In your holiday delivery this week, please enjoy the season of Light. Discover together with your families the many different traditions that cultures celebrate during this season of Light. May this time of year bring to you and your loved ones delight and magic.
One of the most widely known December holidays is Christmas. Many traditions vary around the world. While Americans celebrate with Christmas trees, visits from Santa Claus, and dreams of snowy landscapes, gift giving, Advent calendars, music and caroling, exchange of Christmas cards, and special meals. This holiday is closely related to The Solstice festivals with the various traditions families practice. See the celebrations listed in the Solstice.
December Holidays around the World | WorldStrides
The eight-day Jewish celebration known as Hanukkah or Chanukah commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. Hanukkah, which means “dedication” in Hebrew, begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar and usually falls in November or December. Often called the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts.
Hanukkah 2020 - Stories, Traditions & Origins - HISTORY
Kwanzaa HistoryThe name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits” in Swahili. Each family celebrates Kwanzaa in its own way, but celebrations often include songs and dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading, and a large traditional meal. On each of the seven nights, the family gathers and a child lights one of the candles on the Kinara (candleholder), then one of the seven principles is discussed. The principles, called the Nguzo Saba (seven principles in Swahili) are values of African culture which contribute to building and reinforcing community among African-Americans. Kwanzaa also has seven basic symbols which represent values and concepts reflective of African culture. An African feast, called a Karamu, is held on December 31.
Kwanzaa - HISTORY
The Winter solstice occurs on December 21st or 22nd: the shortest day of the year marking the start of winter. Hutton said, "If you happen to live in a region in which midwinter brings striking darkness, cold and hunger, then the urge to have a celebration at the very heart of it is to avoid going into deep depression is very, very strong," he said. It is a very powerful season. Stephen Nissenbaum, author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist "The Battle for Christmas" (Vintage, 1997), agreed. The Solstice celebration in Guatemala is called Santo Tomas on this day, Mayan Indians indulge in the ritual known as the Palo Volador, or “flying pole dance”. Three men climb on top of a 50-foot pole as one of them beats a drum and plays a flute. The other two men wind a rope attached to the pole around one foot and jump. If they land on their feet, it is believed that the sun god will be pleased and that the days will start getting longer. The ancient Incas celebrated a special festival to honour the sun god at the time of the December solstice.
Here are some customary ways to celebrate the solstice—you might notice that some resemble beloved Christmas traditions.
Dec. 21: The Winter Solstice Explained | Live Science
What is Winter Solstice? | Filoli
how to honor winter solstice - Google Search
Wishing you all Happy Holidays from the BRIDGE family!
Gwendolyn VanSant, CEO and Founding Director
Stephanie Wright, Lead Educator and Community Engagement Coordinator
*In this packet find the project instructions for Lantern Luminaries you and your family can create and the pine cones feeders for the birds to hang outside. Please send pictures of your finished projects to firstname.lastname@example.org. All 2020 pictures of food, meals, projects and families are welcome for our 2020 COVID scrapbook showing our beloved community supporting one another in a time of challenge and struggle. Stay healthy and safe!
Have a Happy New Year!
We will be back in January to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr Day and we will have a family challenge quiz on our 2020 cultural lessons for prizes. Trivia Night.