Take a moment to learn about the traditions that your global teammates hold dear and consider celebrating in your own way as you explore other cultures. This is a cultural holiday, not a religious one; therefore, it truly brings together people from various lifestyles to celebrate their common African heritage. Kachina dollsBrooklyn Museum, New York, Museum Expedition 1903, Museum Collection Fund (03.325.4653). In Tasmania, naked revelers celebrate with an icy plunge into the Derwent River. The midwinter festival of Yule has been celebrated by the Germanic peoples since at least the 4th century. Although Australia is huge geographically, the population sits at under 20 million people. The winter holidays are celebrated in many ways around the world. Nearly every culture has traditions that mark the changing of seasons, the winter solstice, and the season of giving. Boys carry stars and girls wear a crown of lights with a red sash. A key aspect of the Chinese New Year is ancestor worship, and paintings and portraits are brought out and honored in the family's home. Some of the best winter vacation spots are hiding right in plain sight: explore majestic ice sculptures in China, watch twinkling lights in the Netherlands, compete in winter games in … The man relents, the wife bakes the turta, and the trees are spared for another year. Hearth fires burn for several days between December 25 and January 6, and rather than swapping gifts on Christmas Day, Greeks typically exchange presents on St. Basil’s Day, which is January 1. Some. In fact, Hindu Indians are the second largest ethnic minority in Britain. Santa Lucia commemorates the Saint of Light during a time when the days are growing darker. It falls on different dates each year, between January 21 and February 20. She is the author of Daily Spellbook for the Good Witch, Wicca Practical Magic and The Daily Spell Journal. Your first potential stop is in the Chinese town of Harbin, which hosts an annual Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival from early January through late February. Summer has been over for quite some time now. On the other hand, if a child is naughty, he or she can expect to find a lump of coal left behind by La Befana. I hope these ideas make teaching your students about holidays around the world an exciting experience they won’t soon forget! Because Australia is in the southern hemisphere, the winter solstice falls in June, and people may use native plants like Mallee roots, Tasmanian oak, and eucalyptus to make a family Yule log. The Finns have a tradition of resting and relaxing on Christmas Day. Whichever guest gets the almond in his pudding is guaranteed good luck for the coming year. Much like Santa Claus, she leaves candy, fruit, and small gifts in the stockings of children who are well-behaved throughout the year. Pope Julius I, the bishop of Rome, originally proclaimed December 25 the official celebration day for Jesus’ birthday back in 350 AD.. 5. Recently, it's become known as the Spring Festival, and is a time of gift-giving and feasting. In Romania, people still observe an old fertility ritual which probably pre-dates Christianity. The unit also includes digital activities and the lessons on Google Slides. In Italy, there is the legend of La Befana, a kind old witch who travels the earth giving gifts to children. While Americans celebrate with Christmas trees, visits from Santa Claus, and dreams of snowy landscapes, Christmas falls during Australia’s summer, where it is popular to go camping or to the beach over the holiday. It attracts a growing number of visitors from Japan and rest of world. While many people loathe winter's short days and freezing temperatures, true cold-weather warriors embrace the season. Privacy Policy | Internet Privacy Policy  | Terms of Use, 8 Culturally Significant Winter Celebrations Around the World. In China, only about two percent of the population observes Christmas as a religious holiday, although it is gaining in popularity as a commercial event. All across the globe, people get together for rituals and holidays, to share time together. Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. Many of them come from a blend of cultures and ethnic backgrounds, and celebration in the winter is often a mix of many different elements. Christmas is typically not a huge holiday in Greece, as it is in North America. Dumplings are bountiful and long noodles are eaten to symbolize a long life. Whether celebrating ice, snow and Christmas or simply using the winter season to explore their culture, many countries around the globe host opulent festivals in the winter season. One fun custom is that of Glogg parties, which involve the drinking of Glogg, a mulled wine made from Madeira, and the eating of lots of baked treats. For example, consider: Soyal, celebrated by the Hopi Indians in the Southwest United States, falls