What’s your tradition?
It's important for children to be proud of their families’ traditions, but it’s just as healthy for them to talk about the rich customs and festivities celebrated by other families and cultures. We think your little ones will love learning about these three simple-to-explain global traditions that they can get in on the action with too, if they like.
We love everything about Ramadan. This special time of year sees Muslim parents thrilled at their children’s excitement about the Holy Month, with Muslim homes around the world exuding a wonderfully festive environment. Welcoming Ramadan with vibrant decorations and the anticipation of Iftar meals spent with family and friends are just some of the things big and little people look forward to each year. As children get older, mamas and papas might want to add a sense of spirituality to their Ramadan festivities, balancing the material aspects with the deeper elements. One of the best ways to do this is by revealing the meanings behind Ramadan’s traditions and rituals. You can do the same with your kids at this time of year – no matter your faith – by talking to them about the rituals that your family practices and believes in. While you’re at it, why not touch on the rich customs and festivities that are celebrated in other cultures? You might be surprised to find that taking just five minutes out of your busy day – while preparing Iftar, during bath time, or even in the car on the way to school – to talk to your little ones about cultural traditions in other parts of the world could actually enrich your family’s celebrations too.
Eideyeh – The Middle East
Muslim families who have young children know this custom well. In many Islamic countries, the tradition is to give little ones what is known as Eideyeh, a small amount of money, on the first day of Eid. Ali (45), an Emirati father living in Abu Dhabi, told us, “When I was little, my father used to take me with him to see his friends and colleagues over Eid. There were about seven houses he liked to visit, offering his greetings to the families living there. To me though, the visits were seven major opportunities to get Eideyah. I remember, no matter how tired I was, I was always keen to go with him. He still teases me about it to this day.” If your Muslim friends have young children, consider gifting them Eideyah in Children’s Lane’s gorgeous Belle & Boo Duffle Bag Purse (AED50).
Diwali – India
The five-day festival of lights is celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. Celebrating new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness, it’s common for Indian families to whip out the feather duster before Diwali starts to ensure their houses are spotless ahead of the festival. During the festival, people might adorn their homes with twinkling fairy lights or candles, decorating their homes with rangoli, a colourful and detailed artform in which detailed patterns – made of vibrantly coloured rice powder, rice, dry flour, sand or flower petals – are created on the floor in living rooms or courtyards. It’s also traditional for families to exchange gifts during Diwali, dine on beautifully decorated sweets – kesar peda (Indian milk fudge) is our favourite – and play board games and cards. If you’d like to gift something to a child who is celebrating during this beautiful time, our wooden Firm Living Tree Lamp (AED345) is the perfect illumination-inspired present.
Piñata bashing – Mexico
No Mexican fiesta is complete without a colourful piñata. Traditionally made from a clay pot filled with candy, fruit and even small toys, proper Mexican piñatas are covered with papier-mâché and painted or decorated with brightly coloured tissue paper. The original piñata shape is a seven-pointed star, but today you can find a range of shapes – think animals, cartoon characters and even food items – made of vibrant cardboard and paper and suited to various birthday party themes. Piñatas are usually hung from a rope, with blind-folded children made to spin around several times before taking turns trying to hit the piñata with a stick while an adult pulls on the end of the rope to make the game a little more challenging. Once the piñata breaks, it releases a colourful rain of treats for the kids who need to rush over and collect as much as they can. If your child is celebrating a birthday soon, consider picking up a piñata to match his or her party theme and up the quirk factor with matching balloons, party bags, paper cups and plates, and even napkins. We’re loving unicorns at the moment. If your kids are too, our whimsical Meri Meri Unicorn Balloons (AED158) are a fabulous party addition. We also have a range of other unicorn-inspired party items available on our website, from actual paper unicorn horns (AED130 for eight) that kids can wear, to napkins (AED58 for 16) and party bags (AED130 for eight).