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Course 1 > Unit 3 > Culture Salon

Culture Salon
Long Weekends

  You are new to the USA, and you have just figured out the right answer to the question, "How are you doing today?" is typically "good" or "fine". Soon, people are beginning to ask, "So what are you doing on the long weekend?" This may cause some confusion. What's a long weekend?

  A three-day weekend is a long weekend. Public holidays in the USA typically fall on or get moved to a Friday or Monday, making it a long weekend. Many banks, government offices and companies close on these holidays, giving their employees a chance to relax. Long weekends to some people in the USA can be compared to a religious experience. For most, they offer a day to relax from the daily work or school routine. They can also provide an opportunity to shop, do yard work, have parties, take trips and many other fun things!

  If your American friend tells you, "Oh, we met at Thanksgiving, courted through the holidays and tied the knot by Memorial Day weekend," he is serious and it really happened that way. Weddings, family reunions and christenings are all planned on the weekend. Saturday, for example, is said to be the most popular choice for a wedding in the USA. A lot of important social events occur on weekends, and most Americans plan their long weekends way ahead.

  In many ways, the long weekends throughout the year kind of prepare you for the long vacation finale during Christmas and New Year. So enjoy this unique American experience, and when someone asks you what you are doing over the long weekend, you will know exactly what they are talking about. Some holidays which often become long weekends, and their dates in 2002, are listed below:


Birthday of Martin Luther King is Monday, 21 January, 2002.
Washington's Birthday is Monday, 18 February, 2002. (Also called Presidents' Day)
Memorial Day is Monday, 27 May, 2002.
United States of America Independence Day is Thurday, 4 July, 2002.
Labor Day is Monday, 2 September, 2002.
Columbus Day is Monday, 14 October, 2002.
Veterans' Day is Monday, 11 November, 2002.
Thanksgiving Day is Thurday, 28 November, 2002.


©Experiencing English 2002