Culture and traditions

Traditions and customs of the United States

The United States is a country with a significant number of customs, some of them own and others acquired from other cultures. In this article, we talk about the most important traditions that exist in the country, as well as the behavior of its inhabitants.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

Christmas is a very important time in the United States, since the majority of the population is Christian. It is common to decorate houses and assemble a Christmas tree, which is usually natural, around which gifts are left.

The streets are also filled with lights and a tree is placed in the most important places. Therefore, as we can see in this article, in this country we find some of the most impressive Christmas trees in the world: The most original Christmas trees in the world.

Traditionally, the person in charge of bringing the gifts to the little ones is Santa Claus, known in other countries as Santa Claus. This goes down the chimney of the houses during the night of December 24.

The gifts do not open that night, but on December 25 in the morning. To know if the children have behaved well, an elf of Santa Claus watches from a bookshelf: he is called The Elf on the Shelf.

Also, to celebrate the new year large parties are organized that last all night. One of the most emblematic places to meet on December 31 is Times Square, in New York, where a crystal ball goes down while attendees count down until the new year.


Halloween is celebrated during the night of October 31. It is a tradition that the Irish took to the country in the 19th century and that today has become popular all over the world.

The houses are decorated with a theme of fear and mystery. You can not miss the pumpkins, which are emptied and carved with scary faces.

Children are disguised from house to house and pronounce the phrase Trick or treat, what does it mean Trick or Treating. After this, people who have opened the door usually give them candy. If they don't, kids can do some mischief.

This date coincides with some important holidays in other countries, such as the Day of the Dead in Mexico, which you can learn more about in this article: The most important customs of Mexico.


Easter marks the end of Holy Week, although today it is a mixture between a religious tradition and a profane tradition. The custom that attracts the most attention is the one practiced on Easter Sunday.

This day the call is made easter egg hunts, in which the protagonist is the Easter bunny. Eggs are hidden in an area and children have to look for them. Even in the White House, residence of the president of the United States, it is organized. In this way, the little ones live a unique experience.


The United States is one of the countries where we have the highest percentage of marriages, since the wedding is a popular and widespread event among couples.

These are celebrated in various places, among which we find the church, a beach or a garden. The ceremony can be civil or religious, and it is usually attended by family and friends of the couple.

During the banquet, a large wedding cake is taken out that the couple has to cut. It is typical for the godfather and godmother to make a funny and emotional speech. Also, the bride throws her bouquet of flowers to the still single women and, who takes it, is supposed to be the next to marry. After the banquet, the new marriage goes on a honeymoon trip.

Another original way of getting married that is quite widespread in the country is to go to Las Vegas, Nevada, where themed marriages are made in small chapels.


Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Day It is one of the most familiar parties in the United States. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November and has centuries of history.

In it, the family gathers to eat a succulent stuffed turkey. A prayer is made and they are thanked for what they have. In Manhattan, New York, a large parade is organized in which giant balloons stand out.

Social customs

In the United States there is a great cultural diversity, so the customs and customs vary widely. However, strangers are usually greeted by hand and smiling, and friends with kisses or hugs.

When addressing someone trying to show respect, the word is used miss or mister (Mrs or Mr) followed by the person's last name. When you have a conversation, you have to leave a proper personal space.

Americans are quite punctual and if you are late it is common to warn. If you are invited to a house, it is well seen to bring a gift like a bottle of wine, a candy or flowers.

Independence Day

On July 4, one of the most popular and important festivals in the country is celebrated: Independence Day. This commemorates that in 1776 the Declaration of Independence was signed with which the United States ceased to be a British colony.

During this day parades are held in the big cities and various events are organized. In addition, you can not miss the Fireworks. It is a national holiday.

Funeral customs

When a person dies, it is common to visit people close to him and sign in a book. If a family member or friend cannot go, send flowers. The latter is not done in Jewish burials.

The funeral can be in a house or in a church. Sometimes, some friends or family say a few words about the person. Then, a procession is made to the burial site.

After the burial, the assistants are going to eat together some dishes that the family usually prepare. This custom is quite strange for foreigners from countries like Spain or Argentina.


The eating habits of Americans are not too healthy, since they usually consume fast food such as hamburger, pizza or fried chicken. This is a bad habit that people try to avoid more and more.

It is typical to go out to eat at a restaurant. In them, the portions are quite large. When finished, it is common to leave a tip around 15%, since the service is not included in the price.

When cooking, the most commonly used foods are potatoes, pasta and rice. On the other hand, alcoholic beverages are only allowed to those over 21 years.


Young people in the United States have diverse behaviors characteristic of their culture. For example, they like to celebrate big parties in their own homes rather than go out to discos.

In the institute, one of the most important events is the dance called Prom. In it, he goes as a couple and the clothes are quite formal: the girls wear dresses and, the boys, suit. Another date that is celebrated is Valentine's Day, in which, through a courier service, teenagers usually exchange cards and gifts.

Unlike most countries, Americans start driving at age 16. However, they have some restrictions until they reach a more mature age.


When it comes to doing business, in the United States people are quite punctual. People are greeted with a handshake and wearing formal attire.

The negotiations are quite direct and fast. It is important to have prior information about the company you are going to deal with, as well as not talking about some issues such as politics or religion.

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Finally, we have selected the previous and next article of the block "Prepare the trip"so you can continue reading:

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