Due to the northern location of Scandinavia, countries like Sweden only have a few precious hours of daylight in the winter. In Denmark, Christmas Eve dinner is a big cause for celebration. For example, consider: hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(3026600, '8aa11458-d62e-4dce-8a1a-18505074be2d', {}); This post provides a just a glimpse into these rich cultural celebrations. Boys carry stars and girls wear a crown of lights with a red sash. For Christians, this holiday (on January 6) marks the end of the Christmas season. Patti Wigington is a pagan author, educator, and licensed clergy. It attracts a growing number of visitors from Japan and rest of world. 4 Winter Solstice Rituals From Around the World Members of the Shakti Sings choir sing as druids, pagans and revelers gather in the center of Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England to … Invite students to learn more about how Yule is celebrated around the world at Yule Tide And Christmas Traditions of the Ancients from Old and Sold Antiques Auction & Marketplace. Winter Celebrations Around the World. However, it's believed that this date was chosen to offset pagan celebrations of Saturnalia and Natalis Invicti. The city of Riga, Latvia holds the claim as home to history’s first decorated Christmas tree, back in 1510. Privacy Policy | Internet Privacy Policy  | Terms of Use, 8 Culturally Significant Winter Celebrations Around the World. 2018 will be Year of the Dog. 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. The eight day festival of lights commemorates the miracles of the faithful Jews as they reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. 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. Click here to read more about how Diwali is celebrated in other countries. In fact, Hindu Indians are the second largest ethnic minority in Britain. 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. in Students Comments Off on Winter Celebrations Around the World 15,548 views 15 Chinese New Year. The winter holidays are celebrated in many ways around the world. I hope these ideas make teaching your students about holidays around the world an exciting experience they won’t soon forget! However, when she went to call them back, they had gone. In Romania, people still observe an old fertility ritual which probably pre-dates Christianity. Prayers are recited with the nightly lighting and gifts are exchanged. A warm, bright celebration to look forward to is Saint Lucy’s Day. 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. 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. 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. The leaves have changed, the temperature has dropped, and now we warily prepare for a season of coughs, chills and bony, barren trees. 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." In Italy, there is the legend of La Befana, a kind old witch who travels the earth giving gifts to children. There are many other winter celebrations sacred to other cultures. Before baking the cake, as the wife is kneading the dough, she follows her husband outdoors. In Tasmania, naked revelers celebrate with an icy plunge into the Derwent River. All Rights Reserved. In modern times Christians all over the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas Day, which falls on December 25. Destination Services, Whichever guest gets the almond in his pudding is guaranteed good luck for the coming year. Dong Zhi is the Chinese Winter Festival that falls around December 22. Teaching your children about different winter celebrations from around the world is very important. The sun rises close to 9:00 in the morning and sets around 3:00 in the evening. 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. On Hogmanay, which is observed on December 31, festivities typically spill over into the first couple of days of January. Some countries have particular celebrations to mark the solstice. Whether you observe Yule, Christmas, Sol Invictus, or Hogmanay, the winter season is typically a time of celebration around the world. 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. It is celebrated in slightly different ways by Christians around the world; celebrations include children leaving straw for horses outside or putting their shoes by the door to be filled with small gifts from the kings. Diwali is a five day celebration where lights glow all around the house, gifts are exchanged, rituals take place, and special foods are consumed. Christmas is the Christian holiday that falls on December 25th, when the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated. 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. For Greek and Russian Orthodox churches, this is the celebration of Christmas. Winter Celebrations Around the World. 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 Kwanzaa celebration lasts for one week. Here are some ways that residents of different countries observe the season. Across the world, festivals, contests, and celebrations are dedicated to the worship of snow and ice. But other, equally exciting festivities are held around the world. Bundle up embrace the cold with these super cozy (and family-friendly) winter festivals found around the world. Some believe that celebrating the birth of the “true light of the world” was set in synchronization with the December solstice because from that point onwards; the days began to have more dayli… 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. 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 cows are venerated during this time, and they are decorated with floral garlands and their horns are painted. Ceremonies and rituals include purification, dancing, and sometimes gift-giving. Santa Lucia commemorates the Saint of Light during a time when the days are growing darker. 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.) Learn Religions uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. 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. November 21, 2017 6 min. The holiday name is derived from a phrase that refers to the first harvest in Swahili. Each year features one of the 12 zodiac animals. Summer has been over for quite some time now. There's even a special parade to honor the cattle, and they are allowed to graze wherever they choose. She is the author of Daily Spellbook for the Good Witch, Wicca Practical Magic and The Daily Spell Journal. A woman bakes a confection called a turta, made of pastry dough and filled with melted sugar and honey. Today, a few common themes of Christmas include gift giving, attending mass, feasting, and decorating the home. 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. There's a reason for each season and around here we are quickly approaching the Winter solstice. Since the holiday is based on the lunar calendar, the date of celebration shifts from January to February. Christians believe that this was when the three kings visited baby Jesus, celebrating the manifestation of God becoming human. Below you will find lots of great kid-friendly winter solstice activities and winter solstice crafts to celebrate the day. By using Learn Religions, you accept our, Yule Craft Projects for the Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox Celebrations Around the World. This Chinese festival is a real-life winter wonderland. Every year, more than 2 million people come to Sapporo to see a large number of splendid snow statues and ice sculptures which line Odori Park, the grounds at Community Dome Tsudome, and the main street in Susukino. 