How Americans Celebrate July Fourth Abroad

We all know what the Independence Day holiday is like in the U.S. We typically spend July Fourth enjoying activities like cookouts, fireworks displays and community celebrations. But what is this most American of holidays like for U.S. citizens who live overseas? Here’s a little glimpse of global July Fourth celebrations.

Events in Other Countries

Americans in Denmark should feel right at home on July Fourth. That’s because this Northern European country has been celebrating the holiday for more than a century. Why? According to The New York Times, it all started when a Danish immigrant to the U.S. suggested Danish-American Day and July Fourth was chosen.

The Rebild National Park Society is a Danish-American friendship organization that organizes a huge July Fourth celebration. How big? Well, the Society bills it as the largest Fourth of July gathering outside the U.S. The plans for this year’s event include speakers, musical performances, a luncheon and a gala.

Denmark isn’t the only country that takes advantage of July Fourth as an opportunity to have some American-themed fun. For example, Killarney, Ireland, is planning an American-themed parade and other entertainment.

U.S. Embassies Celebrate the Fourth

In many countries, the U.S. embassy or consulate organizes July Fourth celebrations. After all, they’re a little piece of U.S. soil away from home.

Sometimes these observances of Independence Day have special resonance for both Americans abroad and residents of the country where they’re living. For example, last year Mark Brzezinski, U.S. ambassador to Poland, used his July Fourth remarks to request help for Ukrainian refugees.

Celebrating With Fellow Expats

Companies that have a large American expat contingent in overseas locations also frequently organize Independence Day celebrations. Or, just like in the U.S., colleagues may organize their own informal gatherings. That’s how Lauren Halonen, an American living in Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, typically celebrates.

“Usually, someone from our circle of friends from BASF, the company that relocated us, hosts a Fourth of July party at their house,” Lauren told us. The gathering includes food and drink, games — and some cross-cultural friendship-building. “We invite all those we know of from the U.S. working at BASF and then extend it to friends from all over the world who are interested to join. It’s been a fun way to party and share traditions!”

Across the world in Puebla, Mexico, Christina Urrutia has similar plans for July Fourth. “The past few years we’ve gotten a group of us expats together for a dinner and swimming time — like a barbecue party,” Christina told us. “We grill and talk and just hang around.” (What’s more American than that, right?)

If you’re a U.S. expat who’s celebrating the Fourth abroad, or even an American who’s traveling overseas this Independence Day, we’d love to hear about your celebrations. And if you need language and cultural training for your American employees overseas, we’d love to talk with you. Set up a free consultation with Fluency Corp by contacting us at or (800) 401-3159.

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