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    Non-American Holidays

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    Paeter
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    Non-American Holidays

    Post  Paeter on November 7th 2017, 9:20 am

    I was just about to post something about Thanksgiving and remembered that we've got pretty significant international representation here. So that got me curious about non-American holidays that are similar to Thanksgiving, in that schools take more than one day off for it and most people have some kind of special family meal or gathering.

    Any thoughts from you folks outside the states?


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    AdamCollings

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    Re: Non-American Holidays

    Post  AdamCollings on November 15th 2017, 7:53 pm

    Well, we have Australia Day on the 26th of January (commemorating the arrival of the first fleet). This is a public holiday (meaning people get the day off work and school). Traditionally, families and friends will get together for a BBQ (preferably by the swimming pool). In recent years, Australia Day has become the subject of some controversy, as some in the Aboriginal community refer to it as "Invasion Day"
    https://www.australiaday.org.au/


    We also commemorate (not celebrate) Anzac Day on the 25th of April.
    This is a day when we remember those soldiers and nurses who have given their lives in the line of duty during war (in particular World War 1). Anzac stands for Australian New Zealand Army Corps, and is observed in both countries. It is also observed at Gallipoli in Turkey, where many of the Anzacs are buried.
    Tranditional observances would be attending a dawn service, followed by a march through the streets (soldiers, veterans and school children), followed by another service. (This is one rare occasion where Australia's Christian heritage is un-ashamedly shown. A Christian chaplain will openly pray and may read scripture.) The gambling game "two-up" can be legally played on Anzac day, but no other day of the year. We also eat Anzac buscuits (according to a simple recipe that soldiers could cook while out on the front)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anzac_biscuit
    (NOTE: When we say buscuit, we mean a cookie.)
    https://www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/anzac-day

    We also have Remembrance Day, where we hold a minute silence to remember fallen soliders at 11:00AM on the 11th of November.

    That's about it, really, for uniquely Aussie holidays. We have the usual Easter and Christmas, obviously.
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    jorowi
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    Re: Non-American Holidays

    Post  jorowi on November 16th 2017, 8:50 am

    In Germany, they have national and regional holidays. Most of the holidays are religious:

    Good Friday
    Easter Monday
    Labor Day (May 1)
    Ascension Day  (40 days after Easter)
    Whit Monday or Pentecost Monday (7th Monday after Easter)
    Day of German Unity (Oct. 3) Celebrates Germany unification in 1990
    Reformation Day (Oct 31)
    Boxing Day (Dec 26)

    You can check out more of the regional holidays and observances here:

    https://www.expatica.com/de/about/Public-holidays-in-Germany_105411.html

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    Reed Benson

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    Re: Non-American Holidays

    Post  Reed Benson on November 17th 2017, 4:27 am

    China doesn't have a Christian background like most Western countries, so (American) Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc. are occasionally observed as fads and minor consumer holidays.

    The two main family-gathering holidays are Spring Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival.

    Spring Festival: AKA Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year. This is the main holiday in China. It falls in January or February depending on the lunar calendar, and it's the only time you'll really see a significant amount of places closed and fewer people on the street. For some, especially poor migrant workers, this is the only time during the year that they get to see their families. Time off work/school can be up to two or three weeks, though at least a couple of those days have to be made up.

    Mid-Autumn Festival: Falls in September or October depending on the lunar calendar. Families gather to eat moon cakes (which is not as good as it sounds) and admire the moon. Mid-Autumn Festival usually comes close to October 1st, China's National Day, so the combined holidays create Golden Week, a popular vacation time. Time off is around a week, though a couple of those days have to be made up.

    Actually, pretty much every holiday that gets you a day off of work or school has to be made up on the weekend (as in, kids have class on Saturday or Sunday before or after the day).
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    Paeter
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    Re: Non-American Holidays

    Post  Paeter on November 17th 2017, 9:54 am

    Reed Benson wrote:
    Actually, pretty much every holiday that gets you a day off of work or school has to be made up on the weekend (as in, kids have class on Saturday or Sunday before or after the day).

    Oh, boo to that. Sorry, man. Do you enjoy the Chinese holidays when they come around? Have they developed any nostalgia or significance for you yet?


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    Re: Non-American Holidays

    Post  Reed Benson on November 17th 2017, 5:40 pm

    Paeter wrote:
    Reed Benson wrote:
    Actually, pretty much every holiday that gets you a day off of work or school has to be made up on the weekend (as in, kids have class on Saturday or Sunday before or after the day).

    Oh, boo to that. Sorry, man. Do you enjoy the Chinese holidays when they come around? Have they developed any nostalgia or significance for you yet?

    I'm fortunate, actually, because my school doesn't make up days. We're not a public school, just a training center, and our principal is an American, so he has the power to say, "We're not doing that." Unlike every other school, the holidays are built into our schedule every semester. I never have to work on Sundays.

    Mid-Autumn Festival is close to our anniversary, so we use the time off to celebrate. I also have good memories of my first year here when my friends who were living in the south at the time came up and visited my roommate and I.

    I like having time off work for Spring Festival, but I hate a lot of other things about it. I dislike the music, I hate the constant fireworks (often right outside our building), I hate all the superstition, and I have trouble spending time with my wife's family. My Chinese isn't good enough to have substantial conversations, and my digestive system isn't strong enough to eat their food. But I do have good memories. Once, an American family I know invited me to Beijing to spend the holiday with them, and it was very pleasant. And another year, I hung out at a Chinese friend's house and somehow played Batman: Arkham City for three hours (only time I've every played an Xbox).

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