Global Celebrations

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Tanabata Festival: July 7


Tanabata Festival: July 7
Tanabata is the Japanese star festival. The cultural festival dates back approximately 2000 years and has its roots in a Chinese legend. Princess, Orihime, a weaver, fell in love with a cow herder named Hikoboshi. They were so madly in love that they forgot about their work. As punishment, Orihime's father, the emperor of the heavens, moved the lovers to opposite sides of the Milky Way and allowed them to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month. The lovers can only meet if it is a clear night; if it rains, they must wait another year.  Read more »

The History of Juneteenth: June 19

Juneteenth is an American holiday that is celebrated in honor of the legal abolition of slavery, specifically in Texas in 1865, and the emancipation of African-American citizens throughout the U.  Read more »

I Oppose War But Taught My Kids to Remember Our Veterans

  On Memorial Day, my family went on a visit to a military graveyard in San Francisco.  Read more »

21 Ideas for Families to Celebrate Ayyam-i-Ha

Ayyam-i-Ha is a period of hospitality, charity and gift-giving for Baha’is that is celebrated from February 26 to March 1.  Read more »

Celebrate Black History Month!

“If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.” - Dr. Carter G. Woodson   Black History Month is celebrated every February in the United States and Canada, and it is celebrated in October in the United Kingdom. During this month, greater emphasis is placed upon educating, honoring and celebrating the countless accomplishments, events and individuals of the Africa Diaspora culture.  Read more »

Why I am Not Making Valentines This Year

When I was kid, my mom would take me to the drugstore to pick out my Valentine's cards each year. Turning each box over in my small hands, I'd consider the different character choices with an excitement and thoughtfulness that rallied costume-picking at Halloween. Once home, I'd draw a line through "From", replacing it with "Love", and add my name and the kid's name (this always felt laborious by the time I got to 20)  Read more »

18 Ways to Celebrate the Lunar New Year with Crafts, Food and Children’s Books

The Lunar New Year (also known as the Chinese New Year, Tet in Vietnam and Seollal in Korea) is the most celebrated holiday of the year across many Asian countries. The New Year flushes out the old and welcomes in the new, making space for happiness, wealth, luck and longevity. It’s a time to spend with friends and relatives and stresses the importance of family ties.  Read more »

Martin Luther King Day January 20

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.   January 20 marks the 13th anniversary of Martin Luther King Day, an American federal holiday observed in all fifty states.  It is observed on the third Monday of January each year (his birthday is January 15) and celebrates his life and vision.  Read more »

Fall Traditions and Celebrations Around the World

All over the world, families and cultures have unique traditions celebrated in the fall. We asked a group of families around the world to share with us their celebrations. Here are the many beautiful and joyous celebrations, big and small, they shared with us from different corners of the world. This post is part of a regular monthly blogging carnival with Multicultural Kid Blogs, hosted by a different and talented multicultural blog each month.  Read more »

5 Fun Halloween Costumes with a Global Twist

1. Globe   Globe Halloween Costume/Geography Lesson   2. Eiffel Tower   Photo courtesy :   3. Gangnam Style   Photo courtesy :   4. Dalai Lama   Photo courtesy : pinterest   5. Frida Kahlo   Photo courtesy : Marion Vendituoli .  Read more »

Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a popular traditional Chinese festival, probably the second biggest one after the Spring Festival. It is held on the lunar August 15th, close to the middle of the autumn, so called “Mid-Autumn”.   The day is also known as the Moon Festival, as at that time of the year, the moon is at its fullest and brightest.  Read more »

Celebrating Holidays as Global Citizens

One of the challenges of living abroad is combining the traditions of your home culture with the traditions of your new country. Have you ever tried to hold a traditional American Thanksgiving in Kerala or a 10-year-old's birthday party in Osaka? Although there are ways to combine traditions, sometimes you just want your own type of celebration, like a Canadian Mother's Day instead of a Chinese one.  Read more »

Ramadan: June 28-July 28

Ramadan falls in the ninth month of the Muslim lunar year and is one of the largest holidays for Muslims. It begins when the new moon is spotted; each year it begins approximately 10 to 11 days earlier. It was during Ramadan that Allah (God) first revealed the Quran to Prophet Muhammed. Ramadan is a month of spiritual reflection and self-control through fasting.  Read more »

Tanabata Festival: July 7

Tanabata is the Japanese star festival. The cultural festival dates back approximately 2000 years and has its roots in a Chinese legend. Princess, Orihime, a weaver, fell in love with a cow herder named Hikoboshi. They were so madly in love that they forgot about their work. As punishment, Orihime's father, the emperor of the heavens, moved the lovers to opposite sides of the Milky Way and allowed them to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month.  Read more »

