When I think about holidays in Kuwait, almost all of them have either national or religious association such as Kuwait’s national day and two Eids. On the other hand, the holidays in America are more diverse. While some holidays, indeed, have national or religious association such as Thanksgiving Day, MLK Day, and Independence Day, there are also many holidays that are part of tradition and have nothing to do with religion or country such as the Spring Break and the Halloween. I have also noticed the number of holidays in America is actually greater than those in Kuwait even though Americans have a reputation for working too much as compared to people in Kuwait who like to balance work and family life.
The activities people do on holidays in Kuwait are almost quite similar. These activities include family members and relatives visiting each other, going to shopping malls for shopping or just walking around, visiting parks, or just going to a restaurant for food and good time. On the other hand, holidays in America are spent in quite different ways. Halloween is defined by costumes, the Valentine’s Day is marked by giving chocolates and flower, Spring Break involves vacation on a beach, and Thanksgiving Day involves dinner with family which must always include a turkey.
The holidays in America and Kuwait are similar that people usually involve families or friends or both in their holiday plans. But the focus is more on families in Kuwait while it is greater on friends in America, especially, among college students and working professionals. I may have missed something but so far the two holidays with major focus on families in America that I have seen are Thanksgiving Day and Christmas. The holidays college students mostly spend with friends include Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and the Spring Break.
Another thing that is similar between Americans and Kuwaitis in terms of spending holidays is visiting popular tourist spots. Americans often go to particular places to see Independence Day fireworks or spend New Year’s Eve. The most popular place to spend New Year’s Eve is probably New York’s Times Square. Kuwaitis also go to popular tourist places during holidays such as alMubarkia which has lot of national heritage items and AlFailaka which is a famous island.
I have also noticed holidays in America almost always involve a trip to somewhere. Americans like to meet new people or socialize with their friends at an outside place often. In contrast, holidays in Kuwait are often spent at homes because often times, one plays a host to friends or relatives at home. Food is an important part of almost every holiday celebration in Kuwait while in America it may or may not be. For example, children do get candies on Halloween day but the primary focus is on costumes.
Holiday traditions in Kuwait and America share both similarities and differences. Holidays in Kuwait are usually national or religious but in America they can be of other types, too. Friends usually get more importance on holidays among grownups in America as opposed to Kuwait where the focus is relatively more on family and relatives. Americans and Kuwaitis both like to visit popular tourist spots on holidays. Food is always an important part of holidays in Kuwait while it may or may not be in America.