Celebrate Holidays Around the World

Holidays in Different Countries

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Help your students discover how countries around the world celebrate the holiday season. From Christmas and Hanukkah to Kwanzaa and St. Lucia Day, there's lots to learn about the holiday season. Check out the printable research project template we have included with this activity and get ready to explore how people around the world embrace the wonder of the season. Read on to find out more.

Holidays Around the World Research Project

Winter Holidays Around the World

Here is an easy and festive research project you can do with your elementary students to get them in the holiday spirit. Print out this research project template to use with the activity. Students will choose a country and learn about a winter holiday celebrated there. Children will identify the name and date of the holiday, the purpose of the holiday, as well as traditions that are customarily observed on the holiday. In addition, students will color a picture of the country's flag and draw their own picture to depict the holiday. 

Your students can share the information they learn about holidays around the world in a class presentation. Feel free to turn the activity into a multicultural holiday celebration! Hang up a banner of flags from around the world. Bring in snacks or ethnic food items. Play traditional holiday music from different countries. Be as creative as you want!

You may want your students to use online sources or textbooks to research holiday celebrations around the world, but we have also included several children's books here that may be a good resource for your multicultural studies. Use them as research materials, read them out loud as a class, or incorporate them however you would like with the activity.

Children's Books That Explore Holidays Around the World

Winter Holidays in Different Countries
  • The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola – Learn about how Christmas is celebrated in Mexico. 
  • All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah by Emily Jenkins – Learn about how Hanukkah is celebrated by one family in 20th century New York City. 
  • Together for Kwanzaa by Juwanda G. Ford – Learn about the December holiday that celebrates African-American culture.
  • All About Hanukkah by Madeline Wikler – Learn about the traditions, stories, and songs of Hanukkah. 
  • The Legend of St. Nicholas by Dani Daley Mackall – Learn about the true spirit of St. Nicholas Day, including the man for whom the holiday is named. 
  • The Night of Las Posadas by Tomie dePaola – Learn about this religious festival celebrated throughout Latin America and parts of the United States as a part of the Christmas holiday. 
  • Lucia Morning in Sweden by Ewa Rydaker – Learn about how St. Lucia Day is celebrated in Sweden. 
  • Humphrey's First Christmas by Carol Heyer – Learn about the origin of the Christmas story through a camel's perspective. 
  • The Story of the Three Wise Kings by Tomie dePaola – Learn about the Feast of the Epiphany, which is celebrated in Spain and many other countries. 
  • The Legend of Old Befana by Tomie dePaola – Learn about the Italian tradition of Old Befana, celebrated as a part of the Christmas holiday. 

As you can imagine, the children's books above are only a small sample of the literature that covers holidays around the world. A quick online search will bring up plenty of additional options. Gather a collection of resources that meets the needs of your class and make this holiday project truly your own. 

Countries and Holiday Ideas

Winter Holidays Customs and Traditions

To help you and your students get started on your holidays-around-the-world project, we suggest several countries and holidays you may wish your students to research for the activity, below:


  • Christmas
  • St. Nicholas Day
  • St. Lucia Day
  • Feast of the Epiphany
  • Night of Las Posadas
  • Legend of Old Befana
  • Legend of the Poinsettia
  • Hanukkah 
  • Kwanzaa
  • Winter Solstice


  • Italy 
  • Mexico
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Germany
  • England
  • United States
  • Guatemala
  • China
  • Japan

The important thing to remember about this activity is that you can make it as all-encompassing as you wish. Use as many children's book resources as you can find, explore other holidays and traditions besides the ones we have suggested here, and include more countries in addition to the ones we have listed above. 

How do you celebrate the holiday season with your little learners? We would love to hear from you! Leave us a comment below. 

Looking for printable Christmas activities to do with your class? Visit the Super Teacher Worksheets Christmas page

Want to print out fun Hanukkah activities for your students? Check out the Super Teacher Worksheets Hanukkah page

Finally, be sure to browse the Super Teacher Worksheets Winter page to explore plenty of educational activities for the winter season. 

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