Showing posts with label traditions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label traditions. Show all posts

New Year Traditions from Around the World

How do you celebrate New Year's? Most of the people I know go to a party or celebrate with their family at home, but have you ever looked at what some of the traditions are from around the world? There are some interesting ones.

Christmas in Different Lands: Stockings, Shoes and more!

For my post today we are going to explore the Christmas tradition of stockings and/or shoes. This post is part of the Multicultural Kid Blogs' Christmas in Different Lands Series. Growing up stockings were always a big thing. One of my sisters loves stocking gifts. We all would run down the stairs and get our stockings and start opening the gifts. As we got older it changed to us taking turns opening one stocking gift at a time so everyone could see it. As we got older still (adults) we started buying a few stocking gifts for everyone. As a child I always thought my stocking was not as exciting as the rest of my families. I had a hand knitted one that was going to be a sock for my father, but was too big. Everyone else had felt ones that had fun decorations and their names on them. My mother tried out all sorts of things on her sewing machine when making them before my birth. My sisters always tried to tell me my plain one was better because it stretched, but I didn't buy it. When we were adults my mother hand knitted new ones for all of us that are beautiful. She still has them at her house in case any of us are there for Christmas morning (my family usually is not but everyone else often is). My family still has the stocking tradition. Hazel is always very excited to hang our stockings and actually has made, bought and found stockings for Ducky and some of her dolls. (I recently shared one that I made for her doll as well.)

The Night Before Christmas -- Book Review

Disclosure: Parragon Books sent me a copy of this book free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As always I am providing links to the book for your convenience.

I think everyone know a bit of The Night Before Christmas words. The original poem was first published anonymously on December 23 1823 in the (Troy, New York) Sentinel with the title A Visit from St. Nicholas.  It was sent in by a friend of Clement C. Moore who is believed to have written it though there is some debate. This poem helped shape Santa Claus as we know him today in his image and mode of transportation. (Source) Now are new book of The Night Before Christmas has been put out with it by Clement C. Moore and Harriet Muncaster. Harriet Muncaster did not change any of the words to the famous poem, but did some amazing things with the pictures.

Learning about Rosh Hashanah - Jewish High Holidays for Kids

As a former teacher I always thought the new year should start in September with school. Next week it will be Rosh Hashanah or the Jewish New Year. Then ten day after it is Yom Kippur. Many of the local schools give the teachers and students the Jewish high holidays off. Hazel's does not since it is a private Christian school. However I like to teach Hazel about other cultures which includes other religions. This post is part of the Multicultural Kid Blogs Jewish High Holidays for Kids Blog Series. To learn about the Jewish high holidays we did what we do to learn about any new culture, we went to the library. The first find was this DVD on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It was a great introduction for Hazel to the holidays.

We also found many books on Rosh Hashanah and some on Jewish holidays. These are the ones we decided to focus on. (For a round-up of books about Rosh Hashanah, check out All Done Monkey's post in this series.)

First Day of School--Kindergarten

Congratulations to Candice B. for winning the Octonauts: Deep Sea Mission DVD!!

So today was Hazel's first day of school and she started kindergarten. I had big plans to come home and work on some great posts and crafts, but the truth is I had a hard time focusing. My great post is waiting for tomorrow. For today I am going to share a bit about what we did for the first day to be special and some first day traditions! First we started with the picture for the first day. I used one of the wonderful first day of school printables that Krafts and Kiddos shared and were featured at Sharing Saturday a couple of weeks ago.

Happy New Year!

I know I promised to keep posting and somehow between Hazel and I being sick (Hazel still is) and Hazel's birthday party, I feel like every time I sit down to write I just want to go to sleep and I didn't want to write a bad post, so I waited. So this is a bit late, but I thought I would share about New Year's Eve and Day with you. How did you celebrate? Did you celebrate?

Did you know there are different times of the year that people in the world celebrate New Years? Hazel and I took some books out from the library to let her know more about New Year's and I have learned so much reading them. The first one is Happy New Year! by Emery Bernhard. This book gives a bit of history of New Year's and how it has been celebrated throughout the times. It also goes into the ways different cultures have and some still do celebrate it and when. It even discusses the change of the calendar to make January 1st the new year introduced by Julius Caesar. (This is the reason on months do not match their prefixes by the way.) Caesar changed the beginning of the year to January instead of March. By the way if you are in Rome on New Year's Eve, watch out for dropping crockery. Their tradition is to throw their cracked or chipped crockery out the window at midnight. Noise-making was originally meant to scare away evil spirits. In Bali it still is. On New Year's do you celebrate the new year or say goodbye to the old one? Each culture seems to differ on this as well. 