on the shortest day of the year. At the time of the solstice, Hopi welcome the kachinas, protective spirits from the mountains. This Chinese festival is a real-life winter wonderland. Whether you observe Yule, Christmas, Sol Invictus, or Hogmanay, the winter season is typically a time of celebration around the world. The menorah holds eight candles and is placed in a window or doorway. Learn Religions uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. The magical view of Harbin, China during their annual winter festival. This was a time of “role-reversal,” where slaves were temporarily freed and the rich gave to the poor. If your global team has winter customs that differ from your own, take the opportunity to begin a cultural dialogue as you learn more. Across the world, festivals, contests, and celebrations are dedicated to the worship of snow and ice. The Chinese celebrate Dōng Zhì (the Chinese winter solstice) on this, the longest night of the year. Experience these wonderful winter festivals around the world, including Carnival in Rio, Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan, Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Las Fallas in Spain. A warm, bright celebration to look forward to is Saint Lucy’s Day. In modern times Christians all over the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas Day, which falls on December 25. in Students Comments Off on Winter Celebrations Around the World 15,548 views 15 Chinese New Year. For Greek and Russian Orthodox churches, this is the celebration of Christmas. 13 Fascinating Winter Solstice Traditions Around the World Tina Donvito Updated: Dec. 09, 2020 The shortest day and longest night of the year inspire mystical celebrations… The largest Diwali celebrations certainly take place in India, but it is celebrated by Hindus all around the world. Often there are special foods and lots of light to brighten the darkness of winter! Whether celebrated for this religious reason or solely as a cultural celebration, Christmas traditions vary around the world. It reflects on their age-long reference to the yin and the yang. The eight day festival of lights commemorates the miracles of the faithful Jews as they reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. According to folklore, on the night before the feast of the Epiphany in early January, Befana flies around on her broom, delivering presents. 8 Can’t-Miss Winter Festivals Around the World. Winter Holiday Celebrations Around the World Winter Holiday Celebrations Around the World . All Rights Reserved. Before baking the cake, as the wife is kneading the dough, she follows her husband outdoors. Diwali is a five day celebration where lights glow all around the house, gifts are exchanged, rituals take place, and special foods are consumed. Traditionally, the eldest daughter will bring her family saffron buns and coffee. In countries below the equator, December falls during the warmer season, but the winter solstice, six months later, is still seen as a time to celebrate. Christmas is the Christian holiday that falls on December 25th, when the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated. The most anticipated part of the meal is the traditional rice pudding, baked with a single almond inside. Since the holiday is based on the lunar calendar, the date of celebration shifts from January to February. Instead, a sprig of basil is wrapped around a wooden cross to protect the home from the Killantzaroi, which are negative spirits that only appear during the twelve days after Christmas. However, the main winter festival in China is the New Year celebration that occurs at the end of January. Burns Night Known in medieval Celtic culture as a story teller, verse maker and composer, the word ‘Bard’ has become synonymous with the world’s greatest poets. November 21, 2017 6 min. As the clock strikes midnight in each time zone, the New Year is welcomed over a span of 26 hours. The solstice is the point in the year when the earth is most inclined away from the sun, and Wiccans celebrate Yule to honor the winter-born king, symbolized by the rebirth of the sun. Christians believe that this was when the three kings visited baby Jesus, celebrating the manifestation of God becoming human. Each time, the wife begs him to spare the tree, saying, "Oh no, I am sure this tree will be as heavy with fruit next spring as my fingers are with dough today." Patti Wigington is a pagan author, educator, and licensed clergy. The sun rises close to 9:00 in the morning and sets around 3:00 in the evening. On December 13th, children sing songs dressed in white gowns. Destination Services, To welcome the New Year, families take time to clean their homes, perform rituals, and prepare feasts. If you are planning a holidays unit soon click here to see the Holidays Around the World unit and teaching Power Point I use. On December 