Have you ever stopped to wonder why we wear Halloween costumes, celebrate Thanksgiving in November, or choose valentines in February? These familiar traditions have fascinating and sometimes surprising origins. Get to know the history and significance behind these U.S. holidays (and more!) with this new collection of resources.

  • Hanukkah | All About the Holidays

    Hanukkah is a Jewish celebration, but anyone can find meaning in the holiday. Check out the origins of the tradition, and and how it is observed today.

    Grades: 2-6
  • Christmas | All About the Holidays

    Christmas Day isn't just a holiday for Christians. Learn about the various traditions that people hold to celebrate it. Then have yourself a merry little Christmas!

    Grades: 2-6
  • Kwanzaa | All About the Holidays

    Kwanzaa is a time to celebrate African American heritage. Learn the ways people observe this festivity and trace back its roots to ancient African customs.

    Grades: 2-6
  • Valentine's Day | All About the Holidays

    No one knows for sure who St. Valentine was, but we still honor him with a holiday. Listen to one legend about who he was, and discover more about this celebration of love.

    Grades: 2-6
  • Presidents Day | All About the Holidays

    Presidents Day is an opportunity for the country to acknowledge the leaders of its government. See how it evolved from a birthday party for George Washington to an observance for all of the Presidents.

    Grades: 2-6
  • Holidays in the U.S.A. [eBook]

    Celebrate! Holidays in the USA discusses the ten federally-recognized holidays in the United States, as well as many celebratory days such as Valentine's Day and Mother's Day that are commonly celebrated. There is also a section addressing four recognition months that are commonly acknowledged in the USA: Black History Month, Women's History Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month.

    Grades: 2-6, 13+
  • Birthdays and Anniversaries | U.S. Department of State

    Anniversary celebrations are those that commemorate a particular date or past event. Birthdays are also celebrated in a variety of ways in the United States. Read about these two types of celebratory days.

    Grades: 2-6
  • Valentine's Day | U.S. Department of State

    Valentine's Day is a day for sweethearts. It is the day that you show your friend or loved one that you care. Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14.

    Grades: 2-6
  • Chinese New Year | U.S. Department of State

    Chinese New Year is one of the most important and festive Chinese holidays. More than 2.5 million people of Chinese descent live in the United States and Chinese New Year's celebrations provide an important connection to Chinese culture and heritage.

    Grades: 2-6
  • Christmas | U.S. Department of State

    Christmas is a joyful holiday of Christian origin that is recognized by many people in the United States. It is celebrated on December 25.

    Grades: 2-6
  • Martin Luther King Day | U.S. Department of State

    Martin Luther King Day honors the life and legacy of one of the visionary leaders of the Civil Rights Movement and recipient of the 1964 Nobel Prize for Peace. It is celebrated on the third Monday in January.

    Grades: 2-6
  • New Years Eve | U.S. Department of State

    In the United States, people begin celebrating the New Year on December 31, New Years Eve. Read about the traditions surrounding this holiday and how many Americans celebrate it.

    Grades: 2-6