We’re in full swing of the holiday season, and to most people this means the celebration and practice of many different fun, festive traditions. Traditions are important for all friends and families, but it’s also nice to learn about the rich customs and celebrations that take place in other countries/cultures. Here are a bunch of great holiday traditions from around the world:
Christmas, or Noel, in France has many differences from our traditional U.S. version. First, a figure called Pere Noel, or father of Christmas, makes home visits with gifts. On Christmas Eve, children leave their shoes by a fireplace that will be filled with gifts. Also, nearly every home has a nativity scene in it, similar to how we use Christmas trees in America.
Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, is the Hindu New Year. During this five-day celebration, Hindus fill their houses and gardens nightly with clay oil lamps or candles. The lights celebrate the once banished mythic hero Rama and his wife, Sita, and welcome the goddess of prosperity into their homes.
Christmas Eve festivities in the Ukraine is known as “Holy Supper.” The celebration begins when the first evening star is sighted in the night sky. The wheat crop is primary prop used in celebrations, and is called “didukh,” which translates to “grandfather spirit.”
New Year’s Eve in this South American country provides a very unique way to make well-wishes for the upcoming year. A family will make a straw man representing the old year, complete with a will that lists all of their faults. At midnight, they burn the straw man in hopes that their faults disappear along with it!
For this tradition, tin is melted, then poured into a bucket of snow or ice-cold water. When the metal hardens, it is held up to a light; the shape it casts on the wall is used to tell your fortune for the New Year!
6 . Wigilia – Poland
This Christmas Eve supper tradition features several types of fish and begins when the first star appears in the evening sky. The host gives everyone a piece of the oplatek, a paper-thin wafer embossed with a nativity scene. Then guests break off pieces to give one another, offering a wish in the process.
7. New Year’s Eve – Brazil
Brazilians dress in white and gather by the ocean to honor the passing year and welcome the next. In Rio, revelers light candles, watch a fireworks display, and throw flowers into the ocean as an offering to Yemanja, the Afro-Brazilian goddess of the seas, who represents abundance, safety, and fertility.
Written by Stephanie Parker from SleepingBaby.com, inventors of the Zipadee-Zip
The motto for Sleeping Baby, makers of the Zipadee-Zip, is: "Inspiring Dreams One Night at A time," and that, in a nutshell, is how it all started…with one little dream that has since become the Parker family's reality. When Brett and Stephanie Parker's daughter, Charlotte, was born, the feeling that welled up inside of them was indescribable; they never realized until first looking into those baby blues of hers that they were even capable of that kind of love.
When it was time to transition baby from swaddling, the Parkers tried every sleep sack on the market and every swaddle weaning trick they could find for nearly two weeks and nothing worked to get baby Charlotte to fall and stay asleep.
Stephanie became determined to restore sleep and sanity to their household and set out to find a solution that would soothe Charlotte's startle reflex and provide her the cozy womb-like environment she loved so much but still give her the freedom to roll over and wiggle around in her crib safely. Out of sheer desperation and exhaustion, the Zipadee-Zip was born. The first Zipadee-Zip(R) Stephanie put together on her little sewing machine worked like magic!
To date tens of thousands of Zipadee-Zips have been sold and all from word-of-mouth marketing. It is so rewarding for the Parkers to see other parents and babies getting the sleep they both need and deserve!
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