Unfortunately, saying the word “Hanukkah” once a year and pointing out burkas in the airport just doesn't cut it. A true religious education requires context. Tolerance requires action. If you want your children to be interested in and respectful of those around them, you must knit a sense of interest and respect into your childrearing — today and throughout the year.
That's why major religious holidays are such fantastic vehicles for religious literacy. And the best part? Thanks to this here Holiday Cheat Sheet, you don't have to know a damn thing about any of them. We're one-stop shopping for on-the-go parents. Click on one of the links and in just a few minutes, you'll find out why that holiday exists, how it's celebrated and fun ways to convey its meanings to kids.
So stop letting those vaguely familiar-sounding holidays pass you by in a blur of Phineas and Ferb re-runs. Seize these small but wonderful opportunities to introduce your kids to religious concepts and figures — while also showing compassion for the people who hold these concepts and figures so dear.
Quick! What the Hell is Yom Kippur (Judaism)
Quick! What the Hell is Rosh Hashana? (Judaism)
Quick! What the Hell is Diwali? (Hinduism)
Quick! What the Hell is Hajj? (Islam)
Quick! What the Hell is Hanukkah? (Judaism)
Quick! What the Hell is Christmas? (Christianity)
Quick! What the Hell is Epiphany? (Christianity)
Quick: What the Hell is St. Valentine's Day? (Christianity)
Quick: What the Hell is Ash Wednesday? (Christianity)
Quick! What the Hell is Purim? (Judaism)
Quick! What the Hell is Easter? (Christianity)
Quick! What the Hell is Passover? (Judaism)
Quick! What the Hell is Vesak Day? (Buddhism)
Quick! What the Hell is Pentecost? (Christianity)
Quick! What the Hell is Ramadan? (Islam)
There's more to come, so please keep checking back!