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What is July 4th?

This Independence Day, many Americans are celebrating much more than the 13 colonies' split from Great Britain.

It also marks something of a return to normal after the pandemic forced most plans to be canceled or minimized, a year ago.

Celebrations in 2019 were the last to take place as normalCredit: Alamy

While the pandemic is not over, the United States is in a better spot to celebrate compared to last July 4 now that more than half the country's adult population is fully vaccinated against the virus.

This year, the Fourth of July falls on a Sunday, so it's also being observed by the federal government and some businesses on Monday, July 5.

What is July 4th?

Today, July 4, is a federal holiday known as Independence Day which celebrates the the USA announced its separation from Great Britain.

A color guard marches during the Independence Day parade in Washington, DC in 2019Credit: AFP

What happened on Independence Day?

A Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress, a political separation of the 13 North American colonies from Great Britain, was announced on on July 4, 1776.

This was a letter sent to King George III formally explaining why the Continental Congress voted to declare independence from the British Empire.

It was intended to justify a revolt against the British with a list of charges against King George III.

The main issues were taxation and a lack of control over their affairs, and this declaration marked the beginning of a war for independence against the British which ended in 1783.

Families drive their decorated golf carts during the annual Bicycle and Golf cart parade in Sullivans Island, South CarolinaCredit: Alamy

How is it celebrated every year?

These days, Independence Day is an opportunity for loved ones to come together to enjoy BBQs, picnics and parades.

Typical activities include hot dog or watermelon eating competitions, baseball games and firework displays.

Also expect everything else from parades, parties, carnivals, fairs, concerts to political speeches, and ceremonies.

Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks stars Jonas Brothers and Alec Baldwin