Christmas Celebrations in Multicultural Homes Around the World

Christmas Celebrations in Multicultural Homes Around the World

Christmas is one of the few global celebrations that touches every home. Today we take a look at some of the different ways this occasion is acknowledged in multicultural homes around the world. A sneak peak into the lives of those who have let the spirit of Christmas into their homes in-spite of it not necessarily being from their own culture even. Be prepared to smile with joy.

 

At home we celebrate Christmas Eve by eating a huge dinner of diverse dishes from Venezuela, the US and Germany. On Christmas Day, we adopt the American style and have again a nice family meal and open presents from Santa Claus.
We are a Venezuelan/American family living in Germany.

Flor Garcia

We love creating space every night of December to reflect as a family and to sing villancicos ( traditional Christmas Spanish songs)!! I remember doing it as a child and for me is so important that my children learn those songs also!!!
I grew up with the Catholic tradition of Las Novenas!!!

Johana C Castillo-Rodriguez

At home, we start our celebration with Advent and counting down the days to Christmas. On Christmas day we celebrate with a multicultural (Southern and Puerto Rican) meal and opening gifts. We keep our Christmas tree up through January 6th because we celebrate Epiphany “Día de Reyes” (Three Kings Day/Day of the Magi) my son cuts some grass and places it in a box (and the magi leave a gift behind). What is fun about celebrating Epiphany is that he’s already back in school and we continue to celebrate the holidays!

Frances Evans

We read books and sing in both Spanish and English throughout the month of December. We usually have a church service Christmas Eve, wherever we are. When in the US, Christmas Eve is a quiet night in front of a fireplace. When in Peru, the weather is hot and we have fireworks at midnight, when most families eat dinner together here.

Elisabeth Alvarado

At home in North Carolina, we attend festivals with Santa and Latino festivals with the traditional food, songs and dance. We celebrate Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) with the Ecuadorian traditions and celebrate Christmas Day with the American traditions.

Linda López-Stone

As a Muslim convert living in the UK, I do not celebrate Christmas in my own home. However, my family are Catholic so we go to see them on Christmas day. We exchange gifts and have a big roast turkey dinner. We eat Christmas pudding and mince pies. Then we sit down to watch the Queen’s speech. The rest of the day is spent playing board games and watching Christmas TV specials. On boxing day we go to see the Mummers performing out in the street. This is an old English tradition. The actors wear costumes made out of shredded newspaper and act out a play and sing songs!

Weronika Ozpolat

In Australia is common to serve seafood. As it’s summer at Christmas its quite refreshing to have seafood with salads instead. Plus you’re not adding to the heat of the day by using the oven!

Kathleen Trewin

Siena decorates its streets with Christmas lights and Christmas trees so there will be plenty of opportunities to take lots of holiday photos with your family. The church bells ringing, the chestnuts roasting and the holiday lights sparkling will surely bring joy to kids and parents alike. You will also find a traditional nativity scene as well as a giant and real Christmas tree in Piazza del Campo. And if you’re lucky enough, you might be able to see the March of the Santas!

Read celebrations in Sienna by Carmela

Many Filipinos attend the “misa de gallo”, a Roman Catholic mass celebrated around midnight of Christmas Eve. After the mass, church goers would eat special Christmas desserts such as “puto bumbong” ( a purple rice cake sprinkled with coconut and brown sugar) and “bibingka” (a glutinous rice cake with margarine and sugar). The traditional Christmas drink is called “mainit na tsokolate”, a hot chocolate drink made with tablea cacao and peanut butter.

Carmela Granada

Every Christmas eve, my Indian friends and I get together and treat the kids to some presents from each other. We enjoy a mutli -cuisine meal as the food is provided by different households and take pictures with the Christmas tree. On Christmas Day, my kids bid farewell to the mischievous elf “Rudy” who comes to our home December 1 and open the lovely presents with all their excitement. The day passes in fun and evening we go around looking at Christmas lights around the city.

Aditi Wardhan Singh

Share your celebrations with us in the comments below or email contact@localhost. Visit our celebrations section to see how various festivals are enjoyed around the world.

Christmas Celebrations in Multicultural Homes around the world #Christmas #multicultural #homes

Dussehra

Major festivals Celebrated in Andhra Culture

Festivals are one way to understand any culture, right? The way we celebrate, the food that we prepare, the traditions that we follow etc., say a lot about our culture. We, Indians have many festivals to celebrate and this post is about the festivals celebrated in the Southern part of India in Andhra Pradesh state.

Sankranthi

The First Important festival celebrated by Hindus is the Makara Sankranthi. This is also called the Harvest festival. “Sankranthi” in the Sanskrit language means the transmigration of the Sun to another zodiac sign.

