Celebrations cover

Reading Guide for “Celebrations”

Our board book Celebrations (the 4th book in our We Are Little Feminists board book series) helps families and educators discuss belief systems, ceremonies, and holidays to spread love and understanding for all faiths.

Curious about all the faiths and practices represented in our book? Read our explanations for each page below!

Page 1 – Adoption Day
Celebrations - adoption date page

Adoption day is when a child legally becomes a part of their new family. It’s important to know celebrating a child’s “Adoption Day” is controversial as it is both joyful and representative of a change or loss.

Books we love featuring adoption:

Page 2 – Lei Day
Celebrations - Lei Day

Lei Day has been celebrated in Hawaii every first of May for almost 100 years. People give gifts of leis (or strands of flowers) to one another. Each island has its own flower that represents it, and they also have their own way of celebrating too.

Books we love about Native Hawaiian people & culture:

  • Best for ages 2-4: A Lei for Every Day by Beth Greenway
  • Best for ages 4-7: Tutu Makes a Lei
Page 3 – Ramadan
Celebrations - Ramadan page

Ramadan is the Arabic name for the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is a holy month of prayer, reflection, fasting, and community for Muslims (the followers of Islam). It begins and ends with the appearance of the crescent moon, and at the end of Ramadan, there’s a big three-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr, or the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast.

Books we love about Ramadan and Muslim culture:

Page 4 – Passover
Celebrations - Passover page

Passover is a Jewish holiday that honors the freedom and exodus of the Israelites (enslaved Jews) from Egypt during the reign of the Pharaoh Ramses II. Before the ancient Jews fled Egypt, their firstborn children were “passed over” and spared from death, thus dubbing the holiday “Passover.” Each year at Passover, we eat special foods, sing songs, tell stories, and participate in a seder – a special meal designed to help us remember this miraculous journey from enslavement to freedom.

Books we love about Passover and Jewish culture:

Page 5 – Preschool Graduation
Celebrations - Preschool Graduation page

Preschool graduation is a ceremony for parents, teachers, and preschoolers to celebrate their commitment to learning. As the first of many educational milestones, this achievement gives children a sense of pride and accomplishment for their efforts in learning throughout the school year.

Page 6 – Diwali
Celebrations - Diwali page

A festival of lights, Diwali is the celebration of good over evil and the largest of all Indian festivals. The date varies based on the Hindu calendar, and it is celebrated in October or November. Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Newar Buddhists celebrate Diwali, and while each religion may have their own traditions, ultimately, they all celebrate the victory of light over darkness.

Books we love about Diwali:

Page 7 – Meditation
Celebrations - meditation page

Meditation is a practice for calming your mind and body. It involves teaching our minds to observe what is happening in the present moment. It can bring about self-awareness, calm anxiety, and create relaxation.

Books we love about meditation & mindfulness:

Page 8 – Shinto Shrine Visit
Celebrations - Shinto Shrine visit

Shinto is the indigenous religious belief and practice of Japan. It is considered a way of life and a value system for Japanese people. Shinto means “the way of kami,” and Kami is the spirit of every natural thing in our world.

Books we love about the Shinto faith and Japanese culture:

Page 9 – Powwow
Celebrations - Powwow page

Books we love about Powwows by Native American creators:

Page 10 – Day of the Dead
Celebrations - Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos or Día de Muertos) is a celebration of life and death that is typically celebrated on November 1 and 2 in contemporary Mexico and among those of Mexican heritage in the United States. During this time, it is believed that the souls of the dead awaken and return to the living world, and the living family members honor the deceased in celebrations and in ofrendas (altars) built in their homes. Its roots go back some 3,000 years to the rituals honoring the dead in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.

Books we love about Day of the Dead:

Page 11 – Prayer
Celebrations - Prayer page

Prayer is a form of communication in many religions where one gives their attention to a higher power. It involves both talking to and also listening to God and/or a higher power.

