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Festival of Lights

Festival of Lights

By: Meridian 1st Graders

Winter is a season when holidays, traditions, and celebrations are all around us and a great opportunity to share and learn from one another.  In first grade, we spent the month of December learning about how families around the world, in the past and in the present, celebrate both religious and non-religious holidays in our literacy unit.  We approached the holidays through the lens of “What is the same and different about many winter traditions?” We investigated why lights, and more importantly candles, are a common theme in many winter holidays!  

The festival of lights is a celebration of light coming back, or the sun, especially in the winter when it’s so dark! We are learning about different holidays and how they celebrate that central idea.

kwanzaaSo far we’ve learned about Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Las Posadas, the Winter Solstice, and a few more we can’t remember right now. Before Winter Break, we will learn about Makahiki, a Hawaiian new year’s festival.

We think it’s important because this might be our only chance to learn about holidays that we don’t celebrate.

When we talked about Hannukah, we learned that though they had only enough oil to light the menorah for one night, but a miracle happened and it lasted for 8 nights!

st-lucias-daySomething that we learned when we studied St. Lucia’s Day is that Sweden has its own language. A lot of us were surprised by that!  We were also surprised that Las Posadas is similar to Christmas. The celebrations we learned about were actually all
similar in some ways. It was nice to know that they share things, and made us curious about the meaning of other holidays around the world. It is so interesting and it was a lot of fun, so we want to learn more about other holidays when they happen.

We are going to try to share what we learned with our families. We also want to read books about these celebrations to find out more because we know there can be a lot of different answers!

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