I love making rangolis with colors for this festival. I also love the traditional food that we prepare for this festival like chakralu (crispy fritters), arisalu (Sweet made with rice flour and jaggery) and laddus.

Explaining Sankranthi to Kids

Sankranthi Rangoli - Muggulu

Sankranthi Rangoli – Muggulu

Ugadi

The Next important festival for us is Ugadi.  Ugadi is usually celebrated in March and it is considered to be Telugu New year.

We prepare a special dish called ‘Ugadi Pachadi’ on that day, which has 6 different flavors/ tastes. This is to remember that life is full of ups, downs, bitterness, happiness and a mixed bag of feelings.

Ugadi Pachadi made with the following flavors is my favorite.

salt (salty-ness), jaggery (sweet), neem flowers (bitterness), tamarind/ mango (sourness), banana (tardy ness) and green chilies (spice).

Ugadi Pachadi

Ugadi Pachadi

We also prepare Pulihora (Rice item spiced with tempering) and Mango dal on that day.

We follow a tradition of listening to “Panchaga sravanam” which is a future prediction told by pandits reading the panchangam (predictions written for different zodiac signs).

Sreerama Navami

Sreerama Navami is celebrated on the 9th day after the beginning of the new year.  We pray Lord Rama on this day.

We prepare Panakam (a drink made with water, pepper , nd jaggery) which is good to beat the summer heat.

In Bhadrachalam, Seetha rama kalyanam (A marriage of God Rama and Goddess Sita) is celebrated on that day and many devotees attend the event.

Read more about the festival here.

Sita rama kalyanam

srirama navami

Varalakshmi Vratham

We celebrate Varalakshmi vratham/ Pooja in August. Married women usually do pooja and fast the whole day.  Like many other festivals, we prepare a lot of dishes to offer God and later we feast. Some famous items are Garelu, Boorelu, Payasam, and pulihora.

Read more about the festival here.

Vinayaka Chavithi

Vinayaka Chavithi is another major festival where the whole family participates together. Vinayaka Chavithi is a festival celebrated to pray Lord Ganesha who is worshipped to ensure new beginnings and avoid all hurdles in the path of success.

We usually buy a clay idol of Lord Ganesha, hang all types of fruits above the God on a wooden structure called palavelli and perform pooja. We also prepare many tasty dishes like talukalu (made with rice flour and jaggery and milk), pulihora, chalividi (sweet made with rice flour and jaggery) etc.,

Read more about the festival here.

Dasara

Dasara is a festival celebrated around September where we pray Goddess Durga for 9 days. Women also chant “Lalitha sahasranamam” (religious chant) every evening on those 9 days.  We set idols in a step pattern for display and we call this “Bommala Koluvu”.

Read more about the festival here.

Dussehra

Dussehra

Deepavali

The last and the most exciting festival of the year is Deepavali. Deepavali means an array of lights.

This festival is celebrated to signify the win of Good over evil.  We prepare rangolis with flowers, light lamps and illuminate our houses with lights.

We pray Goddess Lakshmi on that day for wealth and prosperity.  We also prepare a lot of yummy sweets like Kaju barfi and gulab jamun.

We burst firecrackers too. Yes, it’s a lot of fun. 🙂

Deepavali Fire crackers

Deepavali Fire crackers

Read more about the festival here.

We also celebrate festivals like Maha Siva ratri, Nagula chanviti, and Atlathaddi.

So, that’s about some of the major festivals celebrated by Telugu people. People from Andhra Pradesh talk the Telugu language. Share all the festivals you celebrate in the comments below.

 

 

 

The Many Lessons Hidden in the Varied Origins of Diwali

The origin of Diwali is a wonderful way to explain to children, how good always conquers evil. The many stories that form the foundation of this world celebration, are a lesson in life about how to always stand true when faced with difficult choices. You may be surprised to learn, Diwali is celebrated across different sub cultures of India for various reasons. And thus, holds an extremely special meaning in the lives of many. Contrary to popular belief, not all Indians traditionally follow the same Hindu culture and yet, Diwali is  one of the most auspicious days in the lives of many. People from different parts of India celebrate this day for different reasons.

