Winter Holidays Around the World
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.
10 Unique Theme Party Ideas
Tired of the same old birthday party and theme party ideas? Why not give one of these fresh and unique theme party ideas a go for your next celebration. It doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, just a little bit of creativity on your part and your guests young and old will love it!
Here are some great ideas, using food, décor and games to tie in with your theme:
Flamingo & Pineapple Party:
A great alternative to the Luau, this theme works great outdoors and in. Just add some inflatables to your table, tropical fruit and bright pastel décor for this fun festivity.
Pancakes and Pyjamas:
Perfect for sleepovers! Make breakfast a late-night meal with this fun theme party idea. Great for teens and tweens, create a pancake and waffle station with all of your favourite toppings, add in some movies or a dance party to make your party complete.
Under the Sea Mermaid Party:
Get creative with buried treasure chests filled with chocolate coins and beads, seafood themed treats, seashell and pearl décor in purple and turquoise colours. Your little darlings will be delighted.
Host a Spa Day for Kids:
Great for kids of all ages, but especially teens and tweens. Break out the face masks, bath bombs and nail polish! Offer up healthy snacks, smoothies and herbal teas, this theme is all the new-age!
Tea Party for Tweens:
Dust all your tea sets and fine bone china and set a table with fine linens. Serve up tiny tea sandwiches, pastries and bite-sized treats with pink lemonade or iced tea. Host your party in the garden for a memorable setting, fitting for even a queen.
Everything old is new again, and Trolls are known for throwing an awesome party. Tie in their rainbow colours into your décor and food and don’t forget the glitter!
What better theme party for your little outdoorsman/woman. Tackle this theme with some edible bait like worms-n-dirt, set up fishing rods and nets in a kiddy pool and offer up snacks in tackle boxes.
With red and black checkerboard table linens, some rustic décor and good eats, this theme will delight your guests. Tie in some fun lumberjack games to make this party complete.
Perfect for kids of all ages, bring out their wild side with this fun theme idea. Use jungle theme décor colours like green, brown and yellow or an animal print theme for your table. Have a face painter or balloon twister on hand to create jungle animal faces/animals.
Overnight or for just a few hours, this camping theme is sure to be a hit. Have a small campfire where the kids can make smores or just make them in the oven. Sing camp songs or tell stories around a fake fire.
Top 20 Kids’ Birthday Party Themes
Need some help coming up with ideas for your child’s next birthday party? Happy Faces Party has curated our top 20 kids’ birthday party themes to get you started. You don’t have to break the budget; you’ll find many do-it-yourself theme ideas on Pinterest for décor, food, party games and more or check out the party section of your local dollar store.
- Disney Princesses
Have all of your guests dress as their favourite Disney princess. Offer up tiaras to your little guests (or make it a craft!), play their favourite Disney theme songs (like Frozen or Beauty and the Beast) and have a face painting station complete with glitter and gems or Sparkle tattoos.
- Pirate/Jake the Pirate
Include a treasure hunt into your theme party using a pirate map that includes a “buried” treasure. Keep them going with loot bags filled with pirate patches and telescope and have a balloon twister on hand to make swords.
- Super Heroes
With Marvel being more popular than ever, Batman, Superman, Spiderman and Captain America are always a hit with the kids. Face painting works in great with this theme.
- Star Wars / space
There’s no shortage of Star Wars party theme ideas. Complement your party with lightsaber balloons.
- Ninjas / Mutant Ninja Turtles
Decorate with the room with colourful patio lanterns and balloons (or use a red/black Ninja colour theme), serve snacks like candy “Sushi” and fortune cookies in Chinese take-out containers with chop-sticks, and offer Ninja bandanas, toy nunchucks and ninja daggers in their loot bags.
- Summer Fun
Why not turn your backyard into an ultimate fun zone. Include an inflatable like a bouncy castle and a water feature like an outdoor sprinkler or slip and slide. Pack loot bags with sidewalk chalk, skipping rope and bubbles for the ultimate in outdoor fun.
As your guests arrive, offer each a backpack full of useful items and a map of a planned adventure. Complete the theme with a volcano birthday cake.
- Disney’s Airplane/Cars
Complete theme with easy to find décor items and loot bags.
- Thomas the Tank Engine/Trains
Calling all engineers. Decorate your little one’s party with easy to find décor: plates and cups, banners and balloons. Offer each child an engineer hat, red bandana and train whistle and have an adult dress up like Mr. Conductor. All aboard!
- Dinosaur/Jurassic Park
Using a sand table (or sandbox if outdoors), have a dinosaur dig with plastic shovels and tools, coloured play sand and assorted plastic dinosaurs and bones.
- Yo Gabba Gabba
Have the kids dress as their favourite character. In the theme, have a dance party with a DJ, play statues and offer up prizes.
- Spongebob Squarepants
Decorate the party like Bikini Bottom with a Tiki theme decor. Serve crabby patties and drinks in plastic coconut glasses with paper umbrellas along with Patrick and Spongebob cupcakes.
- Video game theme
(Super Mario Bros/Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong) – Rent and arcade game or host your party at a kid-friendly arcade. Create food and décor around the theme: Pac Man Birthday cake, game console ice cream sandwiches or cookies and Creeper fruit punch.
- Scavenger Hunt/Easter egg Hunt
All kids love a hunt inside or out! Make clues to keep the game challenging and offer up an ultimate “prize” that everyone can share.
There are so many options for décor including party hats, banners, plates and cups and table cloths (or create your own!). Offer a balloon twister to create fun, keepsake animals or hire a professional face painter to paint lively monkeys, tigers or giraffes.
Offer your junior guests a spa feel by including sparkle tattoos and a “Mani/Pedi” nail painting station.
there are tons of NHL ideas (or other sports leagues for that matter) that can inspire your theme party: from hockey pennants and Stanley Cup centre-piece decor to hockey puck cupcakes or hockey jersey cookies, or an ice rink theme cake, you’re sure to create a memorable party for your little league player.
For the biggest impact and for a memorable party for kids and adults alike, set up a “big top” tent, rent a real popcorn or cotton candy machine, and serve hotdog or corn dogs and corn on the cob. Have a balloon twister on hand for added entertainment.
Create a detective mystery and have all of the kids involved in solving the clues. Offer the kids walkie-talkies and other spy gadgets to play with.
Have your little guests come dressed as fairies or have on hand fairy wings, tutus, and sparkly wands for quick dress-up. Set a delightful table for a fairy tea party with little sandwiches, cupcakes and, pink punch. Decorate the table with flowers, butterflies and fairy dust, for a magical meal.
Here are some helpful suggestions of birthday party themes:
With so many birthday party themes to choose from, you may feel overwhelmed. Keep an eye on the shows your child watches or the games they play to pick a theme that best fits them.
Tips for a Great Theme Party
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