12 Strange American Traditions You Need To Know

America, although only 247 years old, is brimming with distinctive traditions. Beyond famous holidays like Thanksgiving and Halloween, there are countless lesser-known customs.

We gathered this list of unusual traditions in US from various online sources and discussion forums. These traditions range from pre-game tailgate parties to extra-large fast food meals. They are an important part of American culture.

Tailgate Parties

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Americans love getting together in parking lots near stadiums before significant sporting events. It’s a chance to hang out, cook delicious food on the grill, and drink. Some even bring televisions to make it a real party before the game starts. Fans have always loved getting together, showing their team spirit, and building a sense of camaraderie.

Supersizing Food

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In the U.S., fast-food joints have this thing where they give you bigger portions, like way bigger. They call it “supersizing.” This practice started in the 1970s to boost sales.

Many US fast food chains have jumped on board with this trend. Although it may be convenient for some individuals, it also raises concerns about overeating and obesity in the United States.


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Tipping is expected in the United States. Customers give extra money to service workers like waitstaff, bartenders, and taxi drivers in addition to the bill. It’s common to leave a tip to show appreciation for good service.

Many people see it as a way to make extra money, and someone will probably chase you down for a sizable tip.

Baby Showers

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In the United States, one of the unique traditions is the baby shower. It’s a special celebration for parents expecting a new baby. Friends and family gather to give the soon-to-be parents all sorts of gifts, mainly for the baby.

These gatherings are usually filled with laughter, themed decorations, and playful games centered around welcoming the new arrival. It’s a heartfelt way Americans show support and excitement for the growing family.

Pumpkin Chucking

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Pumpkin Chucking is an event where people toss pumpkins far away. It’s part of a long-standing tradition. The biggest contest, also called Punkin Chunkin, happens there every year. Contestants use machines like trebuchets and catapults to launch pumpkins. The farthest one has flown 4694 feet.


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On Halloween night, you’ve got kids dressed up, knocking on doors, and shouting, “Trick or treat.” It’s like a magical quest. This tradition comes from mixing spooky Celtic vibes with Christian celebrations.

Families go out decorating their houses with ghosts and pumpkins, making it feel like a haunted wonderland. Asking for candy from strangers might sound weird, but it’s all part of the spooky fun. It’s like a big candy party that brings everyone together.

Presidential Turkey Pardons

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The President pardons a live turkey to prevent it from becoming Thanksgiving dinner. Though its origins aren’t entirely clear, it’s now a beloved holiday tradition. After being pardoned, the turkey usually lives peacefully at a farm or sanctuary, making Thanksgiving fun.

Black Friday Shopping Sprees

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The day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday. It marks the start of the holiday shopping season in the United States. Stores are offering big discounts and promotions, which is attracting a lot of Americans who are looking for good deals. Believe it or not, some shoppers go to great lengths to snag those highly sought-after items.

Chandler Ostrich Festival

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There’s a fun event called the Chandler Ostrich Festival, where ostrich racing occurs. It’s been going on for 34 years. It’s like a horse race, but riders have less control because ostriches are involved. Ostriches can run up to about 40 to 45 mph, similar to horses, and they can jump up to 5 meters in a single stride.

Groundhog Day

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Groundhog Day is a special day for Americans on February 2nd. It’s a tradition that goes way back and has to do with folklore and predicting the weather. According to the legend, if a groundhog emerges from its burrow and spots its shadow, we’re in for a few more weeks of winter weather.

Spring will come early if it doesn’t spot its shadow. One of the most well-known Groundhog Day celebrations happens in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. People gather to watch Punxsutawney Phil, the official groundhog who makes predictions. Groundhog Day seems fun, but it shows how much Americans love predicting the weather and watching the seasons change.

Cherry Pit Spitting Championship

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In Michigan, there’s a fun event called the International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship. It is celebrated on the first Saturday of July. The idea is to eat a cherry and spit out the pit as far as possible. Contestants can’t use their hands to help, and no other objects are allowed. The current record is an impressive 93 ft 6.5 inches, and it’s all about using your tongue to curl and spit the pit farthest.

Request Doggie Bags

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In the United States, there’s a quirky tradition where people take their uneaten food home from restaurants. They call this asking for a “doggy bag.” It’s unusual but well-loved. Initially, these bags were for feeding pets at home. Now, it’s just a standard way to save and enjoy food later. This custom shows how Americans are prominent on not wasting meals, even when they eat out.

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