Korean Children’s Day: May 5

Children’s Day is a South Korean national holiday celebrating, you guessed right, children. The holiday was created in 1923 by children’s book author Bang Jeong Hwan as a way to honor children since he believed they were the future of the country. Bang Jeong-hwan wrote, "Children are the heroes of tomorrow. May they grow to be gentle, vigorous, and wise.  Read more »

Ridvan: April 21 – May 2

Almost 150 years ago, Baghdad experienced a spring such as the city had never seen before and has not seen since. In the last week of April, a wind blew that lasted for days. In the Najibiyyih Garden, in Baghdad’s Rusafa district on the banks of the Tigris River, roses bloomed in profusion as the nightingale sang without restraint. But the spring of 1863 was memorable not only for its physical beauty.  Read more »

5 Fun Ways to Celebrate Earth Day with Your Kids

April 22 every year is observed as Earth Day in many countries to inspire awareness and activism towards protecting our fast depleting planet. On a more personal level, you might choose to celebrate because: you’ve never heard about going green or how to go green you’ve always wanted to be green, but haven’t started yet you need a reminder to keep up the green living you always make green choices but your little one has never stopped to question why you are so happy you live green and want to pat yourself on the back   And how do I celebrate?   Here are five fun ways to fuss over our planet today.  Read more »

Vaisakhi (Bhaisakhi): April 14

Vaisakhi (also spelled Bhaisakhi) is a joyful festival on April 14, celebrating the founding of the Sikh community known as the Khalsa. While it historically was a celebration in Punjab, India of the first harvest, after 1699, the day came to commemorate the founding of the Sikh community by Guru Gobind Singh.   The celebration begins with Sikhs donning their nice clothes and visiting Gurdwara (Sikh place of worship), where they participate in special prayers, sing songs and share a meal in the langar hall (community hall).  Read more »

A Children’s Book for Holi

If Diwali is the festival of lights, then Holi is the festival of colors! March 27, 2013 was Holi, a holiday celebrated in India, more gloriously in the western and northern parts, and by Hindus all over the globe.  I love Holi because it captures the essence of India to me – color and chaos. And I probably tend to appreciate it that way more so because I often miss the action that’s unique to living there.  Read more »

Passover: March 25-April 2

Passover is one of the most important holidays of the Jewish year.  Passover celebrates the biblical account of the ancient Israelites' redemption from slavery in Egypt to freedom. According to the book of Exodus in the Hebrew Bible, the Pharaoh (ruler) of Egypt enslaved the Israelites, forcing them to endure cruel labor and eventually ordered the murder of all male children.  Read more »

Ayyam-i-Ha: February 26-March 1

Ayyam-i-Ha (also called Intercalary Days) is a period of hospitality, charity and gift-giving for Baha'is that is celebrated from February 26 to March 1. This is a festive time where people give gifts--mainly to children, have parties and focus on charity. Baha'u'llah, the founder of the Baha'i faith, said of Ayyam-i-Ha, "It behoveth the people of Baha, throughout these days, to provide good cheer for themselves, their kindred and, beyond them, the poor and needy, and with joy and exultation to hail and glorify their Lord, to sing His praise and magnify His Name.  Read more »

St. Nicholas Day: December 6

St. Nicholas Day is a popular celebration for children across many European countries. St. Nicholas is the predecessor to Santa Claus and has a reputation for his generosity. As legend has it, he leaves children presents if they are nice and coal if they are naughty in their shoes. St. Nicholas lived in what was formerly Greece and is now Turkey in the third century A.  Read more »

Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos: November 1st

Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a well-known holiday that, despite its motif of death, is a celebration of the lives of loved ones who have passed away. Originally derived from Azetc rituals, the holiday became connected to All Soul's and All Saint's Day after Spanish conquest, as the Spaniards tried to put a Christian spin on it.  Read more »

Eid al-Adha: October 26

Eid al-Adha (the Festival of Sacrifice) celebrates Ibrahim's (Abraham in Christianity and Judaism) obedience to God in nearly sacrificing his son Ishmael (Ismael), but instead was able to sacrifice a ram in his place. It is celebrated on the 10th day of the month of the lunar Islamic calendar following Hajj, Muslims' annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Since Eid begins at the first sighting of the new moon, the date varies by one day depending on whether the Saudi Arabian or North American sighting is observed.  Read more »