The other books we took out (so far) are craft books. We have Holiday Handiwork by Gillian Souter. For New Year's it has a noise-maker craft as well as a dancing dragon for the Chinese New Year. By the way the Chinese New Year and other lunar new years (like  Vietnamese and Korean) will be January 31st this year. This year the Tibetan New Year is March 2nd; the Persian New Year is March 21st; the Hindu New Year is March 31st; the Hmong New Year is April 12th; and the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) is September 25th. (Source of dates)
Our third book is Happy New Year, Everywhere! by Arlene Erlbach. This book shares information about the new year in twenty different countries as well as a craft/project to do from that country. This book is wonderful for teaching about different cultures! And the activities look so fun!

This year is the first year we actually "celebrated" New Year's Eve with Hazel. We went to our local library. They had some crafts and a countdown to noon. Then they played fireworks on a large screen television and had the kids jump on bubble wrap (it sounded like fireworks). Then they served sparkling cider and fish crackers. Hazel had so much fun. Oh, and the librarians had a balloon drop at noon for the kids too. Each child could make three crafts. The first was a New Year's crown. They used some Grinch crowns they had.
Then they had an egg shaker with plastic Easter eggs, popcorn kernels, decorative tape and stickers. Every child needed one to shake at noon!

The final craft was a homemade kazoo. It is made with a toilet paper roll, tissue paper, rubber band and a hole punch. Punching the hole is key to it working.
Hazel had so much fun!! She did not want to leave. Luckily we were headed out for a nice lunch with her grandmother at Hazel's favorite restaurant so we got her out of there.

And to make it even more interesting for you here are a few fun New Year's traditions I found on-line:
  • In the Netherlands, they burn their Christmas trees in bonfires to get rid of the old and welcome the new. They also have fireworks.
  • In Spain they eat twelve grapes at midnight to secure twelve months of happiness.
  • In Japan they host "forget-the-year" parties in December and then on New Year's Eve the buddhist priests 108 times to expel the 108 human weaknesses. 
  • In Brazil it is customary to wear all white except also brightly colored underwear. It is customary in Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Venezuela to wear brightly colored underwear. Yellow is supposed to bring money and red brings love.
  • In Chile, they eat a spoonful of lentils at midnight to have a year of work and money.
  • In South Africa, they throw old appliances out their windows.

Now I would love to hear your family's traditions.

Happy New Year!!

So it is a little after 9 p.m. on New Year's Eve and I'm the only one up in my house. It is amazing how my perspective on New Year's Eve changed having a child and especially having a New Year's Eve baby. Pre-Hazel we would host a New Year's Eve party for a few friends (a tradition I started long before I met Steve). It stopped when I had Hazel since that first New Year's Eve I was in the hospital. 

Now with our schedules and such, we often don't even stay up until midnight. In the past four years I think the only time I stayed up until midnight is when her birthday party was on New Year's Day so my mother and I stayed up preparing for the party and watched the ball drop at midnight. Last year her party was on New Year's Eve so I did not stay up until midnight and since we had a bad night last night (someone woke up from a scary dream around 11 and was up for at least an hour), I will be going to bed soon. I should add with Hazel up by 6 if not earlier most days and Steve up at 4:30 for work most mornings our schedules are just much earlier than they once were.

Have A Wonderful New Year
DesiComments |

What are you doing to ring in 2013? I hope you will share your family's adventures tomorrow at Happy Family Times!

Christmas Around the World - Christmas in Kenya

I joined an amazing group of bloggers put together by Beth at Living Life Intentionally to present Christmas Around the World. Each blogger is presenting how Christmas or a winter holiday is celebrated in different countries around the world. Some will be writing from their own experiences and some, like me, will be writing based on research. Today I present Christmas in Kenya.

Wish I May, Wish I Might, Have the Wish I Wish Tonight

Star light, star bright,
The first star I see tonight;
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.
Do you know the popular Star light, Star Bright Rhyme? It is American  and believed to be from the late 19th century. (Source) No one seems to know if the rhyme or wishing on the first star came first though. There are many different stories as to the source of wishing on stars or shooting stars, so I will leave that up to you.