North India

Lord Ram, the most beloved prince and son is sent to exile by his father because of a promise he made to one of his wives (granting any two wishes when she wants). Laxman, his devoted brother chooses to go on exile with his brother and sister in law Sita. After years of hardships, Sita one day sees a deer she desires and on her behest Sri Ram and Laxman go after it. She consequently gets kidnapped by Raavan when she crosses the Laxman rekha (a spellbound line made outside their home to keep her safe by her brother in law). Ram and Laxman slay Raavan, saving her with the help of Hanuman an ardent devotee of Sri Ram. They all come back home to Ayodhya (on Diwali) among great pomp and show only to send her into exile all on her own when a citizen of the city raises a question of her purity after living with Raavan for so many years. She goes into the forest where she brings up her two sons. After years, when his sons cross his path in battle, Lord Ram goes back to bring his wife home. She in turn chooses to go back to Mother Earth instead. The Return of the Pandavas: Another story about the origins of the Diwali is within the great epic ‘Mahabharata,’ it was ‘Kartik Amavashya’ when the five Pandavas (brothers Yudhishthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva) appeared from their 12 years of banishment as a result of their defeat in the hands of the Kauravas at the game of dice (gambling). The subjects who loved the Pandavas celebrated the day by lighting the earthen lamps.

South India

In South India, Lord Krishna slaying Narakasura. Narakasura was a demon drunk with power stole the earrings of Aditi (mother of all Devas) and kidnapped 16000 women. The Devas were unable to stop him and so they went to Lord Vishnu to reincarnate as Krishna, so as to destroy the evil demon and save the women.

Marwaris and Gujratis

Diwali is the new year time for Marwaris and Gujaratis.  This is when the merchants close the accounts of the old year and pray to the goddess of wealth that the new year should open with even bigger increase of trade.  Kali Chaudas is devoted to the worship of Maha-Kali or Shakti as this is the day Kali killed the wicked Raktavija. Also referred to as Narak-Chaturdashi, Kali Chaudas is the day to abolish laziness and evil. Thus, many regions pray to Goddess Laxmi (giver of weath) on this day. Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and prosperity, emerging from a feud between the gods and demons, who were tangled in a race to obtain the nectar of immortality. Consulting Lord Vishnu in this pursuit, they could successfully churn the nectar of immortality from Goddess Lakshmi, who chose Vishnu to be her companion, consequently Lord Vishnu carried goddess Lakshmi to the heavens.

Jains  

To the Jains it marks the day after Lord Mahavira attained nirvana. He was released from his worldly body on the night of the full moon. So the people of Pavapuri, where he attained nirvana, lit lamps in their doorways as a symbol of their guru’s enlightenment.

According to Myth Gyan , Mahavira attained Moksha at the dawn of the Amavasya (new moon). He was cremated at Pawapuri. It is believed that many Gods were present there illuminating the darkness. But the following night was pitch black.

So people illuminate their houses in order to symbolically keep the light of their master’s knowledge alive.


Sikhism

This day for Sikhs celebrates the release of Guru Hargobindji along with 52 Indian kings who were imprisoned along with him at the Gwalior fort by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1619. This day is thus also known as Bandi Chorr Diwas (meaning the day of freedom).

Nepal

Diwali is also celebrated in Nepal and the Indian states of Assam, Sikkim and Darjeeling in West Bengal. The five-day festival in these places is considered to be of great importance as it shows reverence to not just the humans and the Gods, but also to the animals like crows, cows and dogs who maintain an intense relationship with humans.

Arya Samaj

It was the new moon day of Kartik (Diwali day) when the 19th-century scholar Maharshi Dayananda, one of the greatest reformers of Hinduism and the founder of Arya Samaj, attained his nirvana. Dayananda’s great mission was to ask humankind to treat one another as brothers through practices of nobility.

http://localhost/raisingworld/2017/10/12/easy-diwali-family-problems-home/

Historically 

In history, this day is celebrated as the coronation day of One of the greatest of Hindu kings, Vikramaditya. He was crowned on the Diwali day. The legendary emperor, who may have been a historical figure or based on one, is thought of as the ideal king, known for his generosity, courage, and patronage of scholars. Thus, Diwali became a historical event as well.

And thus, this day is celebrated across five days,

1. Dhanteras. 2. Choti Diwali (Naraka Chaturdasi). 3. Badi Diwali (Laxmi Puja). 4. Naya Saal (New Year). 5. Bhai Dooj. Many today, celebrate this day the whole month as the only time to rejoice available is on weekends. What is your reason to celebrate?

What does this conversation about origins of Diwali teach kids? 

  • Love your family.
  • Support your loved ones always.
  • Stand by what is right.
  • Freedom is a birth right.
  • Choices have consequences.
  • Women should be nurtured.
  • Every woman has a right to make her own choices.
  • Above all, be loyal.
  • Be careful about spending and save.

Do Not

  • Think ill of others.
  • Let ego get in the way of your relationships.
  • Disrespect those you care about.
  • Make decisions in haste.
  • Be selfish or greedy.

Rakshabandhan – An Indian Festival For Siblings

Every year as the Rakhi day (Rakshabandhan) approaches, I get wistful about tying a pretty little thread around my baby brother’s wrist. I think fondly of all those past celebrations of this Indian festival shared with my little brother.