Enkutatash (Ethiopian New Year): September 11

Enkutatash, the Ethiopian New Year, marks the end of the rainy reason and the beginning of the spring sunshine. While Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar, the holiday falls on September 11th according to the Western or Gregorian calendar, except for leap years, when it occurs on September 12th. Enkutatash, meaning “gift of jewels” in Amharic, originally derives from the story of the Queen of Sheba returning from visiting King Solomon in Jerusalem, according to popular legend.  Read more »

Ramadan: July 20 through August 18

Ramadan falls in the ninth month of the Muslim lunar year and is one of the largest holidays for Muslims. It begins when the new moon is spotted and falls on August 1st this year; each year it begins approximately 10 to 11 days earlier. It was during Ramadan that Allah (God) first revealed the Quran to Prophet Muhammed. Ramadan is a month of spiritual reflection and self-control through fasting.  Read more »

Scandinavian Midsummer Festival: June 21

Traditionally in Scandinavian countries on the 21st of June, bonfires glow in a night with no darkness, since at this time of year the sun never really sets. On this evening, buried treasures can be discovered by studying how moonbeams fall. Girls and young women pick flowers on their way home and lay them under their pillows so that that their dreams reveal who their husbands will be.  Read more »

Nowruz (Persian New Year): March 20

Nowruz (Nouruz/Nowrooz/Norooz), the Persian New Year, falls on the first day of spring of the solar calendar (which is different from the Gregorian solar calendar). Nowruz is a festivity that transcends religions as it is not confined to any one religious group--it is celebrated in many countries globally including Iran, Central Asia, Turkey and in other traditional Persian communities found throughout the world.  Read more »

Holi: March 8

Holi is the Indian Festival of Colors. It is the celebration of the beginning of spring and represents rejuvenation and rebirth through all of the bright colors associated with the festival. During the festival, people smear powdered, bright colors on each other's faces and splash colored water at one another.   Holi is a Hindu festival, typically celebrated in the North of India, and is also celebrated around the world in places like Nepal, Sri Lanka, and countries which have a large Hindu Diaspora like Suriname, Guyana, South Africa, Trinidad, the U.  Read more »

Imbolc: February 1-2

Imbolc is a pagan holiday, usually celebrated on the eve of February 1 and into February 2 in Ireland and Scotland. In the Middle Ages, its association may have been with the goddess Brigid (later Christianized as St. Brigid). Brigid is the Gaelic goddess of poetry, healing and smithcraft. In the Christian calendar, the holiday is now called Candlemas.  Read more »

Lunar New Year: January 23, 2012

The Lunar New Year (or Asian New Year) is the most celebrated holiday of the year across many Asian countries. On the first day of the first new moon after the winter solstice in the lunar calendar (January 23, 2012), countries like Korea, Taiwan, China, Vietnam and Asian communities in many Western countries will celebrate the New Year. The New Year flushes out the old and welcomes in the new, making space for happiness, wealth, luck and longevity.  Read more »

Three Kings Day: January 6

While many people are undergoing the Christmas let-down that happens after the 25th, others are just gearing up for their holiday season. Christmas is just one marker on the festive path through the holidays that culminates in Three Kings Day (El Dia de los Reyes Magos also known as Epiphany). Three Kings Day is celebrated in many Christian regions around the world, including Latin America, Spain and much of Eastern Europe, and by Christian populations in places like Turkey, Syria and others.  Read more »

Hopi Winter Solstice (Soyal): December 22

The Hopi Indians, who have lived in the highlands of northern Arizona for over a thousand years, divide their calendar into 12 months with different ceremonies in each month. December is the month where the katsinas or kachinas, the spirits that guard over the Hopi, come down from their world at the winter solstice or Soyal (also referred to as Soyaluna and Soyalangwu).  Read more »

Germany’s Oktoberfest: September 17 – October 3

Germany's Oktoberfest, one of the largest fairs in the world, attracts over six million people annually to Munich to drink locally brewed beer, eat German specialties, sing and dance. The beer comes from six local breweries and the most typical foods are roast chicken, pork knuckles, sauerkraut, and sausages together with other foods like potato pancakes and apple strudel.  Read more »

The Festival of the Virgin of Carmen: July 16

Nestled in the Andean highlands, quiet Peruvian villages become teeming centers of dance, music, and merrymaking every year on July 16th that lasts for three days.   The festival offers a blend of religious devotion and Incan tradition, with regional dance troupes decked out in ornate costumes and vibrant masks. The dancers retell battle stories and the traditional folklore of the Inca, while the masks commemorate those used for protection when vanquished Incan peoples danced in rebellion against Spanish rule.  Read more »

