I’ve decided to participate in this year’s event where expat bloggers link entries so that readers can “travel” around the world on one theme from various countries. This year’s theme: “Holidays and Celebrations”. We are meant to answer the question, “What is your favorite new holiday and how it is celebrated?”
Seeing as I come from America and have moved to the UK, the holidays are not as drastically different as they would be if I, say, moved to India. So, I will say that I do not have a favourite new holiday exactly (besides Guy Fawkes Day because I love fireworks), but living in London means that I get to experience so many holidays and cultural celebrations I had never even heard of when I lived in the States. And that is quite incredible. London is accomodating to pockets of people from all over the world who celebrate as if they were back home.
The most recent example of a holiday I enjoyed that I wouldn’t have experienced back home is Dwali, the Festival of Light, which I posted on few weeks ago. K and I ventured down to Southall, an Asian community where fireworks exploded across the night sky in every direction, little diyas and tea light candles were placed on front steps of houses and families and friends gathered outside to socialise.
If you choose a country, likely there is a celebration in London to acknowledge it. Chinese New Year falls on Valentine’s Day in 2010, the year of the tiger. The city will be alive with an alternative to the forced romance with fireworks, dancing, Chinese food and festive fun.
Beyond set holidays, the city is teeming with culture and film festivals that reach the significant proportion of London’s population who are expats and anyone else who is interested. There is the chaotic Notting Hill Carnival in August every year which celebrates Caribbean culture with a massive costume parade, sound systems, jerk chicken and plenty of partying all around. There’s Canada Day which offers music and relaxation around Nelson’s Column. Other weeks bring Russia and Japan and Brazil out into the spotlight.
I can even have a taste of home if I like with American expats who organise events in celebration of Thanksgiving and even the 4th of July – independence from a nation we crazy expats have turned back to embrace.
Zuzanna, also in London, is up next at Success Abroad so be sure to check out her post and her awesome site as well.
And a thanks to Twitter Reporter, Karen, who blogs at “Empty Nest Expat.” Karen is an American expat blogger last seen in Prague. The Wall Street Journal said, “Her blog makes a fun read for anyone looking for reassurance that change can be a wonderful thing–and also for anyone interested in visiting the Czech Republic.”