Winter Holidays Around The World
During the winter holidays, AW Health Care serves many diverse peoples from around the world who celebrate a variety of beautiful traditions at this time of year. AW Health Care provides services in the preferred language of the home care client. AW offers many languages: Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Farsi, Vietnamese, Croatian, Serbian, Korean and many others. In this way, communications are improved which lead to better clinical outcomes. Here are some of the beautiful holiday traditions of our clients:
The Christian holiday, Christmas is celebrated around the world on December 25. Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World. Hence, Christian families around the world decorate Christmas trees, wreaths and their homes with bright lights, candles and sparkling ornaments. Christians, who recognize Jesus as God’s gift to the world, celebrate the holiday by exchanging gifts with family and friends. A fun part of Christmas celebration includes a visit from Santa Claus, a jolly elf who leaves gifts for all good children on Christmas Eve.
Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday which honors the Maccabees’ victory over King Antiochus who forbade the Jews from practice of their faith. Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days with prayer, lighting of the menorah and food. The menorah is a candelabra holding nine candles, a candle for every night plus a helper candle. Children play games, sing songs and exchange gifts. One traditional food served is the potato latke, a pancake fried and served with sour cream and applesauce.
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year falls between January 21 and February 20. Part of the celebration includes visits to friends and family for a big dinner of fish, noodles and dumplings. People wear special colors of red and gold. Red means “luck” and gold means “wealth”.
Kwanzaa, an African holiday, is celebrated on December 26. Families light a series of black, red and green candles which symbolize the seven basic values of African life; unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
The Winter Solstice occurs around December 21st and is the shortest day of the year. This day has been marked throughout world history and cultures by lighting candles and bonfires to thwart the darkness of the longer nights of winter.
Diwali is a Hindu festival of light and is celebrated throughout India and other nearby Asian countries at the start of winter. Diwali occurs over 5 days. Before the start of the festival, much house cleaning is done to welcome the wealth goddess Lakshmi. Many clay oil lamps are lit which signifies the victory of good over evil. Crackers are burst to drive away evil spirits.
Tet is the Vietnamese New Year. It marks the start of the year in the lunar calendar and most often falls between the last ten days of January and mid-February. The festival lasts three days during which everyone is extra careful to be nice and kind to others. Food, fruit, water and flowers are offered on the family altar. Joss sticks are lit several times a day. And red envelopes filled with money are given to the children for a lucky year.