Program Details

Children's Day


December 21 / 10:00 AM - December 21 / 1:00 PM

Join us on December 21st - something for people of all ages - young and old! 



Our Shambhala community has a tradition of celebrating the changes of season. These special days of celebration are called nyida days - from nyima ("sun") and dawa ("moon"). Nyida days occur on or near the days of the spring and autumn equinoxes and the summer and winter solstices.

Our celebration of the winter solstice has its roots in many different cultures. Children's Day is inspired by the pagan celebrations of mid-winter as well as two Japanese holidays honoring children: Boy's Day and Doll's Day. Each spring on these two days, boys and girls of a certain age are presented to the temple and honored with special gifts. At the heart of our Children's Day festivities is the shrine joining heaven and earth that includes representation of the dignity of the family, the joy and creativity of the youthful heart, and celebration of the senses.

While all nyida days are regarded as family-oriented occasions, Children’s Day provides an opportunity to express appreciation for and with our children. Our sangha is our village, our clan, our family. In that context, we all share responsibility for as well as delighting in children. We celebrate them and the Great Eastern Sun at the darkest time of the year, with open-hearth parties and cheerful festivities. Because this solstice marks the time of year when the daylight has waned and the night is longest, light is a special characteristic of this holiday.

This year’s celebration will include activities for both adults and children:  puppet making, creating crowns and suns, and some lovely story-telling. Next, we will enjoy a Lhasong and the traditional Children’s Blessing. We will conclude with oath taking and singing to be followed by sharing a celebratory meal.

Please register for this event by 12/19/13 so that we can be sure to provide the right amount of food.

Go to Chicago's website