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‘Tis the Season!

Date: December 12, 2013 Categories: Blog

During the holiday season, just like in America, many other countries have unique traditions. Children tend to think that everywhere celebrates the same, so for parents, this time of year is perfect to teach your children about other cultures!

Here are some fun facts about other countries and cultures that you can share with your children!

  • In Sweden, Norway and some areas of Finland, one of the biggest days on celebration in December is St. Lucia’s Day. This day marks the start of the holiday season and is mean to bring light and hope during the darkest time of year!
  • In Australia, the holidays fall around the middle of the summer! Children believe that when Santa comes to Australia, he gives the reindeer a rest and uses kangaroos!
  • In Holland, the most important day for children is December 5th, or the eve of St. Nicholas’ Day! This holiday, Sinterklaas, or Santa Claus, comes to town to deliver presents to children.
  • For Chinese families, the most popular time to celebrate is during the Chinese New Year! This is a time to honor ancestors and deities and gives families the opportunity to get together.
  • Eid Al Adha, the Festival of the Sacrifice, is celebrated by Muslims on the 10th day of the month of the lunar calendar to commemorate the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son for God. Today an animal is sacrificed and the meat is shared with family, friends Muslims or non-Muslims, as well as the poor members of the community.
  • Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah, a holiday honoring the Maccabees victory over King Antiochus, who forbid Jews to practice their religion. For eight nights, Hanukkah is celebrated with prayer, the lighting of the menorah, and food. A menorah has nine candles, a candle for every night, plus a helper candle.
  • On December 26, Kwanzaa is celebrated. It is a holiday to commemorate African heritage. Kwanzaa lasts a week during which participants gather with family and friends to exchange gifts and to light a series of black, red, and green candles, which symbolize the seven basic values of African American family life that are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.

Every country has their own traditions surrounding the winter (or summer if you’re south of the equator) holidays!