Celebrating in your Adoptive Country

So if you didn’t know, this year I am studying abroad at the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, England. Since I’ve been here I’ve noticed a few differences between my two countries, and one that came up recently was holidays.

One of the most obviously lacking holidays was Thanksgiving, which is only really celebrated in Canada and America. The study abroad office at UEA had a Thanksgiving dinner for international students, and since I am the Canadian student ambassador at UEA I of course went to that, and it was so much fun!

It was a potluck, and my plan was to make pumpkin pie, but it turns out that finding canned pumpkin in England is harder than I thought it would be. I went to four different grocery stores, and only one had it, but they were out of stock…… so that was a bust. But the dinner was still amazing and it was a great way to connect with other Canadians, and even just other international students.

fawkesBut the UK makes up for not celebrating Thanksgiving with other holidays and celebrations that I have never been a part of before, including Guy Fawkes Day, which was on November 5th. Before moving here I didn’t know much about Guy Fawkes Day, except for some passing references in some of my history classes, and what I learned watching V for Vendetta, but it is actually a really cool day in the UK.

Guy Fawkes was a Catholic man in the early 17th century who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Basically he was unhappy with the ruling of James I and VI, so he thought it would a good idea to blow up the House of Lords during the opening of Parliament, when James would be there. The plot failed, and now the UK celebrates his failure with huge bonfires and fireworks displays. If you want to learn more about Guy Fawkes, or the gunpowder plot, check it out here.

gravity-trampoline-parkA group of friends and I decided to go to the fireworks being set off from Norwich Castle for Guy Fawkes Night, but first we went to Gravity, which is a huge trampoline park in the city. It’s amazing; the floor and the walls are all made of trampoline, there are trampoline dodge ball courts and big airbags that you can jump into. It was fabulous. I think there is a similar place in Vancouver, so if you have the chance you should go, it was so fun (but also hard; 1 hour of trampolining is more tiring than you think!)

After Gravity we went to the castle to watch the fireworks, which were beautiful. They set them to music, and it was one of the best displays I’ve seen. I’ve put some pictures down below, but I’m sorry they’re not very good.

Whoops, this blog got a little longer than I first planned, anyway, Guy Fawkes Night was amazing, and I’ll post again probably next week, because I’m going to Scotland and I will definitely want to blog about it!

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