By Zhiqi Liang
Being alone in a foreign country as international students, we miss the family reunion in Spring Festival because Chinese and American school calendars are different; we also can’t enjoy the national holidays for traditional Chinese festivals such as the Mid-Autumn Festival and Qingming Festival. I have had the experience of having classes on the Chinese New Year‘s Eve or taking exams when my Chinese friends back home are enjoying their “Golden Week” holidays for our National Day. However, instead of feeling upset, I think a better choice for us is to “Do as the Romans do”. Celebrating local festivals in America is not just an alternative, but also a golden opportunity to explore the unknown world and foreign culture. Like China, the United States also has a variety of unique holidays to celebrate except the major festivals like Christmas and New Year’s Day. So let’s see what we can do to enjoy the festivals!
St Patrick’s Day—March 17
On St Patrick’s Day, people usually have parade, church service and dinner party. American Irish like to wear clover, dress in green, use the colors of the Irish flag —-yellow and green to decorate their rooms and give clover-themed gifts to their guests.
Downtown Disney will hold special entertainment programs to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The merchants served during the celebration are designed combining the festival’s elements. In the area near House of Blues and western main stage, you can enjoy the Festive Seasons Shows. In Build-A-Bear Workshop，you can create your own teddy bear with clovers. In the Downtown Disney restaurants, you can also feast your stomach with Irish specials include Guinness beer, Irish cheddar dip, potato leek soup, black and tan battered fish and chips, a corned beef on rye open-faced sandwich and whiskey bread pudding.
Easter（Each of the churches to celebrate Easter refers to the full moon after the vernal equinox is the first one Sunday, if the full moon happens to be the day Sunday, Easter was postponed a week.）
People celebrate Easter to memorize the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Some interesting activities are held on that day for everyone to have fun. For example, a company named Tile will hide 8 Easter eggs in the eastern part of Marketstreet. Anyone who finds the egg will get a free set of their products and the opportunity to win 1000 dollars rewards. In Los Angeles, you can participate in the “Egg”straordinary Spring Celebration held by San Gabriel Kiwanis Club Foundation and City of San Gabriel. There you can enjoy free face painting, all-you-can-eat breakfast and pancake running race, Easter egg hunt and other interesting activities.
Independence Day—July 4
Fireworks Spectacular is always the theme of the Independence Day. Americans choose this resplendent way to celebrate their most honorable day.
At the Hollywood Bowl, the dance of lights is accompanied with the music played by Los Angeles Philharmonic, Steve Martin, Edie Brickell, Steep Canyon Rangers and the U.S. Air Force military band. If you don’t fancy classic style， go to Rose Bowl to enjoy some pop music. Located in Pasadena, Rose Bowl has the largest fireworks show in south California with 87 years’ history.
Grand Park is the activity center of downtown L.A. In every July 4, the area within four blocks from the park turns into a wild party. Some restaurants and bars will also extend their business hours and offer special discounts.
If you like retro style, Queen Mary is the place to go. The cruise reproduces the twenties and thirties of the US scenes with old-style restaurants, bars which and live music. Children’s entertainment activity area makes it also friendly to the families with kids.