Holidays: Greece vs. USA





Holidays. We all know them and love them. Some means free candy, gifts, and scares. Others are well deserved days off of work. One thing I think of was the lack of holidays I’m use to having back at home. Valentine’s Day, Halloween, MLK Day, President’s Day. Outside of the United States don’t exist. In Greece, we only have few that overlap with the U.S. Easter, Good Friday, First day of Lent, Christmas, and Pentecost. That’s due that most of Greeks are Orthodox Christians. So any christian holiday is pretty much parallely celebrated across the world no matter what country. While there is holidays similar to Halloween or Valentine’s day, most of the holidays have sentimental and serious meanings. They aren’t silly things like April Fools.

I didn’t think I would miss them. Something as silly as a holiday, but in a way I missed it and I didn’t. I felt fresh to be out of all the Valentine’s day marketing schemes by big companies or candy pushing or even income tax time. I felt clean and away. Yet, on the other hand I missed a feeling of familiar. To go into my local Walgreens and see the Valentine’s Day section. Or when halloween comes to see all the costumes and spooky decorations. In my family we deeply celebrate holidays, no matter how major or no, we decorate and celebrate. So not being able to really celebrate it was uncomfortable with me. Speaking with other American study abroad students, we were all feeling the same way. How it was weird to not have it but we didn’t necessarily yearn or miss those holidays. We had become so accustomed to our new country it didn’t matter that we didn’t have the holidays of our old.

Instead we learned to embrace new customs and holiday traditions. After talking with some locals, we learned that Easter is a beautiful time to be in Greece, due to the many traditions and festivals that occur during the time. From the 17th of February until mid-March there is a Halloween like tradition where people dress up and go out and have drinks and socialize with one another. Completely different from our usual October Halloween-celebration but just as interesting. There are many cool and fun holidays around the world in many countries and I look forward to learning about them all.