The holiday season is finally here, and it brings all its magic and joy to every home around the world. There will be shared laughs and festive meals, shining lights and sparkling eyes, full houses and fuller hearts, and many gifts for everyone to enjoy! But are these the most important things that the holidays bring?
What Exactly Are the Holidays?
When you look up the word "holiday" in the dictionary, you will find the following definition:
"A Day of Festivity or Recreation When NO WORK is Done."
The holidays are a time for everyone to come together for all kinds of reasons. You can use them as a reminder of what's most important in life: spending time with the people you care about and doing things that fill your heart with joy and happiness. Everything from honoring our military warriors to expressing gratitude for the inventor of ice cream should and, in fact, has its holiday! Celebrating each day and making as many happy memories as you can is an essential part of self-care. Whether you're preparing a Thanksgiving feast, donating to charity during the winter, or simply celebrating National Pasta Day with a yummy Bolognese, holiday traditions that you build together with your loved ones bring great memories and feelings for each season. Keeping the good vibes going all year long should be your priority and The Holiday Blog challenges you to do exactly that!
But Why Are Holidays Important
Job, household, everyday tasks. The many obligations an average person has on their schedule can and usually do lead to stress and excessive demands in the long run. And not to mention everything that comes unplanned. Therefore, time out is particularly important for both physical and mental well-being. When you are on vacation, have a day off, or gather with family to celebrate a holiday, the number of stress hormones in your body decreases and helps your brain create the important for your health happiness hormones. These hormones can reduce complaints such as stomach pains, headaches and generally keep you more relaxed and focused during the week. Because of this, it is essential to have these little escapes and make sure that every now and then, you use the holidays as per definition and get nothing done! And believe it or not, your boss expects you to do exactly that. Holidays are so important that every country has its official calendar that lists all national and international holidays declared as work-free days. Speaking of different countries, it is incredibly interesting that the words "holiday" and "vacation" are the same thing in many languages! And doesn't it make sense? Whether you pack your bags and go on a planned vacation or just stay home over any official holiday, the point behind it will be just to get some rest and get these happiness hormones in your system.
The upcoming winter holidays are celebrated around different countries the same (or not entirely) way as they are celebrated around the US. Families and friends gather, indulge in festive traditional meals, celebrate their culture and customs, and enjoy spending quality time together, all thanks to the existence of the holidays. So, let's check some interesting examples of different celebrations around the world and go through some information about the oldest existing Christmas market in the world.
Holiday Celebrations Around the World
Hanukkah is a major holiday celebrated by the Jewish community. It commemorates the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple nearly two centuries ago. That's when the Jews rose against the armies of three powerful Syrian generals and liberated Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
The temple was rededicated after their victory, and the pagan altar of the defeated enemy was removed. As they lit candles in the new temple using "menorah"'- a ritual oil that was keeping the fire burning for only one day, a miracle occurred. The oil burned for an additional eight days, protecting their temple and bringing everyone together. This is why Hanukkah is known as the Feast of Lights and initially lasts eight nights. Each night, a new candle is lit, bringing the count of lit candles during the holiday to eight. Hanukkah, like Christmas, is a family holiday consisting of many gifts and happy holiday songs. Potato latkes and jam-filled donuts are the most common threats present at any Hanukkah celebration.
Chinese Lunar New Year
One of the longest and most important holidays in the Chinese calendar is the Lunar New Year. It is a 15-day celebration filled with family reunions, dragon dances, firecrackers, and monetary gift envelopes known as "hongbao." These envelopes traditionally are also given for weddings and new-born welcoming and are always painted in dark red as the Chinese consider red the color of luck. The festivities begin on the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar (late January to mid-February) and last for 15 days when the first full moon of the new year arrives. For many people, this is the only time of year when they have time to return to their hometowns and bring bags of gifts to family members, celebrate together, and indulge in traditional reunion dinners.
And the 1st Place of “The Oldest Christmas Market Competition” Goes to:
Dresden's Christmas market, also named Striezelmarkt, has been held every year since 1434. The market is located on the central square of the city- the baroque Altmarkt and captivates visitors with its Christmas spirit immediately. There is an abundance of surprises waiting around every corner- handmade wooden and glass ornaments, traditional ceramics, and exotic fabrics, as well as typical delicacies for the region of Saxony. Two weeks before Christmas, the Stolen Festival is held there, and the event is an attraction for visitors on its own. The city of Dresden has additional 10 Christmas markets around the city and makes sure that the holiday spirit and the mulled wine are there, where you need them to be.
To mark the start of the festivities, The Holiday Blog has prepared numerous activities and places to visit together with family and friends this holiday season. Check them out!
The Best Places to Visit with Family and Friends this Holiday Season
Winter Wonderland Hike
Walks and hikes during the winter have a charm of their own. If you live in a state where snow is a rare event, traveling to somewhere where it's more of a typical happening is a must at least once during the holiday season. Fresh air, glistening snow as far as the eye can see, absolute silence, and privacy are just some things that winter hikes can offer. They are also a great alternative to commercial ski tourism and are a great wait to recharge your batteries. Winter walks with babies and young children up to 1.5 - 2 hours are entirely sufficient. They are especially appropriate if the final goal of the walk is a hut or shelter, where children and parents can strengthen themselves with a hot cup of cocoa in front of a burning fireplace.
