The Festive Season

Hello Everyone,

Come November, the festive season starts and I just love the vibes. There is so much to look forward to. All the celebrations and the holidays. November and December hold major festivals for a lot of cultures and this year, I was happy and lucky to have been able to celebrate some of them with various families. Each Celebration was unique, different, and fun in its own special way.

Diwali

November started with the celebration of Diwali. Many celebrate Diwali by lighting candles and lamps. Lighting firecrackers are also a big part of the celebration, much like the Fourth of July.  Diwali is the festival of lights. Many keep all the lights on in their house to ward off evil spirits and invite positivity and prosperity into the house.

2 gold platters with flower petals surrounding lit candles in the center
Photo Credit: Tarita

Diwali symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.

Strings of flower blossoms adorn the front sides and floor in front of a fireplace.

People who celebrate, decorate their houses with flowers and lamps and lots of varieties of traditional sweets are prepared.

Sweet treats with nuts and dates laid on a rectangular platter
Photo Credit: Tarita

Sweets and lamps are also exchanged with neighbors and friends and family. Many gather with friends and light lots of firecrackers. On the day of Diwali, all lights in the house are kept on to invite the goddess of prosperity.

I lit many firecrackers myself and it was very fun. I love to light firecrackers and watch them. Some of them are really big and some of them are small, but all of them are a bucket-load of fun.About 10 people stand on the sidewalk at night with sparklers lit and waving them around.

Fun Facts about Diwali:

  • Diwali is always celebrated on a no moon night, which is why the date of Diwali changes every year.
  • Diwali is celebrated in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia, Fiji, Thailand, Mauritius, Australia, Canada and USA.
  • More than 800 million people celebrate this festival in various ways.
  • Diwali is the most famous festival in India.
  • The estimated amount of money spent on firecrackers every year is about 1 billion dollars.

For a feel of Diwali, type Diwali into Google and click on the lamp image that comes right on top.

Icon of Diwali lampIts really cool how we can light each of the lamps. Try it out when you have a minute.

 

Thanksgiving

Towards the end of November, maybe some of you had a big feast and maybe you went shopping the day after on Black Friday. Well all of that was for celebrating the wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I am sure that most of you know about Thanksgiving, but I can share with you about the history and the cool facts about it that I learned this year.

Two women seen from the back holding hands at a dinner table.
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Thanksgiving is celebrated for the harvest and all other blessings that year. It is also modeled after the 1621 harvest feast between the Wampanoag and the pilgrims. It is celebrated all throughout the United States of America and Canada.

A roasted turkey on a table. A person with a fork & knife carves the turkey.
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels
Table laid for Thanksgiving feast. Candles in the center, appetizers on a plate, soups in bowls.
Photo Credit: Tarita

Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated by making a big feast for the evening, including a stuffed turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, green beans, corn, dinner rolls, and my absolute favorite pumpkin pie. The whole family including extended family come around the table to have a scrumptious meal together. Just the thought of it, brings a smile because we are surrounded with so much of love. When things get busy, it is easy to forget our blessings. So this day sounds perfect to really count our blessings for the entire year.

My family and some friends also got together for a big feast and gave thanks for all our blessings. The food was awesome, and it was so fun to share in the celebrations.

Fun Facts about Thanksgiving

  • Turkey was not on the menu for the first thanksgiving.
  • There are four towns named “Turkey” in the United States.
  • On thanksgiving the average calories consumed by one person is 4,500.
  • More than 54 million people traveled this year on Thanksgiving.
  • In 1939 thanksgiving was celebrated on the third Thursday not the fourth.
  • Americans prepare 46 million turkeys each year for Thanksgiving.
  • Only male turkeys gobble.
  • In America, we consume about 50 million pumpkin pies each year on Thanksgiving.

Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving too.

