HOUSTON, June 16 (Xinhua) -- The annual Immigrant Heritage Month Celebration was held on Saturday in downtown Houston, Texas, the United States.
The Houston Mayor's Office of New Americans and Immigrant Communities held outdoor celebration and interactive art installation for the event. Participants were encouraged to affix a flag that represents their ancestry to the art piece to honor their heritage.
According to a press release from the Mayor's Office on Friday, Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner issued a proclamation recognizing June as Immigrant Heritage Month in the city of Houston.
The Immigrant Heritage Month is an opportunity to reflect on shared immigrant heritage, and to celebrate the meaningful and positive ways immigrants impact communities across the country.
Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, is an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas. Its name is a portmanteau of "June" and "nineteenth."
On Sept. 22, 1862, then President Abraham Lincoln issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation effectively ending slavery on Jan. 1, 1863. However, the Proclamation had little effect in the State of Texas until two and a half years later.
Today it is observed primarily in local celebrations. Traditions include public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, singing traditional songs and reading of works by noted African-American writers.