Russian MiniLesson: День независимости США – America’s Independence Day

Published: June 15, 2019

The following bilingual Russian MiniLesson is meant to build your vocabulary by providing Russian phrases within English text. Hover over the bold Russian to reveal its English translation. It is written for those students who may be interested in discussing with Russian friends the meaning and history of one of America’s most important holidays.

День независимости is celebrated in the United States on July fourth, and is therefore sometimes called simply “четвёртое июля”. This holiday celebrates подписание Декларации независимости в 1776 году. It served to объявить тринадцать колоний независимыми от Великобритании. The Declaration of Independence was signed by some of the most famous отцы-основатели США, such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams, who were members of the Второй Континентальный Конгресс.

Kids in a 4th of July parade in America.

Independence Day is the самый патриотический праздник in the US. The атмосфера on the Fourth of July can be compared to the atmosphere on День Победы in Russia. Independence Day is a национальный праздник, so most businesses не работают on that day. Because it происходит в середине лета, many traditions related to Independence Day occur на открытом воздухе.

Since Independence Day is such an important holiday, many Americans decide to украшать their houses with лентами, шариками, или американскими флагами. The most common colors for these decorations are, or course, красный, белый и синий – цвета американского флага.

Many towns begin their celebrations with a парад in the morning. These parades almost never feature военная техника. Instead, they tend to focus on celebrating the local community – schools, businesses, and local organizations will often contribute “floats” (decorated trailers usually pulled by trucks – Russian parades and the Russian language have no equivalent for this) that are usually meant to be fun and call attention to the sponsoring organization. In the afternoons, there may be a концерт, or family and friends собираются на пикник или барбекю. Traditional foods for the day include хот-доги and гамбургеры cooked over a grill and eaten with картофельный салат, яичный салат, запеченная фасоль and other regional favorites.

A very important tradition in the evening is to пускать фейерверки. Салюты may take place in a городская площадь, парк, или ярмарочная площадь, or families might decide to set off their own fireworks. People often поют патриотические песни during or after fireworks displays. Those community displays will often be timed to songs that will play on a specific radio station that people can tune into for the event.

About the author

Andrei Nesterov

Andrei Nesterov

Andrei Nesterov has reported on political and social issues for the Russian press as well as American outlets such as Russian Life, Worldpress.org, and Triangle Free Press. He has travelled Russia extensively and penned many stories on the "real Russia" which lies beyond the capital and major cities. Andrei graduated from Ural State University (journalism) and Irkutsk State Linguistic University (English). He studied public policy and journalism at Duke University on a Muskie Fellowship and went on to study TESOL and teach Russian at West Virginia University. He is currently working on an PhD from West Virginia University in Political Science. Andrei contributes news, feature stories, and language resources to the SRAS site, and is an overall linguistics and research resource.

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