From vibrant parades and awe-inspiring firework displays to mouthwatering barbecues and heartfelt ceremonies, Fourth of July traditions weave a sense of unity and pride into the fabric of the American experience. Join us as we delve into the time-honored customs that make this annual celebration a cherished and unifying event for millions of people across the United States — including international exchange visitors like au pairs.
Here are a few of the many American traditions you can share with your au pair this Fourth of July:
Fireworks displays are a major highlight of Independence Day celebrations across the United States. Communities organize spectacular fireworks shows that people gather to watch, often accompanied by music and festivities. Inviting your au pair to join your family in watching fireworks for Fourth of July is the perfect memory-making opportunity.
Many towns and cities host Fourth of July parades, featuring marching bands, floats, decorated vehicles, and participants dressed in patriotic attire. These parades are a way to showcase American pride and honor the country’s history. Bringing your au pair to a Fourth of July parade is a great way to involve them in the local community and celebrate together.
3. Barbecues and Picnics
Independence Day is synonymous with outdoor parties and lots of delicious food. Many Americans celebrate by hosting or attending barbecues and picnics with family and friends. Grilling burgers, hot dogs, and enjoying classic American dishes like potato salad and apple pie are common traditions. Your au pair will love being able to experience quintessential American food and culinary traditions for the holiday. Maybe they’ll even offer to make a dish from their home country, as well — a perfect opportunity for cultural exchange!
4. Patriotic Decorations
Americans show off their patriotic spirit by adorning their homes, yards, and public spaces with red, white, and blue decorations. Flags, streamers, and balloons in the national colors are commonly seen on the Fourth of July. Getting your au pair involved in choosing decorations can add another layer of feeling at home in their host country.
5. Outdoor Activities
Since the Fourth of July falls during the summer season, Americans take advantage of the warm weather to engage in outdoor activities. These may include playing games like baseball, volleyball, cornhole, swimming, hiking, or having a beach day. Your au pair will have a blast getting involved in these quintessential activities and outdoor traditions for the Fourth of July!
6. Family Gatherings
Independence Day often brings families together, and it’s a time for relatives to bond and enjoy each other’s company. Family reunions and get-togethers are common, providing an opportunity to create lasting memories and celebrate the nation’s independence as a unit. Involving your au pair in these gatherings is a great way to build on existing relationships with your extended family or close friends, or bridge new connections with some they may have never met before.
7. Reflecting on American History
Independence Day is also a time for reflection and appreciation of American history and the sacrifices made by the founding fathers and past generations. Many Americans take a moment to remember and honor those who fought for the nation’s independence. Exposing your au pair to this aspect of the holiday is a wonderful way to give them a deeper connection to their host country.
These aren’t the only traditions Americans partake in during the Fourth of July! While they can greatly vary across different regions and communities within the United States, these activities are commonly associated with Independence Day celebrations and embody the patriotic spirit of the holiday.
Share your American culture with someone new.
By hosting an au pair, your family will not only gain exposure to a different country and culture, but you’ll be able to share your traditions and customs as an American with them, too. Cultural exchange is the beating heart of the au pair program, and involving your au pair in celebrations like the Fourth of July is a way to provide a meaningful opportunity to learn more about the United States and its history.