Happy national day! I am so happy to see that you’re interested in reading a bit about how to celebrate a national day from another place than ‘home’. I believe that depending on the day and the traditions from home and varies from a place to another. For me, it is/was all about the fireworks!
I think that for a lot of Frenchies, our national day is fairly important. Mainly because it shaped such an important part of our History. And if you think about it from another perspectives, it’s an amazing opportunity to hang out with friends, and having a good time.
In addition, I would say that we’re lucky that it is happening during the summer time! This means that people want to stay outside, where there can be a lot of different activities organised. So yes, who does not like a little party, outdoor, with friends and enjoying a spectacular firework show after the sunset?
When living abroad
When living abroad, we have the advantages of having our embassies, usually organising receptions. It is amazing because we are able to celebrate this day with our national fellows. So, knowing that, I decided to look at the embassy’s website to see if I could find any information about it. Which I could not – of course. Next, I emailed them, email to which they did not reply – of course. This was quite disappointed as it is always nice to gather with other French and being able to share these moments. But then what? What does one usually do? Well, then you organise a party – of course!
We do not have too many French friends here in Stockholm. So, I believe the meaning of this last evening was different from one to another. But that’s fine, as long as everyone celebrates it the way they like it. And luckily, the weather these days is just perfect, which allowed us to have an awesome barbecue party!
Our plan consisted in having friends over and a lot of food with nice festive summer feeling. Because, after all, this day is just a great celebration! As Saturday was close to 30 degrees (in Sweden), it is not easy to find nice dishes that people want to eat. We made a lot of salads, cold soups and snacks that are easy to pick and just reminded me of our dearest ‘apéro’. Nothing more Frenchy than that!!
As time is flying by and the more year I spend abroad, the more I feel like I want to celebrate these days. The same way as if I would be back home for a few hours. So, recreating this home away from home feeling was something important for me, but also bringing some French traditions to my friends. This is another way of sharing and adapting your lifestyle to the current environment!
Lastly, you remember those fireworks I mentioned before? Oh well, I found the perfect sparkling candles (just like the one on the picture above) which recreated a mini firework on our terrace! I truly loved it!
So if I had to do it again, would I?! Yes definitely! Would I change something? Probably not. Obviously, it will never be exactly the same as back home, because you are not back home. But it is so much more interesting to try to show to your friends, how it would be there and how nice this day is. The celebration was just as good as back in France in my opinion, except that my fireworks were not too big or impressive!
The other things I miss from home? It’s just here!