We Finns like to grill. Charcoal grills start popping up on our back yards the minute the first rays of spring sun touch the grass, and from Midsummer on, the smell of freshly roasted grill delicacies fills up the neighborhoods almost on a daily basis. But what kind of grilling habits do people have in other countries? We discovered some interesting barbecue and picnic traditions from different parts of the world. Perhaps some of these are already familiar to you!

American 4th of July

Americans celebrate their Independence Day in July, and especially in the Southern states, barbecues are an essential part of the feast. Barbecues on the 4th of July are an old tradition from the time of the constitution of the country. After the revolution, independence was celebrated with communal meals that, especially in the South, escalated into huge public barbecue feasts. Other summertime holidays, like Memorial Day or Labor Day, are also considered great occasions for barbecues and picnics. There are even eating contests organized for the most enthusiastic gourmands!

Japanese Hanami

The Japanese, meanwhile, crowd the country’s parks once the cherry trees start blossoming – this is considered a sign that marks the beginning of spring. The great picnic feast Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) is one of the most important annual festivals in Japan. People gather on picnic blankets to enjoy good food, sake and the splendor of the flowers.

Argentinian Christmas

While many dream of white Christmas, Argentinians wish for good picnic weather. In Argentina, Christmas is usually celebrated outside in the form of a Christmas picnic, enjoying grilled delicacies on the beach or on the yards of the houses.

Australian Picnic Day

In Australia, there is even a national holiday dedicated just for picnic. The first Monday of August is a public holiday in the Northern Territory of Australia. It’s intended for giving families a long weekend to spend some time together and enjoy each other’s company.

Even though traditions in different countries vary, the true purpose of having a barbecue or a picnic is the same: good company, good food and good mood!