Hanukkah

Hanukkah started On November 28th this year and continued for 8 days until December 6th. If you saw a row of candles in someone’s window they were probably lighting their menorah for Hanukkah. Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of lights (similar to Diwali). It is one of the most famous Jewish celebrations.

A Menorah on a table surrounded by food and drink.During the Israeli Culture Club Be You Meetup one of the holidays we covered was Rosh Hashanah. The link to that Blog is here.

“Hanukkah Sameach!” (in Jewish) or Happy Hanukkah.

Hanukkah celebrates the lighting of the candles in the Second Temple. Hanukkah is celebrated by lighting a candle each night on the menorah. People also celebrate by singing special songs, reciting the Hallel prayer, eating foods fried in oil, such as latkes, sufganiyot and other dairy foods, playing dreidel games and many more. According to some of my school friends, the best part of this holiday is that kids receive special pocket money from their parents and get to eat delicious oily deep-fried ball-shaped jelly doughnuts called sufganiyot, filled with strawberry or raspberry jelly and topped with powdered sugar.

14 home made jelly doughnuts on a paper towel

 

Our neighbors made some delicious jelly doughnuts and lighted the menorah to celebrate Hanukkah at home.

 

 

Some Fun Facts about Hanukkah

  • The word Hanukkah means “Dedication.”
  • Dishes eaten on Hanukkah are all fried.
  • There is 16 different ways to spell Hanukkah.
  • The dreidel was invented to be a distraction.
  • Over 17.5 million jelly doughnuts are consumed in Israel every Hanukkah.

For a feel of Hanukkah, type Hanukkah into Google and click on the menorah image that comes right on top.

Icon of menorah with words Hanukkah and FestivityIt’s really cool how we can light each of the menorah candles. Try it out when you have a minute.

 

Glad I could share this fun celebration with you. Email us at or.kidgovernor@gmail.com. I can’t wait to hear from you all.

Christmas

Christmas is celebrated on December 25th every year. Many families across the world celebrate Christmas and it is the most celebrated holiday around the world.

Figurines of Mary, baby Jesus, Joseph

Christmas is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. It is celebrated by attending church, exchanging gifts, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. Santa Claus and his gifts have a special place in every kid’s life, such is the craze of Christmas. Christmas is one such festival that attracts people of all faith towards it. Christmas is truly known as the festival of joy, and it definitely teaches us to practice kindness and love towards each other and to help others in need.

Christmas tree decorated with ornaments and lit with lights.

Christmas trees are one of the biggest highlights associated with the festival and I had a fun time decorating our tree at home. It is special to take out the ornaments and setup the tree while sipping hot chocolate. It is one of the things that I really look forward to every year.

Breaded food shaped like and decorated like a Christmas tree.
Photo Credit: Tarita

Paper plates with Plum cake and Rocky Road Fudge cut into squares.

In preparation for Christmas, we bake the traditional plum cake and make rocky road fudge which is my favorite among all the sweets that Christmas brings. My sister and I always help in making the rocky road fudge and of course help a lot in eating it too! 😛

All of December, the radio plays Christmas carols. It definitely brings us into the Christmas spirit.

A child with a candy cane in mouth and more candy canes in a plastic container.We got together with our friends to celebrate Christmas and we played some fun Christmas-themed games like the White Elephant and Candy Cane hook game.

Some Fun Facts about Christmas

  • Jingle bells was the first song played in space.
  • The average money spent per person this year for Christmas gifts was $1,500 in the US.
  • The statue of liberty is the largest Christmas present ever.
  • 1.5 billion Christmas cards are sent each year in the US.
  • Over $2 billion was spent on Christmas day for treats in the US.
  • There are 750 different versions of Silent Night.
  • Home Alone is the highest viewed Christmas movie of all time.
  • Around 28 Lego sets are sold every second during the Christmas season.
  • The day after Christmas is National Candy Cane day.

Thank you to all of you for reading through the festive season blog. Hope you all enjoyed reading it.

Wishing everybody a very Happy New Year.

~Taneesh

 

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