Like in almost every country around the globe, sports are a major aspect of the culture of the American people. As such, the people living in the various states of the United States have practiced various sports through the ages for various reasons ranging from cultural to financial reasons.
As well, there are a number of public holidays commemorated in various states and across the federal state. Some of the holidays are under the control of the federal government while others are controlled by the individual states. This paper aims at discussing the various holidays and sports in the United States, comparing them based on their nature and the differences between them and those practiced abroad. As well, the origins of notable sports and holidays will be discussed.
In the United States, most of the public paid holidays are controlled directly and indirectly majorly by the private employers that are in charge of more than two thirds of the country’s human resource. The holidays are such that they are observed if they occur on a weekday then they are observed on that very day, but if they occur on a weekend, they are shifted to either Monday or Friday. Up until recently there are eleven public holidays that are observed in and controlled by the federal government of the United States. Although all the federal holidays are public holidays in all the states, for organizations owned or controlled by the federal government, it is not mandatory that the state governments to observe them on the same day as the federal dates. Generally, the United States Congress only has the right to establish public holidays for institutions and organizations that are controlled by the federal government. However, the states are allowed to create holidays and regulate them.
The eleven federal include the New Year’s Day held on the 1st day of January. The Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. is commemorated on the third Monday of every January in the memory of the social reformer and Civil Rights Activist, Martin Luther. The third in line is the Washington’s Birthday that is held on the third Monday of February every year in memory of the life of the first president of the United States, George Washington. The Federal government also observes the Memorial Day to remember all that the people that died while in the armed forces of the US on the last Monday of every year’s May. On every 4th July, the United States observes the Independence Day in remembrance of the Declaration of Independence that occurred on the 4th of July 1776.
Columbus Day is celebrated on the second Monday of October every year in memory of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas over six hundred years ago. The other federal holiday commemorated is the Veterans Day held on every 11th day of November every year to celebrate all that have served the United States armed forces. It originated from the end of the Second World War. Lastly, Christmas is celebrated in the US just like every country on the 25th of December in commemoration of the Birth of Christ.
Being a major aspect of the American culture, sports is widely celebrated and practiced in the US. On the basis of revenue, the United boasts of four main professional sports leagues, that is the Major League Baseball (MLB), The National Football League (NFL), the famous National Basketball Association (NBA) and finally the National Hockey League (NHL). Despite its major position in the American culture, it is interesting to note that the government, particularly the federal government does not fund the sports in anyway, unlike other countries that view sport as not only an investment but also a uniting factor for their citizens. One such example is Brazil that invests heavily in the football sports industry. Historically, many of the sports practiced in the US are thought to have originated from Europe, though some such as volleyball, basketball and skating invented and grown in the US.
Olympics forma very important aspect of sporting and it has a body that governs in the US- the United States Olympic Committee. The US prides itself for having won several medals out of Olympics over the years resulting from the several athletes it has sent to participate in a number of international Olympics games.
Other than the Olympics, there exist other modern games such as the motor sports that have decorated the sports sector in the country. The Americans have for instance been very keen in such local games as the Formula One and the Moto GP though some have shown interest and participated in international tournaments among them Mario Andretti and Kenny Roberts. Drag racing has not been left out too and is quite widely practiced in a number of states in the US.
Golf is the other very common sport in the US that is usually associated with the upper class members of the society, though it is now played by over twenty million Americans. It is played in leagues and while the PGA tour takes care of the main tournaments, the LPGA is responsible for the women’s tours. Golf is besides such games as tennis, combat sports, track and field, swimming and water sports, and horse racing, that are all a major part of what defines the sporting culture of the US for many years and which unarguably will define it for ages in the future.
“Top 10 Most Popular Sports in America (TV Ratings) Sport ology” Sporteology.com. August 16 , 2017. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
“Federal Holidays: Evolution and Application- U.S. Senate” PDF, www.senate.gov. Congressional Research Service. 1999-22-08. Retrieved 2017-01-20.
“Federal, state, and local holidays” hr.commerce.gov. US Department of Commerce. Retrieved 2017-01-20.