exchanging small gifts.


Easter Sunday, (springtime) date varies- celebrated by giving baskets of chocolate to small children, coloring Easter Eggs, going to church, enjoying a meal with family, giving flowers to your mother or grandmother.


April Fool’s Day, April 1st- Be careful! Someone may play a trick on you today! Children LOVE this holiday!


Mother’s Day, second Sunday in May- celebrate your mom by taking her to lunch and giving flowers or a sentimental gift.


Father’s Day, 3rd Sunday in June- in honor of Fathers. Gifts vary greatly- it just depends on the dad! Give a small gift according to your dad’s preferences.


Halloween, October 31st- celebrated with costumes and candy. Kids dress up in costumes (either scary or not, depends on the kid) visit homes in their neighborhoods, knock on the door and yell ‘’Trick or Treat!’’ The owner of the home gives candy to all the ‘’trick or treaters’’. Adults celebrate Halloween by dressing in costume and attending parties in homes or pubs. 

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