Festive holidays are often steeped in history and brim with tradition and ritual, but that’s not to say you can’t create a few of your own special family holidays. We explore fun, family activities that highlight the beauty of these holidays.
Holidays such as Easter, Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali and Ramadan are based on age-old traditions. Along with religious or spiritual significance, there is also a glorious amount of fun and excitement due to the gifts and treats they may bring.
History of Easter
Celebrated the world over, this delicious chocolate eating religious holiday centres on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, three days after His crucifixion at Calvary. Children eagerly get ready with baskets, packets and bunny-shaped containers to collect chocolate eggs and colourful bunnies and hop around the house and garden.
Fun things to do over Easter:
- A family Easter egg hunt, with lots of choccies.
- A big Easter brunch, enjoying hot cross buns and a fry-up.
- A bunny photo scrapbook, with pics of your egg collection before they are in your tummy.
- Dye a collection of eggs in different colours, making a pretty centrepiece for the Easter table.
- Hop on over to an old-age home and surprise the old folk with some yummy treats.
History of Christmas
Christmas honours the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and the legend of Santa Claus comes from Saint Nicolas, a monk known for his kindness. Christmas is an incredibly exciting festive time, where gifts and presents are exchanged, houses are lit up and reindeer pull sleds across the sky.
Fun things to do over Christmas:
- Create a colourful mess unwrapping all your gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
- Encourage your kids to wrap unused toys and take them to children’s homes, so they can experience the gift of giving from a young age.
- Use talcum powder to recreate reindeer feet on the grass or carpet and jingle bells in the middle of the night so the kids’ think Santa has popped in.
- Don’t throw away leftovers; make a plate and take it out to someone less fortunate such as a guard on the street or a homeless person.
- Make a gingerbread house and cute reindeer cookies with chocolate-covered pretzel antlers.
The Festival of Lights, Hanukkah, is a wonderful celebration of the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Families gather for eight nights to celebrate a nightly menorah lighting, relish in delicious food and recite significant prayers.
Fun things to do over Hanukkah:
- Create your own menorah with items found in the house.
- Enjoy a delicious scavenger hunt for chocolate coins.
- Taste delicious treats and have fun with a Hanukkah bake-off
This beautiful Festival of Lights is named after the clay lamps that sit outside houses symbolising the significant inner light that protects against the darkness. Diwali is based on celebrating the return of the deities with illuminated villages with lights, lanterns and oil lamps.
Fun things to do over Diwali:
- Decorate your home with beautiful Rangoli – colourful patterns drawn on the floor.
- Dress up in new clothes and paint decorative henna patterns on your hands.
- Feast on delectable food and Indian sweets.
- Prepare a plate of offerings to Lakshmi and light the sky with sparklers.
This significant holy religious holiday is in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, when the Quran was revealed. During this time, Muslims fast, pray and abstain from pleasures in order to get closer to Allah.
Fun things to do over Ramadan:
- Decorate your home with sparkling stars and crescent moons.
- Encourage your children to save money for the needy and then purchase food items for them.
- Exchange gifts of clothes, toys or money with family members.
- Dress your kids up in costumes or traditional clothes and let them go door to door collecting sweets and money from friends and neighbours.
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