The winter season is filled with holidays. Here are some examples of how different cultures celebrate in the winter months around the world:
Hanukkah is a Jewish celebration that lasts eight days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev. Part of the celebration includes a candelabrum called a menorah. Each day includes a ritual of lighting one of the candles, symbolizing the miracle of the Maccabees’ oil lasting nine days.
The rest of the celebration includes:Singing songs
Playing with a top called a dreidel
Eating potato pancakes, or latkes
Making jelly-filled donuts called sufganiyot
The Hindu religion celebrates Diwali, a festival of lights, during the month of Kartika on the Hindu Lunisolar calendar – it is usually between mid-October and mid-November. The five-day festival is associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, and is a celebration of light over dark, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.
The celebrations include:Fireworks
Decorations like intricate flour and rice designs beside shrines
Candies called “mithai”
Kwanzaa originated in 1966 as a holiday that honours African heritage and culture. The week-long celebration includes lighting seven candles in a kinara, each candle symbolizing one of the principles of Kwanzaa, and culminates with a feast and presents.
4. Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year or the Lunar New Year, is the first day on the traditional Chinese calendar, it is a celebration of ancestors and deities. The holiday has a variety of regional customs and traditions but most celebrate with a family gathering and feast, along with red envelopes filled with lucky money, and cleaning the house in preparation for the holiday.
Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus every year with Christmas. Christmas is on December 25th and most celebrations include a feast, gift-giving, and decorating a Christmas tree.
In Finland, families light a single candle on Christmas eve beside the graves of their loved ones.
In Ireland, children go door to door singing while holding up holy bush and wren on a stick.
The winter is filled with many joyous holidays that are celebrated around the world. They are the perfect time to spend quality time with the family, eat delicious food, and stay out of the cold! If you’re looking for activities to do with your kids during the winter that aren’t holiday-related, our other ideas are here.
Having a party? Why not make it into an event by creating a theme party. It’s great for all ages and it will be a change from the norm.
- Decide on a theme
Ideas can come from brainstorming with friends and family, the internet, books and magazines or pop culture such as movies and television. Be as creative as you like.
- Decide on a date for your themed event
Make sure that it doesn’t conflict with any important family or work event or holiday (unless the theme is tied to the Holiday)
- Create invitations
Mail or hand deliver the invites – it creates more excitement than a phone call or email. Allow at least two weeks before the party for mailing and ask that everyone RSVP so you know they received the invitation. Sometimes they get lost in the mail.
- Make a list of all of the things that need to be accomplished before the party date
This might include food and drinks that you want to serve as well as music, decorations, party games and entertainment (like a face painter!), prizes, etc. You will feel less overwhelmed if you have written everything down.
- The party doesn’t have to cost you a bundle
Ask guests to bring one item that you select for them that ties into the theme. This could be a food dish or a beverage. Include this in their invitation.
- Hold a Costume Party
To encourage guests to dress in costumes, offer incentives such as door prizes (that can be purchased at the dollar store) or lottery tickets.
- Ask friends ahead of time to help
Get your guests to bring music and equipment or help serve food and drinks. This will make you job as the host/hostess less stressful and you will be able to mingle with guests.
- Make sure Everyone stays hydrated.
Have plenty of bottled water and non-alcoholic beverages available for guests
- Set an end time if you don’t want guests to overstay their welcome
You don’t want them to have too much fun! Don’t forget to have some cash on hand for taxis.
These tips will help you get started:
Some popular theme party ideas are:
- Great Gatsby/Prohibition/Roaring 20’s
- Colour theme: pink, blue, etc.
- Titanic Era
- Mods and Rockers
- Mexican Fiesta
- Vicars and Vixens
- Screen Heroes and Heroines
- Medieval Knights/Lord of the Rings
- Agatha Christie/Murder Mystery
- Wizards/Harry Potter
Major events that make great themes:
- Showers (Bridal and Baby)
- Stag and Does
- Fundraisers (church and school)
- St. Patrick’s Day
- Mardi Gras