Holidays While Abroad

Yesterday was Easter. I went to my friend’s apartment and we ate cupcakes and dyed eggs. Then we ordered food because we were hungry. That was our version of an Easter celebration. We didn’t really dress up. Nobody cooked a big meal. There wasn’t a huge number of us. There weren’t really any traditions. (Who actually colors eggs past the age of ten?) We were all thinking about things besides Easter and celebrating.

On St. Patrick’s Day, one friend texted me and said something along the lines of “Let’s celebrate!” I genuinely had no idea that it was St. Patrick’s Day, so my response was, “Celebrate what?”

I have forgotten so many holidays while living abroad. Facebook statuses come 8+ hours after my time, so by the time my American friends are celebrating a holiday, my day’s usually over or already planned. There isn’t really big marketing for holidays, although there is one aisle in the hypermarket devoted to whatever holiday is upcoming. But half the time they’re Indian or other holidays that I don’t celebrate, so it’s easy to ignore it. I don’t have a tv, so there are no ads there either. Last year I completely forgot about Fourth of July, which is my favorite holiday. Granted, there would be no fireworks here and it’s way too hot for a barbecue by July. But still!

I was never really that big into holidays in the States. But here I’m more or less completely unaware of them. But I am vowing right this second that I will celebrate the next holiday that I like. Which is…. Cinco de Mayo! Fantastico!

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6 Responses to Holidays While Abroad

  1. Liv says:

    You are from New York too; do we actually celebrate these holidays you mentioned? (Apart from 4th of July reserved for those fireworks – never seen barbeque here.) No one I know even mentions Easter or St. Patrick’s Day. I kinda miss celebrating them from back when I didn’t live here, but I got used to it.

    My parents don’t insist on American holidays and it is very weird when my relatives are celebrating Lunar New Year 13 hours ahead of us.

    • mmarinaa says:

      Oh, the mess that is St. Patrick’s Day in the bars of NYC, haha. And I lived in Brooklyn, so we always had barbecues on the roofs for Fourth of July and Memorial Day. And I have a group of friends who always celebrate Easter. Mostly holidays are an excuse to have a party. But we still note them. Unlike here, really.

  2. Stephanie says:

    I used to march in New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade! 😀 Good times! (Soooo many drunk people cheering on the streets!)

    And yeah, nothing else to say. But do people in the UAE have big parties for the holidays that Americans (or maybe just me) are unaware of?

    • mmarinaa says:

      National Day (their independence day) is celebrated by huge festivities. There are fireworks and people party in the streets and oh the decorations! We celebrate in school by having the kids dress in national clothing and bring the local foods and put on traditional dances.

      And then there are two eids. (Eid means feast.) Eid al Fitr is the end of Ramadan and is celebrated by lots of feasting and charitable actions. Eid al Adha is an even bigger feast for 4 days, and includes animals being sacrificed and eaten and given away. (1/3 for self, 1/3 for family and friends, 1/3 to people less fortunate.) The eids mean days off of work and seeing family and wearing nice clothes and going to mosque.

    • mmarinaa says:

      There are also a lot of Indians here. So I remember Diwali being big in the hypermarket. I gather that’s a big party too.

  3. Liz(a) says:

    I guess that if you get used to not celebrating holidays whilst abroad, then it’s rather easy to forget them.

    I’d like to know the answer to Steph’s question, too. 🙂

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