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Celebrating in Space

Recommended for: Ages 5 and up

Badges: Ready for Space, Space & the Present, Global Cultures

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During the holidays, every family has their own traditions. Holidays are a time for people to come together. Sometimes you aren't able to be with your family and friends in person. Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) are far away from their homes. They are 240 miles (on average) above the earth's surface! Astronauts typically live and work on the ISS for an average of 6 months. During their time in space, they might miss holidays taking place on earth. In this activity, learn about how astronauts celebrate holidays on the international space station and invent your own space-themed holiday.


You Will Need


  • Paper - construction paper or colored paper is best! 

  • Pencil crayons, crayons, or markers 

  • Stickers





On December 22, 2019, Astronaut Jessica Meir celebrated Hanukkah on the International Space Station. She celebrated by wearing socks adorned with menorahs and representations of the Star of David. She snapped a photo in the Cupola (an observatory module on the space station) of her socks with the earth in the background. While this celebration was not traditional, Jessica adapted her holiday for being in space. 

The International Space Station has astronauts from all over the world. These Astronauts celebrate different holidays. Explore these videos and photos to see how some astronauts have celebrated holidays while living and working in space.  


Astronauts Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson celebrated Fourth of July in 2017. 


What do you see in this photo?

How did they celebrate?  

Astronauts Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts celebrated New Years in 2015. 


How many times did they celebrate? Why?

Astronauts Christina Koch, Jessica Meir, and Andrew Morgan celebrate Thanksgiving in 2019.


When the astronauts think of Thanksgiving, what do they think of?

What food will they be having for their Thanksgiving dinner?



Think about your favorite holiday. What special traditions do you have? What special food do you eat?

Do you have any special objects that you only use during this holiday?  

How would you adapt this holiday if you were on the International Space Station?




Imagine you are in the future. Humans have found a way to travel through space. We have found new planets to live on. You and your family discovered a new planet and have colonized it. To celebrate your new planet, you will create a new holiday. 


Think About


  • What will you call this holiday? 

  • When will this holiday take place? How long will it last? 

  • How will you celebrate? Will you have presents? Do acts of kindness? Have a parade? 

  • What special traditions will you include? Will you borrow traditions from holidays that already exist? Or will you create new traditions? 

  • What kind of food will you include? 

  • Will there be special ornaments? Dinnerware? Clothes?

  • How do people greet each other during the holiday? 




Design a holiday card for your new holiday to send home to Earth. 




Want to complete this task towards collecting a Wondernaut badge? Share with the Wondernaut community by posting some or all of the below:

  1. Tell us about your favorite holiday and the special traditions that you have. 

  2. Tell us about the holiday that you invented to celebrate your new planet. How do people celebrate this new holiday? Were you inspired by other holidays on earth? 

  3. Share your holiday card for your new holiday. 

Ready to share? Head here!

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