The Chinese Winter Festival or Festival of the Winter
Solstice, is celebrated on the eve of the winter solstice, or the 11th
moon in the Chinese calendar. This festival celebrated in honor of
the deceased ancestors, includes the custom of giving prayer and offerings
to the ancestors as well as having family reunions.
The lanterns are used by many people in China
to add enjoyment to festivals and celebrations. For centuries, lanterns
have been made of jade, glass, tissue or rice paper, or silk. Some
Chinese lanterns have combined textile arts with dramatic lighting.
To Make a Chinese Lantern:
cylinder oatmeal or salt box (if not available,
form poster board into cylinders)
scissors, hole punch
shiny fabric to resemble silk (tissue paper may
also be substituted)
Cut 2 - 4 rectangles out of an oatmeal box (after
removing the outer label). If using poster board, glue fabric/tissue
paper to it before forming into a cylinder (much easier for the young ones!)
Cut a piece of fabric/tissue paper large enough to
fit inside the cylinder and overlap slightly
Draw some Chinese designs onto the fabric/tissue
Use felt markers to add vibrant colors.
Glue the fabric (or tissue paper) into the inside
of the oatmeal box and carefully stretch it or it will dry wrinkled.
(Younger children may need to glue the fabric/tissue paper to the outside
of the cylinder)
Punch holes on each side of the lantern and tie a
string to hang.
Hang over a light bulb, or use on the table with
a short, fat and steady candle. (Do not leave unattended).
For this flannel board game cut a seven candleholders
out of brown felt. Cut out seven felt candle shapes, one black
and three each of red and green. Then cut seven candle flame shapes
out of yellow felt. Place the candleholders and candles on the flannel
board with the red and green candles alternating and the black candle
in the middle. Then let the children take turns placing the flame
shapes on the candles as you read the poem below. Variation:
If desired, leave the candleholders on the flannel board throughout Kwanzaa
and let the children "light" one of the candles each day.
Seven little candles all in a line,
Waiting to be lit at Kwanzaa time.
Who will light the black one?
(child's name) will light the black one.
Who will light a red one?
(child's name) will light a red one.
Who will light a green one?
(child's name) will light a green one.
(Continue until all candles are lit).
Seven little candles all in a line.
Burning so bright at Kwanzaa time.
Now let's count them - one, two, three,
Four, five, six, seven candles to see!
the Jewish Festival of Light celebrating the victory of the Jewish people
over their oppressors. Potato pancakes, called Latkes, are a traditional
food for this occasion.
4 potatoes, peeled
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup oil
salt & pepper to taste
Grate peeled potatoes and pat dry with paper
towel to remove excess moisture. Mix together the potato, diced onion,
eggs and flour. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Drop tablespoonfuls
of the mixture into the oil, flattening with a spatula, and cook until
brown on each side, flipping once. Serve warm topped with applesauce
and sour cream.
Hanukkah Candles - Board Game
For this flannel board game, cut a nine-holed Hanukkah menorah shape out
of brown felt, nine candle shapes out of white or blue felt, and nine candle
flames out of yellow felt. Place the menorah with the
nine candles standing on it on the flannel board. Put a flame
shape on top of the middle candle. Explain that with a real menorah
the candle in the center (the sham mash) would be used to light all the
other candles. Then let the children take turns placing flame shapes
on the eight remaining candles as you read the poem below. Remove
all the flames after each verse that the next child can "light" the appropriate
number of candles.
Variation: If desired, leave the menorah on flannel board throughout
Hanukkah and let the children "light" the appropriate number of candles
Eight little candles in a row,
Waiting to join the holiday glow.
The first night we light candle number one,
Hanukkah time has now begun.
The second night we light candles one and two,
Hanukkah's here, there's lots to do.
The third night we light all up to three,
Hanukkah's here there's lots to see.
The fourth night we light up to four,
Each now a part of the Hanukkah lore.
The fifth night we light all up to five,
Helping our Hanukkah come alive.
The sixth night we light all up to six,
Happy Candles - happy wicks.
The seventh night we light all up to seven,
The flow of each candles reaches to heaven.
The eighth night we light all up to eight,
Hanukkah's here - let's celebrate!
Lucia Day is a Scandinavian Celebration that marks the longest night
of the year, the Winter Solstice.
1 liter apple cider
1 lemon, thinly sliced
Heat the cider in a pot until very warm.
Remove from the heat and pour into cups, enough for each of your children.
Add a lemon slice and a cinnamon stick (to stir the punch) to each cup.
the Festival of Light that comes from India, celebrating the beginning
of Winter. A sweet ball called Barfi is one of the treats traditionally
125 ml. butter
200 ml. sugar
200 ml. milk
50 ml. powdered milk
200 ml. ground almonds
50 ml. unsweetened desiccated coconut
Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over low
heat. Stir in sugar and the liquid milk. Bring to a boil and
boil hard for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat
and add the powdered milk. Stir in the almonds and the coconut.
When cool, form into balls.
Posadas is the Mexican version of a Christmas celebration, focusing
on the journey of Mary and Joseph and the nativity scene. A common
treat is Buneulos, a flat sweet bread.
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
4 cups flour
1 cup water
1/4 cup oil for frying
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. sugar
Sift all the dry ingredients together. Slowly
add water and a little oil. Turn onto a lightly floured board, and
knead gently until the dough is smooth and elastic. Divide into about
40 small or 24 large balls. Roll these out into approximately 4 or
6 inches. Fry in very hot deep oil until delicately browned
on both sides. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with cinnamon and