Celebrating Around the World
‘Tis the season to be jolly! We look around the world at some of the different ways people are celebrating…
Traditionally a Christian holiday, Christmas began as a celebration of the birth of Jesus. These days Christmas has become a part of many cultures and a secular celebration where families and friends come together to exchange gifts as well as receiving a visit from Santa Claus!
This Jewish celebration spans eight days and marks an ancient battle dating back thousands of years ago. Also known as the “Festival of Light”, each night a new candle is lit on a special branched candlestick called a menorah. There is also traditional food, games, prayers and small gifts are exchanged between loved ones.
Also known as the Winter Solstice, Yule is an ancient celebration of the shortest day of the year and the return of the sun as days get warmer. The solstice has been celebrated in many different cultures as an important change in seasons, especially for hunters who experienced harsh winters. Today, Yule is celebrated with festivals and feasts in many European countries.
Seven is the magical number for Kwanzaa – the celebration goes for seven days from December 26 to January 1, there are seven special symbols, seven principles to reflect on and even the name “Kwanzaa” has seven letters! It’s a time for African-American and Pan-African families to commemorate their heritage, community, family and culture.