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“Strange” American Traditions

Every culture has its traditions, buts some American traditions seem rather bizarre to others.

Tailgate Parties: When Americans attend sporting events, football games in particular; it’s often not enough to simply show up and take their seat; they arrive hours in advance emblazoned in team colors, tailgaters will crowd the stadium’s parking lot, grilling food, sipping cold beverages, playing games and tossing around footballs. Many tailgaters bring stereos, TVs and satellite dishes to enhance the event. The sky’s the limit when it comes to how early fans arrive to start tailgating, some are there at the crack of dawn – or even the night before to claim a spot.

Super Bowl Commercials: Americans eagerly await the commercial breaks almost a much as the game itself. The commercials and rated discussed ad nausea. Altogether, around 60 commercials are created especially for the Super Bowl, with prices up to $3 million for a 30-second viewing: that’s $100,000 a second. In the days that follow, those ads are debated, rated and discussed, often with more enthusiasm than for the game itself.

Trick-or-Treating: Any other time of year, parents forbid their children to roam begging for food and candy. But for some reason Halloween becomes a ritual for parents to dress their children in costumes and send them door-to-door begging candy.

Thanksgiving: To those not familiar with American traditions in general perhaps nothing is more bizarre than the annual ceremony during which the President personally gives an official “pardon” to a live turkey, while thousands more are slaughtered.

Groundhog Day: What other culture bases their spring travel plans based on the actions of a hibernating rodent? Weather Satellites be damned: Groundhogs; but especially Punxsutawney Phil are paraded out to predict how many more weeks of winter will we suffer before spring.