This weekend I participated in a celebration honoring the High School graduation of a family friend. The family is originally from Kenya and they made a big deal out of marking this milestone. Not by massive spending or a guest list hundreds long, but in being intentional about honoring the hard work invested and the trials that had been overcome by both the graduate and the parents. The guests were asked to share words of wisdom to encourage and prepare her for what lies ahead in college. As I was recounting the celebration to my son, I acknowledged that I have not led well over the years in marking significant events for the family and I intend to change my practice. These cultural traditions add a beauty and complexity to the human experience as we learn the significance and practice of people groups different than our own. I have seen the pomp and circumstance of the Changing Of The Guard at Buckingham Palace, the celebration of New Years in Times Square, the sobering stride at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery and been to see the Blarney Stone, but too afraid to actually kiss it. These traditions and ceremonies bring history forward to today and encourage connection with the past.
What traditions have you participated in? What have you witnessed? What traditions or ceremony do you want to see? What traditions have you started? What are your favorite celebrations?