It’s almost the Fourth of July! I absolutely love holidays of all kinds, but sometimes I get a little confused about the point of some holiday traditions. For example, where did the idea of the Easter bunny come from? If you think about it, tons of holiday traditions have no relation whatsoever to the meaning of the holiday. That’s why, for the Fourth of July and other holidays in the future, I will be posting a Q&A on holiday traditions. Lets get going!
Q: Where did the idea of fireworks come from and why do we celebrate with them on the Fourth of July?
A: Fireworks were first made in China thousands of years ago when the people would throw bamboo on a fire and it would explode. It wasn’t until the Renaissance time period when Marco Polo brought fireworks to Europe that people started using gunpowder in their fireworks. Of course this was very dangerous because then they started using fireworks in warfare. We set off fireworks on July 4 because, back in the year 1776, John Adams wanted to. He wanted something big and brilliant to celebrate the freedom of our country. Congress made fireworks an official tradition in 1777.
Q: Why do we have cookouts on July 4?
A: The tradition of cooking out apparently was imported from the West Indies. The word “barbecue” comes from a Spanish word they used in Hispaniola meaning “a wooden rack used for smoking meat.” People in the 1800’s would get people rallied together to celebrate independence for America on July 4 by holding huge cookouts, usually roasting whole animals. In the 1900’s barbecuing turned into more of a family gathering rather than cooking animals open to the public.
These are a few things I found really interesting about the Fourth of July. If you have any more Fourth of July questions, leave a comment below and I”ll try and get that answered! (If you ask a question in the comments, please feel free to come back and read my reply!)