American Culture California International Student Life Vocabulary

American 4th of July Traditions + English Vocabulary Related to Fireworks

July 4, 2017

American 4th of July Traditions English Vocabulary Related to Fireworks

The best part of spending summer in the U.S.? The 4th of July! If you are studying English in the United States during the 4th of July, be sure to check out these fun American 4th of July traditions.

American 4th of July Traditions


Burgers! Hot dogs! Potato salad! The 4th of July is all about eating barbecued foods and traditional summer side dishes.

Water-related activities

Most Californians associate the 4th of July with wearing a bathing suit and enjoying water activities. Those who live close to the beach usually spend their time there; others go to lakes, local pools, private pools, or even the pools of some hotels.

Lighting fireworks

Actually, these days, many Californians do not light fireworks: fires are always a concern for Californians because the state’s warm weather makes it a very dry place during the summer. In recent years, laws have been made to stop or restrict the sale of fireworks. This list will tell you the areas where you can buy fireworks legally in California.

Going to a fireworks show

Cities spend a lot of time and money planning fireworks shows for the 4th of July: don’t miss them! Grab your friends and enjoy the display. Usually, there is music played with the fireworks on a local radio station. It’s an impressive performance!

This list of fireworks shows in the Bay Area provides the information you need to choose where to watch the fireworks this year.

Americana decor (and red, white, and blue clothes)

Most people wear red, white, and blue for the 4th of July (and some wear clothes with American flag designs). Have fun and be creative with the clothes you wear! You will also notice that many houses will be decorated with flags, stars, and a lot of red, white, and blue decor. This style is called “Americana” and it is very popular during July.


English Vocabulary Related to Fireworks


Definition: a song that is identified with a group of people, a movement, or an idea.

Example: The U.S. National Anthem is often played before fireworks shows begin.


Definition: a loud noise.

Example: My dog is scared from the boom of the fireworks.


Definition: to explode.

Example: The fireworks erupted and were purple and red.

Go off

Definition: a phrasal verb used to describe when fireworks begin making noise or light.

Example: When the fireworks went off, we also stopped talking and just watched.


Definition: to catch fire.

Example: When we were children, only my dad ignited the fireworks.


Definition: to put fire to a firework and make it go off.

Example: Did you light all of the fireworks?


Definition: a fireworks display.

Example: The pyrotechnics in SF are amazing!


Definition: long, thin fireworks you hold in your hand.

Example: We bought some sparklers and took photos of us holding them.


Definition: a small “piece” of fire.

Example: We lit the fireworks away from any trees so the sparks wouldn’t damage them.

IEC@DVC wishes all of our students and staff a happy and safe 4th of July!

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