How do you intend to spend New Year’s Eve this year? Will you go around the neighborhood throwing old dishes at people’s front doors? You can do exactly that if you live in Denmark.
Or would you choose a famous person or event that made an impact in the news this year, build an effigy of them, then light it on fire and watch it burn? Doesn’t it sound like you? If you were Ecuadorean, it may.
Traditions differ greatly over the world, and the practices of one community may appear bizarre to others. American culture and customs have become well-known in most parts of the globe, due to the efforts of Hollywood and other branches of the nation’s media multiplex.
However, this does not always imply that people in other nations see some of these practices as less odd than Americans do.
We’ll go through some customs that most Americans take for granted.
7 American Traditions We Don’t Follow Anymore
1. Throwing Tailgate Parties
When Americans attend athletic events, particularly football games, it is frequently not enough to just show up and take their seats. They must come many hours ahead of time in order to fully prepare for the experience of viewing the game live and in person.
Tailgaters in team colors will swarm the stadium’s parking lot, cooking food, sipping cool alcoholic drinks, playing lawn games, and tossing footballs around.
Many tailgaters take their setup quite seriously, and will even bring stereos, TVs, and satellite dishes to make the occasion more enjoyable. The sky is the limit when it comes to how early people arrive to begin tailgating. Some arrive at the crack of dawn to kick off the celebrations – or even the night before to secure a space!
2. Holding “Trials of the Century”
Americans need excitement, which their media gladly provides, couched in familiar and ridiculously overblown language. That is why, every few years, a new “Trial of the Century” is held in America. All previous “Trial of the Century” court cases are collectively forgotten, since the current one is even more nasty, disgusting, and awful.
These cases frequently feature celebrities, from Fatty Arbuckle to O.J. Simpson to former President Bill Clinton, but they also make superstars (willing or unwilling) out of ordinary folks.
Casey Anthony’s court case is an excellent example of a recent “Trial of the Century” that thrust an ordinary individual into the bright glare of the media limelight.
Her celebrity resulted in a lot of public shame, but the American public also went out of their way to roast her on social media. However, chances are that in a few years, the scene will have been prepared for the next “Trial of the Century.”
3. Punkin Chunkin
Every year, as corn stalks reach for the sky and leaves change yellow, orange, and red, people in the United States go to farms to attend fall festivals.
The majority of the activities during these festivals are rather mundane, albeit perhaps strange sounding from the outside. Families frequently go on hayrides, pick out pumpkins, go through corn mazes, sample cider, and pet barnyard animals, among other things.
But it’s the guests’ desire to see pumpkins — innocuous lumpy gourds — blasted into the air and thrown enormous distances across acres of rolling farmland that really distinguishes some of these fall festivals.
There are various techniques to gratify a crowd, including the employment of air cannons, catapults, trebuchets, and machines that use torsion and centrifugal force. The pumpkin is the only one who doesn’t wind up having a wonderful time.
Many countries have rich historical traditions surrounding Halloween costumes and food exchanges.
But few of these customs involve youngsters going door-to-door begging for sweets with the words trick or treat, while their parents ban children from chatting to strangers, asking for candy, or wandering the streets at night throughout the rest of the year, they suddenly alter their tune and embrace such activities on one beautiful evening each October.
Here’s the catch: they can only get these valuable treats by saying the mystical words “Trick or treat.” And God forbid the candy provider seeks a “Trick” from these befuddled rookies. After a few years, though, kids catch on, and trick-or-treating becomes a ritual that they can’t imagine October without.
5. Black Friday Shopping Sprees
Armies of consumers walk out only hours after millions of unpardoned turkeys are consumed in the United States on Thanksgiving each year to get a head start on their annual Christmas present list.
Black Friday deals generally kick off this national weekend shopping extravaganza, which concludes on Cyber Monday, a more modern custom that’s risen in popularity with the growth of internet shopping.
According to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation in 2010, more than 200 million shoppers went online and to stores across the country during the weekend following Thanksgiving, with 106 million Americans planning to make purchases online the following Monday.
Most Black Friday shoppers come at a reasonable hour, but many diehards take the custom a step further and begin the day at an ungodly hour. In rare situations, riots or catastrophic stampedes have erupted among customers desperate for a good price or a specific product.
6. Groundhog Day
Every February 2nd, Americans wait with bated breath to see if a specific groundhog in Pennsylvania sees or does not see his shadow. If he sees his shadow, we’re in for another long, cold winter. If he doesn’t cast any shadows, spring will arrive sooner rather than later.
However, outside of the United States and Canada, this type of celebration to break up the harshest months of the year is unheard of.
7. Measuring Things in Ounces, Feet, and Fahrenheit
In almost every other country on the planet, items are measured in meters, grams, and Celsius degrees. But once you enter the United States, it’s all about ounces, feet, and Fahrenheit degrees.
This measurement system is as American as apple pie, and despite a big drive in the 1970s to get the United States on the metric system, it did not catch on with the general public, but the metric system is still utilized for scientific and educational reasons in America.
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