With American Thanksgiving this past week, it got me thinking about spending holidays abroad. And while I haven’t spent too many abroad, there’s still something about the big holidays from your culture that makes you look for ways to celebrate them while you’re away from home.
Thanksgiving is one of those holidays. Even though it’s not one of my favorite holidays normally, it felt great to gather with other Americans (and few people from other countries that we could share our tradition with) while I was living in Edinburgh to have a big potluck dinner. Because really, Thanksgiving is about two things: spending time with your family and other people you care about, and, of course, eating too much junk food.
Fourth of July is another holiday that brings out patriotism. In Edinburgh, we were lucky to get a sunny July 4 that we could spend in the park and have a picnic more or less the way we did at home. However, the only fireworks we could find were cake sparklers, so that was a little disappointing, but we tried.
Christmas is a holiday that pops up many places, and is celebrated slightly different from country to country. While I’ve never spent Christmas day itself abroad, it’s always exciting to see Christmas decorations appear in other countries and see how they come together. And who can miss the famous Christmas markets in places like Germany and Scotland? Definitely something I miss about Europe.
Holidays abroad are a great way to bring together your home culture and the new culture you are living in. What holidays have you missed most while abroad? How have you celebrated them while you’re away from home?