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Information and webquests on Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year's Eve and Winter Solstice.

December festivals

  • 2019 ose christmas 100x100

    Webquest: Christmas

    Author: Luke Vyner

    This festive-themed webquest includes activities on the history of Christmas, Santa Claus and global celebrations.

  • Festivals: Hanukkah: Festival of light

    Type: Reference material

    Hanukkah is the Jewish festival of light which begins on the 25th day of the Jewish month Kislev, at sundown, and lasts for eight days. The dates for Hanukkah change each year according to the Jewish calendar. Unlike our European calendar, the Jewish calendar alters its dates in accordance with the sun and the moon. Hanukkah commemorates the victory of the Maccabee Jews over the Syrian Greeks in 165 BC. To celebrate their victory, one jar of sacramental ...

  • Festivals: Winter Solstice (Yule) - (22nd December)

    Type: Reference material

    The Winter Solstice - or Yule, a pagan tradition, is a celebration of the shortest day and longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, when the North Pole is at its furthest point away from the sun. Yule logs are traditionally lit on the first day of the Solstice and are burned throughout the Solstice night for 12 hours as a symbol of hope and belief that the sun will return. Ashes from the Yule log are said to have been retained in the fire place after the ...

  • Festivals: Christmas (24th-26th December)

    Type: Reference material

    Christmas is celebrated in different ways throughout the world. Often, the way in which people celebrate Christmas depends upon their family customs or traditions. In the UK, children in primary schools often perform nativity plays, which are reproductions or interpretations of the religious story behind Christmas - the birth of Jesus Christ. The story explains how the Virgin Mary was informed by the angel Gabriel that she would give birth to Jesus, the son of God. Mary and her husband, ...

  • Festivals: New Year's Eve (31st December)

    Type: Reference material

    In Scotland many of the traditions of 'Hogmanay' (as the New Year festival is known there) are becoming rarer but in more isolated areas people still go 'First Footing'. The tradition of First Footing involves the superstitious belief that the first foot to cross the threshold of a house determines the luck that will come to the household and the people who live in it for the year to come. People therefore visit each other carrying 'gifts' that include whisky and coal. Brazil Rio ...

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