Creative Child

Holidays Around the World

by Jennifer McLaughlin on Dec 8th, 2015

From Christmas, to Hanukkah, to Kwanzaa, to Boxing Day, the winter months especially hold holiday traditions for several countries and cultures. Join us as we take a trip around the world, exploring holidays around the world!

Diwali

Diwali is celebrated by Hindus in India and all around the world. Celebrated in either October or November, the Hindu New Year is either a 3-day or 5-day holiday depending on where you come from. Also known as Dipawali, the festival includes spending time with family and performing traditional activities. Diwali is a national holiday in India, Trinidad & Tobago, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Guyana, Surinam, Singapore, Malaysia and Fiji.

Hanukkah

This year Hanukkah starts the evening of Sunday, December 6 and the last night is Monday, December 14. The dates of Hanukkah change because traditionally, the holiday follows the lunar cycle. Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah or Chanukah, is celebrated with prayer, the lighting of the menorah, and food for 8 nights.

A Hanukkah menorah has nine candles, a candle for every night, plus a candle called the Shamash, which is used to light the other candles.

Other traditions include giving and receiving gifts and playing the dreidel game to win chocolate coins.

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Winter Solstice

The Winter Solstice occurs on either December 20, 21, 22, or 23 in the Northern Hemisphere, where it is the shortest day of the year. The winter season in Northern climates can mean colder temperatures and snow, while the Southern Hemisphere is celebrating the first day of summer! They may have never even seen snow, so celebrations in the south are very different! 

Solstice means the sun stands still, and so many of the celebrations revolve around the sun. The Romans honored the Winter Solstice with a festival called Saturnalia where a public banquet was held followed by gift giving. There were parties and all Romans, including their slaves and servants, celebrated the renewal of light and the coming new year. Many of the traditions of Saturnalia have influenced modern Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.

More holidays continued on the next page... 

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