European Showdown: UEFA European Football Championship

08 June, 2012 09:56  Erin Erin

UEFA flags on a football © volicholi - Fotolia.comHas it been too long since you heard some form of the exclamation "GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!?

You're in luck. Today is the kick-off of the UEFA European Football Championship. Called Euro 2012, this is the 14th European Championship. 16 National teams compete for the title of the best in Europe, one of the best in the world. (More)


Pancake Day around the world!

01 February, 2012 15:57  EasyExpat EasyExpat

homemade pancakes pile on plate © DLeonis - Fotolia.comPancake Day! Yes, it is coming. Of course you can make pancakes other days of the year, but if there is one day to choose this year, then you should pick up the 21st February 2012 (also the 2nd February when French, Belgian and Swiss celebrate La Chandeleur - Presentation of Christ in the Temple, but also Pagan feast of light). (More)


Gift Guide for your Favorite Expat

09 December, 2011 10:07  Erin Erin

Ribbon earth © Prod. Numérik - Fotolia.comFinding the perfect gift for your loved ones is a yearly Christmas challenge.

Does dad want another tie?
Should you get your grandmother a bird ornament?
Is it cheap to give your mom a framed photo of you?

What about a gift for your favorite expat? A globe-trotting, adventure seeking, globally aware pack, it's difficult to find the gift that fits your expat. Adding to the challenge of the gift, it needs to be something that is easy to send.

Fear not! EasyExpat has great ideas to find the gift for your person abroad. For Christmas, for Hanukkah, for birthdays, for fun - there is a gift in here for the expat or traveler closest to your heart. (More)


Celebrating Thanksgiving Abroad

22 November, 2011 09:45  Erin Erin

Roasted turkey © evgenyb - Fotolia.comThanksgiving is one of the most important holidays of the year for most Americans and Canadians, no matter where they are in the world. A time for feast and family, it has roots in the beginnings of the nation and is a time to reflect on all that there is to be thankful for.


Origins of Thanksgiving in the USA

The celebration of Thanksgiving in the United States originates from the end of summer harvest shared by the Pilgrims and the native people in 1621 at Plymouth. It was made a national holiday by federal legislation in 1941, but had been an annual tradition in the United States by presidential proclamation since 1863. The holiday is now celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States(More)


Celebrating Halloween as an Expat

27 October, 2011 16:07  Erin Erin

Funny face pumpkin © Sandra Cunningham - Fotolia.comHalloween can get a bad rap for being a commercial holiday crudely pushing candy, tacky decorations, and scandalous costumes. Yes, there is a lot of candy eating. And yes - glowing plastic pumpkins may not be your cup of tea. And YES the "sexy" costumes are over-the-top. Sexy cat, sexy nurse, sexy policewoman, sexy Osama bin Laden!? (Yes - those are all real costumes).

However, this is forgetting the traditional side of Halloween. The name "Halloween" is derived from the 16th century as a Scottish variant of the term "All-Hallows-Even" which refers to the night before All Hallows Day. The holiday roots back pagan traditions of ancient Britain and Ireland. The Celtic Festival of Samhain was observed on October 31 and the souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on this day.

Many of the spooky elements of today's celebration, like ghosts, witches, goblins, black cats, and demons, are said to walk the earth on this day. The festival was held to placate the supernatural powers and it was a favorable time for divinations concerning marriage, luck, health, and death. It was the only day on which the help of the devil was invoked for such purposes. (More)


Odd Inventions from around the Globe

19 October, 2011 08:51  Erin Erin

Hand drawing light bulb © Tombaky - Fotolia.comIt's incredible what people can imagine. This October brought the 2011 Nobel Prize winners. Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer pursued excellence in literature. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work". Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt and Adam G. Riess discovered the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae to win the Nobel Prize in Physics. Dan Shechtman won the award for chemistry for the discovery of quasicrystals. And the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to both Bruce A. Beutler and Jules A. Hoffmann for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity, as well as Ralph M. Steinman for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity. (More)


Where You Should Go After Oktoberfest

27 September, 2011 16:11  Erin Erin

Oktoberfest und Anstoßen © Werner Heiber - Fotolia.comOne of the greatest drinking festivals in the world ends next Monday. Oktoberfest- the annual festival of brews, bratwurst, pretzels, and beautiful dirndl & lederhosen- began on Saturday, September 17th and ends on Monday October 3rd, 2011. Opening ceremonies went off well in the Schottenhamel tent with the lord mayor of Munich tapping the first keg of Oktoberfest beer. Since then the celebration has continued, despite the highest beer prices of up to 9.20 € a Mass (litre of beer).

If you've missed the great beer festival in Munich, that doesn't mean you've missed your chance to sing silly songs, celebrate inebriation, and toss back a few drinks. (More)


Tip Like a Local

10 August, 2011 08:19  Erin Erin

paying for a meal © Ewa Walicka - FotoliaTipping is complicated, and is only made more so when traveling somewhere new. Standards are different almost everywhere you go, and different establishments often have different tipping expectations.

Have no fear! In our new series of "____ Like a Local", we will provide tips to avoid the worst faux pas and an overview of standards around the world. (Read Greet Like a Local, Eat like a Local, Stay Healthy like a Local, Talk like a Local and Date Like a Local)

Why Tip?

A tip or gratuity is a voluntary extra payment made to certain service sector workers in addition to the advertised price of the transaction. Such payments and their size are a matter of social custom and tipping rules vary by country, by region, and by scenario. The amount of a tip is usually at the discretion of the patron being served. In some circumstances failing to give an adequate tip is a reprimand for poor service, but if done unknowingly can be a serious faux pas.  (More)


Homosexual's Rights & Celebrations

01 July, 2011 00:25  Erin Erin

Rainbow flag © RikkeThe last few weekends have been filled with festivities. As always, summer brings out the festivals in cities around the world as people are celebrating: Music, Food, Environmental, and- of course- Gay Pride. In America, June has officially been declared a Gay and Lesbian Pride Month by former President Bill Clinton since 2000 (this was slightly amended in 2009 by President Barack Obama proclaiming June to be LGBT - lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexualism Pride month). However, the US continues to struggle with recognizing the rights of the LGBT community, as does much of the world.  (More)


Royal Wedding: Kate and William

26 April, 2011 03:16  Erin Erin

"The Royal Wedding Approaches! The Royal Wedding Approaches!"

Royal wedding flag © Nicemonkey - FotoliaThe news is hard to avoid, even if you want to. Prince William and Kate Middleton are getting married. Every aspect of the wedding is being broadcast to every corner of the world. Some British expats feel the pull back to lady England, while some expats in London would like nothing better than to never hear the words "royal" and "wedding" in the same sentence again.



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