Being away from home during the run up to Christmas, and the Christmas period itself can be very strange for expatriates. One of the best ways to maintain the Christmas spirit is to join in expatriate events in your local neighborhood. Not only will you have a chance to get into the Christmas spirit but you may also meet new friends and broaden your network. Here’s our round up of just some of the expat Christmas events that will be taking place throughout the world over the next few weeks. If you are aware of an event that we have missed or if you are running a Christmas party for expats that you would like us to feature, please drop us a line.
Expat Christmas events
Where: Grand Palace, Brussels
When: 1st November 2009 to 31st December 2009
What: Winter Wonders. One of the highlights on the calendar of expatriates living in Belgium is the annual Christmas fair that is help at the Grand Palace Brussels. The event, which is named Winter Wonders, is reputed to house one of the best Christmas markets in Europe with over 240 different chalets and stalls on site selling all manner of Christmas gifts, arts and crafts and traditional seasonal foods. The event also houses an ice-skating rink, fair ground rides and a magic roundabout. Entertainment is also available in the form of street performances and live music.
The Palace itself is a perfect venue for the event and its illuminations and sound displays are a wonder to behold, contributing nicely to a perfect Christmas ambience. The majority of attractions on the day are completely free of charge, with the exception of the ice skating rink which costs €6 per hour for adults and €4 for children”.
Contact Details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Where: Ostritsa, Rousse
When: 19th December 2009
What: Expatriate Christmas party. Tickets cost 10 leva each and include a full 3 course traditional Christmas dinner, live music and christmas raffle.
Contact: Donna. Bulgaria, 0885086668.
Where: Sheraton Hotel, Suzhou
When: Saturday December 5th 2009
What: Children’s Christmas Party. 11:00-14:00. Cost 125rmb for adults and 100rmb for children. Children under 2 years of age are free.
Where: Sheraton Hotel, Suzhou
When: Saturday December 12th 2009
What: Adult Christmas Ball. Formal dinner with champagne reception and cocktail hour before a three course dinner. Cost 450rmb.
Where: Kempinski, Suzhou
When: Sunday 6th December 2009
What: Christmas bazaar. 12:00 until 17:00. Attractions include Christmas tree light switch on, carol singing and handicraft booths.
Where: British Embassy Gardens, Bur Dubai
When: Friday 11th December 2009
What: Expatriate party for people living in Dubai. Includes live music and dancing together with food, drinks and charity raffles. Dress code is black tie or national wear. The event costs AED 530 per person, or AED 5200 for a table of ten, inclusive of all drinks and entertainment.
When: 20th November to 23rd December 2009
What: Dortmund Christmas Market. Dortmund houses one of the biggest markets in Germany, with over 300 different stalls that are packed around an enormous Christmas tree that that stands 45 meters tall – reputed to be the biggest in the world.
Visitors to the event can browse the many different stall and shops that sell all manner of gifts and goods from unusual homemade toys through to handicrafts, home ware and Christmas decorations.
In addition to shopping opportunities there is a daily program of entertainment delivered by the Alter Markt Theatre Company as well as shows for the children in the form of puppet and magic shows.
For those who are looking to relax and take in the atmosphere there will be a number of outdoor bars selling mulled wine and other soothing beverages.
Contact Details: email@example.com
Where: Box Thai, 4-8 Arbuthnot Rd, Central
When: Wednesday December 2nd 2009
What: Ladies Christmas lunch. A night for expats to meet and share the Christmas spirit. Ladies only. Tickets cost $300 HKD for set dinner and one drink.
Contact: Rani at http://www.geoexpat.com
Where: Hyatt Regency
When: 15th December 2009
What: Christmas luncheon. Christmas lunch experience, which includes prize draw. Tickers cost KRW 150,000.
Where: Exhibit, Balham
When: December 5th, 2009
What: Networking event organized by Sasi, a group that is made up of predominantly South African professionals living in London. This year’s Christmas party costs 20 GBP per person and includes a welcome drink, finger food and entertainment provided by DJ Simon Rohrer.
Where: Place d’Armes and Place de Paris, Luxembourg
When: 28th November to 24th December 2009
What: Luxembourg hosts three Christmas markets, one on Place d’Armes, a smaller “Advent” market outside Gare Centrale and one market on Place de Paris. Wooden stalls offer Stollen (Luxembourg’s Christmas cake), gifts, Mettwurscht (local sausage specialty), mulled wine and schnapps!
Where: Rino’s Restaurant (corner of Fredrico Boyd & Calle 49)
When: Sunday 29th November 2009, 13:00- 18:00
What: Christmas shopping fare that allows members of the small business community to sell their wares. It is anticipated that linens, jewelry, crafts and baked goods from many different areas on the world will be on sale.
Where: Manjar Dos Templarios Restaurant, Sao Pedro de Tomar, on the roundabout at the IC3 junction for Santa Cita.
When: 12th December 2009
What: Expat Christmas party. Tickets cost 20 Euro per head, including 3 course meal and some drinks. There will be music and dancing.
Contact: Jerry Cellner (Quinla do Falcao) 249 382 439.
When: Friday December 4th 2009
What: Business Region Göteborg, together with their partners, hold an annual expat Christmas party, which is aimed at existing and newly arrived expatriates who live in the Göteborg region. Traditional Swedish Christmas food and drink will be offer together with an opportunity to mix and network with also expats. Held in Göteborg’s beautiful city hall, this year’s event will also feature a welcome speech by Lord Mayor Jörgen Linder, a Swedish Lucia Celebration and much more.
Contact Details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Where: Koninklijke Schouwburg, The Hague
When: Saturday, 5 December 2009 at 14:00 and 19:00. Sunday, 6 December 2009 at 14:00
What: Peter Pan Panto
“The credit crunch is hitting the Darling family, who are about to lose their house. Peter Pan and Tinkerbell decide that the best way to help is to give them some of the treasure from Treasure Island, but Captain Hook’s out for revenge. Meanwhile, the Pirates have discovered on-line dating, the crocodile is in analysis and the Lost Boys have been discovered in a talent show….”
Contact Details: Booking via theatre box office: 0900 3456789.
Where: Jakes Saloon – 202 9th Avenue Between 22nd & 23rd – New York
When: December 12, 2009 8:00 PM to December 13, 2009 3:00 AM
What: Big Apply Brits Annual Christmas Party. $25 USD for tickets. Night includes traditional Christmas food, drinking, dancing and general Christmas partying. Tickets only available in advance.