I have learned a lot of different and interesting experiences after one year staying in the U.S., especially the way Americans celebrate their holidays.
In America, Christmas and Thanksgiving are considered the two biggest holidays, while Asians enjoy celebrating Lunar New Year day as the biggest event. We have Lunar New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival.
As I perceive, the main purpose of those holidays is for people to have time to get together with their beloved family members as well as their extended families.
In Christmas and Thanksgiving what most U.S. extended families do is to gather in one place, usually at grandparents’ house or at a family whose house is big enough. People bring their own foods, the host cooks a whole bunch of meals.
They get together around the dining table, watch football games and enjoy the warmth of the atmosphere inside when it is really cold outside.
In contrary, Asians seem to be more interested in welcoming their holidays outside. In big holidays like Lunar New Year or Mid-Autumn Festival, we usually eat out at restaurant with beautiful views with our families, then walk to “Flower Display” town where we can see many types of colorful spring flowers.
We have a tradition called “Taking Luck for the New Year”. It means in order to bring luck and money for the next year, people should display in their home spring’s flower that they bought on the night of New Year’s Eve. Besides, some families like taking out-of-town vacations.
However, there are still some common things that both people who are living in the complete opposite two poles of the world have. The first thing is older people give gifts or lucky money to their children or youngsters which are like a best wish to them for a brand new moment.
The other thing make me so surprised when one of my American friends told me that during the holiday, many families also have to deal with at least one drunken family member. That is similar to what happens in my country. People overdrinking and behave badly.
For me, experiencing the differences between two cultures amuses me a lot.