Resources
  Lessons
Calendar
Home


RESOURCES

Using the academic role of schools as the guide, the following websites may be of value for teachers in helping students to understand their world and the beliefs and cultures of their neighbors.

Religious Expression in Schools - PDF file requires Acrobat Reader
http://www.fresno.k12.ca.us/pdf/religious.pdf
This is the religious expression policy of the Fresno Unified School District.

December dilemma: What should schools do about Christmas?
http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/commentary.aspx?id=12217
This is a Charles Haynes’ article on issues related to schools and the December holidays.

Religious Holidays
http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/rel_liberty/publicschools/topic.aspx?topic=religious_holidays
This is an article from the First Amendment Center about the constitutionally proper manner for dealing with religious holidays in public schools.

The ‘December Dilemma’: December Holiday Guidelines for Public Schools
http://www.adl.org/issue_education/december_dilemma_2004/default.asp
This Anti-Defamation League site has a clearly written description of religious holiday concerns and a set of suggestions for public schools to follow during the holiday season in December.

Interfaith Calendar
http://www.interfaithcalendar.org/index.htm
This calendar describes and lists the dates for major religious holidays for religions throughout the world.

BUDDHISM

Bodhi Day
http://www.budtempchi.org/bodhiwriteup.html
This explanation describes the Mahayana Buddhist tradition of Bodhi Day, as Siddhartha Gautama’s realization (Enlightenment) and presentation of the Four Noble Truths.

Rohatsu
http://buddhism.about.com/od/zen/a/Rohatsu.htm
Rohatsu [the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month] is a time when Zen Buddhists commemorate the Buddha's enlightenment. It begins on the 1st of December and ends on Rohatsu Day itself, the 8th of December.

JUDAISM

Hanukkah: Festival of Lights
http://www.ort.org/ort/edu/festivals/hanukkah/index.html
This award-winning web page was created to teach children about Hanukkah.

Hanukkah Traditions
http://www.hanukkah-traditions.com/
This site provides basic information on Hanukkah for young people including celebrations, traditions, food and drink.

Hanukkah
http://www.historychannel.com/exhibits/holidays/hanukkah/index.html
This History Channel site provides information on the history and traditions of Hanukkah.

Chanukah on the Net
http://www.holidays.net/chanukah/
Read the story of the Maccabees and Chanukah, learn about the Menorah, and hear the music for "Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel" at this site.

CHRISTIANITY

Feast day - Our Lady of Guadalupe
http://www.inside-mexico.com/guadalupe.htm
Before the Christmas season "officially" begins on December 16, Mexicans join together for the festivities of Our Lady of Guadalupe, on December 12. This is one of the most important dates in the Mexican calendar.

Origins of Christmas Traditions, Part One
http://www.domestic-church.com/CONTENT.DCC/19971201/ARTICLES/ADVTRAD1.HTM
This site attempts to trace the religious and historical origins for various Christmas traditions practiced today in the U.S.

Christmas Trees and More
http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/trees/index.html
Here is a wealth of information about Christmas traditions of all kinds and Christmas trees in particular.

Colonial Christmas Customs
http://www.history.org/Almanack/life/xmas/customs.cfm
Here is a brief account of Christmas in Colonial Virginia by the Williamsburg Foundation.

History of Christmas
http://www.historychannel.com/exhibits/holidays/christmas/index.html
This History Channel site provides information about the history of Christmas traditions, the evolution of Santa Claus, and about Christmas trees.

ISLAM

Steps of Hajj, the Islamic Pilgrimage to Mecca
http://islam.about.com/od/hajj/ss/hajj_steps_2.htm
This About.com site has information about how pilgrims prepare for the Hajj and what they do day-by-day.

The Hajj: Journey of Faith
http://cgi.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2002/hajj/
About 2 million Muslims from more than 70 countries journey to the holy city of Mecca each year to make the spiritual pilgrimage known as the Hajj. This CNN site describes this journey of faith.
        
Hajj
http://i-cias.com/e.o/hajj.htm
This Encyclopedia of the Orient site describes the elements and importance of the Hajj. 

Eid al Adha
http://www.religionfacts.com/islam/holidays/adha.htm
Eid al-Adha celebrates the completion of the hajj (pilgrimage) rites at Mina, Saudi Arabia, but is celebrated by Muslims throughout the world.

KWANZAA

Kwanzaa
http://www.historychannel.com/exhibits/holidays/kwanzaa/index.html
This History Channel site describes the history and traditions of Kwanzaa.

Brief History of Kwanzaa
http://theholidayspot.com/kwanzaa/history.htm
There is a commercial on this page from the site sponsor but otherwise it has very good brief information on the history of Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa Principles
http://www.billybear4kids.com/holidays/kwanzaa/kwanzaa.htm
Written specifically for young children, this site outlines the idea behind and the values of Kwanzaa.

RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS IN GENERAL

Religious Tolerance.org
http://www.religioustolerance.org/main_day.htm
This page lists some of the main holy days of the 8 largest faiths in the U.S.: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Baha'i World Faith and Wicca. The advertisements on the site are distracting.