According to OPM, the 4th of July is one of 11 federal holidays (12 during an inauguration year), giving government employees the day off no matter where it falls in the week. As well, most schools, churches, and 9-5 businesses are closed too. However, one may wonder, do you say ‘Happy 4th of July’ on Independence Day?
People commonly say ‘Happy 4th of July’ on Independence Day. However, it’s also acceptable to say ‘Happy Independence Day’ or simply, ‘Happy 4th.’ Some in recent years have switched it up to saying ‘Happy Freedom Day’ too, acknowledging the holiday theme.
To commemorate and celebrate our nation’s birthday, some people like to shout it out by decorating with Happy 4th of July banners like these from Amazon, while others may stick to just red, white, and blue decorations, something more subtle (and can be used on other national days like Memorial and Veteran’s Days). But let’s talk more about what you should say on the American Independence Day, so that we can greet people in the best way possible.
What do you say on the 4th of July?
One of the biggest and most awaited holidays in the entire United States is the 4th of July, also known as Independence Day. So what do you actually say of the 4th of July?
On July 4th people commonly say ‘Happy 4th of July’ reversing the month and day order or ‘Happy Independence Day’ recognizing the symbolism. People sometimes even say ‘Happy Freedom Day’. What one says can be linked to setting and personality, but also could signal ideology and politics.
On Independence holiday, Americans all over the country get together in the classic American way by hosting backyard barbecues for friends and family and by spending the entire night together watching fireworks fill the sky with all sorts of different colors.
Of course, you also have to greet different friends and neighbors during this special holiday. And when you do, there are a few phrases most common.
- Happy 4th of July!
- Happy July 4th!
- Happy 4th!
- Happy Independence Day!
- Happy Independence!
And more recently, a few other phrases and sayings have popped up:
- Happy Freedom Day!
- Happy Birthday to America!
- Happy Nation Day!
- Happy America Day!
- Happy Declaration Day!
and other similar combinations!
Now, when it comes to the 4th of July, it can be simple or complex as to which greeting is best to use. Really, though, what’s best for you can just depend on your personality!
If you are traditional or conservative, or in a professional setting, you’re likely to stick with the simple, ‘Happy 4th of July’; ‘Happy 4th’; or ‘Happy Independence Day!’ when greeting someone, whether a friend, family member, colleague, or stranger.
If you are more jovial or in a relaxed environment, you might prefer to mix it up a bit and say, ‘Happy Freedom Day’ or ‘Happy Red, White, and Blue!’
Officially, the holiday is called Independence Day, and it has only been since the 19th century that people began calling this holiday ‘the 4th of July’.
Some think that calling Independence Day the ‘4th of July’ is simply a classic American way of shortening things to make them simpler to say and spell. Americans love keeping certain names and words short and simple, and that is why we have nicknames such as Bob for Robert and Bill for William.
However, what you may not be aware of is that there are some undertones to this change from the formal, ‘Independence Day’, to something like ‘4th of July’.
Calling the holiday “Independence Day” has a nice patriotic ring to it because of the fact that it overtly recognizes the reason for the holiday: America’s hard-fought independence. As such, saying ‘Happy Independence Day’ is very patriotic. But as we know, not everyone feels so patriotic towards America, nor do they share in the same red, white, and blue spirit of the holiday.
The United States of America, throughout its short history, has experienced plenty of different events that may have made a lot of people question their patriotism. This includes the Civil War, the problems with slavery and racism, and other similar such events and issues that do not exactly make one American as patriotic as the next.
So for some people, they prefer to use ‘Happy 4th’ or some other variety of similar meaning and connotation, because it’s not so much politically-driven.
Other articles you might like from ‘Hopeful Holidays’:
- Why Would Some People Say, ‘I Hate Veterans Day’?
- Is Universal Studios On Memorial Day Busy? CA and FL
- Does Amazon Deliver on Columbus Day? (Answered)
Of course, there are also plenty of immigrants who used to call different countries home but are now living in the United States. Such immigrants, while enjoying full American rights, may still follow certain cultures, traditions, and holidays in their native countries. And some of them might not even know the context behind the 4th of July.
So, in a way, calling Independence Day the 4th of July has a more acceptable vibe to them, something less nationalistic and neutral in ton. This is why plenty of people prefer to use “happy 4th of July” on the 4th of July instead.
Some people prefer to tell their friends and neighbors to simply ‘enjoy the holiday’ and be less specific. It’s also possible to just say, ‘have a meaningful holiday’, which is a great way of telling that person to find meaning on the 4th of July in their own way.
I’ve even heard people say ‘have a good one’, not acknowledging the holiday specifically at all.
Do you even say, ‘Happy Independence Day’?
As mentioned above, there are plenty of different ways to acknowledge the holiday to people on July 4th. However, is saying “Happy Independence Day” to politically offensive or insensitive nowadays?
There is nothing offensive or insensitive with greeting someone, “Happy Independence Day”, on July 4th. The words are factual as that is the official name of the holiday on that date and there is nothing racist or sexist about independence. But as with all things, take context into consideration.
The fact is that the United States is full of plenty of different people who have totally different backgrounds can make anything a bit controversial or complicated. So in that regard, be considerate of whom you’re talking to and the tone you use. Some of them might not share the same patriotic spirit as you do, while others are simply foreigners who have been staying in the country and are unfamiliar with the holiday.
For example, it would be politically incorrect and insensitive to greet someone with “Merry Christmas” if you know for certain that they don’t celebrate it. In fact, it’s somewhat ‘anti’ Christmas to do this. You can either say nothing at all in reference to the holiday, or in this situation, use a more inclusive “happy holidays”.
The same can be said when it comes to Independence Day-if you know in advance of someone’s background that is contrary to America’s Independence Day.
For instance, you might not greet a Filipino with “happy Independence Day” on the 4th of July because they have a different day for their own country’s independence day. That is, unless you know them well and they celebrate America’s Independence Day just as you do.
In these situations, you can avoid any potential harm by simply substituting ‘Happy 4th!’ for ‘Independence Day” on the 4th of July, if you are comfortable doing so. Then again, tone goes along way so it’s less controversial if you say ‘Happy Independence Day’ with a smile and happy tone!
Songs and Movies for the 4th of July and Independence Day
I’ve listed some of the most iconic, popular movies and songs below that are either about America’s Independence Day or in some way, strongly ‘America’ in theme, making them suitable for celebrating America’s birthday.
- Lee Greenwood’s God Bless America is probably the most requested song on July 4th, other than the National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.
- The Star-Spangled Banner, credited to Francis Scott Key, is sung on the 4th of July, as well as at just about every sporting event.
- Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen was released in 1984 and has references to Vietnam War.
- Martina McBride’s country hit song, Independence Day, is from 1993 and merges individual independence with the holiday.
- Steven Spielberg’s 1975 hit, Jaws, starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, and Richard Dreyfuss, takes place during July 4th weekend, making it a classic ‘Independence Day’ movie.
- 1996’s summer blockbuster, Independence Day, starred Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, and Bill Pullman.
- Sony Pictures, The Patriot, released in 2000 and starring Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger, is about America’s first ‘Independence Day’.
Wrapping Up Saying Happy 4th Of July On Independence Day
To wrap it up, saying ‘Happy 4th of July’ or ‘Happy Independence Day’ on July 4th are equally fine and acceptable for the holiday occasion. That being said, there are plenty of other variations on the sayings to choose from, fitting for the day, depending on your personality, the setting, and so on.
Keep in mind one’s tone and attitude that accompanies the saying as those can influence how someone takes the message!
For your next article, I suggest one of these from ‘Hopeful Holidays’: