Family First » celebrations Servings Families Online since 1998 Fri, 02 Oct 2015 20:25:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Christmas Traditions from Around the World Fri, 24 Dec 2010 21:52:29 +0000 post thumbnail

Today is a big day for most Americans – getting last minute gifts, or ingredients for their big meals either today or tomorrow.

Kids are getting excited to Santa’s arrival – being extra good for one last day.  While we have American Christmas traditions like leaving stockings by the chimney, other countries do things a little differently.

Here are some fun traditions from around the world published on The North Pole website.


Because it’s Summer down under, their Christmas celebrations are more like our 4th of July picnics – outside barbeques and the kids are getting out for Summer break. Food is more picnic fare such as cold deli meats and salads.

Due to concerns that Santa might suffer heat stroke while delivering gifts in Australia, Swag Man comes to the rescue. He is dressed in shorts and drives a four-wheeler, both much more appropriate for the conditions down under.


The majority of the Chinese are not Christian but for those who are, they celebrate by lighting their houses with white paper lanterns and await the arrival of Dun Che Lao Ren which means Christmas Old Man.  They decorate their Tree of Lights with chains, flowers and lanterns all made of paper.


The Yule log comes from the Scandinavians. The log used to be the entire tree, brought into the house and slowly fed into the fire from the bottom to the top. Yuletide literally means “the turning of the sun” which is the celebration of the Winter Solstice, the time when the days slowly get longer and the nights shorter – the return of the sun.


Christmas for the Scots is somber while New Year’s or Hogmanay is full of merriment and celebration. The first stranger to step through your house on New Year’s Day has much significance in the way your new year will go. It’s called First Footing and, depending on where you are from, good luck comes from either a dark-haired person or a fair-haired person.


Between December 16th and 24th, Venezuelans attend daily early morning mass, Misa do Aguinaldo. It is a custom to roller-skate to the service and the streets of Caracas actually stay closed until 8:00 am.  Children supposedly tie a string to their toes and hang the other end out the window and the skaters tug on the string when they skate by.

For many other countries’ traditions, please check out The North Pole’s website. Merry Christmas!

]]> 0
Festivals.com Thu, 09 Mar 2006 00:01:15 +0000 Suppose you are going somewhere on vacation. And suppose you’d like to check to see if there are any festivals or such in the area. Wouldn’t it be great if someone was to put all festivals all over the US in one searchable database?
Well, as Eric Idle used to say, say no more! Check out today’s FamilyFirst site:
The site has a clickable US map that lets you drill into each state to see what festivals are upcoming. Here’s their mission:

Launched in 1995, today is the largest resource on the Internet for information about community festivals, fairs and special events. With more than 40,000 community events worldwide behind the pages of, we are the most popular and widely used web site devoted exclusively to the global festival industry.
You can find festivals with the map, or you can use the search function. Search by subject or keyword. You can also browse by subject or by performer.
And it’s comprehensive! They list an upcoming needlework and bead festival in a tiny nearby town called Cass, Arkansas. And of course there’s the Ukrainian Festival in Dickinson, North Dakota coming up this July. And by all means don’t miss the Scrapbooking and Stamping Festival in Famingdale, New York on April Fool’s day. It’s featuring Saturday Night Crop Till You Drop.
As you can see, the variety of festivals and celebrations is dizzying. But they’re nicely organized so you can find your way around. So bookmark today’s FamilyFirst site, and find your favorite festival!

]]> 0
Spirit of Christmas Wed, 15 Dec 2004 01:27:17 +0000 Today, Family First looks at a Christmas site that has something for just about everyone, from the chief cook and bottle washer, to the wrapper-upper of presents, to the smallest member of the family. As the season is now in full swing, sites such as todays help keep up the spirit of the season.

The site is called the Spirit of Christmas. Their goal is to share the way Christmas is celebrated by people of all religions, cultures and backgrounds. Christmas is ultimately about the the celebration of the birth of Jesus and together it can enhance the celebration of the holiday season for everyone.
Around the world, more than 3 billion people celebrate Christmas! While it is celebrated differently in the Netherlands than in the Phillipines, or in the United States, the spirit is the same.
Alot of information can be found at this site, both on the history and traditions of Christmas, as well as ways to enjoy the current celebrations. So pull up your mouse and keyboard, and surf on over.

]]> 0
Times Square 2002 Mon, 31 Dec 2001 12:00:00 +0000 The slogan is “Yes, the Celebration is Still On”, and the location is, where else, but Times Square in New York City. The Big Apple is once again hosting the premiere New Year’s Eve party, showing that, yes indeed, life is getting back to normal.

The event this year will be a celebration of the past 96 celebrations, as well a remeberance of the events of the past year. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani will be the guest of honor, pushing the button that will lower the world famous ball from the top of Times Square. Here you can find out about all the events that will be happening, and where they are.

Enjoy your visit here today, and we’ll see you again in 365 days, okay?

]]> 0
Friends of the Hunley Tue, 29 May 2001 12:00:00 +0000 This past weekend we celebrated the memories of the veterans who have given their lives for our country. Their memory will not die in vain. Today’s FamSite is one that also celebrates a group of brave and courageous sailors who made the ultimate sacrifice.

We have visited this site before, but there have been some very fascinating and recent developments. The site is the Friends of the Hunley, a site that tells the story of the recovery and excavation of the CSS Hunley, a submarine that operated during the War Between the States. It had one mission, and was lost with all hands on board. It was recently excavated and is currently undergoing an archeological survey. It is within the past week that all of the crew members have been identified and will given a full military ceremony. This archeological study is answering many questions, but the wealth of information that is being discovered is truly remarkable.

There have been many celebrations over the past years of American servicemen being returned to their families for final closure. It is now possible for these brave men who fought for their own beliefs to be returned to their family. Enjoy your visit here today, and bookmark it and return often. It is a fascinating story.

]]> 0
Fourth of July on the National Mall Tue, 04 Jul 2000 12:00:00 +0000 Here it is, the day that we celebrate the birth of our nation, the Fourth of July. It was on this date in 1776 that the Declaration of Independence was first read in Philadelphia, and the rest, as they say, is history. There will be celebrations going on all over the nation, and probably one near you. But one of the biggest and best we will visit at today’s FamSite.

The site is called Fourth of July on the National Mall, and is the National Park Service’s site for the festivities that will take place in Washington, D.C. One of the most spectacular events will be the celebration of the end to the four yearlong restoration project for the Washington Monument. There will be other activities as well, such as fireworks, music, exhibits, all starting with a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence at 10:00am.

This is an excellent place to visit today, and find out about what is going on in our nation’s capitol. Enjoy your visit here today, and then enjoy the rest of your holiday celebrating what is truly the land of the free and the home of the brave.

]]> 0