Here at home, the holidays are one of the happiest times of the year. While we’ve all got our own traditions to help make the season special, there’s a whole world of fun happening across the globe. Here are wonderful holiday celebrations you’ll love to learn about and share with your little ones.
Chinese New Year
While we’re ringing in the New Year as we countdown to January 1st, one of the world’s biggest New Year’s celebrations actually occurs a few weeks later! Chinese New Year celebrations, which typically begin between the end of January and mid-February, continue until the Lantern Festival of the first calendar month. One unique holiday tradition is giving away money in red envelopes. The color red is associated with happiness and good luck, so the gift is a way to bestow good luck upon the recipient. Other popular celebrations include elaborate fireworks demonstrations and celebratory dinners.
Santa Claus Around the World
While kids in the United States eagerly await Santa Claus to scurry down their chimney with a bag of gifts, across the world children have other exciting traditions. While Americans hang stockings above the fireplace awaiting gifts, French kids leave their actual shoes by the fireplace to be filled with goodies. And while Santa arrives in America atop a flying sleigh, he is said to arrive on water skiis in Australia and to emerge out of the jungle in Ghana.
Another Festival of Lights
As one of the largest Hindu Holidays, Diwali is a festival of lights celebrated by many across the globe. Symbolizing the victory of “light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance,” the celebration involves cleaning your home as well as adorning houses, temples and businesses with candles and oil lamps. The festival generally falls between mid-October and mid-November and while it typically lasts 5 days, it peaks on the third day when families enjoy a big meal together, share gifts and even light off fireworks.