As the days have gotten shorter, the weather has turned colder, and the first big holiday celebrations of the winter holiday season have begun, students at the YMCA Academy have been discussing the celebrations that take place during the winter months.
Students in the 20th Century World History Course took a break from learning about the geopolitics of the last 120 years to explore why this season is so jam-packed with holidays and important celebrations. We explored the idea of how challenging the shorter, darker, colder days can be, and how in communities of the past the need for celebration, community, and levity could be extreme during the midwinter months.
A grid of holidays, celebrations, observances, and feast days was put up on the board, students were tasked with doing research into a handful of the feast days, and were asked to write a brief description of the holiday. The holidays were selected from faiths, secular observances, and historical festivals, and ranged from the familiar to the unheard of.
Once the grid was populated with descriptions, symbols, art, and graphics, students were asked to verbally talk about the midwinter feast that they found the most interesting. The Class was very excited to learn about some of the celebrations that have been important during this time of year.
- Bodhi Day
- Emancipation Proclamation Day
- Human Light
- Makar Sankranti
- Pancha Ganapati
- Sol Invictus