My family and I took time out of our busy week to learn how others are celebrating the holiday season.
Chanukah (Hanukkah) is the Jewish eight-day, wintertime “festival of lights,” celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting, special prayers and fried foods. In the second century BCE, the Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), who tried to force the people of Israel to accept Greek culture and beliefs instead of mitzvah observance and belief in G‑d. Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews, led by Judah the Maccabee, defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of God. When they sought to light the Temple's Menorah (the seven-branched candelabrum), they found only a single cruse of olive oil that had escaped contamination by the Greeks. Miraculously, they lit the menorah and the one-day supply of oil lasted for eight days, until new oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity. To commemorate and publicize these miracles, the sages instituted the festival of Chanukah. For more fun ways to celebrate online: www.chabad.org/kids/article_cdo/aid/354748/jewish/Chanukah.htm
Las Posadas, (Spanish: “The Inns”) religious festival celebrated in Mexico and some parts of the United States between December 16 and 24. Las Posadas commemorates the journey that Joseph and Mary made from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of a safe refuge where Mary could give birth to the baby Jesus. Las Posadas is celebrated in cities and towns across Mexico. Each evening during the festival, a small child dressed as an angel leads a procession through the streets of the town. The procession is primarily made up of children dressed in silver and gold robes carrying lit candles and images of Mary and Joseph riding a donkey. Adults, including musicians, follow the procession, which visits selected homes and asks for lodging for Joseph and Mary. Traditionally, the procession is always refused lodging, though the hosts often provide refreshments. At each stop, passages of scripture are read and Christmas carols are sung. Mass is held each day after the procession, and, at the conclusion of the service, children break open piñatas filled with candy, toys, and, occasionally, money. The piñatas are usually crafted in the form of a star, which is said to have guided the three wise men of biblical tradition to the newborn Jesus.
For more on how to celebrate: http://nbclatino.com/2012/12/13/resources-for-celebrating-las-posadas-with-your-child/
While preparing for your holiday festivities you may want to stop by some of the open houses below.
Enjoy the holiday season!
Growing up in Napa I learned the value of community. I strive to serve the neighborhoods that I grew up in and the people who desire to make Napa their home. I help people connect to the community of Napa with a focus on continuing to build the unique community of Napa and my belief that home is where your story begins.