11 Weird Yet Amazing American Traditions

As someone who’s been lucky enough to visit the United States a few times, I’ve got to tell you, Americans have some pretty wild traditions that always catch me by surprise. At first, I thought some of these customs were just plain odd, but you know what?

They’re actually kind of awesome once you get into them! From tossing perfectly good fish to predicting the weather with a groundhog, the USA is full of quirky celebrations that’ll make you scratch your head and smile at the same time.

I’ve put together a list of 11 weird yet amazing American traditions that’ll give you a taste of just how unique and fun this country can be.

Groundhog Day

Image Credit: Harkiran Kaur from Pixabay

Every 2nd of February, Americans gather to watch a groundhog predict the weather. If it sees its shadow, they say there’ll be six more weeks of winter. It’s a huge event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Imagine basing your weather forecast on a sleepy rodent!

Turkey Pardoning

Image Credit: Mohan Nannapaneni from Pixabay

The US President ‘pardons’ a live turkey each Thanksgiving, saving it from becoming dinner. This odd ceremony happens at the White House every year. The lucky bird gets to live out its days on a farm. It’s quite a spectacle to see the leader of a country talk to a turkey!

Mardi Gras

Image Credit: fernando zhiminaicela from Pixabay

This wild party in New Orleans involves colorful parades, masks, and bead-throwing. People dress up in crazy costumes and dance in the streets. The whole city turns into one big celebration. It’s like Halloween, New Year’s, and a circus all rolled into one!

Black Friday

Image Credit: hnance from Pixabay

Right after giving thanks on Thursday, Americans rush to shops for huge sales. People camp outside stores and sometimes fight over discounted items. It’s a shopping frenzy that kicks off the Christmas season. Imagine seeing normally calm people turn into bargain-hunting warriors!

Also read: Cruise Ship Secrets You Wish You Never Knew


Image Credit: alicianess from Pixabay

Before big sports events, fans gather in parking lots to eat, drink, and party. They set up grills, games, and sometimes even TVs right next to their cars. It’s like a picnic, but with team jerseys and face paint. The party before the game can be as fun as the game itself!


Image Credit: Dave Davidson from Pixabay

American high schools host a big formal dance at the end of the school year. Students stress over dates, dresses, and elaborate ‘promposals’. Some even arrive in limos or fancy cars. It’s like a teenage version of a red carpet event!

Super Bowl

Image Credit: WikiImages from Pixabay

This football championship is practically a national holiday. Even non-sports fans join in for the parties, snacks, and famous TV adverts. People discuss the commercials as much as the game. Imagine a sports event where the ads are almost as important as the match!


Image Credit: Diana Cibotari from Pixabay

On Halloween, children dress up in costumes and go door-to-door asking for sweets. Adults decorate their houses with spooky items to get into the spirit. Some neighborhoods go all out with decorations and treats. It’s like a nationwide costume party with free candy!

Throwing Octopus on Ice

Image Credit: edmondlafoto from Pixabay

At Detroit Red Wings hockey games, fans throw octopuses onto the ice for good luck. This strange tradition has been going on since 1952. Staff have to clean the ice before the game can continue. Imagine seeing flying sea creatures at a sports match!

Polar Bear Plunge

Image Credit: Matthias Groeneveld from Pixabay

On New Year’s Day, people in many cities jump into freezing cold water. They often do this to raise money for charity. Some wear costumes, others just their swimming suits. It’s a chilly way to start the year, but they say it’s invigorating!

Punkin Chunkin

Image Credit: Jens from Pixabay

In this bizarre contest, people build machines to launch pumpkins as far as possible. It started in Delaware but has spread to other states. Some pumpkins fly over a kilometer! It’s like a medieval catapult competition, but with vegetables instead of rocks.

15 Places with Strict Photo Bans You Need To Know Before Visiting

Image Credits: bmarxdueren from Pixabay

15 Places with Strict Photo Bans You Need To Know Before Visiting

Top 15 Places You Should Never Visit If You’re on a Tight Budget

Image Credits: enjoytheworld from Pixabay

Top 15 Places You Should Never Visit If You’re on a Tight Budget

Sharing is caring!

Victoria Omololu

Victoria Omololu is a fashionista exploring the world on a budget. She co-founded Only Earthlings in 2023 to show her travels in North America, Europe, Africa, and everywhere else. Victoria loves writing about travel tips, itineraries, packing guides, and taking photography from all over the world.

Leave a Comment