Festivals and Fun

The global village should be celebrated in the home! Check back each week as we highlight a different festival from around the globe. There’s always a reason to celebrate and what better way to do it than with your family while learning about a variety of cultures? With ideas and activities for celebrating the various holidays “Earthy Family” style, you’ll find this a fabulous resource when planning birthdays, parties, and family nights. We live in a time of diversity – celebrate with us

Independence Day – Mexico
September 15
Independence Day(s) in Mexico

Day of the Dead – Mexico
November 2

One of the most famous celebrations in Mexico, El Día de Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) is a unique mixture of Catholic and pre-Hispanic traditions…

Independence Day – USA
July 4th

Americans celebrate July 4 as Independence Day. It was on July 4, 1776, that members of the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and adopted the final draft of the Declaration of Independence. For additional information on the Declaration of Independence visit:www.factmonster.com/spot/independenceday1.html

Celebrations and Fireworks are held all over the United States as the whole nation celebrates this day.

General Information on the United States:

  • The US is located on both the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean, between Canada and Mexico
  • The US has approximatley 19,924 km of coastline
  • The US is the World’s fourth largest country
  • The climate is mostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska, semiarid in the great plains west of the Mississippi River, and arid in the Great Basin of the southwest;

Canada Day
July 1st

July 1 st is Canada Day! A patriotic day celebrated by Canadians with fireworks and outdoor concerts and events throughout the nation. Originally known as “Dominion Day”, Canada Day was established in 1868.

Fun Canadian Facts:

Canada is named for the Iroquois word for village, “ Kanata
The official animal of Canada is the Beaver

The national sport is Lacrosse, which was played in Canada before Europeans arrived

Basketball was invented in Canada and was first played using empty peach baskets for nets

Hockey, while not the national sport, is considered by many to be the national pastime

Winnie the Pooh is named for a real bear named Winnipeg , the capital city of Manitoba and hometown of “Winnie’s” owner.

Official Lyrics of the National Anthem, O Canada !


O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.


O Canada ! Terre de nos aïeux,
Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux!

Car ton bras sait porter l’épée,
Il sait porter la croix!

Ton histoire est une épopée
Des plus brillants exploits.

Et ta valeur, de foi trempée,
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.

Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.

Inti Raymi Festival
June 24th

The Peruvian Winter Solstice, called Inti Raymi (literally translated as the festival of the Sun God), is held on June 24th this year. An ancient festival harking back to the days of the Inca Empire, it is a ceremony of thanksgiving and spiritual preparation for the coming year. Present-day celebrations include re-enactments of the Inca ceremony outside the city of Cusco . It is celebrated for several days with parades, traditional music and dancing. For more information on Inti Raymi, check out this month’s culture highlight in our Travels section.

Memorial to Broken Dolls Day
June 3rd

June 3rd is Memorial to Broken Dolls Day in Japan. On this day each year, children bring their broken dolls to Buddhist shrines for funeral rituals. After the ceremony, the dolls are buried and enshrined. If there are any broken dolls (or other special toys) in your home that can’t be healed, fixed, or mended, consider holding a funeral or letting go ceremony for your family. What a great way to acknowledge the real bonds that children form to their playthings.

Vegetarian Week

Vegetarian Week is from May 24th- May 31st this year. Whether you’re a dedicated vegetarian, a veggie dabbler, or a committed omnivore, there is no denying the health benefits of vegetarian meals. Eating less meat than the standard North American does is beneficial to health as well as the environment (it takes much more energy to raise a cow than grow a field of veggies).

So celebrate Vegetarian Week by sharing a vegetarian meal with your family sometime over the next seven days. Check out our Kitchen Creations or Nava Atlas’ Vegetarian Kitchen for some delicious recipes to try. If your family regularly eats vegetarian meals, maybe you want to celebrate by hosting a vegetarian potluck for friends.

Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month. This awareness month focuses on concentrating people’s focus on the importance of mental health in all areas of life as well as bringing awareness to mental illness.

This is a great time to find a bit of time for each family member to find and engage in an activity that brings them joy and peace. Perhaps it’s a family activity, or perhaps it’s an individual activity. Share your needs with each other and support one another as you take time to re-energize and recharge. Because mental health affects all areas of health and life, it’s important to take care of yours.

International Day of Families
May 15

The United Nations declared 1994 as the International Year of the Family (IYF) and May 15th as the International Day of Families. This year, the 10th anniversary of the IYF, the UN plans to reaffirm its support of families around the world and will encourage governments of the world to support family issues at national levels.

And while all this is taking place, what a great time to celebrate living in a family environment! Talk with your family about what a family is (there are as many definitions as there are families), and what is truly great about a family like yours. Cook a special meal and linger at the dinner table, or spend some family time together doing a favoured activity and celebrating each other and your wonderful bond.

Youth Day, China
May 4th

May 4th is China’s traditional Youth Day. College students often celebrate the day with fun outdoor activities and May 4th medals are awarded for outstanding academic performance. The Youth Day celebration commemorates the day of the first mass student movement in China which occurred in 1919. The Beijing student demonstration was against the warlord government’s imminent signing of an international agreement, ceding a Chinese province to the Japanese; it ignited a number of further demonstrations across the country and sparked the promotion of democracy and scientific enquiry.

Kiss your mate day
April 28th

This Wednesday is Kiss your Mate Day! A fabulous holiday to celebrate – again and again.