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All About the Holidays

All About the Holidays

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Why do people wear Halloween costumes, celebrate Christmas in December, or choose valentines in February? These familiar traditions have fascinating and sometimes surprising origins. Get to know the history and significance behind these holidays.

Old-fashioned radio rests on a wooden ledge next to a plate of Christmas tree and smiley faces cookies.
All About the Holidays
Episode
57 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Young adults in caps and gowns cheer and stand beneath banners that read, "College" and "High School." Caption. College and high school groups receive their diplomas.
All About the Holidays
Episode
1 minutes 35 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Still image from: All About the Holidays: Martin Luther King Jr Day (Spanish)
All About the Holidays
Episode
1 minutes 25 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Shofar superimposed over the image of an ornate synagogue sanctuary with light streaming in. Title card reads, "Shofar." Caption. Is blown 100 times to celebrate the story of creation.
All About the Holidays
Episode 1
1 minutes 7 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Digital illustration of a post and lintel streaked with red. Pyramid structures and moon in background. Caption. So the plague would pass over them.
All About the Holidays
Episode 2
1 minutes 26 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Crowd of people wearing dirndls and lederhosen cheer in foreground. Old map and portrait of nineteenth-century couple in background. Caption. The 40,000 guests had such a good time.
All About the Holidays
Episode 3
1 minutes 28 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Closeup of a wooden Kwanzaa kinara with red, green and black candles. Heap of fruits and vegetables fills background.
All About the Holidays
Episode 4
1 minutes 1 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Digital illustration of Jesus Christ framed by a golden halo and standing in the doorway of a tomb. Caption. Christians believe Jesus Christ came back to life.
All About the Holidays
Episode 5
1 minutes 51 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Collage of two figures with exaggerated heads wearing Celtic costumes and standing in a field beneath a stormy sky. Bare trees scattered in background.
All About the Holidays
Episode 6
53 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
A gold menorah lit with flames superimposed in front of a mud brick wall with a doorway framing the moon.
All About the Holidays
Episode 7
58 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Series of blue toned illustrations depicting stories of Hindu deities and demons. Caption. It began as an ancient Hindu celebration.
All About the Holidays
Episode 8
1 minutes 21 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Aerial view. Rows of flaming clay lamps fill frame. Title card reads, "Diyas." Caption. Diwali is named after the clay lamps, or diyas.
All About the Holidays
Episode 9
1 minutes 46 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Collaged illustration. Queen Esther wears a purple dress and gestures towards King Haman who wears a red robe and gold hat. Caption. And persuaded the king to ignore the decree.
All About the Holidays
Episode 11
1 minutes 22 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Mottled gold image of a Buddha statue that blends into gold background. Title card reads, "Buddha Purnima. Buddha Day." Caption. Also known as Buddha Purnima, or Buddha day.
All About the Holidays
Episode 12
1 minutes 37 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Digital illustration of a green chalkboard against a white brick backdrop. Side view of the human brain is drawn in white on chalkboard.
All About the Holidays
Episode 13
1 minutes 21 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
2 individuals in uniform face away from camera and salute an image of George Washington. An American flag fills the background. Superimposed title card reads, "1880s."
All About the Holidays
Episode 14
58 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Crayons rest on child's drawing of a man holding a girl's hand. To the right is a photo of man holding a boy next to a senior man with his arm around them. Caption. Celebrating Father's Day was inspired from Mother's Day.
All About the Holidays
Episode 15
1 minutes 13 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Sepia toned image of a cemetery lined with rows of blank headstones. Title bar reads, "May 30, 1838."
All About the Holidays
Episode 16
1 minutes 21 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Title card reads, "Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras." Blurry image of man standing behind a table laden with food in background. Caption. The English translation of Mardi Gras from French.
All About the Holidays
Episode 17
1 minutes 36 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Rectangle with two boxes. One labeled, "Yes," has a check mark and the other labeled, "No" is empty. American flag backdrop. Caption. Voting is a powerful right and important responsibility.
All About the Holidays
Episode 18
1 minutes 14 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Rendering of a tattered Betsy Ross flag with circle of stars in the upper left corner and faded red and white stripes.
All About the Holidays
Episode 19
1 minutes 5 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Earth in space with cutouts of people standing around the circumference, hands extended towards each other. Caption: to cherish and protect our planet.
All About the Holidays
Episode 20
1 minutes 44 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Collage with image of Grover Cleveland emerging from U, S Capitol building and holding a sign that reads, "Labor Day." American flag waves from each side. Caption. As a national holiday in September to honor workers.
All About the Holidays
Episode 21
1 minutes 23 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Group of young children smile and look toward camera. Caption. A great school year begins with a great mental attitude.
All About the Holidays
Episode 22
1 minutes 19 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Collage of men and women in military uniform standing below a document titled, "Veteran's Day." Image of Congress in session as backdrop. Caption. To recognize all soldiers who serve in war and peace.
