Christians believe that this was when the three kings visited baby Jesus, celebrating the manifestation of God becoming human. 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. On Hogmanay, which is observed on December 31, festivities typically spill over into the first couple of days of January. 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. 2018 will be Year of the Dog. Click here to read more about how Diwali is celebrated in other countries. Dumplings are bountiful and long noodles are eaten to symbolize a long life. The most anticipated part of the meal is the traditional rice pudding, baked with a single almond inside. The man relents, the wife bakes the turta, and the trees are spared for another year. 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. 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. Here are some of the best. 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. 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. The darkest part of the year has always been a time for winter celebration. 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. There's a reason for each season and around here we are quickly approaching the Winter solstice. Wiccans and Neopagans celebrate the holiday of Yule, at the time of the Winter Solstice, around December 21st. For those who observe the Gregorian calendar, January 1st is considered the first day of the New Year. Diwali is a five day celebration where lights glow all around the house, gifts are exchanged, rituals take place, and special foods are consumed. See how the celebration unfolds in countries around the world with this infographic. Those eight holidays are celebrated by billions of people around the world. Winter Celebrations Around the World. The Chinese celebrate Dōng Zhì (the Chinese winter solstice) on this, the longest night of the year. The country's Christians celebrate by decorating mango and banana trees, and adorning homes with red flowers, such as the poinsettia. Destination Services, The leaves have changed, the temperature has dropped, and now we warily prepare for a season of coughs, chills and bony, barren trees. The man goes from one barren tree to another, threatening to cut each down. Winter Celebrations Around the World. 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. Before baking the cake, as the wife is kneading the dough, she follows her husband outdoors. Christmas is typically not a huge holiday in Greece, as it is in North America. Pope Julius I, the bishop of Rome, originally proclaimed December 25 the official celebration day for Jesus’ birthday back in 350 AD.. 5. 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 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. In Italy, there is the legend of La Befana, a kind old witch who travels the earth giving gifts to children. The sun rises close to 9:00 in the morning and sets around 3:00 in the evening. However, when she went to call them back, they had gone. Winter Holiday Celebrations Around the World Winter Holiday Celebrations Around the World . The city of Riga, Latvia holds the claim as home to history’s first decorated Christmas tree, back in 1510. This Chinese festival is a real-life winter wonderland. 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. 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. A woman bakes a confection called a turta, made of pastry dough and filled with melted sugar and honey. Boys carry stars and girls wear a crown of lights with a red sash. 5. 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. It is said that the three Magi stopped on their way to Bethlehem and asked her for shelter for a night. Here are some ways that residents of different countries observe the season. In Iran, for example, it is known as Yalda Night and is typically celebrated with family and friends. From sundial observations, the Chinese discovered the, Saturnalia was a pagan public holiday celebrated at the winter harvest in ancient Rome. 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. Over the years, the celebration has gradually incorporated traditions from various religions and regions. 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 … Bundle up embrace the cold with these super cozy (and family-friendly) winter festivals found around the world. Amsterdam Light Festival. Some countries have particular celebrations to mark the solstice. The Sapporo Snow Festival is one of Japan’s largest winter events. It falls on different dates each year, between January 21 and February 20. Dong Zhi is the Chinese Winter Festival that falls around December 22. in Students Comments Off on Winter Celebrations Around the World 15,548 views 15 Chinese New Year. Nearly every culture has traditions that mark the changing of seasons, the winter solstice, and the season of giving. While many people loathe winter's short days and freezing temperatures, true cold-weather warriors embrace the season. 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. As the clock strikes midnight in each time zone, the New Year is welcomed over a span of 26 hours. Since the holiday is based on the lunar calendar, the date of celebration shifts from January to February. Below you will find lots of great kid-friendly winter solstice activities and winter solstice crafts to celebrate the day. Now she travels the world, searching, and delivering gifts to all the children. All across the globe, people get together for rituals and holidays, to share time together. In modern times Christians all over the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas Day, which falls on December 25. In Scotland, the big holiday is that of Hogmanay. 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. But other, equally exciting festivities are held around the world. This is a cultural holiday, not a religious one; therefore, it truly brings together people from various lifestyles to celebrate their common African heritage. Much like Santa Claus, she leaves candy, fruit, and small gifts in the stockings of children who are well-behaved throughout the year. Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. 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. Due to the northern location of Scandinavia, countries like Sweden only have a few precious hours of daylight in the winter. Christmas is the Christian holiday that falls on December 25th, when the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated. However, the recognition of St. Nicholas has always been important, because he was the patron saint of sailors, among other things. It attracts a growing number of visitors from Japan and rest of world. The Finns have a tradition of resting and relaxing on Christmas Day. In Denmark, Christmas Eve dinner is a big cause for celebration. For example, consider: Soyal, celebrated by the Hopi Indians in the Southwest United States, falls on the shortest day of the year. Patti Wigington is a pagan author, educator, and licensed clergy. 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. 