Four for the 4th!  Four countries that celebrate USA’s Independence

This Monday the U.S. will celebrate our 240th anniversary of independence from Great Britain alongside Great Britain’s own recent independence or “Brexit” from the EU.  So while you are taking a break from getting the grill ready or painting your nails in patriotic colors have you wondered where else in the world the fourth of July is also being celebrated?

Did someone say cake?  You should know by now how much we love dessert and the lengths we’ll go to get a piece! What better way to celebrate the fourth while in London than to visit the former residence of the oldest statesman to sign the Declaration of Independence, Ben Franklin.  This founding father’s home in the heart of London is the world’s only remaining Franklin home and where he resided on the eve of the American Revolution.  Be there at lunchtime to celebrate with a slice of cake and a glass of champagne.

If you are lucky enough to be in Paris this weekend we are extremely envious –  the food, the wine, the fashion!  But if you are looking to celebrate the American version of Independence Day, you may have to join Expats-Paris or make your own celebration and that’s because Parisian’s are busy getting ready for their own “mega summer” event Bastille Day on July 14th.  But not to worry, Expats-Paris hosts an Independence Day party with drinks, food, dancing and, be prepared to wear an American flag inspired outfit.  If you want to be creative you can picnic on the Seine and visit the smaller version of the Statue of Liberty on Ile aux Cygnes.  Fun fact, the Paris version faces West towards New York so if you follow her gaze at the right time you just might catch a glimpse of the Big Apple’s fireworks display!

What do Lego, Hans Christian Andersen and the statue of the Little Mermaid have in common?  They’re all from Denmark and Denmark also happens to have one of the largest 4th of July celebrations held outside of the United States. Rebildfesten is a popular holiday that takes place in the Rebild National Park and commemorates America’s Independence and Danish heritage. Why would the Danish care about us?  Because we cared about them and their 300,000 Danish immigrants that came to the United States in the 19th and 20th century. One of those immigrants used money donated by Danish-Americans to buy a piece of land back in Denmark and presented it as a gift to King of Denmark. This land became Rebild National Park and now more than 300,000 Danes and Americans gather at the park on the 4th of July for fireworks and other festivities with the American stars and stripes and Danish flags flying above them.

Another country that celebrates the 4th of July American style is Ireland. The town of New Ross goes all out recognizing the strong ties between Ireland and the United States. Particularly meaningful were John F. Kennedy’s great-grandparents who immigrated from the town.  Their Irish American day celebration includes traditional fun such as flag raising, readings of the Declaration of Independence, picnics and even a Boston Tea Party Re-enactment, we wonder if they use green tea for their Irish American portrayal!

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