Inour globalized world, there is so much to learn across cultures. One of the primary ways to do that is to engage in some of the wonderful festivals from all around the world. Many holidays are rooted in religious expression, and so finding a non-religious humanist exploration can be challenging. In some cities, you may find authentic expressions of these festivals that you can participate in. Certainly, learning about cultures, visions, and even religions beyond your own is a valuable endeavor of growth and connection. You may decide to create special projects inspired by countries and traditions that you are learning about. In doing so, always respectfully acknowledge your inspiration, careful not to claim false authenticity and mindful of delicate issues of appropriation. Many of these holidays’ dates are determined yearly based on the Lunar Cycles, so look them up.
Below are a few examples.
- Ancestors Day ~~ inspired by the combination of Mexico’s Dia De Los Muertos & All Souls Day (Nov. 2) – projects might include sharing a story of a beloved ancestor, decorating sugar skulls or coloring pictures with flowers, studying the amazing coinciding Monarch Butterfly migration to Mexico
- Festival of Lights ~~ Inspired by India’s Diwali – projects might include creating a clay bowl with a little candle or tealight in it called a “diya” and creating geometric designs called Rangoli
- Festival of Color Harmony ~~ Inspired by India’s Holi – projects might include creating colorful mandalas.
- Lantern Festival ~~ Inspired by Lunar New Year – projects might include making lanterns from cut and folded paper
- Day of Sweetness ~~ Inspired by Jewish New Year: Rosh Hashanah – project might include a joyful snack of dipping apples into honey
- Crescent Moon Day ~~ Inspired by the Muslim holiday, EID, the culmination of Ramadan, a season of fasting and deed – project might include noticing the moon in the sky over many nights as it becomes the crescent, creating an act of sharing, like a donation to a cause.