Your language stay: discover traditions from around the world...
Going on a language stay is a golden opportunity to discover new cultures. The customs and traditions may be similar to France but in some countries it is a total discovery. A short tour of the world of festivals and events, to discover a country differently.
CHRISTMAS Christmas holidays make young and old dream. Many countries celebrate this holiday which is meant above all, religious. Even though the distribution of gifts and illuminations are similar, for every corner of the world, customs and traditions may be different.
IN EUROPE In France, we usually start decorating the house around mid-December. The tree installed inside, the garlands hanging on the outer facades. Everyone goes for its originality. The Christmas meal is prepared all day December 24 and we find ourselves with family, the evening to wait for the 12 strokes of midnight and the passage of Santa Claus.
The little ones, who do not watch so late, have the immense joy of finding the packages at the foot of the tree the next morning. On the 25th, it's time for the banquet again! If you have chosen to do a language study trip in Europe during the Christmas holidays, come and see what is happening at our neighbors on this sacred day ...
IN SPAIN Spain is only at a border of France and yet ... Here children do not get their presents on December 25th. They must wait until January 6, which is the day of the Three Kings. In terms of gastronomy, we tasted the Touron. Made with honey, egg, almonds and sugar, this is the cake served on New Year's Eve. Feliz Navidad!
IN PORTUGAL For Portuguese people, the gifts are all given on Christmas Eve, December 24th. Pai Natal, Santa, brings them to the wisest children. People who have a chimney burn a trunk of olive or chestnut. This practice predicts them of luck and happiness. The main course revolves around cod but it is not very rich. Indeed, the Portuguese are more "sweet" on Christmas day and prefer to reserve for the round of desserts.
IN GERMANY The Germans are very attached to Christmas traditions. The country is known for its super-well-organized Christmas markets, rich in seasonal produce. There is the Stollen, a traditional dessert that resembles a raisin brioche wrapped in icing sugar. Every little German receives an Advent calendar while waiting for D-Day. The list of gifts is not sent directly to Santa Claus but to Christkind who is a little girl.
UK Here, it's time for illustrated greeting cards to be sent between loved ones until the end of December. Obviously, the whole family is busy making the tree inside the house. The other little ritual is discovered during the meal. His name is the Christmas cracker. This is a little box packed like a candy. We break it and we find small gifts.
IN ITALY If you are on a language course in Italy in December, you will discover that the Italian Christmas begins on December 8th and ends on Epiphany, January 6th. On the menu of the eve is fish and Christmas day we tasted the famous Panettone. It is not Santa who brings the gifts but the Befana, a witch!
IN GREECE The Greek Christmas symbol is not a tree but a boat! The little boys carry a boat while they sing traditional songs in the street. The gifts are distributed on January 1st. From December 25 to January 6, the Greeks hang basil in their house and light a fire to ward off evil spirits.
IN JAPAN The Japanese are definitely very surprising. Christmas Eve is not really done with family but rather as a couple or with friends. And for the traditional meal, we will iron. You may not believe it, but here we eat fried chicken. And for this original idea, we say thank you KFC who is at the origin of this custom, thanks to its publicity which was a huge success in 1974.
IN NORTH AMERICA
IN CANADA Santa is in the spotlight in Canada. Children can send their letter directly to their address at the North Pole. Big parades are organized in big cities like Montreal. We dance, we sing, we disguise ourselves. And then on Christmas Eve, we let the little red man, milk and biscuits so that he can continue his tour without suffering a crisis of hypoglycemia!
IN THE USA You chose to go to the United States to improve your English language stay, you will not be disappointed by the traditions of Christmas. Home decor contests are all the rage at this time. The inhabitants of many cities make every effort to transform their property into a magical place. If you want to totally immerse yourself, we recommend the Egg Nog. This ancestral drink consists of egg, rum, cinnamon and nutmeg. To consume with moderation, of course!
MEXICO A country that is already dreaming about its landscapes but even more so during Christmas, because the Mexicans celebrate it from December 16th to 24th. Every day is his birthday to celebrate the pilgrimage of Mary and Joseph. On January 6, children put their shoes under the tree to receive money.
IN AUSTRALIA Christmas in summer, do you like it? Then go to Australia for your language study trip. Christmas markets under 40 ° C, a Santa Claus in a swimsuit, we are far from our French winter. The traditions are very similar to England with greeting cards and famous crackers. For the meal, many choose to have a giant barbecue by the beach.
