International Day of Families: Family traditions from around the globe
May 15 marks International Day of Families, a day observed by the United Nations to pay tribute to the importance families hold among all cultural communities. Healthy and happy relationships form in the home among generations. We celebrate holidays, birthdays, graduations and weddings. Traditions bond families together. Here are some of the unique rituals we found from around the globe.
Milestones and birthdays
In a Denmark children’s park, kids can hang their pacifier from the branch of a tree to publicly acknowledge their courage to give up their paci. Hundreds of colors stream from the branches.
First birthdays can be over the top, especially considering the guest of honor has no idea what this birthday tradition is all about. In China, the first birthday is celebrated with offerings to the gods and goddesses along with giving a basket of items to the baby. The item the child reaches to grab first will have some connection to his or her future.
Naming celebrations take place in Greece. The family celebrates the day of the saint for whom the child was named or shares the same name. In essence, children celebrate twice a year!
Days of celebration
Traditions from around the world celebrate specific days and honor ancestors and spiritual rituals.
Germany celebrates the Feast of St. Martin on November 11. Children make lanterns and classrooms of kids march the streets singing songs.
Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights, celebrates the triumph of good over evil in Hindu cultures. The day of decorating, cleaning and lighting candles or diyas (oil lamps) symbolizes a renewal of life.
Many Spanish and Mexican heritages celebrate those that have passed on. Stories are shared on Day of the Dead to weave generations of families together. Colorful and often elaborate parties take place in villages across Mexico.
Do you have family traditions that you celebrate? We would love to hear about them.
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