The United States of America

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New York is an industrial and cultural centre of the country. The most important branches of industry are those producing vehicles, glass, chemicals. New York is also a great cultural centre. It has many museums, art galleries, theatres, ballet. There are two world-famous streets in New York Broadway and Fifth Avenue. Broadway is the centre of the theatres and night life. Fifth Avenue is the great shopping, hotel and club avenue.

The Empire State Building is at Fifth Avenue. It's a 102-storeyed building, was built in 1931. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is at Fifth Avenue. It includes hundreds of world famous masterpieces and attracts many visitors.

The Statue of Liberty is the symbol of American democracy. It stands on Liberty Island in New York port. Liberty.

Today New York City is informally called The Big Apple, The origin of this name is unknown , but it is popular all over the world.

BEVERLY HILLS

Most visitors to Los Angeles, California want to go and see Beverly Hills. This is where you find the homes of the movie stars. But Beverly Hills is not Los Angeles. It is h small city next to Los Angeles.

All kinds of celebrities live in Beverly Hills. These celebrities may be movie stars, television stars, sports stars, or other people in the news. Tourists can buy special maps for the homes of the stars. These homes are very beautiful. They usually have swimming pools and tennis courts. But some times you cannot see very much. The homes have high wall or trees around them.

Beverly Hills is also famous for Rodeo Drive. This is one of the most expensive shopping streets in the United States. Rodeo Drive started to be an elegant street in the 1960s. Many famous stores were opened on the street. People liked all the new styles and fashions they could buy. Today, you can find the most expensive and unusual clothing, jewelry, and furniture in the world on Rodeo Drive. Rodeo Drive is a very special street. When you want to park your car in public parking, an attendant will come and park your car for you.

Beverly Hills is really a small city. Only about 35,000 people live there. But during the day more than 200,000 people come to Beverly Hills to work or to shop.

Holidays in the USA

There are no national holidays in the United States. Each of the 50 states has jurisdiction over its holidays. In practice, however, most states observe the federal (legal) public holidays, even though the President and Congress can legally designate holidays only for federal government employees.

Ten holidays per year are proclaimed by the federal government. They are as follows:

New Year's Day (January 1)

Martin Luther King Day (third Monday in January)

George Washingtons Birthday (third Monday in February)

Memorial Day (last Monday in May)

Independence Day (July 4)

Labour Day (first Monday in September)

Columbus Day (second Monday in October)

Veteran's Day (November 11)

Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November)

Christmas (December 25).

There is no many traditional holidays, observed by a large number of Americans, which are neither legal nor official. Among these are Valentines Day, St. Patrics Day, Mothers Day and Halloween (the last day of October).

Valentines Day has had a long and romantic history. February 14 was the Roman date of the festival, where were games and dancing and then each young man drew from an urn the name of the girl who would be his sweetheart for the coming year. In the seventh century the festival began to be called St. Valentines Day.

Valentines Day is the sweet-hearts holiday when people in love express affection for each other in different ways. The young people can do it though a small gift or a card.

HALLOWEEN

On October 31, Americans celebrate Halloween. Halloween means "holy" (hallow) evening (een). This is the evening before the Christian holiday All Saints Day. On All Saints Day, Christians remember the saints. But Halloween is even older than Christianity.

Before Christianity, people in Europe believed that on October 31 ghosts of dead people came back. To scare the ghosts, people dressed like devils and were very noisy. They also made big fires to keep the ghosts away. Later, people did not believe in ghosts, but they kept the day of Halloween for fun.

Immigrants came from Europe to America and brought with them the custom of Halloween. Halloween has some strange symbols. One symbol is the jack-o'-lantern in the window. The jack-o-lantern is to scare the ghosts. People cut the pumpkin, throw away all of the inside, and cut a face in it. Then they put a candle inside of it. Jack-o-lanterns usually look scary, too.

: 6/07/2009