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The Fourth of July, Independence Day, is one the biggest celebrations in the United States.  This national holiday is to celebrate the United States’ independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the United States had announced the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

On July 4th, my friend told me the traditional thing to do here is to watch fireworks, to eat barbecue, to watch the parade, to join the fairs downtown, or to have a family reunion. I am glad I study at St. Louis, since we always have fireworks around the downtown Arch, and we have a wonderful parade for every big holiday. There are so many things to do in St. Louis for July 4th. I watched parades, fireworks, and ate delicious food with friends. What did you do for your independence day?

I’m hoping you enjoyed the July 4th this year.

Happy Birthday to the United States.


Lantern Festival is one of the traditional holidays for family unity in Taiwan, it falls on the fifteenth day of the first month of the lunar year, usually in February or March in the lunar calendar and just right after Chinese New Year (the first day of the first month of the lunar year). Moreover, it’s the first full moon for the New Year in the Chinese calendar, so people are excited to celebrate this day.

The most popular activities we do on this day is watch the homemade lanterns and eat sticky rice balls together. Lanterns of various shapes and sizes are hung in the streets, and you can make them or buy them in any grocery store. On the eve of Lantern festival, children will hold self-made or bought lanterns to stroll with on the streets. Moreover, we have outside lantern fairs in every city. Each lantern in the lantern fair is made by different groups from schools, companies or artists. Lanterns are made in different shapes, like animals, Chinese characters, food, famous sites. Moreover, we also have a food fair with the lantern fair. Everybody likes this event, since we can eat delicious food and also watch beautiful homemade lanterns. Some cities will also have a fireworks party to celebrate it. Each family goes together to watch beautiful lanterns and fireworks, and goes back home to eat sticky rice balls to celebrate the lantern festival.

This year, although I couldn’t celebrate with my family since I’m in St. Louis, I still celebrated Lantern Festival with my Taiwanese friends in
Church. We made sticky rice balls together, then cooked and ate them. It was so much fun. I made some traditional sticky rice ball (red and white colors) and also made a “Totoro” rice ball (Totoro is a famous Japanese character I watched in my childhood.), isn’t it cute? I’m hoping you’ll like it.


Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.