All About the Holidays
Episode 23
1 minutes 9 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Groundhog peeking up from hole in the ground with sun behind him so that shadow is visible to him. Caption: if Phil sees his shadow, we get six more weeks of winter.
All About the Holidays
Episode 24
1 minutes 24 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Man in suit with eyes bulging and lips pursed raises tensed hands in the air.
All About the Holidays
Episode 26
1 minutes 37 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Family smiles at camera with synagogue sanctuary in background. Caption. They'll go to their synagogues for special prayers.
All About the Holidays
Episode 27
1 minutes 12 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Collaged illustration of Revolutionary War soldiers manning cannons. A map as backdrop. Caption. Male as Narrator. The third Monday in April is Patriot's Day.
All About the Holidays
Episode 28
1 minutes 44 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Woman in army uniform smiles at girl. Image superimposed over lace-edged heart with pink bow. Caption. To celebrate all the mothers in their lives.
All About the Holidays
Episode 29
1 minutes 28 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Illustration of the Earth from space with the equator marked on the globe. Caption: May Day honors the arrival of spring.
All About the Holidays
Episode 30
1 minutes 25 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Portrait of Columbus in a gold frame with map as backdrop. Caption. Probably the only holiday celebrating a big goof-up.
All About the Holidays
Episode 31
1 minutes 2 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
A tree in the four seasons - spring buds, green summer foliage, orange and yellow autumn leaves, and bare winter branches with snow. Caption: Why do we have seasons?
All About the Holidays
Episode 32
1 minutes 33 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Color illustration of ancient Aztec people honoring loved ones who have passed away. Caption. The Day of the Dead began over 3,000 years ago.
All About the Holidays
Episode 33
1 minutes 42 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Illustration of a man wearing a waistcoat, hands on hips, standing next to a tree. Caption: The father of Arbor Day was J. Sterling Morton,
All About the Holidays
Episode 34
1 minutes 31 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Collage. Mexican soldiers beneath Mexican flag labeled, "2,000," march towards French soldiers beneath French flag labeled, "6,000." Map as backdrop. Caption. An underdog force of about 2,000 loyal Mexicans defeated them.
All About the Holidays
Episode 35
1 minutes 19 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Digital illustration of green topographical map with brown cutouts of the human figure marking various locations. Caption. It honors the indigenous people who lived on the land.
All About the Holidays
Episode 36
1 minutes 28 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Smiling men and women stand in staggered positions. Backdrop of a chalkboard in a classroom setting. Caption. Honoring all our teachers.
All About the Holidays
Episode 37
1 minutes 33 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Zulu man beats drum in foreground while giraffes stand in background. Caption. The Inuit in the Arctic regions, and the Zulu in South Africa.
All About the Holidays
Episode 38
1 minutes 39 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Rendering of Martin Luther King, Jr. standing behind a pulpit in a church setting. Caption. Dr. King spoke out against racial discrimination.
All About the Holidays
Episode 39
1 minutes 25 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Old western building in background framed by plumes of smoke in foreground. Texas flag flies high in sky. Caption. The Texians rebelled and declared independence.
All About the Holidays
Episode 40
1 minutes 23 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Digital rendering of neoclassical buildings scattered across a map of the United States. Text at bottom reads, "16,000." Caption. Today there are more than 16,000 public libraries.
All About the Holidays
Episode 41
1 minutes 26 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Women in diverse traditional clothing stand at various positions on a map of the world. Caption. It's a day we honor women everywhere in the world.
All About the Holidays
Episode 42
1 minutes 42 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Illustration of a man standing at a podium with the seal of the President of the United States of America on it while gesturing towards a plane flying in the sky pulling a banner that says, "National Aviation Day". Caption: established National Aviation Day on August 19
All About the Holidays
Episode 43
1 minutes 15 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Woman smiles with hands on hips in front of a blackboard. Children face her in a classroom setting. Caption. Depending on when school starts, it falls in January or February.
All About the Holidays
Episode 44
1 minutes 15 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Woman wearing a toga holds out a whoopie cushion next to man wearing a toga holding masquerade glasses over his eyes. Backdrop displays Coliseum. Title bar reads, "Hilaria Festival." Caption. Ancient Romans marked the start of spring near April 1.
All About the Holidays
Episode 45
1 minutes
Grade Level: 4 - 12
Aerial view of crowds lined up for prayer in front of illuminated mosque.
All About the Holidays
Episode 46
1 minutes 42 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Split image of bright sunny day and night sky with equal sign in the middle. Caption: because, at those times, the day is exactly equal to the night.
All About the Holidays
Episode 47
1 minutes 24 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Collage displaying photos of influential women with female symbol superimposed over images. Caption. As scientists, inventors, artists, politicians, and more.
All About the Holidays
Episode 48
1 minutes 27 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Close up of hand with finger pointing towards viewer beneath a banner that reads, "International Youth Day." City skyline in background. Caption. To honor kids like you.
All About the Holidays
Episode 49
1 minutes 21 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8