Discover a New You in the New Year with 44% off Mango! ​       LEARN MORE>

Unique Holidays Around the World

vegetables

With Americans still praising Punxsutawney Pete’s decision yesterday, we definitely take Groundhog’s Day pretty seriously stateside. But we in the United States don’t have a monopoly on strange, funny holidays: many countries around the world have a plethora of traditions and unique holidays assignees might not be too familiar with. Here are three unique holidays around the world and what assignees can expect while living in their new home.

Holi (India)

While assignees abroad might catch wind of a Valentine’s party here and there, it is not as widely celebrated in other cultures as it is in the United States. Assignees in India who are yearning for गुलाबी और लाल (pink and red) this Valentine’s Day will be excited to celebrate Holi this March. Commonly known as the festival of love, the festival touts bright colors and invites locals to take part in a variety of festivities like racing, singing and dancing with loved ones. Assignees who plan on attending this year’s Holi should expect something similar to a U.S. color run with many locals throwing rainbow powder at anyone in sight–without taking the time to discriminate who their rainbow victims are!

Hogmanay (Scotland)

Hogmanay (or the last day of the year) is a Scottish holiday celebrating the end of the year. Completely foreign from Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, assignees can expect to participate in traditional Scottish festivities dating back to the age of the Vikings. One such Scottish tradition is first-footing, which involves a competitive dash to surrounding homes of friends and family. The first to arrive gets the honor of being first to cross the threshold of their closest friends, as well as the opportunity to bestow gifts and treats to help ring in the new year. Assignees who want to truly immerse themselves in some of the more heated festivities might require a bucket of water and nearby fire extinguisher. Hogmanay is a time for locals to light the city on fire (almost literally) with locals storming the streets with torches and dressed head to toe in cowhide. According to legend, this will help drive away evil spirits from Scotland and help the country start anew for the following year.

La Tomatina (Spain)

While La Tomatina started out as a Spanish festival, the festival has grown so huge over the last few years it is often treated as its own holiday. Stemming from a street fight involving a very large supply of tomatoes over six decades ago, locals and travelers alike gather in the small town of Bunol to recreate the famous 1945 fight. Held for one hour on the last weekend in August, people are invited to select their ripest tomatoes and suit up for battle. Assignees who are interested in participating in what is often called the “World’s Biggest Food Fight” should buy their tickets ahead of time to experience some aggressive locals and a whole lot of fun. Just make sure your assignees bring along ropa limpia (clean clothes) to the event, or they may have a long trip home!

Taking part in new traditions is an exciting opportunity for assignees and helps them start to develop some inchoate ideas about their new home abroad. For more tips on how to get assignees involved in their new countries, take a look at our whitepaper: The HR Manager’s Toolkit.

Meet The Author:
Author - Lindsay Mullen
Lindsay Mullen
CEO of Prosper Strategies at Mango Languages
Lindsay Mullen is CEO of Prosper Strategies, working behind the scenes to support the Mango team’s world of lovable language learning. A language aficionado herself, Lindsay oversees a team of marketers fluent in public relations, content development, and strategy (and they speak some German, French, Spanish, and Chinese as well.)

To embark on your next language adventure, join the Mango fam!

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We’d also like to set analytics cookies that help us make improvements by measuring how you use the site. These will be set only if you accept.

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

We’d like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how these cookies work please see our ‘Cookies page’.

Skip to content