Across the Pond: How do Brits join in the festivities of Independence Day?

July 4, 2023

At Mission Translate, we love embracing different cultures, learning about various celebrations worldwide, and exploring new perspectives. And with a large US client base, it felt only fitting to take some time to celebrate one of our friends’ most important commemorations of the year, Independence Day.

Independence Day is an important holiday for our American clients, colleagues and peers, as it commemorates the birth of the United States and its freedom from British rule. As a native British company that partners with numerous clients in the US, we appreciate the cultural significance of this day. However, we are not alone. Many Brits living in the UK commemorate this historical day. So, in this blog post, we thought we’d explore the celebrations for Independence Day on this side of the pond.

Independence Day, 4th July

Recognition and respect for the historical context

To truly appreciate the British perspective on Independence Day, we must first delve into the historical context. The Fourth of July marks the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, a defining moment in American history. For the British, it signifies the loss of one of their colonies and the birth of a new nation.

While this event holds great historical significance for Americans, many Brits also acknowledge and respect it. It serves as a reminder of the shared history between the two nations and the importance of freedom and self-determination. Many Brits view this day as an opportunity to honour the bonds of friendship and collaboration between the United States and the United Kingdom.

Independence Day community gatherings and events

July 4th has been a federal holiday since 1941 in the US. Although Independence Day is not an official holiday in the UK, many Brits also enjoy participating in the annual festivities.

In recent years, a growing number of British communities have started hosting events to commemorate Independence Day. These events often include live music performances, American-themed food stalls, and family-friendly activities. It provides an opportunity for Brits and American expats to come together, appreciate American culture, and celebrate the spirit of independence.

This year, there are Independence Day parties in London and major cities across the country, with the festivities offering cocktails, street food, Bourbon-tasting and more. In the capital, there is an America-themed guided walk that explores the links between our two countries. Meanwhile, Benjamin Franklin House, the former London home of one of the American Founding Fathers, will be transformed to tell the incredible story of Franklin in the UK.

Independence Day, 4th July

Cultural exchange and solidarity on July 4th

Independence Day also serves as a chance for Brits to immerse themselves in American culture. Many British schools, community centres, and organisations arrange activities and workshops centred around American traditions, such as barbecues, baseball, and even line dancing. This cultural exchange fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation of American customs and helps bridge the gap between the two nations.

Washington Old Hall in Tyne & Wear has a special connection with the United States. It is where the Washington family, including the first president of the US, took their surname. To celebrate Independence Day, every year, they hold a flag-raising ceremony accompanied by presentations and live music.

While some Brits may not actively participate in Independence Day events, they often show solidarity and support for their American counterparts. Social media platforms are inundated with messages of goodwill, photographs of iconic American landmarks, and expressions of admiration for American values. This virtual camaraderie demonstrates the enduring bond between the two nations, transcending historical grievances.

For many Brits, Independence Day is an occasion for personal reflection. It prompts introspection about the shared history and the lessons learned from the American struggle for independence. It offers an opportunity to acknowledge the growth and transformation of both nations since that pivotal moment in history.

Independence Day, 4th July

Across the pond, Brits may not celebrate Independence Day to the same degree as our American friends. Still, we undoubtedly recognise and respect the significance of this historic event and the virtues of freedom and self-determination it represents.

At Mission Translate, we embrace our American connections, valuing the shared history, cultural affinities and camaraderie we have. And so we’d like to wish all our US clients, colleagues and friends a Happy Independence Day!

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