This time of year it’s easy to have a laser-like focus on your own family’s holiday traditions. But, this time of year there are a myriad of other holidays celebrated around the world and across cultures. In the dark days of winter, it is not surprising that many of these holidays involve light. Seasons of Light takes children on a journey around the world to explore Ramadan, Devali, Sankta Lucia, Los Posados, the First Nations’ tradition of the Winter Solstice, and of course, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.
The performance shows children not just the traditions involved in these holidays, but explains the reasoning behind the traditions. I learned a few new things myself, including discovering the wonderful Scandinavian holiday of Sankta Lucia during which children show their appreciation to their parents for all they have done for them throughout the year.
Seasons of Light is a highly interactive show. Children are asked to answer questions from the performers, volunteers are asked to help the actors portray various holiday traditions on stage, and children are given props to hold.
Seasons of Light is a great way to introduce even very young children to different holiday traditions in a way they can understand, as well as providing them with a deeper understanding of the holiday traditions practiced by their own families. Using light as a common theme between so many different holidays, shows a link across cultures and allows children to relate to others who may celebrate differently than they do this time of year.
Now in its 15th year, Seasons of Light is a popular show that also attracts large school groups. Buying tickets early is recommended as many shows sell out. Tickets are $6 per child ($10 on weekends) and $8 per adult ($12 on weekends). Smithsonian Associate Members and group ticket rates are also available. Please note that everyone must have a ticket to enter including kids under the age of two. (Their tickets are $3).
- Seasons of Light will be at the Ripley Center from December 2 to 20, 2013, Monday to Friday at 10:15am and 11:30am. There are additional 1pm performances on December 10, 17 and 18, 2013.
- The show runs about 45 minutes and is recommended for ages 5 to 10.
- Most of the available seating is on the floor so you may want to arrive a little early to grab a good spot. Some bleacher seating is available in the back and chairs are available on the sides. These seats also offer good views.
- Stroller parking is available in the theater.
- Discovery Theatre is located on the National Mall. Street parking is available, but it may be scarce so you may want to leave a little extra time to find a spot or consider taking the metro.
- Seasons of Light will also be at the Round House Theatre in Silver Spring on December 12 and 13, 2013.
Photo by Jamie Davis Smith.