NEW ZEALAND Same thing in Australia, it's hot! This is also the time of the summer vacation, many New Zealanders take their annual leave to see their family. The most consumed main meat at Christmas is the turkey! And for dessert, everyone savor the Pavlova, a meringue cake covered with cream and fresh fruit.
EASTER If you are on a language trip for the Easter holidays, you will surely attend special festivities depending on the country you have chosen.
Easter is a purely religious holiday that varies from country to country. At home, the children receive, in their garden, chocolates delivered by the bells on Holy Sunday. The traditional dish is the lamb that you can enjoy with your family.
IN SPAIN AND PORTUGAL Spaniards and Portuguese do not work on Holy Thursday and Friday as well as on Easter Monday. There are many theater performances to celebrate the Procession. The Spanish Easter cake is a brioche and is called Mona.
IN GERMANY German traditions for Easter are quite numerous. It is a hare or a rabbit that carries the chocolates to the children. For the Germans, Easter means the return of heat. That's why they decorate a small bush with colorful eggs that look like fruits. And then, there is the Easter fire that is lit at night. We watch it as a family to celebrate the arrival of spring.
UK OUT the lamb, here we eat ham for Easter. Especially in England where the pig is seen as a symbol of luck. As with us, you will have the pleasure of an egg hunt in the garden. If it's ringing at your door, do not worry, kids may come and ask for treats.
IN ITALY On Easter Sunday, as in France, we eat roast lamb with the family. The next day is picnic outdoors together. Moms have concocted the Easter bun, named Colomba. It's synonymous with good news.
IN GREECE Well there you have to hang on! In Greece, a soup made of tripe is served. The heart and lungs of the lamb are simmered and served to each member of the family. For dessert, you will discover Tsoureki, a brioche with almonds. A game is organized at the table. Each guest has an egg painted red to symbolize the blood of Christ. The goal is to break that of his neighbor with three fingers.
IN NORTH AMERICA IN CANADA Brunch follower? You will love spending Easter in Canada. Families gather for a meal that includes breakfast and lunch. The ham is in the spotlight on the plates but here it is sprinkled with maple syrup or cider. In the English-speaking part of Canada, we add pineapple.
IN THE USA "Easter bunny", the American Easter Bunny, spoils children with chocolate, candy and marshmallow. The egg hunt is an institution for young and old! This activity is so popular that every year the President of the United States opens the White House Gardens for the now-famous "Easter Egg Roll".
IN AUSTRALIA Do not be surprised if you do not see any rabbits for Easter. The cute little rodent is wreaking havoc in Australia. It is the pet peeve of farmers because it destroys everything in its path. So, to avoid bringing it to light during these holidays, the Australians have replaced it with bilby. A kind of little mouse with ears as long as a rabbit. It is an endangered species, so we take the opportunity to educate children by offering bilby chocolate and raise funds.
ON EASTER ISLAND A nod to Easter Island, attached to Chile. No, there are no hidden chocolates in moai, these typical statutes that make the island special. She was named this way, simply because she was discovered by Jakob Roggeven on Easter day in 1722.
FAMILY FESTIVALS THE BIRTH
BABIES SAUTEURS In the south of India, the inhabitants engage in a practice as ancestral as dangerous. Every baby that is born is thrown out of the window of a building to be caught in a stretched sheet. Well, we reassure you it becomes more and more rare!
In the small Spanish village of Castrillon de Murcia, we place all babies, born in the world this year, on mattresses. People disguised as devil, jump over them to wash them of bad luck and ensure a good life.
QUEEN MAMMA In Japan, the mother who has just given birth receives as much attention as her newborn. For three weeks, she has the right to stay in bed, and even to stay with her parents. The other members must be very caring and take care of all the housework in their place.
In Latin America, "la Cuarentena" is a custom that for 40 days the mother stays with her baby to gain strength. His first meal is made from chicken broth.
BEVERAGES AND FOOD In Turkey, it is customary to serve a post-delivery drink, the lohusa şerbeti. It is a red mixture, made from cloves, cinnamon, sugar and water. The mother must drink it first, and then serve it to all those who come to him.
UNUSUAL In Bali, the placenta is cleaned, placed in a container with a seed and buried in the garden. As the child grows up he has to take care of the tree that symbolizes his birth.
In Brazil, the young mother offers gifts to people who come to visit her.