26, the day of St. Stephen the Martyr, everyone goes out and visits friends and relatives, weather permitting. However, the recognition of St. Nicholas has always been important, because he was the patron saint of sailors, among other things. In the southern hemisphere, the weather warms and residents take their vacations to enjoy the extended daylight. Holiday Celebrations Around the World Holiday Celebrations Around the World ... (The story is particularly appealing to Swedes, whose country is dark during much of the winter.) This deluxe jacketed hardcover is visual storytelling at its best. Photo by Jack Berry via CC 2.0. However, when she went to call them back, they had gone. For those who observe the Gregorian calendar, January 1st is considered the first day of the New Year. CATEGORIES There's a reason for each season and around here we are quickly approaching the Winter solstice. 4. Children leave out glasses of milk for the Juulnisse, which are elves that live in peoples' homes, and for Julemanden, the Danish version of Santa Claus. The country's Christians celebrate by decorating mango and banana trees, and adorning homes with red flowers, such as the poinsettia. Teaching your children about different winter celebrations from around the world is very important. A woman bakes a confection called a turta, made of pastry dough and filled with melted sugar and honey. Hogmanay - the celebration of the last day of the year - is one of Scotland's best-known and best loved traditions! See how the celebration unfolds in countries around the world with this infographic. The tradition stems from back when a red- or blonde-haired stranger was probably an invading Norseman. When Americans think of autumn celebrations, Halloween and Thanksgiving first come to mind. She rejected them, but later realized she'd been quite rude. The idea of decorating a Christmas tree didn't appear in Greece until the early nineteenth century, when King Otto arrived from Germany, where the custom was already in practice. The U.S. winter holiday season concludes with New Year’s celebrations, and although New Year’s Day is celebrated on January 1, the festivities begin the night before — on New Year’s Eve. In Iran, for example, it is known as Yalda Night and is typically celebrated with family and friends. Gifts are exchanged with family and friends, and baksheesh, or charity, is given to the poor and needy. One way you can introduce your children to other cultures, is by bringing them to the free Winter Celebrations events at the St. Louis Art Museum December 8 until December 10. The best and most beautiful objects are selected to represent African culture as family, community, and heritage are celebrated. Intercultural Training. The cows are venerated during this time, and they are decorated with floral garlands and their horns are painted. The man goes from one barren tree to another, threatening to cut each down. By using Learn Religions, you accept our, Yule Craft Projects for the Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox Celebrations Around the World. Prayers are recited with the nightly lighting and gifts are exchanged. The winter holidays are celebrated in many ways around the world. Winter Celebrations Around the World. The Sapporo Snow Festival is one of Japan’s largest winter events. Here are some ways that residents of different countries observe the season. Click here to read more about how Diwali is celebrated in other countries. The celebration is a weekend filled with festivities for family and friends inspired by cultures near and far. Each year features one of the 12 zodiac animals. A multi-day festival called Pongal falls around the time of the winter solstice, and it's when rice is boiled in milk and presented as offerings to the gods, followed by the family cows, and then the humans who live in the home. For Christians, this holiday (on January 6) marks the end of the Christmas season. Nearly every culture has traditions that mark the changing of seasons, the winter solstice, and the season of giving. At night, colorful lights illuminate the enormous ice sculptures. The leaves have changed, the temperature has dropped, and now we warily prepare for a season of coughs, chills and bony, barren trees. Over the years, the celebration has gradually incorporated traditions from various religions and regions. When I studied abroad in Sweden one of the hallmark celebrations the people took part in was Santa Lucia. There are many other winter celebrations sacred to other cultures. Ceremonies and rituals include purification, dancing, and sometimes gift-giving. Wiccans and Neopagans celebrate the holiday of Yule, at the time of the Winter Solstice, around December 21st. Traditions vary widely from one country to the next, but one thing they all have in common is the observance of customs around the time of the winter solstice.