Celebrations

Diwali

This is the “Festival of Lights” celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains all over the world. It is meant to celebrate the triumph of light over darkness. It usually falls between mid October and mid November.

Ramadan

This is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and it involves a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran. Fasting is
obligatory for adult Muslims during this time period. Food is served daily, before dawn and after sunset.

Hanukkah

This Jewish holiday which commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, after the Maccabean Revolt. It is observed for 8 days and 8 nights.

Kwanzaa

This is a week-long celebration that celebrates African heritage. It embodies seven principles: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, creativity and faith. There is drumming, musical selections, food, drinks, art and more. It culminates in a feast and gift exchange. The name “Kwanzaa” is said to translate to “first fruits of the harvest”. Kwanzaa was created in 1965 to help African Americans reconnect with their African culture costs. This is a festival primarily in North America.

Traditions

KFC

In Japan, KFC is traditionally eaten for Christmas dinner, all due to a successful marketing campaign that took place 40 years ago. The Colonel’s chicken is so popular on that night, that orders need to be placed two months in advance.

Oh Christmas Tree

This tradition dates back to Germany in the Middle Ages. “Feast Day of Adam and Eve” was celebrated by parading down the streets carrying a paradise tree that had apples on them. During the Victorian Era, this tradition spread to England. It is generally assumed that German settlers brought the tradition over with them when they came to North America. The trees eventually started to be decorated.

Mummering

This tradition, unique to Newfoundland (and some parts of Ireland), sees mummers dress up in elaborate disguises and visit their friend’s houses. As tradition goes, they try to remain unrecognizable to those they are
visiting. If the homeowners correctly identify who they are, they
are given food and drinks.

Signs of The Season

Rudolph’s Humble Beginnings

Rudolph was originally created by a department store to put in a promotional colouring book. They got one of their employees (a copywriter with the company) to come up with a children’s story. Because he was small as a child and was often picked on, he decided to write an ugly duckling type tale.

Cheers

This love it or hate it beverage developed from the British aristocracy, because only the wealthy could afford the milk and eggs. They added alcohol (liqueurs such as brandy & sherry) to help keep the drink from spoiling. It came to the U.S colonies in the 18th century and because expensive liqueurs were so heavily taxed, they began to add rum, which was imported from the Caribbean. It was originally called egg-n-grog, because rum used to be referred to as “grog”, and the drink was often served in wooden mugs known as “noggins”. The name was eventually changed to eggnog.

Christmas Songs

Silent Night is one of the most recorded Christmas songs in history, with more than 730 versions being recorded since 1978.

Biggest Gifts

The biggest Christmas gift ever given (on record) was from France to the United States in 1886: the Statue of Liberty.