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Holy Days - November

Many of the fall holidays are now over, so we move into the time of the year when the veil between the living and dead is thin.

Samhain/Beltane (Nov. 1): In the northern hemisphere, Wiccans/Pagans celebrate Samhain {SAH-win}, which marks the half-way point between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. It begins the end of the harvest season, the beginning of the dark time, and the start of the new year. Bonfires, feasts to welcome the dead, and offerings to keep livestock safe during winter are all common rituals. Click here for more on Samhain. In the southern hemisphere, Nov. 1 marks Beltane and the start of summer.

All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day (Nov. 1-2): Many, but not all, Christians celebrate deceased loved ones at the same time as Samhain. Traditionally, on All Saint’s Day, particular attention was paid to official saints, those who had attained heaven, and those who were instrumental in one’s Christian life on earth. All Soul’s Day honored anyone who had died, especially those in Purgatory. Nowadays, the focus is on all those who are deceased. Interestingly, in some of the Eastern Christian traditions, All Saint’s Day is celebrated in the spring and is associated with either Easter or Pentecost. Click here for info. on that particular tradition.

Day of the Dead (Nov. 1-2): Day of the Dead is a fusion of the Christian holidays, which were imported with the Spanish Catholics, and Día de Muertos, which was an Aztec festival held in the summer. Either way, it’s a time to celebrate and welcome the ancestors! Originally, a Mexican holiday, it is now celebrated throughout the Americas.

Nativity Fast Begins (Nov. 15): And just in case you thought it was too early to think about Christmas, the Eastern Orthodox Nativity Fast, which is 40 days long, begins on Nov. 15. It’s not a total fast; certain things can be eaten on certain days, and there are calendars to help everyone keep track. For Orthodox Christians who follow the Gregorian calendar, the fast begins on Nov. 28 and lasts until their Christmas, which is on Jan. 7.
Day of the Dead offers some great craft ideas for kids. Older kids (upper elementary through high school) love this bleach-pen craft. Simply buy inexpensive black cotton fabric and cut it into squares measuring about 10” x 10”. Place the fabric square on a piece of cardboard and let them draw a Day of the Dead design on the fabric with a bleach pen (made by Clorox®). When finished, rinse the fabric squares with water and let dry.

Additional Reading

Kids' MOVIE Recommendation:
This month, instead of a book, we’re recommending the movie, Coco. This 2017 film, from Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures, is quickly becoming a Day of the Dead classic. Oscar winner for Best Animated Film, it grossed over $800 million worldwide. Truly a must-see for all ages.

More Reading:
Want ideas for helping kids remember their loved ones? Click here.

And here’s our recent post, for Multicultural Kid Blogs about Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

Click here for another interesting post about Guatemala’s giant kite festival to honor All Saint’s Day.

And, finally, if you’d like to receive daily tips, please join our public FB group: Faith Seeker Kids

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Interfaith Made Easy Unit #1 Peace, Upper Elementary (Hard Copy)
Interfaith Made Easy Unit #1 Peace, Upper Elementary (Hard Copy)
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