Holidays and Holy Days

Holidays are an age-old vehicle of religious socialization, setting time aside to remember a great person or event, give thanks for life’s bounty, or to invoke light and gladness for overcoming darkness and danger, death and drought. Festivities tell a story which children absorb through experiences far more than through words. The class will learn about and celebrate holidays and holy days of world religions throughout the year.


First Day

We will get acquainted and talk about our upcoming year, which will help us to feel a kinship to children all over the world, and to identify more closely as a UU.

 

John Murray Day

We will introduce the Universalist story, in which a chapel is built to await the coming, some day, of a preacher who will speak of a loving God; at the same time, a preacher sails to America, determined never to preach again . . . until he meets the builder of the chapel.

 

Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur

We will celebrate the autumnal Jewish New Year, feeling the joy associated with new beginnings as well as the responsibility to correct old mistakes.

 

St. Francis Day / Henry Bergh Day

We will honor the values of Francis of Assisi and affirm our interdepence with nature. We will also celebrate the Unitarian founder of the ASCPA, and discuss what we can do for animals.

 

Dussehra

We will celebrate this Hindu festival of the triumph of good over evil.

 

Sukkot

Our class builds a sukkah as we celebrate the Biblical thanksgiving festival of the Jewish people.

 

Indigenous People’s Day

We will explore different Native American religious beliefs, appreciating their deep spirituality and oneness with nature.

 

Diwali

We will celebrate this fall festival that welcomes the Hindu goddess of good fortune, Lakshmi.

 

Dia De Los Muertos 

We will celebrate the lives of loved ones in our lives that have passed on as we explore this Mexican holiday.

 

Hogbetsotso

We will learn about Hogbetsotso, a festival celebrating the exodus story of the Anlo Ewe people who fled an evil king to safely settle in what is modern day Ghana.

 

Mawlid al Nabi

We will celebrate the birthday of Mohammed, and learn about Islam and Islam prayer.

 

Dance of the Deer

We will learn about the religious beliefs of the Huichol through stories and art.

 

Hannukah

The celebration of the Jewish Festival of Lights marks the winning of a victory for religious freedom, and the story of the light that would not go out.

 

3 Kings Day / El Dia de los Reyes

We will learn about 3 Kings Day, and how it is celebrated throughout the spanish speaking world.

 

Fete du Vodun

We will learn about the history of the Vodun religion and how it was brought to the Americas.

 

Martin Luther King Day

We will honor the birthday of a great American in the struggle for justice and celebrate the power of non-violence.

 

Chinese New Year

We will celebrate Chinese New Year and hold a Dragon Parade.

 

Imbolc / Candlemas

We will learn about the Wheel of the Year and celebrate the upcoming spring.

 

Powamu

We celebrate the Hopi Bean Planting Ceremony, awakening our reverence for the gift of life.

 

Susan B. Anthony Day

We celebrate the birthday of a great Unitarian feminist whose life was committed to the causes of justice and equality.

 

Mardi Gras / Ash Wednesday

We will introduce the story of Jesus’ life and the Christian world’s observance of Carnival, Ash Wednesday and Lent.

 

Holi

We celebrate the Hindu Festival of Colors, also sometimes called the Festival of Love.

 

Purim

We celebrate the Jewish holiday honoring brave queen Esther, who saved her people.

 

St. Patrick’s Day

We learn the real story of the patron saint of Ireland and celebrate a bit of Irish culture.

 

Nowruz

We celebrate the Iranian New Year, and its ritual for casting out quarrels and starting the new year in harmony.

 

Festival of Masks

We explore traditional African religious beliefs and ideas about God.

 

Buddha’s Birthday

We introduce the children to the life of Buddha and his teachings.

 

Passover

We celebrate the Jewish festival of freedom, with its symbols, story and songs.

 

Earth Day

We celebrate the inter-relatedness of all life on our planet, rejoice in its beauty, and accept responsibility for its preservation.

 

Japanese Children’s Day

We experience the delight of making carp kites, and emphasize the need for gentleness, courage and determination in both boys and girls,

 

Mother’s Peace Day

We recognize Julia Ward Howe, a Unitarian pioneer in the cause of peace.

 

Eid Al Fit / Eid al Adha

We will learn about two of the most important holidays in Islam, the feast marking the end of Ramadan (Eid Al Fit) and the Festival of the Sacrifice(Eid al Adha.)