Just in case, a disclaimer: in this post I'm going to talk about some things that are different here and back home, please note that it is only an opinion based on personal experiences from living in Guadalajara and Los Angeles, a lot of things might not apply to other cities in Mexico or the US, so hopefully no hurt feelings! :) I love them both! If you have a different experience on this subject I would love to hear you in the comments!
Today I'm going to talk about festivities! While the amount of festivi-spirit might vary from person to person, I have noticed the US has A LOT of festivities year round, compared to those I had back in Mexico. Growing up, I remember having an immediate connection between festivities and vacations; an important event was marked by a free day from school, or in some cases, weeks! Most free days from school were religious or patriotic festivities, like holy week and easter, christmas, independence day, revolution day, constitution day, and so on. And let's not forget one of the most unique ones: día de muertos.
Aside from christmas, independence day and día de muertos (which have pretty big and awesome celebrations), most festivities were celebrated by taking the day off from school and , sometimes, from work too; which, don't get me wrong, is pretty awesome. Some US festivities have sifted in as well, but with mixed feelings from the people. I can't remember how many times I heard back home that Halloween is a satanic thing or a gringo day, therefore 'not a day to celebrate'. Luckily my parents are cool people and they allowed me and my sisters to go out and ask for candy, because as a child all that matter is that you get free candy.
Anyways, having covered that background, 'regular' festivities here in Los Angeles seem like a bigger deal. Take Halloween for example, last year I was in awe at how many people were walking the streets at night in costume, the grown ups going to parties and the ones with children going everywhere for candy, even stores give you candy!
Everything gets themed according to the festivity, and that thing about having pumpkin spice flavored everything around fall is scarily true. You want to know what festivity is coming? there most likely is a 'limited edition' Oreo that can answer you on the store shelf. And there is also a weird thing where random days are declared 'something days' by I don't know who's authority, like national pie day (not to be confused with pi day), national cookie day, national cat day, national doughnut day, national hug your cat day, national hamburger day (not to be confused with cheeseburger day); I can go on, but there's just so many to keep a track on. You can google them if you don't believe me.
Most of these are not taken seriously or celebrated much, for obvious reasons, but it is a fun thing that they exist. Some of them, though, might bring a specially large crowd on, say, a pie restaurant on Pie Day; because any excuse to eat a food that we like is always good.
And I know what they say, most of this things are to encourage consumerism and to such, but I enjoy having this everyday festive schedule, since they make me enjoy each season for their different activities even when the landscape barely changes at all (seasons in LA are very subtle you guys). As you move from place to place, you learn to either hate or embrace the new traditions or just don't care at all, and I think I'm enjoying adding new traditions to my calendar and trying to get on the cheer of them all, both the new and the old.
To wrap things up, I don't care if some people here think Cinco de Mayo is our independence, or if in Guadalajara you don't get presents from Santa but from the niño Dios, or any other problems and differences people might have with festivities. All I care is they are a moment of cheer; any reason to celebrate and do the things you like, eat the things you like, and more importantly, be with the people you like, is all the reason to be happy and just enjoy life.
SO HAPPY TOLKIEN READING DAY, EVERYONE!
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”