 

This day holds a gentle place in the hearts of those who share it and the magic to take them flying through time to to their shared a childhood. A gesture or moment they may share or maybe pass as tradition to their own children.

Sibling Silliness

When we were small (my brother 3, me 13), I would align our hands together and say,” See, how big my hand is than yours ?” He laughed as his eyes sparkled with glee.

Slowly but surely, his hand kept getting bigger. The joy he found in aligning our hands together and saying, “See, my hand is getting bigger.” became something we shared for an instant smile.

Years passed by, we separated, reunited and did it again. Now all grown up, my little brother boasted. “My hand is finally bigger than yours now.” he said proudly.

I grinned delighted.

Over the years, he grew up from being someone I led around to someone I lean on. He is my little brother. My first baby. The one whose name I take by mistake instead of my child’s often.

When we met the last time two years ago, we did it again. And then he did it to my son. “See, how much bigger my hand is than yours?” My son laughed.

And now my 6 year old does it to his 3 year old sister. Teaching her a silly practice that his mom and her brother did that connects them to this day.

My brother

[bctt tweet=”Rakhshabandhan literally translated means the The Tie That Protects. A festival of togetherness celebrating brothers and sisters.” username=”contactrwc”]

The origin of Rakhi or Rakshabandhan has various stories. From mythology to history, it goes back to powerful men and women who protected each other in dire times valiantly to honor the promise made when the thread was tied. This was a way to make sure women were respected, honored and protected at all times.

rakshabandhan

This festival that mainly constitutes a simple act of a sister tying a pretty thread on the wrist of her brothers’ wrist to celebrate their love and duty (loyalty, protection, care) towards each other. It’s heartening how over the years it has transcended into a one when people honor their relationship : the laughter, the memories, the mischief, the fights, the tears shared.

Today siblings and cousins tie it to each other, daughters to fathers, mothers to sons, friends to friends they consider siblings even. This day holds within it the promise of togetherness.

Rakshabandhan Celebration

This festival thus inspires bravery and fondness among those who celebrate it. I remember when I was small we used to create our very own Rakhis and mail them from Kuwait to India to all our cousins. Today, with the very many options available online and shipping being so expensive online stores come to the rescue and we just pick our favorite designs and have them shipped to our beloved family members.

In our home, I tie it to my son and my daughter ties it to her father and brother. My husband’s sisters from India mail him their Rakhis and I decorate a Thali with flowers, sweets, diya and the Rakhis. On any occasion decorating these is my favorite thing to do.

We bathe and celebrate early morning. After prayer, the brother sits and the sister puts Tika on the forehead, does Aarti of the brother (circles the plate around the brother’s face) and then ties the Rakhi and feeds him the sweet. The brother then, irrespective of his age takes blessings of his sister for a long, prosperous and protected life!

Ideally, the brother gifts the sister whatever she wishes on this day. But as commercialization has crept in parents often gift both the brother and sister with presents to ensure they both feel celebrated! My kids love partaking in all the rituals and enjoy their gifts (read:toys) all day!

And then as any festival in India, there is a lavish meal of Indian delicacies. I usually make any meal celebrating the brother and sister with whatever dishes they most enjoy.

Happy Rakshabandhan to all those who choose to celebrate the sacred bond they share every single day in the little things they do for each other! Do share your silly stories of your siblings with us.

Don’t forget to grab your copy of International Best seller —

Strong Roots Have No Fear

Raise multicultural kids with confidence and a global mindset.

How and Why To Celebrate The Festival of Rakhi or Rakshabandhan www.raisingworldchildren.com #rakhi #rakshabandhan #indianfestival #indianvalues #traditons #moderncelebrations

 

How We Celebrate Sri Krishna Jeyanthi At Our Home

How We Celebrate Sri Krishna Jeyanthi At Our Home

 

India is famous for its cultural and traditional richness of festivals and celebrations. We, our family love the second half of every year since those six months are full of many festivals. I personally love to celebrate many festivals like Maha Shiva Rathri, Krishna Jeyanthi, Vinayagar Chaturthi because of their vibrant, colorful, foodie and cultural way of celebrations rather than their religions importance.

Festivals really help us to inculcate friendship, cultural importance and moral values in the young minds of our children. Recently we celebrated Sri Krishna Jeyanthi at our home. So I thought of sharing the pooja and celebrations of Sri Krishna Jeyanthi with you to throw some light on our Indian tradition and culture.

 

What Is Sri Krishna Jeyanthi?

Krishna Janmashtami or Janmashtami or Sri Krishna Jeyanthi is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu.

 

When Is Sri Krishna Jeyanthi Celebrated?

It is celebrated on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) during August or September.  

 

 What Are The Other Names For Sri Krishna Jeyanthi?

