4th of July: Honoring an American tradition [photo gallery]

People watching fireworks next to a reflecting pool on Washington's National Mall (© Carlos Barria/Reuters)
Washington, 2016 (© Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Each year, the United States celebrates its national Independence Day on July 4.

The holiday commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Americans traditionally honor the day with parades, picnics, barbecues and fireworks displays.

While Fourth of July gatherings might look slightly different this year as cities and states implement social distancing measures, here’s a look at past celebrations — from sea to shining sea.

In Washington (above), the nation’s capital, friends and families watch the fireworks display during Independence Day celebrations on the National Mall.

People lying on confetti-covered grass (© Nicholas Pfosi/The Boston Globe/Getty Images)
Boston, 2017 (© Nicholas Pfosi/The Boston Globe/Getty Images)

Children play in the confetti during the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular celebration on the Charles River Esplanade in Boston. The world-famous Boston Symphony Orchestra plays live music as fireworks light up over the river.

Man in crowd sitting on lawn with American flag resting on his shoulder (© Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald/Getty Images)
Portland, Maine, 2017 (© Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald/Getty Images)

Bernard Toyambi (center), from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, celebrated his first Fourth of July on the Eastern Promenade in Portland, Maine.

Young child sitting on adult's shoulders watching fireworks (© Julio Cortez/AP Images)
Baltimore, 2019 (© Julio Cortez/AP Images)

Little kids enjoy staying up late to watch the fireworks go off, as seen here at the Chesapeake Bay fireworks show in Baltimore.

Fireworks at night over water (© Erik Kabik Photography/ MediaPunch /IPX/AP Images)
Honolulu, 2019 (© Erik Kabik Photography/ MediaPunch /IPX/AP Images)

And in Honolulu, hours after the Fourth of July celebrations have concluded on the East Coast, fireworks light up the night sky to celebrate the nation’s Independence Day.