The United States sets aside a number of days each year to commemorate events, people or public occasions. These days are called holidays. Technically, the United States does not celebrate national holidays, but Congress has designated 10 "legal public holidays," during which most federal institutions are closed and most federal employees do not work. Since 1971, a number of these have been fixed on Mondays, so as to afford workers a long holiday weekend
Seven of the federal legal holidays — New Year’s Day; Washington’s Birthday/ Presidents’ Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Thanksgiving and Christmas — are observed nearly universally throughout the public and private sectors They are considered to be American favorite holidays.
New Year’s Day (January 1) — Americans celebrate the beginning of a new year at home, with friends, and in gatherings from the Tournament of Roses Parade in California to the giant gathering in New York’s Times Square.
Washington’s Birthday (third Monday in February) — The birthday of George Washington, the first president of the United States, has been a legal holiday since 1885. A number of states also celebrated the February 1 — the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president. Some legislators advocated combining the two events into a single holiday. Many Americans now call the holiday "Presidents’ Day," to honor both Washington and Lincoln or all presidents.
Memorial Day (last Monday in May) — This holiday honors the lives lost in every war conflict. The Uniform Holidays Act established a federal legal holiday, fixed on a Monday, beginning in 1971. All 50 states observe the holiday
Independence Day (July 4) — The Independence Day holiday commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.
Labor Day (first Monday in September) — the Labor Day holiday commemorates the contributions of working men and women. For many Americans the holiday demarks the unofficial end of summer and beginning of the school year.
Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November) — A variant of the harvest festivals celebrated, this holiday is on the fourth Thursday is November. Thanksgiving is typically celebrated at home. It remains the occasion for a large and festive meal, and for expressing thanks, for that bounty.
Christmas Day (December 25) — Most Protestants and Roman Catholics and some Orthodox Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25. Christmas is celebrated at home, with the decoration and display of evergreen Christmas Trees, and with families and children exchanging gifts and cards.
public occasions — общественные события
a legislator (s) — законодатель
to observe a holiday — отмечать праздник
a contribution (s) — трудовой вклад, взнос
to demark smth — разграничить; установить границу
a harvest festival (s) — праздник урожая
a decoration — украшение
evergreen — вечнозеленый
to exchange gifts — обмениваться подарками
a card (s) — поздравительная открытка