  • Krishna Astami
  • Janmashtami
  • Gokulasthami
  • Sree Jayanti

 

How We Celebrate Sri Krishna Jeyanthi At Our Home?

We invite our friends and relatives for the pooja and festival. Sri Krishna Jeyanthi is a fun filled celebration particularly for kids. So we invite all nearby kids for the festival. Also, we involve our son to be a part of the celebrations by making decorations and arrangements at our home.

 

Beautiful Krishna Sticker

Beautiful Krishna Sticker At Our Drawing Hall

 

We welcome our guests with colorful Kolam or Rangoli. Also we draw small footprints of rice flour from the entrance of our house to our pooja room. This is for welcoming Sri Krishna to our house. Making the footprints using rice flour is for small creatures like ant and insects to eat. We just care more for all living creatures.

 

Kolam or Rangoli

Kolam or Rangoli

 

Krishna's Footprints

Krishna’s Footprints

 

All the idols and photos of gods and goddesses at our pooja room are decorated with flowers, garlands and jewels. And Sri Krishna statue or photo is specially decorated. We offer Sweet Aval or Poha, Seedai, Murrukku, Butter, Butter Milk, Jhangiri, Pal Kova, Betal Leaves, Coconut and Fruits as prasad. Mostly the snacks will be prepared at home with extra flavor of yummy ghee. Krishna is a big lover of butter and ghee. So we believe that he will bless us with all abundance by tasting his favorite snacks.

 

Decorations At Our Pooja Room

Decorations At Our Pooja Room

 

Krishna songs and slogams will be played. The house will be filled with aroma of splendid incense sticks. It adds a divine effect to the celebrations. All family members will assemble and the eldest of the family will do the pooja. And the pooja starts with Aarthi, Songs and ends with yummy snacks.

 

Sri Krishna Jeyanthi - Offerings To Lord Sri Krishna - Raising World Children

Offerings To Lord Sri Krishna

Children will be dressed as Krishna and Radha. The elders will tell the stories of Sri Krishna. They enjoy by singing songs, playing instruments, dancing, reciting mantras, drawing, coloring and playing dramas. We, ladies, myself, my amma and my mother in law will recite Krishna Astakam and sing Sri Krishna Songs.

Also we visit to nearby Krishna Temples. Anna Thanam or Donation of Food will be offered at most of the temples on this auspicious day. We would usually donate some money and rice for this ceremony. Thus festivals will bring us closer, kinder and happier by all means. Also festivals are an easy way to teach spirituality to our kids.

What Mantra To be Chanted On Sri Krishna Jeyanthi?

 

We will chant Krishna Maha Mantra. This mantra can be chanted by anyone irrespective of religion, faith, gender and nation.

Krishna Maha Mantra

Image Credit: Pinterest

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

Krishna means “the all-attractive one,” and Rama means “the reservoir of pleasure.” Hare invokes His presence in our lives. This Maha (great) Mantra – chanting of His holy names brings innate satisfaction and the highest pleasure to all of us.

Info Source: ISKON, Delhi.

What Is The Significance Of Krishna Maha Mantra?

The sound and vibrations of this maha mantra will bring peace, happiness, cleanse the mind and soul, suppress our sorrows and anxieties.

Do you celebrate any festivals? What are the fun and joy about your festivals? How do you involve your kids on the celebrations? Please share with us …… And stay tuned for our Vinayagar Chaturthi celebrations .

How To celebrate Krishna Jayanti - Raising World children | Krishna Jayanthi | Celebration | Indian Festivals

 

 Vasantha Vivek Raising World ChildrenVasantha Vivek loves to call herself as a happy woman, daughter, sister, wife, mother, teacher, friend, mentor, seeker, lover. She’s from Kovilpatti, a small town of Southern Tamilnadu of India. She was a teacher by profession. She worked as a professor at an Engineering College for nearly 15 years. She has learned a lot as a teacher. She hopes that she had inspired some hearts during that period. Teaching is her passion Reading is her love. Cooking is her heart. She enjoys reading and writing very much. You can find her @mysweetnothings on Facebook and Twitter.
Powerful Life Lessons Celebrating Holi Teaches Every Kid

Powerful Life Lessons Holi Celebrations Teach Every Child

This festival of colors brings a tinge of happiness when people think the celebration of Holi. We often forget the many life lessons the Holi celebrations teach our children.

Growing up I played Holi a handful of times. Once when I was ten and we threw balloons and glasses full of water on passers by from the terrace of a cousin’s home. Once in Bhopal at age 11, when my cousin applied so much silver paint on me that it took my mom 2+ hours of rubbing before all the colors came off!

Then twice during college when my friends and I threw colors and eggs on each other. And I pretended to get drunk on Bhang Lassi and scared the living daylights out of my friends who had never seen a person high!

