Friday 27 May 2016

Memorial Day Weekend – Here's Everything You Need to Know

Signifying the start of summer, Memorial Day Weekend is a time for spending time with family and friends while soaking up the sun. But, what is memorial day? How did the tradition of celebrating it start? What should you do on memorial day weekend if you don't have anything planned? Here's everything you need to know about this summer holiday and how to spend it.

What Is Memorial Day?
This day is a solemn event for honoring the brave men and women who died while serving in the armed forces. It is often confused with Veterans Day, but there's a difference between these two holidays. Memorial Day is for honoring those who have died while serving the country, while Veteran's Day is observed for those soldiers who served the country in war and survived.

What Is the History of Memorial Day?
This day was called Decoration Day when it was first declared by General John Logan in 1868. It was named after a tradition of decorating the graves of soldiers who lost their lives in the Civil War. After World War I, the day evolved into Memorial Day as it was observed to honor all who died while serving in the armed forces in all American wars.

When Is Memorial Day Weekend?
Back when it was known as Decoration Day, the day was observed on May 30th. With the passage of time, Memorial Day was observed on the last Monday of May making it the – Memorial Day Weekend.

Memorial Day Activities
So now that you know the history and meaning of Memorial Day, let's talk about how can you observe this day? If you're planning on displaying the flag in your yard or office, there are certain rules that have to be followed. You can check them online. Another tradition that honors our armed forces is visiting memorial parks and walls and national cemeteries. If you happen to live near one, check their schedules and events to know when you can visit.

Not Travelling on Memorial Day Weekend?
We got you covered! There's lots of fun stuff you can do right at home if you aren't travelling on Memorial Day weekend. There are parades, outdoor Memorial Day events, outdoor concerts, barbecues and so much more.

Things to do on Memorial Day 
Check your city to find the Memorial Day events and activities that are scheduled near you. If there's a parade in your town, it's a wonderful event to attend on this day, especially if you have kids. For outdoor fun involving chilled beer, check your local parks. A lot of parks organize parties with beer and food a plenty! The great thing about spending the day outdoor, besides the sun, people and food, is the Memorial Day fireworks show. You can catch one as the day's celebrations are coming to an end.

Music and Bikes on Memorial Day
Memorial Day events are great for music lovers as there are concerts and shows of every kind. You can catch everything from the symphony to a live band on this day. If you want ride on this day, you're in luck. Most cities and town have a bike parade or two.

Entertaining on Memorial Day
How about hosting your own impromptu Memorial Day party? The first thing you have to do is of course making the guest list. Check everyone's available. Your guests may be able to drop in after parades or before concerts. A well-made guest list is all you need to host a successful party. Invite people who know each other and people who you know will get along.

If possible, host the party outdoors. It doesn't take a lot to set the party scene outdoors in the summer. All you need are a couple of tables to serve food and drinks and some chairs and blankets for your guests. When setting up seating, break it up into three to four groups so people can come together naturally to have conversations. The food and decorations depend on the theme of your Memorial Day Party.

Memorial Day Barbecue
You can put together a barbecue at the last minute, all you need are burgers and dogs. Now, you can create a new tradition by hosting a 'you bring it, we'll grill it' party. A great idea if your guest list includes vegans or just people with specific tastes! Put out a beautiful spread of salsa, toppings and sauces for the grilled food. Mango salsa and onion relish are some tasty options. Also, keep some barbecue sauce handy for guests while grilling.

Staying In on Memorial Day
If you don't feel like doing much on Memorial Day, we get it. There's plenty you can do at home. The Memorial Day Parade in Washington is televised so you can catch that. You can also do some 'light entertaining'. Invite friends over for Memorial Day brunch or breakfast. Set up a pancake bar. Whip up a whole batch of pancakes and keep them in the oven so they stay warm. For toppings, just put together bowls full of fresh fruits, which are available a plenty this time of the year. Complete the bar set up with whipped cream and maple syrup.

Memorial Day Hacks
We know a couple of hacks to make your Memorial Day stress-free and happy. If you're planning on driving to a concert or an event, check the traffic. There are plenty of websites and apps that provide real-time updates. If you have to pass through the toll, sign up for an e-pass to avoid long lines. You can avoid driving altogether by using the public transit. Just be sure to map your route before you leave.

If you're entertaining on Memorial Day, there are plenty of cooking hacks to make the day easy on you.
And our last tip for this wonderful holiday – wear comfy shoes! Nothing ruins a great time than a pair of uncomfortable shoes that hurt. Cute sandals and flats should be a part of your summer wardrobe for parties and everyday outfits.

Have a wonderful day with these ideas. 


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