When I was a kid, I loved making popcorn and cranberry chains for holiday decorating. Many families make this style of decoration for Christmas trees, but my family used them to celebrate Sukkot with our community. Sukkot is a Jewish holiday that takes place around the time of the harvest. To celebrate, families build a sukkah, which is a booth that usually has less than four walls and a ceiling that allows you to see the sky. During the holiday, families eat and sometimes sleep in the sukkah and remember the time when the Jews were fleeing Egypt and stayed in similar shelters. You might remember this story if you've celebrated Passover! Many families also use this time to think about nature, the harvest and the importance of welcoming guests. The sukkah is built with an open wall to invite others to join us for meals and songs and celebration of Sukkot.
Pick up one of these picture books to see how fictional families celebrate this fun fall holiday.
When Marcus and his family move to Shanghai from Berlin, Marcus has to make new friends and learn new traditions. Fortunately, his new friends help him with his old traditions and together they build a Shanghai Sukkah.
What will Leah do when she has no space to build a sukkah? Fortunately, she and her classmates find a way to make Sky-high Sukkah together on someone's roof.
The Mysterious Guests: This tale of generosity during sukkot features unexpected biblical guests with magical powers.
Night Lights: If you sleep in the sukkah, it might get dark and it might feel scary without a night light in the dark. But if you look up, you might find nature's best night lights to help you drift off!
If you're inspired to build a sukkah, you can start with a mini sukkah built out of graham crackers, pretzel sticks and icing. Or use LEGO bricks. Don't forget to leave spaces in the roof to see the sky (or the ceiling)!