You find that people either love this festival or hate it, depending on how their childhood memories are with the celebration. If they were roughhoused with, they usually prefer to not play growing up either. Owing to my life as an immigrant I didn’t have many opportunities to be scarred!

Significance of Holi in North Indian Culture

Holi in Nothern India is celebrated to mark the advent  of spring with the flowers beginning to bloom. The many colors in the air reflect the bloom around you.

The meaning of Holi has it’s origins in two stories. And both carry a lot of meaning for most Hindu families, specially to strengthen the bond between couples. One is of the love of Radhna Krishna, whose love is eternal and renowned for being full of naughtiness. The other is the story of Prahlad whose demon father time and again forced him to renounce his love for God Vishnu and pray to him as God.

Celebrating Holi in My Home

This festival of love actually became a tradition after marriage as my husband and I religiously celebrate. This is perhaps one of the most no fuss celebrations as all you need is colors.

Kids like all things, added so much more meaning to our celebrations.

I remember vividly the first times my son and daughter applied color to my face. It was a feeling like no other!

 

life lessons holi

Copyright Aditi Wardhan Singh

Since my son turned 2, every year our celebrations have only gotten grander and bigger with more of our friends being included as our family grew from two to four. The festival has only grown in splendor, laughter and grandeur.

I often have a potluck party at my home with my friends and we apply color to each other. If possible, we also serve the special drink called thandai (the non intoxicating version). The kids specially those who are not maybe North Indian get a kick out learning about this festival. Some also get scared but the results are always hilarious!

The night before Holi is Holika Dahan, where we are supposed to light the bon fire. It is hard to do that here in USA but in a few years, I hope to celebrate this aspect with a firepit.

Since the past three years we have been going to the local temple to celebrate with friends as well. We dance on Indian film music and enjoy the revelry. Throwing and applying colors on strangers who, on this day, treat us like their best friends.

 

7 Simple Ways Children Everywhere Can Enjoy the Festival of Holi

Life Lessons Holi Teaches In A Multicultural Environment 

Holi is celebrated around the world, not just on this day but all year round as “Color Run”. There are many reasons this beloved festival has grown on the people of the world. It is wonderful how most festivals provide unique opportunities to teach kids about life. 

It is celebrated today not just by North Indian Hindus but by everyone who enjoys celebrating life in all it’s colorful glory!

[bctt tweet=”Celebrated around the world, Holi is a wonderful festival teaching kids powerful life lessons in today’s multicultural environment. #parenting #indianfestivals ” username=”contactrwc”]


GOODNESS AND FAITH ARE PARAMOUNT

I read the story of Prahlad every year. We watch videos and make sure the kids understand what both of these mean in today’s lives. The story might be mythological but when explained in today’s context, kids learn about how often bad influences affect us and we need to have faith in our own principals to carry us through. Life lessons holi teach us are very profound.

EVERYONE IS EQUAL 

I make sure to explain to my kids that the meaning of Holi is to show that once color is applied everyone is the same. The skin color of all becomes the same and we all are equal in all manners. Once you have children, specially this significance evolves also to one of acceptance and love.

ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS

The Holi festival as I mentioned has evolved. There was a time when people used to get really dirty throwing mud and eggs or worse but with time with repeated dos and don’ts discussed today everyone who celebrates does so in an environmentally healthy way.

This is a great time to teach kids about why using organic colors is important.

BE KIND TO ANIMALS

I tell them how Holi used to be celebrated where many people would hurt animals by applying color to them or throwing them in water. How important it is to not do the same and to always, always think of the consequences of your festivities on animals.

NO MEANS NO

Many people, specially in India, choose to remain locked indoors for everyone knows if you go out you are bound to end up with color on your face or wet clothes!

If someone doesn’t like to celebrate, you should not put color on them. This applies to many other aspects of life where someone might not want to indulge in something they enjoy. An important lesson in today’s world.

STRANGERS AREN’T ALL SCARY

The best part about Holi is this festival is everyone plays it with equal enthusiasm. Even if you go to the a place where it is celebrated not knowing anyone, you are greeted like a friend and get colored just as if people already knew you. Your faith in humanity gets restored with that much positive vibes going around.

It is a wonderful time to step out of your comfort zone. Under the watchful eyes of parents, many kids open up to having fun with people they have just met.

life lessons holi

Copyright Aditi Wardhan Singh

GETTING MESSY IS FUN

My kids usually hate getting their hands dirty. They have gotten so used to using wipes that often things are icky. This day allows kids today, in the spin and span, sanitized environments to let lose and get messy.  It teaches them it is okay to get dirty. This is the only festival where the dirtier you are is reciprocal to the amount of fun you have had. 

