Halloween & Thanksgiving in the United States are two extremely large holidays that i have never celebrated before my student exchange! Halloween is huge here at the University of Arizona, so much so they celebrate it the entire week and therefore rename the holiday “Halloweek”. There are many different activities people do throughout the week like decorating their apartments and carving pumpkins but, being college, most of the students dress-up and go to parties either at the Frat Houses or the Bars.
Thanksgiving is another large holiday that commemorates a harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrims and is usually celebrated by a large traditional meal including turkey. Because it is a large national holiday, most of the students will go back to their home towns for the weekend. I was lucky enough to be invited to spend Thanksgiving with my friend Olivia and her family in Phoenix. We spent the most part of the morning preparing the delicious food for Thanksgiving lunch, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television and then relaxing and socialising with Olivia’s family. A stand out for me was tasting my first slice of pumpkin pie, it was strangely delicious!
Another common thing to do on Thanksgiving weekend is go Black Friday shopping. This is where all of the stores have really good sales on the day after Thanksgiving which causes the shopping malls to be mayhem! That weekend i also met up with two other Australians that also study at the University of Arizona and we all went to our first NBA game (Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Pelicans) together which was an incredible experience!
An added extra to the weekend was being able to put up Olivia’s family Christmas tree in preparation for the Christmas season. This was a only a small fragment of the weekend, however, it was very nice to be able to get into the holiday spirit and decorate their home as i will be away from my family this Christmas.
Phoebe Budge, a Bachelor of Education (Middle and Secondary Schooling), Bachelor of Arts student, is currently on a semester exchange at University of Arizona, United States