4 Ways to Celebrate 4th of July Abroad


I can not believe tomorrow is the 4th of July. Seriously, where is this year going? With Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest full of red, white and blue outfits, the strawberry and blueberry flag cake and how to have the most epic backyard barbecue. I’ve always loved the 4th of July because it usually means an excursion to the lake, day drinking and delicious food.

Nowadays, the 4th of July is just another day, a working day, nothing special. That’s obvious, right? It’s America’s Independence Day, not Germany’s! My co-workers acknowledge the day with something like, “Today’s a big day for you, isn’t it?” It’s very nice of them and just goes to show how much American history is taught in German school. It’s fascinating.

In an effort to keep traditions alive and to still celebrate the beginning of America, here are 4 ways I will be ringing in the 4th of July in Germany!

1. Prepare American food. Just because we don’t have a backyard or any friends with a backyard, we do have a balcony and will be grilling cheeseburgers tomorrow night. Is there anything more American than a cheeseburger, fries and beer? We’ll bring in some German tradition with some German beer, but I am really looking forward to it. The hamburger buns in the grocery store even have an American flag on them.

2. Listen to country music. I love country music and the songs have American pride all over them. Grilling + Music = the perfect 4th of July. Whenever I would visit the lake or go on a boat, country music (or Jimmy Buffett if my dad was the captain) was always blasting. It reminds me of summer, going to Rascal Flatts concerts with my girlfriends in high school and not having a care in the world.

3. Wear red, white or blue. Wearing all three at once is a little over the top and definitely screams American expat. But it’s still great to show pride in being American with a blue shirt and white pants or a red summer dress.

4. Watch fireworks or an American movie. Did you know you can watch fireworks on YouTube? We did that over New Year’s Eve and it made me feel connected to an American NYE. We may put fireworks on in the background and then watch an American movie. The typical American movies are Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Independence Day and Enemy of the State. 

I love these ideas because it proves that you can bring your traditions anywhere. It’s sort of like how American immigrants would bring their hometown traditions when they moved their lives to America. Be sure to check out my Instagram to see how we celebrate in real time.



How are you celebrating 4th of July this year?

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  1. Ara Lawrence | 5th Jul 17

    Took a break from packing, etc. to go shopping. UGH! Don’t know which is worse. But did find a new dress to wear to the reception our church is holding in our honor next Sunday. And as it is tradition, watched the Capitol Show on PBS – it was great – you would have loved part of it. I’m sure you grew up listening to your Dad’s Beach Boys albums. The Blues Brothers also performed along with country singer Trace Atkins (or Adkins).

    • Jessica | 6th Jul 17

      Ah yes! “Little Duce Coup” is a favorite!

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