What are the big family-oriented holidays and events outside of the US?

Lisa - posted on 03/31/2009 ( 2 moms have responded )




For instance, in the US, in April we celebrate the return of good weather with Spring holidays like Easter and Passover; in late Spring we have Mother's and Father's Days. Summer is when many of us take family vacations or send our kids to camp, September is back to school time, and in November and December we go mad for the holidays. When do the big events and holidays like these occur in your country?

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Michelle - posted on 11/03/2012




Hi Lisa! i see you posted this ages ago but thought I'd reply anyway...!

I'm an American living for the past 22 years in the UK so I miss those American holidays! But you guessed it we have others instead. Coming up first is Guy Fawkes Day on the 5th of November when communities make big bonfires, people gather and have weather appropriate party food (it's usually cold and rainy!), and set off fireworks. The towns and some villages also have public displays. Guy Fawkes was a revolutionary who wanted to blow up the government because he and his followers thought that was the only way to create the necessary change.

Next is 11 November, Remembrance Day, which is like Memorial Day but focused only on the military. This began from World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month" and so at 11 am on the 11th of November there are 2 minutes silence all across the UK.

We also have Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, and many people also have this day off but not the retail industry--it's the biggest shopping day here (which is why I stay home!) because all the post-Christmas sales start then.

Mother's Day is in May, the same as Australia, but Father's Day is in June, the same as the US. Things like Valentines and St Patrick's aren't celebrated here like in the States. Halloween is finally starting to take off here! Of course there isn't a Thanksgiving or a 4th of July here, and no Federal Holidays (!) but they do have Bank Holidays throughout the year, which are usually Mondays--the first Monday in May and the last Monday in May, then the last Monday in August. For Easter there is Good Friday and Easter Monday, which gives us a four day weekend and Pancake Day, the Tuesday before Lent starts, is celebrated with pancakes but we don't get the day off.

New Years is more or less like in the States, but it is supposedly big in Scotland.

Summer starts for most kids here in early to mid July, then ends in early September, but the kids have half term in late October of a week or two, then two to three weeks off at Christmas, another half term break of a week in the middle of February, then two or three weeks in April around Easter, and finally another half term break of a week in late May/early June. A lot of families try to go away--often to the coast or maybe to warmer parts of Europe for these breaks but of course the travel industry capitalises on this and these can be expensive times to travel!

Summer camps aren't half as common here as they are in the States and although I fondly remember my summer camp experiences, my 14 year old British daughter thinks I am crazy whenever I suggest it to her!

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In Australia we celebrate the normal holiday like Christmas and Easter. Mothers Day is in May and Fathers Day is in September. We have the Queens Birthday on 10 June were we get a day off. Same goes for ANZAC Day (like Remembrance Day) in April and Australia Day on January 26, which happens to be my daughters birthday so the lucky girl will always has a day off for a party!

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