How to celebrate international holidays as a student in the UK

Posted in Blog by nido team on August 20, 2020

From Thanksgiving to Chinese New Year, there are countless religious and national holidays that you might want to celebrate as an international student living in the UK. Even when you’re thousands of miles from family and friends, there are lots of ways to celebrate and take part in traditional festivities and events – even if you’re staying at home.

The great thing about studying in the UK as an international student is the country’s tolerance and open-mindedness to different faiths, nationalities and cultures. Depending on where you choose to study, you’ll likely find lots of local events dedicated to holidays and festivals, as well as different ways to celebrate with your flatmates.

To give you a little inspiration, we’ve put together a complete guide on how to celebrate international holidays as a student in the UK.

 

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is celebrated widely across the UK, particularly in cities like Manchester, which have a large Asian population. From January to mid-February each year, you’ll encounter many Chinese New Year themed events happening in your area, and have plenty of opportunity to host your own CNY celebrations.

Here are our essential tips for students hoping to celebrate Chinese New Year:

  • Check in with your student union for information on local events celebrating Chinese New Year. They’ll be able to point you in the direction of clubs and societies hosting CNY celebrations.
  • Decorate your living space with New Year decorations, either that you’ve made yourself or bought. You should, of course, check with your flatmates first, but we’re confident they’ll be happy to join in with the festivities.
  • Share a ‘Reunion Dinner’ with your family via video chat. You may not be there in person, but dining together via video link can help you feel closer to your nearest and dearest.

chinese new year manchester

 

Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr

Celebrating the month of Ramadan can be tricky as a student. Abstaining from food whilst balancing studies and socialising is a real challenge, but a rewarding one all the same. What’s more, the break fast festival of Eid al-Fitr gives you an excellent opportunity to share your faith with your flatmates – something many will be all too happy to get involved in.

For those living in student accommodation and celebrating Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr, here are some essential tips:

  • Be open to your flatmates about Ramadan and what it means to you. That way, they’ll accommodate your needs and help you enjoy the fasting period without putting temptations under your nose.
  • Cook with your housemates on an evening to break fast and showcase some of your traditional dishes.
  • Organise Eid al-Fitr celebrations with your housemates, sharing gifts and decorating your space. You should also enjoy an Eid meal together.

 

Thanksgiving

If you’re studying in the UK but have moved from the US, you’ll no doubt be keen to keep up with that most American of holidays: Thanksgiving. In recent years, Thanksgiving celebrations have become more popular in the UK – or at least a good opportunity for a roast dinner! We think your housemates will be thrilled to celebrate Thanksgiving with you, so here are a few suggestions on how to celebrate the occasion as a student:

  • Host a Thanksgiving dinner with your housemates, including all the trimmings. Cooking together is a great way to bring you closer while celebrating what’s important.
  • Find some American football on TV and gather everyone round to watch. This essential Thanksgiving tradition is bound to go down a storm – plus you’ll be able to fill your flatmates in on the rules of the game.
  • Take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday savings. Everyone knows that the day after Thanksgiving marks the start of the Christmas shopping period, and Black Friday is now a popular day for hitting the stores in the UK, with big savings to be had.

indian woman

 

Diwali

Diwali is an important festival in the Hindu faith, and it’s impossible to visit India in October without encountering events dedicated to it. The festival is popular in the UK, too, with most major cities hosting their own Diwali festivals in October and November. There are plenty of ways to mark Diwali as an international student; here are a few suggestions:

  • Seek out community groups to find Diwali celebrations happening in your local area. Firework displays, lantern lightings and feasts are just some of the ways the Hindu community comes together to mark the occasion.
  • Host a Diwali feast for your flatmates, showcasing regional cuisine, before heading outdoors to light sparklers in honour of the occasion.
  • Decorate your room with traditional Rangoli artwork and wall hangings, to get in the spirit of the occasion.

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