Last week, I was reminded of my family’s many traditions as we gathered to dye Easter eggs, hunt for hidden ones, and wish each other a “Happy Easter” while breaking cascarones on each others’ heads. We enjoyed brunch with extended family and friends. Some of these traditions have religious significance, arising from traditions in European countries long ago. Others are relatively new to our family, having learned of them when we visited San Antonio several years ago. Regardless, it is what we have come to expect each year when Easter weekend rolls around.
Children love traditions. Once we do something one way, it becomes an anticipated event. At Wilmington Montessori School, we have a birthday assembly each year to celebrate the school’s founding. We share a moment of silence and sing a song of peace each year on the U.N. International Day of Peace. Children stop at the front desk on the morning of their birthday to receive a ribbon and have “Happy Birthday” sung to them. They look forward to the bubbles on the first day of school and the graduation ceremony on the last day. These all have become traditions at our school. They are anticipated and adored. We keep them alive because they are an integral part of the life of the school.
In your family, you can name traditions that have been handed down to you from past generations. You have most likely begun many of your own. They unite us. They help us to appreciate each other and learn about our similarities and differences. Think about the traditions known to you and your family and those you might want to explore as your children grow. Cultural influences and traditions are an abundant source of learning, sharing and creating acceptance in our world.