Celebrating Diversity

Whether it’s a day of rest, remembrance, giving thanks, or partying, everyone looks forward to the holidays! Want to learn more about how some of our CMP families celebrate diverse holidays within their own homes? Read below to join the fun!

Does your family celebrate a holiday that wasn’t mentioned below? Email Miss Navi to get your favorite holiday added!

kids having fun with art project at daycare

Diwali

Diwali is the Hindu festival of light celebrated in October or November. The holiday celebrates the victory of light over darkness. Friends use all sorts of lights and lanterns, including glittery clay lamps called diyas to light up their homes to welcome the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, to their homes. The festival of Diwali lasts 5 days.
Recommended book: Diwali by Hannah Eliot

Holi

Holi is the Indian festival of colors celebrating spring when new colors appear in nature. It symbolizes inclusivity, new beginnings, and the triumph of good over evil. Friends celebrate by chanting “Holi, Hai!” and playfully throwing vividly colored powders at one another. There is an abundance of singing, dancing, and feasting during Holi.
Recommended book: Festival of Colors by Kabir Sehgal & Surishtha Sehgal

Hanukkah

The Jewish festival of lights is celebrated in November or December and lasts eight days. Friends light eight candles on the hanukkiyah (one candle the first night, two the second night, and so on) and eat latkes (potato pancakes) or other food fried in oil. It is customary to spin the dreidel and enjoy chocolate gelt in a game. The holiday reminds us that we must always work to find light in the darkness.
Recommended book: The Night Before Hanukkah by Natasha Wing

Rosh HaShanah

Rosh HaShanah, or the Jewish New Year, is the first of the Jewish High Holy Days that occur in late summer/early autumn. Friends who celebrate Rosh HaShanah will sound the shofar (a ram’s horn) and eat symbolic foods like apples dipped in honey meant to evoke a sweet new year.
Recommended book: Sammy Spider’s First Rosh Hashanah by Sylvia A. Rouss

Passover (Pesach)

Passover is a major Jewish holiday in the Spring that celebrates the exodus of slavery from Egypt. Many friends observe Passover by avoiding leavened foods (like bread) and opting for matzah, or a cracker-like flat bread, for the duration of the eight-day holiday. Traditionally, families gather on the first night of Passover for a special dinner called a seder where the story of the exodus from Egypt is retold and symbolic foods are eaten. Children are encouraged to find the afikomen, a hidden piece of matzah, during the seder and received a prize for its return so it can be eaten at the end of the night.
Recommended book: Pippa’s Passover Plate by Vivian Kirkfield

Christmas

Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus and is celebrated on December 25 annually by billions of Christians and many non-Christians alike. The holiday is often celebrated by gift giving, completing an advent calendar or wreath, Christmas caroling and decorating a tree and/or the house with lots of garlands, wreaths, mistletoe and holly.
Recommended book: Olive, The Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh

Easter

Easter is a Christian holiday celebrating Jesus’ resurrection in the Spring at the completion of lent. Easter eggs are often dyed different colors and bunnies have become a common symbol of the holiday. Plastic eggs filled with treats are often hidden around a room or in the garden for an “easter egg hunt” to find them and enjoy the goodies inside.
Recommended book: Llama Llama Easter Egg by Anna Dewdney

Lunar New Year

Known as Lunar New Year, Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year, the Lunar New Year is typically celebrated in late January up until mid-February to celebrate the coming spring. Each new year is represented by one of twelve different animals of the Chinese zodiac. Many of the celebratory traditions come from an ancient legend of a monster named Nian who comes out of hiding yearly to scare people, but the monster himself if afraid of firecrackers, the color red, and bright lights of lanterns so those three things are customary for Lunar New Year celebrations.
Book: Lunar New Year

Kwanzaa

Every year on December 26, Africans around the world start their weeklong celebration of Kwanzaa. Friends celebrate with daily ceremonies with food, decorations, and cultural objects such as the kinara which holds seven candles. A candle is lit each day to celebrate the seven basic values of African culture: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.
Recommended book: A Kwanzaa Celebration by Nancy Williams

Ramadan (Eid Al-Fitr)

Ramadan is celebrated by Muslims around the world during the ninth month of the year and lasts an entire month. It is a time for reflection, thankfulness and to help others. Friends observing Ramadan will often eat and drink only when it is dark outside and break the fast in the evening by eating a date and having a special meal called iftar.
Recommended book: Ramadan by Hannah Eliot

Día de los Muertos

Celebrated at the end of October, Día de los Muertos is an ancient tradition celebrated in Mexico and other places around the world. During the holiday, people take time to remember and celebrate family and friends who have passed away. Families set up alters and decorate them with ofrendas, or offerings, like candles and flowers.
Recommended book: Dia De Los Muertos by Hannah Eliot

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