Understanding Different Holidays Around the World

With the holiday season in full swing, it’s important for children to know that Christmas isn’t the only holiday out there. Living in a such a diverse world today, encourage your children to learn about the many holidays people from different cultures celebrate. Understanding other holidays helps children to acknowledge that there’s more to the holidays than gift giving and helps them to build respect for other beliefs and traditions. Holidays teach us to learn the foundations of society, embrace cultural history, and build values.

Here Are 4 Other Holidays You Can Teach Your Child About!

1. Hanukkah

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that lasts eight days, beginning on the 25th day of the Hebrew calendar month of Kislev, which usually falls sometime between late November to late December of the Gregorian calendar. In 2019, Hanukkah celebrations will begin on December 22 and end on December 30th.  This holiday, also known as the Festival of Lights, celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, supporting the victory of a battle won by a family of eight brothers who fought against the Syrians who made it illegal to practice Jewish customs. Jewish people participate by lighting a candle each night on a menorah, playing games, such as spinning a dreidel, giving gifts to one another, and eating foods with religious significance.

2. Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is a week-long African diaspora holiday celebrated from December 26th through January 1st. Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach, and the name stems from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits” in Swahili. The holiday is based on ancestral traditions and celebrates African heritage, unity and culture. Kwanzaa is usually celebrated with singing, dancing, feasting and giving gifts. Kwanzaa also celebrates the three primary colors of the Pan-African flag: red, black, and green. Red represents the blood that connects ancestry; black represents the people; and green representing the abundant land of Africa.

3. Diwali

Diwali is one of India’s major holidays, lasting a total of 5 days. The holiday is a celebration of lights, symbolizing the victory of a religious figure, Rama-chandra, who won a significant battle against the demons. The first two days consist of families cleaning and decorating their homes to attract good fortune. On Day 3, people attend a festival, and on Day 4 and 5, people visit their families with gifts and food.

4. Lunar New Year:

Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is one of the most popular holidays in the world. Originating from China, it is commonly referred to as Chinese New Year. But the holiday is celebrated by many East and Southeast Asian countries. The holiday celebrates the beginning of the new year based on the traditional Chinese calendar, and it typically last about 15 days. Each year is represented by one of 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. An animal usually symbolizes and highlights certain characteristics that will bring good fortune to the new year. Activities include decorating with red paper lanterns and lights, feasting with family, and giving gifts.

How We Encourage Diversity at Silverline

At Silverline, we pride ourselves in providing a school environment that is inclusive and open to any race, culture, and religious affiliations. Our classrooms provide students the opportunity to reflect diversity and connection to the world through hands-on activities. We encourage our students to be culturally aware and learn to develop a profound respect because it helps them to be better communicators and prepare for the real world.