Happy Holidays! Like the rest of 2020, this holiday season may be a little different, but it’s still an exciting time to come together with friends and family —whether you can do so in person or over a video call. So while we may all be a little further apart this holiday season, let’s take this time to learn more about different holiday traditions around the world.
Hanukkah (December 10-18)
Hanukkah, also called the Festival of Lights, is primarily celebrated by Jewish people around the world to commemorate an ancient miracle. The miracle of one nights’ worth of oil burning for eight nights is now celebrated with a menorah like eight nights in the winter.
Christmas (December 25)
Christmas is celebrated by Christians worldwide to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Many countries have their own traditions that have been adapted by other countries; for example, Americans setting up a Christmas tree is a tradition that started in Germany and spread to the United States (check out more on the history of the Christmas trees here).
Diwali (November 12-16)
Diwali is a Hindu festival that celebrates Lord Rama after his victory of the evil Ravana, and receive blessings from the goddess Lakshmi. It also celebrates Mahariva’s (Indian sage) attainment of nirvana and the Death Anniversary of Swami Dayanand (Hindu religious leader). Diwali is celebrated by making traditional foods, giving and buying gifts, and illuminating the house with lights and decorations.
Kwanzaa (December 26-January 1)
Kwanzaa is a uniquely North American holiday celebrating African heritage. It celebrates the seven core principles of African-American values through lighting black, red, and green candles lit on a kinara. Kwanzaa is based on ancient African harvest festivals, but celebrations started in the 1960s.
Let us know how you incorporate these holidays into your classroom!