Holidays Abroad: London Style

Bridget Terranova
December 3, 2021
Covent Garden Tree

Being abroad during the fall semester is one of the best ways to really immerse yourself in a new culture. The fall semester is home to so many traditional holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, that it is interesting to be in a new country to see how they may or may not celebrate. 

Thanksgiving in London was different than how I would celebrate back home in Pittsburgh, but definitely an experience I will not forget. Typically, I would be with family on Thanksgiving watching football and getting ready to start decorating for Christmas. This year, I was able to experience Thanksgiving in London with my friends that I have made since being here. I have noticed that Thanksgiving is not a big traditional holiday in London that is celebrated the same way people celebrate in America. 

My friends and I decided to do a Friendsgiving after class on Thursday to bring a bit of home to London. It was so cool to have a conversation with my professor on Thursday to talk about Thanksgiving. He was asking us about Thanksgiving and what is usually involved in the holiday in America, and then we got to ask him about what it is like in London. I learned that Thanksgiving is not celebrated here, but people in London do have Black Friday the day after Thanksgiving. 

For my Thanksgiving meal, I ended up making a charcuterie board to munch on for dinner. It was so fun being with new friends from around the world celebrating a holiday in a home away from home. I was able to share some of my family's Thanksgiving traditions with others because even though my friends from America also celebrate Thanksgiving, some of our traditions are still different. 

After Thanksgiving, it is fully Christmas mode, but Christmas time in London starts basically right after Halloween, which I am fine with because I love Christmas. Seeing the Christmas lights, streets, and stores all decorated, just makes my mood always better. For me, my family always tries to wait to get into Christmas mode until after Thanksgiving or on Thanksgiving. Since I am in London, I got to experience the Christmas season coming earlier and how they prepare for the holidays. 

There are so many beautiful Christmas markets all around London! I have been starting my Christmas shopping for my family and friends, so the Christmas markets are a great place. Some of my favorite markets are Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, and Covent Garden. Covent Garden has set up a huge Christmas tree and now has snow that falls from the market every hour, to bring the holiday magic to the area. 

Walking down the streets of London is like being in a Christmas movie. I am enjoying every second of being involved in experiencing holidays while being abroad. There are more similarities between how people celebrate Christmas in London and in America. Holidays abroad are a bonus cultural experience that students get to share with others when studying abroad during the fall semester.

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Bridget Terranova

<p>Hi, I am Bridget Terranova, a senior majoring in Global Cultural Studies with minors in Social Media and Modern Languages from Point Park University located in Pittsburgh! Traveling has always been an interest of mine, along with others such as music, soccer, and painting. I cannot wait to explore all of London (hopefully more of Europe too) and see what other adventures await for me around the world. To quote one of my favorite movies, Mamma Mia: Here We go Again, "Life is short, the world is wide. I want to make some memories" -Young Donna.</p>

2021 Fall
Home University:
Point Park University
Lower Burrell, PA
Global Studies
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