Why am I talking about wishing on stars and an American nursery rhyme on Multicultural Monday? Well, I want to share with you a wonderful book that I will be referencing often on Multicultural Mondays. The book is Wish: Wishing Traditions Around the World by Roseanne Thong.
This book offers a short rhyme about a way a country's children (and people) wish and then describes it in more detail. It includes wishing traditions from Australia, Brazil, China, Guatemala, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, and the United States (which in not wishing on stars). This book is full of so many beautiful pictures (illustrated by Elisa Kleven) and introduces so many new customs as well as shedding some new light on ones I already knew. 

For example, do you know about the Guatemalan Kite Festivals (November 1 and 2)? Wow, these look amazing. Here are some sites to check out the amazing pictures of these enormous kites. Festival Sumpango (sorry it is in Spanish and I cannot seem to get the English part working but if you go to the galleria the pictures are beautiful). Environmental Graffitti (English blog with beautiful pictures) (for a little history).
There are also the traditions of putting lucky coins in your left shoe (Russia), wishing as you blow a dandelion pod (Ireland), tossing a coin into Trevi Fountain (Italy) or any fountain in our country and so many more. 

What do you wish upon? What are your culture's wishing traditions?

This is where I share...

The Start of Advent

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. My church holds an Advent Workshop each year. Last year they began making it in the evening so all the families could attend. As a member of the Christian Education Committee I have been helping plan it this year. We serve a spaghetti dinner and then there are different stations to make crafts--wreaths, ornaments, decorations, Advent calendars, and Christmas cards for the homeless (that another religious charity gathers from the churches to distribute with gifts). The high school students will be making fleece scarves for the charity as well. Last year we ran out of food, because many people hadn't signed up, but came anyway. This year they didn't have a sign-up, so hopefully there will be enough food.

Hazel's decorating...all on the same branch
Yesterday we spent the day getting our house ready for Christmas. We have a few more things to do, but the tree is up. I still need to put the candles in the windows and put the swags over the family room windows. Hazel had so much fun decorating the tree. Of course we still need to teach her not to hang all the ornaments on the same branch. We had a few fatalities due to this practice, but they were minor ones.

Our Honeymoons: St. Croix and Plymouth, MA

Family Picture
Some traditions we have for our Christmas tree, if we go on a trip during the year we buy an ornament for the tree from the place we have been. Then when we hang the ornaments we have a nice memory of the trip. I started this when I was single so I have a few from those vacations, but together Steve and I have one from each of our honeymoon trips (we took a two-night one locally right after the wedding and then waited for the bad weather to get away some place farther), as well as other trips we have taken and of course one from Cape Cod since we go there every year to see my parents (usually several times a year). Steve also receives a frame ornament with the year on it in his Christmas stocking every year (usually from Michaels for around $4). So we have family pictures for each year we have been together starting with the year we got engaged right before Christmas. We also have pictures of Hazel and our cats on the tree. This year we will add Fluffy to the collection and we will do a memorial of Simba. We also have given one to Hazel each year that represents something she really likes. Her first year it was a duck and last year it was Elmo. She loved those when we found them in the boxes.

The rest of the ornaments are a combination of ones from our childhoods, ones we made, and ones that were gifts. There are still a few that were bought without much significance, but for the most part we are weeding those out each year. It is amazing how your priorities change. I didn't bother hanging the margarita glass ornament one of my sister's gave me ages ago. We share a love for homemade margaritas so it was a nice sharing moment, but now I barely drink, so hanging a glass on my tree seems so insignificant. However I do still have the engraved angel that my sister gave me when I was 7 on my tree. My mother hangs our silver teething rings on her tree. I need to get Hazel's out for ours.

Do you do anything special for your tree? I always love the look of the themed trees in pictures but when it comes down to it, I love my tree for the love and memories it holds instead of how it looks.

An ornament I made the other day. The pattern came from Living Crafts Magazine (do you know this magazine, it is wonderful)! I borrowed a few issues from the handworks teacher at school (and just ordered my own subscription). This pattern came from the Winter 2009 issue. Hazel decided she wanted it as a toy and not an ornament. I may try to make a smaller one for the tree though.

Happy start of Advent!! I hope you have a wonderful day!!