As you know, valuing ALL of your students’ cultures helps kids and teens connect to their classrooms and school. Celebrations are a big deal in our social-emotional lives!
Here are five holidays celebrated by many U.S. families that fall in or around winter break (information from Wikipedia):
Diwali: Autumn; in 2021, November 2-6
- A five-day festival of lights celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and some Buddhists that symbolizes the victories of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance.
- Highlights include food, gifts, sweets, flowers, and candles/sparklers.
Hanukkah: Winter; in 2021, November 28-December 6
- An eight-day festival of lights celebrated by Jewish families that commemorates the recovery of Jerusalem and the miracle of one night’s wick burning for eight nights.
- Highlights include food, songs, lighting the menorah, games, and gifts.
Winter Solstice (example: Shaloko ceremony of the Zuni): December 21 or 22
- Religious ceremonies or community celebrations marking the shortest day of the year are practiced by many indigenous tribes to celebrate deities, honor good fortune, and share stories.
- Highlights include dances, storytelling, and sharing traditions with young people.
Christmas: December 25
- A religious celebration of the birth of Jesus for Christian families, and a secular celebration of Santa Claus and gifting for billions of people around the world.
- Highlights include food, songs, masses, Christmas trees, and gifts.
Kwanzaa: December 26-January 1
- A celebration of African-American culture echoing African harvest traditions and celebrating the seven principles of Kwanzaa.
- Highlights include decorations of art, fabric and fruits; celebrations and symbols; readings; candle lightings, and a feast of faith.
Which holidays do your students celebrate? Let us know on Twitter (follow us and tag @MGForumSTW in your tweet!).