The fall holidays are on their way! And for a lot of people across the globe, that means celebrating the changing of seasons in one way or another. It may be celebrating the harvest itself, cultural holidays, or religious holidays. Especially if you still have a connection to why you celebrate the way you do, take the time to consider your traditions. Traditions, after all, form a pillar within the family unit by creating a strong sense of identity.
In our global family, there are many, many ways to celebrate the changing of seasons, particularly the harvest. From “Diwali” in India, to “Día de los Muertos” in Mexico and among Mexican-Americans, to the Japanese “Aki Matsuri,” people around the globe find hundreds of unique ways to embrace their heritage, beliefs, and traditions. In the United States and Canada, we may celebrate Thanksgiving with an eye towards the early colonists of the area. And though they’re commonplace to us, our traditions are unique to us in our own way. This is especially true if we alter them to fit the culture of a specific area or our family’s personality.
Researching your family’s cultural traditions this time of year, whatever they may be, helps you and your children connect to your heritage. What cultural traditions do you celebrate every year because of your heritage? How has your family held onto the same traditions (or changed them!) over the years?
Fall and winter can be lonely, difficult times for many people. So families often like to perform services for others. Whether it involves putting together kits, making scarves or blankets, or bringing food to the homeless or the elderly, service is a great way to share the love during the holidays. In fact, this is encouraged for many religious traditions, for a number of reasons. Plus, it makes anyone feel good to serve during a time of abundance for so many.
How do you serve during the holidays? How has this become a tradition?
Whether secular or religious, many of our fall traditions teach us values that are important in our families. This might be faith and prayer, service, charity, and other family values. During Día de los Muertos, for example, observers honor friends and family members who have died. If you do family history, you may understand the significance of such a celebration to honor your ancestors!
What values do you hold onto and celebrate during fall holidays?
No matter how your family celebrates, take the time to write these down. Get the details of why you celebrate and how, and what traditions you have passed down through the generations of your family. Other generations will be able to connect to their heritage as well!