As an expat my holidays are all messed up. I totally forgot today is Labor Day in the states, not that it really matters down here. Monday is going on as normal. Of course, there are no lack of holidays in Brazil. My kids are constantly getting days of school for things that I don't even understand.
Take this Wednesday for example. It's Brazilian Independence day. Do they have fireworks and all that jazz, no. There are some parades but it's not really done up like we do ours.
Personally I think it's because of the abundance of holidays. When you get half the year off (slight exaggeration) for national, religious, or city holidays they all just seem to run together. It's basically an excuse to escape the city and drink beer in the middle of the day (not that Cariocas really need an excuse to do either).
Still I feel a bit like I am failing my children when it comes to knowing the holidays of their Mother's homeland. We do nothing on American holidays, they think Valentines day is in June, and Grandpa and Daddy have different Father's days. Talk about confusion.
Then you add in Carnaval and conselho de classe (each quarter/semester class is canceled so teachers can have a prep day) and you realize there are about 3 fully functioning work days in Rio de Janeiro.
Anyway, my kids' understanding of all holidays, minus Christmas, is that they are an excuse to miss school/work. Then again, isn't that the essence of holidays in the first place? A day to relax, enjoy, and be with friends and loved ones.
I do wish we could celebrate 4th of July with style down here though. This year I missed good hot dogs, beers, fireworks, obnoxious American Flag clothing items, and the general old fashioned American bbqs. Don't even get me started on potato salad and big dill pickles...
Those of you living abroad, do you ever miss celebrating the holidays of your native land? If so, which ones?