Friday, November 25, 2011

Holiday Recycling

After three years, many of my holiday stories seem to be repeating themselves. I wrote about my first Novruz [link], and then my second [link], and then another one [link]...

I would say my readers are probably looking for something new and exciting, but, just like America, holidays in Azerbaijan are pretty consistent. Novruz ushers in spring, Ramadan is a month-long test of my self-control, and Qurban signals the 15 kilos of persimmons that I will be gifted.

Although the holidays are set on repeat, my experiences are not. My first year was spent trying to get a hold on what was going on around me. My second, I overindulged in sweets and revelry. This year, I brought it down a notch and have enjoyed the reduced speed and family time which comes with holidays in Az.

Now, I feel more comfortable about local holiday traditions and crashing friends' houses for free food. I understand what is expected of me and even most of the classic holiday phrases tossed out at one and all. Still, I miss my own American holidays and look forward to celebrating St. Patrick's Day decked in green and Labor Day racing bathtubs. Holidays are always the hardest when you are away from home, but not so bad when you have pork kebabs.

Pictures are from the St. George's Day [link] celebration in Qax.