In Togo, women who give birth must make as little noise as possible. Cries attract unhealthy and evil spirits.
THE WEDDING The traditions of before, during and after marriage are looming from generation to generation. While some may be fun, others are a little far-fetched, even embarrassing.
IN SCOTLAND The relatives of the bride-to-be cover it with mixtures more disgusting than the others before the ceremony. She finds herself full of milk, sauce, fish mud ... Anything that does not smell very good! Alala, these Scots!
IN CHINA Red is in the spotlight among the Chinese. Symbol of happiness, luck and success, we find many red keys in Chinese weddings. It is not uncommon for the bride to wear a dress of the color of love.
The Tujia people ask all the women close to the bride to cry. The future woman must cry 1 hour a day for a month. His mother joins her 10 days later, and then the grandmother enters the ritual 10 days later. At the end of the month, all the women in the family cry together.
IN INDONESIA The people of Borneo Island have a rather special ritual. Married couples are not allowed to wash or use the toilet for three days and three nights after the wedding ceremony. If they fail, they will suffer years of misery and their union will be doomed to failure ...
IN ARGENTINA We hide a ring in the cake, it is connected by a wire. Other strings protrude on both sides of the cake, the one that pulls the ring will be married in the year. Even more fun than the flower bouquet throwing.
IN BRAZIL Even better than anything, in Brazil we throw fluff! The one who receives one will be the next to marry.
IN CANADA Whenever the glasses clink, the bride and groom must kiss each other. And the person who has "chopped" his glass must kiss his neighbor on the right.
IN GREECE The bride hides a piece of sugar in her glove. This would guarantee a quiet and peaceful couple life. After the meal, the plates are thrown to the ground to wish luck to the new couple.
MEALS During your language stay, you may be invited to eat at a foreigner's home. To avoid missteps and feel uncomfortable you can already learn a little more about the habits and customs at the table.
IN EUROPE IN SPAIN The evening meals are not taken before 21h, so do not arrive before! There is almost no time in the discussions, the Spaniards speak continuously. They hate emptiness.
IN GREECE Delay is a common practice in Greece and before drinking or eating it is important to wait for all guests. If you want to bring something to your host you can bring alcohol, a dessert or a plant.
IN GERMANY Any other atmosphere, the Germans are very punctual. The delay is very badly perceived. At the level of the drink, one never brings back beer. And then, reserve the red roses for someone with whom you wish to have a real love affair.
IN ENGLAND If the house has carpet, think about taking off your shoes. Do not waste anything, leave nothing on the plates. Once the evening is over think to propose to your host to come to share a meal at your place.
IN ITALY There too, we leave nothing on his plate at the risk of anger his host. If cheese is not brought to the table, do not ask for it. And then, no cappuccino after noon, Italians say it causes stomach upset.
IN NORTH AMERICA IN CANADA We thank his Canadian host by bringing him a small gift even if he told you to come empty-handed. At the end of the meal, it is customary to offer help to get rid and the rest of the evening is spent in the kitchen.
IN THE USA We do not invite ourselves like that to the Americans. If you have not received an invitation, you do not have to make forcing ... In addition, they eat very early at 18h / 18h30.
IN MEXICO The meals are very long and ultra hearty. You have to be patient especially if you're not used to it. For gifts avoid anything that is white, red or yellow because it symbolizes death.
IN SOUTH AMERICA IN ARGENTINA If you want to please an Argentine offers him good whiskey and for a woman we prefer a perfume. If you're about to leave, do not forget to drink your cup of coffee. It's a custom!
IN BRAZIL Here we do not go to table only around 22h and the delay is in place. If you're set like a clock, nibble a bit before you do not starve. You can help in the kitchen, clean the table or do the dishes after the meal. It's a moment of sharing.
IN ASIA IN CHINA In this country, everything is different from France. At the table, we laugh to express the fact of having eaten well. If you eat fish, do not return the fish to your plate. It is a pledge of bad luck. On the other hand, if you finish all your plate it means that the host did not serve you enough and it is not good sign.
IN JAPAN The Japanese see white as the color of death, bring no object of this color. It's important to make noise when you eat, it means you enjoy the food. We never cross his baguettes and we do not plant them vertically in his bowl. The silence is appropriate during Japanese meals.
We see that the customs are really very different from France. Doing a language study abroad makes it possible to face a lot of new things and open your mind.