Each week, the Education World Great Sites for Teaching About ... page highlights Web sites to help educators work timely themes into their lessons. This week's sites are among the best on the Web for teaching about multicultural holidays.
Chinese New Year
Few holidays catch the imagination of children the way Chinese Lunar New Year does. This site discusses the traditions associated with the celebration and highlights foods, decorations, and superstitions regarding the day.
Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo celebrates the ousting of French troops from Mexico -- French troops who were actually very interested in causing problems in the United States. It is not a May Day celebration at all, as some people mistakenly think. The site offers a great overview.
The Day of the Dead
This site discusses the Mexican tradition of honoring deceased relatives on November 2.
Holidays and Celebrations from Around the World
This is a great site for research projects on world holidays.
Look under the heading "Jewish Holidays for Children" to find background on Shabbat, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Hanukkah, Pesach, Shavuot, Purim and Tu B'Shvat. Holidays are explained through traditions, blessings, and vocabulary. Each holiday is presented in a format that can be shared from elementary ages on up.
This page offers a 12-month calendar of multicultural holidays that leads users to a wealth of cultural resources. (Click on the month links along the bottom of the page to see holidays in other months.) You'll find background, additional links, information about related holidays and more. Whether you're building a unit on multicultural holidays or looking for a few simple ideas to mark a specific holiday, this site may very likely have what you're looking for.
Kwanzaa, a modern celebration of black culture, is largely American, but Some Europeans also observe the holiday. This site presents background, traditions, the seven principles, and activities that help students cultivate an understanding and appreciation of the richness of African American culture.
Read this discussion of Mardi Gras and its significance in the Roman Catholic tradition. There are additional links to information about this holiday.
Ramadan marks the period in the seventh century when the founder of Islam, the Prophet Mohammed, received the holy words of the Koran from Allah. This Web site explains the background and tradition of this most holy observance of the Islamic year.
St. Patrick's Day Fun
Every March, many people indulge themselves in being a little Irish, whether they can trace ancestry to the Emerald Isle or not. Explore a great collection of information and activities for St. Patrick's Day.
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