After all, life is very messy and it is important to know when to enjoy the it and when to purge the mess!

SELF CARE IS IMPORTANT

There is a great amount of prep that goes into preparing to play Holi. . Wear sunglasses and shut your eyes whenever someone is applying color on you.  Oiling your hair or Wear old full sleeved and full length clothing to give your skin maximum protection from the colors.

Even when indulging in foods and the sweet milk drink, it is important to use moderation in everything you do.

EVERY LOVING RELATIONSHIP HAS ROOM FOR LAUGHTER

In Holi when you play pranks on your loved ones and friends, it is a great way to teach kids how to not take themselves and those they care about seriously. How not to get offended on silly little jokes and that there is always room for naughtiness and laughter in a loving relationship.

Find out ALL about HOW anyone can celebrate this festival easily HERE  – Crafts | Books | Songs | Experiments

Follow our World & Celebrations Board for Craft & Celebration Ideas .


 

What is your Holi celebration like? Do you have a temple near you that celebrates? Are you going to celebrate with your kids this year? Are you going to share the … 

What is the significance of Holi? What do kids learn from celebrating Hoil? What is the Festival of Holi ? Family | Celebration | Indian Festivals

DIY Paper Chinese Lantern

How To Make DIY Chinese Paper Lantern- Chinese New Year Crafts

Chinese lanterns are so easy and fun to make that they often associated with festivals. These paper lanterns are quite popular to make for Chinese New Year. This is such a great project for kids who are starting to master the use of scissors! So, why not you could make these paper lanterns with your kids and teach them a bit about Chinese culture? Let’s get started with the step by step tutorial.

VIDEO TUTORIAL AVAILABLE 

Supplies Needed:
  • Cardstock paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Glue gun or school glue
  • Washi Tape or any color paper or satin ribbon

Create your own Chinese new year lanterns ! A Great DIY Craft to do with kids for Chinese lanterns.

 

Method:
  1. To make paper lanterns, take the cardstock paper and cut into two pieces of 5 inches and 6 inches each. Now apply some glue on the corner of the 5-inch paper and roll it forming a cylinder shape.
  2. Now take the 6-inch piece and begin by cutting down the long side of .5 inches and set them aside.
  3. Next, fold the sheet of paper in half to form a long and skinny rectangle, as shown.
  4. Draw pencil marks as a guide to make sure you don’t cut all the way to the edge of the paper.
  5. Open it up, and place the cylinder over the sheet.  Apply glue to both ends and paste it around the cylinder shape as shown.
  6. Now take the .5 inches paper strip and glue it as a lantern handle.
  7. Use washi tapes or satin ribbon or any colored paper strips and paste it over the lantern to decorate it, if desired.
  8. That’s It! Hang your paper lanterns from the ceiling, or place them on the table for a colorful and festive centerpiece!

We would love to hear from you.

Make this and show it off! Email it to us at contact@localhost or upload it on social media and tag us. @passionatemoms,@raisingworldchildren. We would feature the best ones on OUR platform for the world to see!

Comment below and tell us what else you want us to try out next! Make sure to leave a lovely thank you to the creator. 

Suja Dinesh Raising World childrenSindhuja Kumar is a proud mom and a lifestyle blogger living in Connecticut, USA and origin from Tamilnadu, India. She is happily married and nothing excites her more than being a mom. She blogs to keep herself sane, more or less writing about positive parenting adventures, DIY Craft tutorials & scrumptious recipes that empowers every mom and woman to stay inspired and living an elegant life in a creative way. Check her work @ PassionateMoms.

Storytelling:  An Irish Tradition Set to Music

Storytelling: An Irish Tradition Set to Music

I watched an older couple get up to dance. It was difficult for her, age had stolen her flexibility and strength, but she was determined to dance her appreciation of the fiddle band up on the stage. Her gaze alternated between her husband and the ground, checking to see if she was getting the movements right. Her partner was spry, sporting a single diamond in one ear, a day’s grizzled beard growth and a grin. He held both her hands as he kicked up his heels and she tentatively tried a few steps, smiling at the man before her.

Nearby, two little girls in long, flowing dresses and ribbon crowns danced with a third child wearing an “I’m the real boss” t-shirt. Welcome to The Great American Irish Festival, where everyone can be a “weekend Irish” and all, regardless of age, ability or ethnicity are welcome. It’s an annual melting pot in the heart of New York wine country, and far away from everything at the Herkimer Fairgrounds.

#irishstrong

It’s said that music knows no boundaries and the adage seems to hold true at this three-day music and cultural festival held every year on the final weekend of July. Naturally, there’s food and drink. Haggis, anyone? Or perhaps a scone? And there are trinkets for those wanting to take a little of the festival home. But the real stars are the music and the stories, and they’re intertwined.

