Seasons and Celebrations

Community Celebrations

Community Celebrations by Education Librarian

Listed below are selected teacher resources, picture books, and non-fiction related to different community celebrations throughout the year.

Teacher Resources

Guide to Celebrations and Holidays Around the World

by Kathryn I. Matthew and Joy L. Lowe

Grades: K-6

This handbook contains materials, insights and suggestions for teaching children about holidays celebrated around the world, including Ramadan, Rosh Hashanah, Diwali, and more.

Multicultural projects index: Things to make and do to celebrate festivals, cultures, and holidays around the world

by Mary Anne Pilger

Grades: K-12

Created by a librarian, this guide lists a variety of books related to the world’s festivals, cultures, and holidays. Searchable by subject or by author.

The holiday handbook: 700+ storytime activities from Arbor Day to Yom Kippur…from Diwali to Kwanzaa to Ramadan

by Barbara A. Scott

Grades: K-3

Includes activities and information for over 30 holidays, including historical context, lists of relevant materials, finger plays, songs, and crafts.

Picture Books

Bringing in the New Year

written and illustrated by Grace Lin

Grades: K-2

Bringing in the New Year tells the tale of a Chinese American family as they prepare for the Lunar New Year. Each family member lends a hand as they sweep out the dust of the old year, hang decorations, and make dumplings. Then it’s time to celebrate!

Powwow dancing with family

written and illustrated by Perry Smith

Grades: 1-3

Drumming, singing, and dancing are all part of being at a Powwow. Perry and his family travel all over North America to participate in these family and community gatherings. Join Perry’s two boys as they share their treasured memories of being at Powwows with their family and learning how to dance. Includes a section on what is a Powwow? Powwow Regalia and Powwow Dances.

The dead family Diaz

written by P.J. Bracegirdle, pictures by Poly Bernatene

Grades: 1-4

Angelito Diaz is afraid of walking among the Living on the Day of the Dead, especially with his older sister, Estrellita, teasing him, but once in the Land of the Living, he quickly makes a new friend.


written by A.P. Porter, pictures by Janice Lee Porter

Grades: K-2

Filled with colorful illustrations, this book describes the African-American holiday of Kwanzaa, including its creation in 1966, its seven principles, and its symbolism.

Our eight nights of Hanukkah

written by Michael J. Rosen, illustrated by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan

Grades: K-3

A child describes how one family celebrates Hanukkah, including polishing the silver menorah, lighting the candles, having a special family dinner, and sharing gifts.


Canadian celebrations

by Susan Hughes

Grades: 1-3

It’s clear that Canada has a lot to celebrate: from First Nations powwows and potlatches, through the traditional festivities of the early settlers, up to the way we now mark birthdays and public holidays. Five brightly illustrated chapters cover National Aboriginal Day, Thanksgiving, Celebrate Canada (including Canada Day, Saint Jean-Baptiste Day, and Canadian Muticulturalism Day), the Calgary Stampede, and the Quebec Carnival. Part of the Canada close up series.

The autumn equinox: Celebrating the harvest

written by Ellen Jackson, illustrated by Jan Davey Elli

Grades: 3-5

Discusses the significance of some of the harvest festivals around the world and describes how they are celebrated.

New Year celebrations in different places

by Robin Jonson

Grades: K-3

Introduces readers to New Year celebrations around the world including Songkran, Chinese New Year, Rosh Hashanah, and Diwali. Part of the Learning about our global community series.

Orca Origins series

by various authors

Grades: 3-6

A nonfiction series for young readers exploring cultural celebrations throughout the world. Includes books on Diwali, Ramadan, Chinese New Year, Passover, Birthdays, and Christmas. A Teacher Guide for the series is also available.

Lighting our world: A year of celebrations

written by Catherine Rondina, illustrated by Jacqui Oakley

Grades: 2-5

Throughout the year and around the globe, people use light — candles, bonfires, lanterns and fireworks — to celebrate special occasions. This richly illustrated book is an illuminating tour of the world’s brightest and warmest festivities.

Finding More Resources

To find more resources in this area, try the following:

  • Search using the General tab on the UBC Library website to look for material in all UBC Library branches.
  • Search using “Search Education Resources” box in the left hand bar on the Education Library website to limit your results to materials in the Education Library.
  • Use specific search terms to narrow your results, such as “Holidays–Juvenile literature”, “Festivals–Juvenile literature”. Can also insert specific holidays or celebrations, such as “Chinese New Year–Juvenile fiction”.
  • To find lesson plans, include “lesson plans”, “lesson planning”, or “activity programs” in your search terms.

For more help with searching, please visit the Library Service Desk or e-mail

Story written by Education Librarian


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