Books we love about prayer:

Page 12 – Birthday
Celebrations - birthday page

A birthday is a special occasion when a person celebrates the anniversary of their birth. Birthdays can be celebrated with a party, gift, special rite of passage, or not at all, depending on your culture. Many cultures have special coming-of-age birthdays, such as quinceaneras in Hispanic communities and B’nai Mitzvah in Jewish communities. Not all cultures/religions celebrate birthdays.

Books we love about birthdays:

Page 13 – International Women’s Day
Celebrations - International Women's Day

International Women’s Day is a global holiday that promotes women’s rights and celebrates their achievements. Dating back to 1911, when many women were fighting for the right to vote, this special day is now filled with everything from gifts, marches, and fundraisers to improve the lives of women across the world.

Books we love about Women’s rights & movements:

Page 14 – Black History celebration
Celebrations - Black History celebration

Originally a week-long celebration made popular by Carter G. Woodson; Black History Month evolved into a month-long series of learning and fun by the 1970s. During this time, the ancestral roots, accurate history, and monumental contributions of Black people within the African diaspora are highlighted.

Books we love about Black History:

Page 15 – Lunar New Year
Celebrations - Lunar New Year page

Lunar New Year marks the beginning of the new year under the lunar calendar and is celebrated by over 1 billion people worldwide. There are celebrations held in countries including Bhutan, China, Korea, Tibet, and Vietnam, as well as by diaspora communities worldwide. While each culture may have its own specific celebrations and traditions, all are rooted in coming together with family and a vision of hope and prosperity in the new year.

Books we love about Lunar New Year:

Page 16 – Kwanzaa
Celebrations - Kwanzaa page

Kwanzaa is a 7-day African American holiday that begins on December 26th and ends on January 1st; that was started in 1966. The holiday grew in popularity as a way for Black Americans to unite through the ideologies of Pan-Africanism and strengthen future generations through its seven principles of unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.

Books we love about Kwanzaa:

  • Best for ages 3-8: My First Kwanzaa by Deborah M. Newton
  • Best for ages 4-8: The Sound of Kwanzaa by Dimitrea Tokunbo
  • Best for ages 5-9: K is for Kwanzaa by Juwanda Ford
Page 17 – Obon
Celebrations - Obon page

Obon is a Japanese holiday with Buddhist roots and a celebration to honor ancestors. Many people go back to their hometowns or reunite with family during this celebration held in either July or August. Festival food is eaten, and everyone is invited to dance the bon odori, which is a traditional dance accompanied by taiko drums.

Books we love about Japanese festivals, culture, & Buddism:

Page 18 – Easter
Celebrations - Easter page

Easter (also called Pascha, Pascua, or Resurrection Sunday) is a Christian festival and cultural holiday. It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus three days after his death by crucifixion. For many Christian churches, Easter is the joyful end to Lent, the season of fasting and penitence.

Books we love about Easter:

Page 19 – Pride
Celebrations - Pride page

Pride celebrations (often marches or parades, dance parties, and protests) are about fighting for and celebrating human rights and empowering the LGBTQ+ community to reclaim the freedoms they are often denied in public spaces around the world. Pride typically occurs in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall uprising, which was led by BIPOC Trans community leaders.

Books we love about Pride:

  • Pride Puppy, by Robin Stevenson, ages 2-5
  • The Rainbow Parade, by Emily Neilson, ages 4-7 years old
  • Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution, by Joy Michael Ellison, ages 4-9
  • Be Amazing: A History of Pride, by Desmond is Amazing, ages 5-9
Page 20 – Earth Day & everyday
Celebrations - Earth Day page

Earth Day is celebrated every April 22nd to remind and empower people to protect our planet. 1970 marked the first celebration in the United States, and it is now celebrated globally. We can celebrate Earth Day every day by making small changes in our behavior – like using reusable water bottles and turning off lights.

Books we love about protecting our Earth:

  • Earth Hour by Nanette Heffernan (2-4)
  • We are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom (3-7)
  • Rocket Says Clean Up by Nathan Bryon (4-7)

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