Mongolia’s Naadam Festival: July 11-13

The Naadam Festival is the major Mongolian holiday. Naadam, meaning game or competition in Mongolian, features the three sporting passions of Mongolians: wrestling, horse racing and archery over three days of festivities. Naadam is not just limited to sports but is a carnival of music, dancing and food.   All three sports have their roots in the historical warrior tradition of Mongolia.  Read more »

St. Jean Baptiste Day (Canada): June 24

Akin to the national holiday of Quebec, Saint Jean Baptiste Day is a celebration of Francophone culture in Canada. While Jean Baptiste is Quebec’s patron saint, Jean Baptiste Day has more pagan than religious roots and remains a secular holiday today.   The day was originally a celebration of the summer solstice. However, in 1834, after becoming inspired by the celebration of St.  Read more »

Vesak (Wesak): May 13 (date varies)

Vesak (also known as Wesak) commemorates the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death with a colorful, fun festival. Casually the holiday is often referred to as the “Buddha’s birthday.” The exact date of Vesak changes according to the varying lunar calendars used in different traditions. It is primarily celebrated within Theravada Buddhism (practiced in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, etc.  Read more »

Easter: April 8

Easter is a Christian holiday, celebrating Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead. It falls two days after Good Friday, which commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus. Easter also marks the end of Lent, the 40-day season characterized by fasting, prayer and penance. In the Western church, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox.  Read more »

Chinese New Year: February 3

The Chinese New Year is the most celebrated holiday of the year in China. It takes place on the first day of the first new moon after the winter solstice in the lunar calendar (February 3rd, 2011). Socially, it is a time for being with friends and relatives and the greater significance is of flushing out the old and welcoming in the new. This holiday, more than any other Chinese holiday, stresses the importance of family ties.  Read more »

Japanese New Year: January 1st through January 3rd

The Japanese New Year, shogatsu, spans several days from December 31st to January 3rd. It is the most important holiday of the year in Japan. While the New Year was originally based on the Chinese lunar calendar, in 1873, it changed to the Gregorian calendar. To prepare for the New Year, people clean their houses and decorate. Kadomatsu are a common decoration made from bamboo, pine branches and strips of folded white paper.  Read more »

Armenian Christmas: January 6

Armenian Christmas, also known as Theophany, is celebrated one day before the Orthodox Christmas. Although Armenia follows the Gregorian calendar, when the Romans changed the date of Christmas to December 25 in the fourth century, Armenians held to the original January 6th date. Santa Claus/Father Christmas is known as Gaghant Baba to Armenians. He traditionally comes on New Year's Eve (December 31st), which is the start of the holiday season leading up to Christmas.  Read more »

Hanukkah: December 1

Hanukkah, meaning "dedication" in Hebrew, celebrates the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after the Jews defeated the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks). It is an eight day and night tradition where one additional candle is lit each night on the menorah. The history of Hanukkah dates back to 18 B.C.E. when the Seleucids took the Jewish Holy Temple from the Jewish people and dedicated it to the worship of the God Zeus.  Read more »

