I honestly woke up today and completely forgot what day it is. Obviously, in Belize, we don’t celebrate the 4th of July. It’s just any other day here, with people going to work, banks open, and government offices operating just like usual. But in the U.S., most of my friends and family have the day off. My step-daughter actually got a five-day weekend (lucky her-nice boss!!).
I have often posted on my Facebook page asking my followers, “How would you feel if the holidays you are used to no longer exist in your new country?” This question assumes you have relocated to a new country, of course. But even if you haven’t, it’s interesting to stop a moment and think about the answer to that question.
Most of the U.S.’s federal holidays are not recognized here in Belize, such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial or Veteran’s Day, Washington or President’s Day (as it’s now called), along with the 4th of July or Columbus Day. While you may find different variations of Thanksgiving Day dinner served in Belize for the tourists and expats, you certainly won’t find any Belizean celebrating that holiday with the “intent” is was created for. And you definitely won’t find any Belizeans celebrating the every four year Inauguration Day!
Now Belize’s religious, traditional, and informal holidays are actually very much the same as I was used to in the States. They love Valentine’s Day here; you can find green beer on St. Patrick’s Day; Easter and Good Friday are taken quite seriously in this very religious society; Cinco de Mayo is a big deal; Mother’s and Father’s Day are celebrated, although sometimes on different days than in the States; Halloween is one of the biggest parties going; and of course, they celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
So if you were to move to Belize, some of the holidays you’ve become accustomed to would be gone, but at least not all of them would be. I never stayed out late and watched the fireworks on the 4th back home in the States anyway, so I don’t think I’m going to miss much today at all. But a day off would have been nice….
Which holiday do you think you would miss the most if you moved to another country and it wasn’t celebrated?