The Irish tell a good story.

This year, Colleen Searson told the story with her fiddle of a night at the top of a secluded stairway on the roof of a castle in Ireland. She spoke, then played and we could all see the black night and the stars, and feel the cool night air in After the Waltz. And the music had no words.

And then there was Joe Keane, the storyteller. Speaking in a soft voice, he told the story of the meanings behind the Celtic knot. It’s about infinity with no beginning and no end. He talked about the tree of life, and the seasons of the earth through an Irishman’s eyes. And he talked about the importance of strong roots, his fingers fanning downward and then upward with growth. It was an old story, but intense in the telling. Joe Keane made certain you were listening and understanding, watching carefully for a nod and smile. It was important to him that you understood.

What is magical about this particular festival, in this particular place, is the diversity.

While there are certainly a great number of Irish in attendance, there are also a number of “weekend Irish” that come for the day. They come to hear the stories, to dance, to laugh, to be part of a connected community for at least a little while. They learn a few words, they marvel at the range of the fiddle and they smile at strangers who smile right back.

The stories told are of the Irish, but they are also of everyone that has struggled and succeeded. And also of the ones that did not, because that is life. The brogue is sweet to the ear, and the stories are familiar. Off to war to fight for home and country. The loss of love. The road home. The heartbreaks and triumphs are universal, even if the language varies.

The message is simple: we are one.

The festival of the Irish is a call to connect, to respect traditions and to know the history of a people. As parents, exposing our children to these snapshots of other cultures and other people is vital to their education. Not only do we engage with folks we don’t know, and learn about our differences, we learn about how much we are alike. We connect.

  Deborah Fingerlow is a writer, traveler and explorer seeking adventures both large and small. Parent to one daughter in college and one teenage son in cyber-school. Food allergies play a significant role in day to day life decisions, as does the support network of a small town in south central Pennsylvania. Neighbors are known by their first names and a walking district encourages community engagement. Business to business communications and the development of authentic connections are Deborah Fingerlow’s superpowers. You can find her at the local farmer’s market, therapy dogs in tow, camera in hand.
Janmashtmi - Krishna Celebrated At My Home

Janmashtmi – Krishna Celebrated At My Home

As soon as I hear the word Janmashtmi, my lips broaden, the pupil of my eyes narrow down.The thought of the festival reminds me of my lord, Lord Krishna and it seriously gives me immense pleasure to think about him!

Krishna, who is considered to be the most colorful God in Hindu mythology, is really the most favourd one too among the young as well as the adults.

Reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, Krishna has always appealed kids with his unique naughtiness.As kids, we always heard about him teasing his mother Yashoda or Gopis or stealing butter from the houses in the village. Simultaneously, we had also heard about his courage , respectfulness and humility.

All the qualities certainly make him a role model. Also because the existence of both negative as well as positive qualities make him more like us humans. This is something I only realize now as an adult.

I remember going to well lit, decorated temples with my parents on Janmashtmi during my childhood. In spite of huge rush that gathered to have a glimpse of lovely Kanhaiyya, he really looks different on that day, may be like a cute little kid, rejoicing on his birthday.

Those remembrances are now precious memories.

How We Celebrate 

We also do puja (at my in laws) in our house. Since the birth of Krishna happens to be at midnight, people keep fast till that time. After their fast breaks, then only they have their meal. But at our place, we make delicious delicacies like Kuttu Pakori with curd, Coconut Burfi , Potato Chaat, Makhana Kheer, Curd and Charnamrit. My little ones relish Kuttu pakori and Potato chaat).Then after the puja and aarti (the poetic hymns), we have our meal comprising of the above mentioned dishes only.

After the puja, we visit the temples, like my parents,  with my kids. Now, there are beautiful scenaries everywhere depicting unusual stories related to the birth of Lord Krishna.The kids remain excited and exuberant to see the Lord . My daughter wants to pull the thread of the swing in which Krishna sits.I have to pull her back many times but this is childhood. Isn’t it?The festival comes to an end after the visit, but the festive spirit never dies.We to look forward to celebrate next year with more fervor and different decorations.

Cant imagine how I am loving writing this piece about my dear Lord. Seem to write endlessly about Krishna, my diety.But I know the religious feeling can be cherished endlessly with the trust and faith in the Lord.

Jai Shree Krishna!!

  Ruchika Rastogi, an Indian who was born and brought up in Delhi. She loves to explore the unexplored. A mother of two lovely kids, she works as a teacher and her passion for writing has helped her survive during her hard times. Her first non fiction book got published last year with the name-A Mystical Majesty-the woman. As a contributing author, her anthology with the title–Wait Till I Tell You got launched recently. With dreams in her eyes, she believes in living life optimistically.