Diwali: November 5th

Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is one of the most vibrant and exciting Hindu celebrations. It is full of color and reverie, representing the philosophy behind it. The festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil and awareness of one's own inner light against a backdrop of fireworks, sweets, new clothes, decorating and cleaning homes, lighting lanterns and diyas (small oil lamps made of clay), exchanging gifts and drawing henna designs on hands.  Read more »
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[…] the breastfeeding culture in Mongolia compared to America. Did you have any idea that something as simple as breastfeeding attitudes can […...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
My mother born in the 1930's is originally from the northern part of Germany. I am in my mid fifties and have a terrible relationship with my mother. She is domineering and hurts those where it hurt...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
[…] JC Niala, InCultureParent […...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
[…] […...
From Breastfeeding Around the World
Although humanity is one Man (in a generic sense, including woman)has identified himself endless groups, religious, nationalistic, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, etc. Once you separate ME from YOU on...
From What’s an Asian? Race and Identity for a New Generation
[…] […...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
Some great tips here but not many working mothers could feed baby every hour especially if you work in a major multi-nationa...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
So true!!! Thanks for being so honest and self reflective. It's a proof of true characte...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
As a first-time mom I've spent the last two months of my four-month-old's life stressed out about her sleep and I recognize how crazy this is. It's clearly not working for me! I'm wondering how non-...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
[…]        […...
From Why African Toddlers Don’t Have Tantrums
[…] Any content provided on this blog is opinion based with selected information from various sources where indicated. Image:
From Imbolc Craft: St. Brigid’s Cross
Or you could have had a beautiful white baby with a man from your own culture. Not enough drama in tha...
From How I Reclaimed My House from My Mother-in-Law
Crystal, thanks for sharing your experiences. It makes for a fascinating read! The link to the Siddha school you provided seems to be no longer working. Is the school still ther...
From How I Moved to Thailand with my Family on Less than $1000
[…] but which colour to choose? Biome has 25% off storewide till midnight tonight with the code BIOME25 why African babies don’t cry – an absolutely brilliant […...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
[…] […...
From 6 Children’s Books to Celebrate Juneteenth
I love this website and its insight on raising global citizens. I agree with what you say about no one English accent being correct - the thing that I was surprised by in this article was the fact ...
From Should I Worry about My Child’s Accent in Her Foreign Language?
Why are Germans thinking about being rude? Do You All want to be Just A Coarse-Face? If all of you deviate from Universalism, there is much more to fear from the world than you expec...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
[…] 3 Children’s Books from the Himalayas at InCultureParent […...
From 3 Beautiful Children’s Books That Take Place in the Himalayas
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From How I Talk to My Kindergarten Classroom About Race
[…] don’t Need a Room. The baby room is certainly a modern invention. For much of history, and in other parts of the world today, babies […...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
Addressing the "grown up time" someone mentioned sure that many people address this differently with what works for their family. However, suffice it to say that when the baby's in your...
From The African Guide to Co-sleeping
[…] were taught to whistle – but other people use other sounds. Most people seem to shush or to hiss. It doesn’t really matter. You could probably sing “La Cucaracha” and it would stil...
From Thanks to Chinese Potty-Training We’re Done With Diapers at 19 Months
Thanks for the article! I tried to put my newborn twins into a bassinet at birth, but there was just no way! No way to breastfeed and no way to survive the nights with two of them waking me up all...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
Olga, witam!:) what a fresh approach this has given me on such a day like today! I'm Half polish being polish from my mothers side and as this is the language that I ident myself with, I decided to ...
From 10 Things Not to Say to Parents of Multilingual Children
[…] the talk at school. You can see an example of bilingual twins’ language use in this article from InCultureParent and this Q&A on Twins List. Also, as you say, convincing them to spea...
From Si­, Yes: Raising Bilingual Twins
Thank you SOO much for sharing!!!! I have breastfed my twins for 3 years now and still going. It has been a struggle, especially with family members like my mother in law who wished I weaned at 2 m...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
[…] The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep […...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
I aghree with the above comments. Society is reaching a new stages when we all enjoy hearing stories of the beliefs of other...
From Growing Up Baha’i in Rural Maine: A Not-so-Secret Double Life
Hi Kim! I am so glad that this article was useful for you and made you feel validated as a parent. It's not often in this judgmental world of parenting we get that, right?! That's the main reason...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
I love reading your work. I can olny imagine what it would be like to have such beautiful customs and true community. I understand why it is so very very important to keep these traditions alive. Be...
From No Kids Allowed: How Kenyan Weddings are Changing
Your mother in-law seems somewhat reasonable. Many Chinese Mother In-laws are not. In their scenario, they would be number 1 to the child and you would be number two. Many want to have a bond closer...
From How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband
I think Konstantina is actually responding to what is probably more familiar/praised/or preferred socially as well. I was an English teacher in Poland with a distinct accent. I struggled to get Engl...
From Should I Worry about My Child’s Accent in Her Foreign Language?
Noor Kids' title "First Time Fasting" is another great rea...
From 6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan
This article was shared in a community I run to connect globetrotting parents and everyone LOVED it. You should join us! We all relate to your experience. Many of us, including me, are in the same b...
From Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get
Please help: I Love my wife and my son. I am also EXTREMELY involved as a dad. I had to move to china ( in a tiny tiny town) where I am the only foreigner so that my wife can take over the family bu...
From How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband
Thanks for writing this!! My baby is 7 months, and I love having her sleep in my room. I don't mention it too often to people who have had kids because they seem a little judgy on it. So tonight I...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
Honestly, it looks like the author married into a very backward and old fashioned family. Not stimulating children's curiosity, differences between boys and girls, and women slaving in the house, wh...
From French versus Italian Parenting in One Multicultural Family
[…] B. Breasts are for Babies? Perceptions of Breastfeeding in Italy. In Culture Parent June […...
From Breasts are for Babies? Perceptions of Breastfeeding in Italy
[…] that “beatings” are not actually spankings. There may be some truth to this because African tribal culture does not support “spanking”. This is confirmed by my own observation in S...
From African Parenting: The Sane Way to Raise Children
[…] Pomlazka, a special handmade whipping stick, is an Easter tradition in the Czech Republic. Made out of pussywillow tigs, pomlazka is braided and then used by the village boys/men to “...
From What’s Easter without a Whipping?