July 4th: Celebrations across the Atlantic

Photocredit Shutterstock/MargJohnsonVA

Every year on July 4th, Americans celebrate Independence Day with exciting festivities that honour their hard-won freedom.

How did it start?

In 1776, amidst the anguish of revolution against British rule, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, formally stating the power of the thirteen colonies.

This document was drafted primarily by Thomas Jefferson, who later would become the third president of the United States, marking the birth of a new nation and initiating celebrations that continue to this day.

Independence Day is now synonymous with family gatherings featuring picnics, barbecues, and traditional activities like three-legged races and tug-of-war competitions.

Communities across the United States adorn homes and public spaces with the country’s flag. And, after dark, the sky illuminates with the fireworks show across states.

Major cities such as New York and Washington, D.C. host parades and public events, while many Americans use the occasion for beach vacations.

Where to join the festivities in Spain

Macharaviaya: In Spain, the 4th of July holds special significance, particularly in Macharaviaya, a village in Málaga that pays tribute to Bernardo de Gálvez, a local hero essential in the United States’ fight for independence.

Gálvez’s leadership during the Battle of Pensacola, where he defeated the British, is commemorated annually.

Benalmádena: the celebration is also held in the El Bil Bil Castle in Benalmádena Costa. On July 4th, from noon until midnight, the castle will host a complete celebration with North American cuisine, beverages, and live music.

It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the festive spirit and enjoy a taste of United States culture in one of Spain’s beautiful coastal settings.

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Written by

Talyta Franca

Talyta Franca, Class 2026, Northwestern University in Qatar.