Light Up the Lake, Navy Pier
Lake Michigan's pearl, the Navy Pier, holds a must-see Christmas event of its own-" Light up the Lake." It offers one of the biggest indoor, temperature-controlled light garden, featuring large-scale light-sculpture displays, an Alpine ice skating rink, an authentic holiday beer garden, and many more. It also offers its guests the innovative personalized experiential photography tool MyPhoto. The platform allows you to upload your images, select your favorite Navy Pier themed background, download the photo, and share the memory instantly with family and friends! The light show is available for visits from November 26 through January 2 and should definitely be on your holiday experiences list this year.
This holiday season, enjoy a magnificent outdoor Christmas light display at The Fairgrounds at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks. It begins on November 26, and in addition to the lights, visitors to this winter wonderland will be able to satiate their seasonal desires with a variety of seasonal culinary treats. Tinseltown's top holiday event also features an opportunity for traditional photos with Santa from November 26 through December 24. Mrs. Claus can also be found in her reading room, where she will be reading some of her favorite holiday tales for you and your family to hear. The event offers convenient sensory-friendly entry times as well as dog-friendly nights.
The Home of Santa and The Grinch ™ ©Dr. Seuss , Holiday Magic Village
The most exciting pop-up event of the season- Holiday magic Village, brings together all of your favorite holiday characters in one place! Explore the holiday magic at one of seven exclusive pop-up events. Coming to select VIP locations on November 18! Don't let the magic slip away; book the ultimate holiday experience for your friends and family today!
Best Things to Do During the Holiday Season
Capture the Santa Magic in Brand New Big Lots Locations
That's right! For the first time ever, Big Lots is hosting Santa Magic this holiday season. There will be numerous Big Lots stores across the United States where the jolly old man will appear. This fun experience modernizes the traditional photo with Santa by incorporating a cozy feel thanks to the use of comfortable furniture as the backdrop. Shop while you're there and take advantage of the great holiday discounts! Take advantage of the Santa Magic photo opportunity at a Big Lots store near you this season.
Watch Christmas Movies
Every family has favorite Christmas movies and watches them traditionally every year during the holiday season. Cancel your plans, curl up on the couch and enjoy a festive movie night. Snacks are a must!
Deck The Halls
Planning out your Christmas decoration is not only an important holiday tradition, but it is also a very, very fun thing to do! Check out trends, plan the color scheme, set the lights, and put up the tree. And if you want a little personal touch on the branches this year, try My Photo Santa Magic! Create a beautiful Christmas ornament featuring your favorite Santa Magic memory! It's easy- choose a design to your liking and add your holiday photo to it. Celebrate the magic of giving by gifting this to your family members, or just get one for yourself!
Create New Family Traditions
Let the holiday magic come to your home this season. My Photo Santa Magic allows you to create some fantastic holiday memories without having to turn your living room into a film studio! Visit createholidaymagic.com and get yours today! Upload your favorite personal pictures to the platform and let the magic begin! Make something special for everyone in your family, including your pets, this holiday season. And if you value traditions over everything else, your best bet is The Holiday Traditions Bundle! With it, not only will you get to create unlimited wonders using the MyPhoto platform, but also have Santa read your kids a bedtime story and have a personal Live Video Call with him!
Playing Fun Board Games
Holidays are for family and friends, and nothing is more bonding than playing some fun board games together. Up it up a notch: divide by teams and have the losers wash up the dishes- nothing is more bonding than that!
Write a Letter to Santa
An excellent activity to do together with your kids is writing a letter to Santa. Make sure you leave yours somewhere where your partner can see. It's a plan within the plan!
Capture Holiday Moments That Last a Lifetime
Santa Magic offers you a unique opportunity to create not only a beautiful traditional picture to help you capture the magic of the holiday season but also some great ways and options to give this experience a unique touch. Highly professional holiday helpers are there to ensure that every Santa Magic experience is perfect from the beginning to the end. In-person Santa visits near you can be found on whereissanta.com and the themed Santa Magic events are the best way to bring the holiday spirit to life this season!
Get Some Time Alone
No matter how hard you work, you always need a complete rest to be healthy. The break from the hectic daily life has a good effect both physically and mentally. And the holiday season is the perfect time to enjoy some time for yourself. Fill the bath, grab a book, put on a nice Christmas song, and relax the night away!
Light up Some Scented Candles and Prepare Your Resolution List
New Year's promises are a holiday tradition. They result from moments of reflection on the necessary improvements in people's daily lives and become essential goals for well-being and success in the coming year. Get yours ready and set yourself for success the following year. Lighting up your favorite scented candles while writing the list can help you be calm and keep better focus on the essential thing that you want to achieve.
During the holidays, everyone is given the opportunity to create and believe in their own magic. Bring the holiday spirit into your home, and keep it there all year long! Participating in holiday festivities is a great way to relieve stress and give your entire family something to look forward to. It is important to remember that the holidays are a time to celebrate, reflect, and simply enjoy and spread happiness to everyone around you.
The Holiday Blog wishes you and your family a warm welcoming of the holiday season!
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