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Happy Fourth of July!
Most people are probably aware of the significance of July 4 to Americans. They might not know, however, about the origins of some of the traditions associated with Independence Day in the United States.
Fireworks are a feature of national day observations the world over, and play a major role in American celebrations. John Adams, the country's second president and a signatory of the Declaration of Independence, either predicted the firework tradition or started it himself; in a letter to his wife, he called for the celebration of the Fourth of July, the day the final draft of the Declaration was officially adopted, with "pomp and parade, with shows, games . . . bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other . . . "
Americans have long since taken up Adams's suggestion with awesome energy and enthusiasm. July 4 is, of course, a holiday from work, and the occasion for all-day picnics in most communities. Having eaten their fill of hot dogs, burgers, and potato salad, everyone eagerly throws themselves into a program of often quirky activities like three-legged races and pie-eating contests.
A visitor to Boston, a city strongly associated with the events leading up to independence, will certainly come away with a lasting impression of the Fourth of July. The highlight of the day's celebrations is a local orchestra playing a medley of patriotic tunes as one hundred and fifty thousand spectators watch fireworks burst over the harbor.
燃放焰火是世界各国欢度国庆的共同特色，在美国庆典 中更是扮演着重要角色。美国第二任总统、“独立宣言”的 签署者，约翰·亚当斯，就曾预言了焰火将会成为一种传统，或许也正是他本人开创了这种传统。在一封写给妻子的 家书中，他提到七月四日的庆祝活动（七月四日是独立宣言 草案正式通过的日子）：游行盛况、演出、竞赛……燃起篝 火，灯光照亮天际，从大陆的这端绵亘至另一端……
长久以来，美国人对于落实亚当斯总统的建议可说是兴 致勃勃、乐此不疲。七月四日这天，自然是劳动者的休假日，也是大众全天外出野餐的良机。在享用完丰盛的热狗、 汉堡包和土豆沙拉之后，人们迫不及待地加入到一些妙趣横 生的活动中，如两人三脚跑、吃派竞赛等等。
在七月四日当天有幸身在波士顿的旅客会被这座与美国 独立息息相关的城市所呈现的风貌所打动。当天庆祝活动的 高潮是波士顿交响乐团的爱国歌谣组曲演奏；另外还有超过 十五万观众会集聚港口，欣赏漫天烟火灿烂。