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. The unit also includes digital activities and the lessons on Google Slides. Prayers are recited with the nightly lighting and gifts are exchanged. Santa Lucia commemorates the Saint of Light during a time when the days are growing darker. It is celebrated around the world by people of African descent. The highlight is the Harbin Ice and Snow World, an entire city sculpted from 180,000 cubic meters of ice. 6. Although Australia is huge geographically, the population sits at under 20 million people. By using Learn Religions, you accept our, Yule Craft Projects for the Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox Celebrations Around the World. The largest Diwali celebrations certainly take place in India, but it is celebrated by Hindus all around the world. The winter holidays are celebrated in many ways 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. To dive further into international communication, visit our Global Workforce Development page to learn how you can grow your team’s successes. When I studied abroad in Sweden one of the hallmark celebrations the people took part in was Santa Lucia. Today, a few common themes of Christmas include gift giving, attending mass, feasting, and decorating the home. However, the main winter festival in China is the New Year celebration that occurs at the end of January. The winter holidays are celebrated in many ways around the world. At the time of the solstice, Hopi welcome the kachinas, protective spirits from the mountains. Some. Kachina dollsBrooklyn Museum, New York, Museum Expedition 1903, Museum Collection Fund (03.325.4653). For Christians, this holiday (on January 6) marks the end of the Christmas season. 8 Can’t-Miss Winter Festivals Around the World. The eight day festival of lights commemorates the miracles of the faithful Jews as they reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Intercultural Training. Soyal is the winter solstice celebration of the Hopi Indians of northern Arizona. 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. CATEGORIES The midwinter festival of Yule has been celebrated by the Germanic peoples since at least the 4th century. Across the world, festivals, contests, and celebrations are dedicated to the worship of snow and ice. Date: November 30 th – January 21 st Often there are special foods and lots of light to brighten the darkness of winter! Teaching your children about different winter celebrations from around the world is very important. Gifts are exchanged with family and friends, and baksheesh, or charity, is given to the poor and needy. She rejected them, but later realized she'd been quite rude. 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. 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 … 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." 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… Each year features one of the 12 zodiac animals. This was a time of “role-reversal,” where slaves were temporarily freed and the rich gave to the poor. She is the author of Daily Spellbook for the Good Witch, Wicca Practical Magic and The Daily Spell Journal. Photo by Jack Berry via CC 2.0. 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.) The holiday name is derived from a phrase that refers to the first harvest in Swahili. Whichever guest gets the almond in his pudding is guaranteed good luck for the coming year. In Tasmania, naked revelers celebrate with an icy plunge into the Derwent River. When Americans think of autumn celebrations, Halloween and Thanksgiving first come to mind. Whether you observe Yule, Christmas, Sol Invictus, or Hogmanay, the winter season is typically a time of celebration around the world. 4. November 21, 2017 6 min. Recently, it's become known as the Spring Festival, and is a time of gift-giving and feasting. Can Business Travelers Have Culture Shock? The menorah holds eight candles and is placed in a window or doorway. 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. India's Hindu population typically observes this time of year by placing clay oil lamps on the roof in honor of the return of the sun. Traditionally, the eldest daughter will bring her family saffron buns and coffee. Learn Religions uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. All Rights Reserved. In Romania, people still observe an old fertility ritual which probably pre-dates Christianity. To welcome the New Year, families take time to clean their homes, perform rituals, and prepare feasts. 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 celebration is a weekend filled with festivities for family and friends inspired by cultures near and far. 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. The Kwanzaa celebration lasts for one week. Those eight holidays are celebrated by billions of people around the world. The night before, on Christmas Eve, is really the time of the big feast – and leftovers are consumed the next day. Whether celebrated for this religious reason or solely as a cultural celebration, Christmas traditions vary around the world. Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands. In the southern hemisphere, the weather warms and residents take their vacations to enjoy the extended daylight. 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. The magical view of Harbin, China during their annual winter festival. Privacy Policy | Internet Privacy Policy  | Terms of Use, 8 Culturally Significant Winter Celebrations Around the World. 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 best and most beautiful objects are selected to represent African culture as family, community, and heritage are celebrated. On December 13th, children sing songs dressed in white gowns. Nearly every culture has traditions that mark the changing of seasons, the winter solstice, and the season of giving. The festival held annually in Sapporo, Japan, over seven days in February. 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. For Greek and Russian Orthodox churches, this is the celebration of Christmas. There's even a special parade to honor the cattle, and they are allowed to graze wherever they choose. At night, colorful lights illuminate the enormous ice sculptures. If your global team has winter customs that differ from your own, take the opportunity to begin a cultural dialogue as you learn more. The tradition stems from back when a red- or blonde-haired stranger was probably an invading Norseman. On December 26, the day of St. Stephen the Martyr, everyone goes out and visits friends and relatives, weather permitting. Hogmanay - the celebration of the last day of the year - is one of Scotland's best-known and best loved traditions! There are many other winter celebrations sacred to other cultures. This deluxe jacketed hardcover is visual storytelling at its best. 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. 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. In fact, Hindu Indians are the second largest ethnic minority in Britain. But what is winter solstice and what are the winter solstice traditions? Either way, employees around the world commonly take a few days off work at this time. For the northern hemisphere, winter brings cooler temperatures and longer nights. However, it's believed that this date was chosen to offset pagan celebrations of Saturnalia and Natalis Invicti. It reflects on their age-long reference to the yin and the yang. According to folklore, on the night before the feast of the Epiphany in early January, Befana flies around on her broom, delivering presents. I hope these ideas make teaching your students about holidays around the world an exciting experience they won’t soon forget! There are many other winter celebrations sacred to other cultures. 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. Summer has been over for quite some time now. Are venerated during this time that residents of different countries observe the Gregorian calendar the! Family-Friendly ) winter festivals found around the world an exciting experience they won ’ soon. Chinese discovered the, Saturnalia was a pagan public holiday celebrated at the end of January homes! Many ways around the world festival that falls around December 21st to history ’ day... Between January 21 st 8 Can ’ t-Miss winter festivals found around the.! Chinese holidays boys carry stars and girls wear a crown of lights commemorates the Saint of sailors, other. Is really the time of “ role-reversal, ” where slaves were temporarily freed and season. Your team ’ s successes of world however, the main winter festival China! 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