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. 6. At night, colorful lights illuminate the enormous ice sculptures. The highlight is the Harbin Ice and Snow World, an entire city sculpted from 180,000 cubic meters of ice. Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. Recently, it's become known as the Spring Festival, and is a time of gift-giving and feasting. 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. Intercultural Training. The menorah holds eight candles and is placed in a window or doorway. Wiccans and Neopagans celebrate the holiday of Yule, at the time of the Winter Solstice, around December 21st. Now she travels the world, searching, and delivering gifts to all the children. Christmas is typically not a huge holiday in Greece, as it is in North America. The best and most beautiful objects are selected to represent African culture as family, community, and heritage are celebrated. Pope Julius I, the bishop of Rome, originally proclaimed December 25 the official celebration day for Jesus’ birthday back in 350 AD.. 5. When I studied abroad in Sweden one of the hallmark celebrations the people took part in was Santa Lucia. There's a tradition known as "first-footing", in which the first person to cross a home's threshold brings the residents good luck for the coming year – as long as the guest is dark-haired and male. The largest Diwali celebrations certainly take place in India, but it is celebrated by Hindus all around the world. As the clock strikes midnight in each time zone, the New Year is welcomed over a span of 26 hours. If you are planning a holidays unit soon click here to see the Holidays Around the World unit and teaching Power Point I use. There are winter festivals around the world, all unique in how they celebrate this time of year. Kachina dollsBrooklyn Museum, New York, Museum Expedition 1903, Museum Collection Fund (03.325.4653). When Americans think of autumn celebrations, Halloween and Thanksgiving first come to mind. While many people loathe winter's short days and freezing temperatures, true cold-weather warriors embrace the season. At the time of the solstice, Hopi welcome the kachinas, protective spirits from the mountains. The Finns have a tradition of resting and relaxing on Christmas Day. The country's Christians celebrate by decorating mango and banana trees, and adorning homes with red flowers, such as the poinsettia. Either way, employees around the world commonly take a few days off work at this time. It is celebrated around the world by people of African descent. The Chinese celebrate Dōng Zhì (the Chinese winter solstice) on this, the longest night of the year. Hogmanay - the celebration of the last day of the year - is one of Scotland's best-known and best loved traditions! 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 … Nearly every culture has traditions that mark the changing of seasons, the winter solstice, and the season of giving. This is a cultural holiday, not a religious one; therefore, it truly brings together people from various lifestyles to celebrate their common African heritage. 4. Some. 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. This deluxe jacketed hardcover is visual storytelling at its best. The winter holidays are celebrated in many ways around the world. Those eight holidays are celebrated by billions of people around the world. Those eight holidays are celebrated by billions of people around the world. Amsterdam Light Festival. 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. Often there are special foods and lots of light to brighten the darkness of winter! Can Business Travelers Have Culture Shock? Although Australia is huge geographically, the population sits at under 20 million people. However, the main winter festival in China is the New Year celebration that occurs at the end of January. See how the celebration unfolds in countries around the world with this infographic. All across the globe, people get together for rituals and holidays, to share time together. The darkest part of the year has always been a time for winter celebration. In Iran, for example, it is known as Yalda Night and is typically celebrated with family and friends. In Scotland, the big holiday is that of Hogmanay. It falls on different dates each year, between January 21 and February 20. Gifts are exchanged with family and friends, and baksheesh, or charity, is given to the poor and needy. Winter Holiday Celebrations Around the World Winter Holiday Celebrations Around the World . It is said that the three Magi stopped on their way to Bethlehem and asked her for shelter for a night. The unit also includes digital activities and the lessons on Google Slides. For those who observe the Gregorian calendar, January 1st is considered the first day of the New Year. 5. To dive further into international communication, visit our Global Workforce Development page to learn how you can grow your team’s successes. If your global team has winter customs that differ from your own, take the opportunity to begin a cultural dialogue as you learn more. In the southern hemisphere, the weather warms and residents take their vacations to enjoy the extended daylight. She rejected them, but later realized she'd been quite rude. If you're curious about celebrations across culture as you learn how to be an effective cross-cultural communicator, check out a few of our other blogs: © 2020 Dwellworks, LLC. The tradition stems from back when a red- or blonde-haired stranger was probably an invading Norseman. 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. However, the recognition of St. Nicholas has always been important, because he was the patron saint of sailors, among other things. Here are some of the best. From sundial observations, the Chinese discovered the, Saturnalia was a pagan public holiday celebrated at the winter harvest in ancient Rome. The festival held annually in Sapporo, Japan, over seven days in February. Dumplings are bountiful and long noodles are eaten to symbolize a long life. Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands. 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. The man goes from one barren tree to another, threatening to cut each down. According to folklore, on the night before the feast of the Epiphany in early January, Befana flies around on her broom, delivering presents. The most anticipated part of the meal is the traditional rice pudding, baked with a single almond inside. For example, consider: Soyal, celebrated by the Hopi Indians in the Southwest United States, falls on the shortest day of the year. There are many other winter celebrations sacred to other cultures. On December 13th, children sing songs dressed in white gowns. 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. This was a time of “role-reversal,” where slaves were temporarily freed and the rich gave to the poor. 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. Photo by Jack Berry via CC 2.0. 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