What is a tradition?


Are there certain foods your family eats every New Year? What about special greetings for birthdays, or songs to sing on rainy night? If so, you might be practicing a tradition!

Traditions are practices and beliefs that are passed down between generations of a certain family, culture, or other group. Lots of holidays are associated with traditions, such as watching fireworks on the 4th of July or eating turkey on Thanksgiving. Unlike laws and rules, which we have to observe for our safety and well-being, traditions are usually things we do by choice because they are customary and meaningful. Most traditions are enjoyable things that help people to observe an occasion or feel unified with a certain group, such as their religion, team, or fellow citizens.

The word tradition also implies that a certain practice has been around for some time and is observed regularly. The tradition for a culture to eat specific foods, for example, usually goes back to parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and beyond! However, new traditions are made all the time and sometimes even replace old traditions. For something to become a tradition, it just has to be done once, and then done again and again after that!


What are some traditions observed in your family? For example, maybe you have special clothes or colors that you always wear on certain holidays. You might also have specific foods that you eat or ways to cook which stem from the history of where your family is from. Some families also have special sayings or songs that they traditionally use for certain events. Think about some of the traditions you practice that you enjoy the most. What makes them so special??