The Animals' Holidays and Festivities

The woodland friends of Hazel Village celebrate many holidays each year. Some may be familiar to you, while others are of the animals’ own invention. We hope you will enjoy reading all about them in this blog post! 


January 1st
New Year’s Day

Snug in their forest homes, the animals reflect on the friends they made and the adventures they had in the year gone by. They tidy up their cottages and vigorously shake rattles full of beans to celebrate the potential of the new year.

Lewis Toad tidies the Lodge for the New Year


February 14th
Valentine’s Day

The animals make valentines for one another, which Oliver Mouse delivers in his capacity as mail carrier. You can read about Oliver on Valentine’s Day in our two-part blog post from 2016: Valentines Part 1 and Valentines Part 2.

Gwendolyn Raccoon and Nicholas Bear Cub exchange valentines


March 7th
Wake-Up Day

When spring begins to spring, the animals play their noisiest instruments to wake up their hibernating friends. They sing, just as loud as can be: “WAKE UP! WAKE UP! TIME TO WAKE UP!” You can learn more about the Wake-Up Day Band in our craft tutorials for the animals’ instruments: How to Make a Drum and How to Make a Bell.

The animals playing in their Wake-Up Day band


March 21st (Spring Equinox)
Bird Parade North

During the spring & autumnal equinoxes, the Villagers like to dress up like birds and march in the Bird Parade. In the spring they march north while calling out to welcome the birds, who are flying overhead as they return from their winter journeys.

Nicholas Bear Cub wearing a pelican hat (2021)


Late March or early April (the first full moon after the spring equinox)
Egg Day

First, each animal gets ready by decorating an egg. Then they draw straws to see who will be the Egg Day Bunny. (This is a ceremonial title and not exclusive to actual bunnies.) The Egg Day Bunny hides the eggs overnight, and whoever finds the most eggs in the morning gets a prize. The Egg Day Bunny always wears a special garment: the Egg Day Honorary Egg Sash. See how Zoe Rabbit made her Egg Day sash in our craft tutorial here.

Zoe Rabbit hiding an egg in her official duty as Egg Day Bunny


April 28th
Shad Festival

The animals make beautiful shad banners out of fabric, paper, ribbons, and twinkly stuff. (A shad is a kind of fish, in case you didn't know.) The animals hang the banners out in front of their houses and on trees, and they billow in the spring breezes and inspire the shad to swim up their stream. Gracie Cat especially looks forward to the Shad Festival, because for her it means a tasty fish fry.


May 1st
May Day

To celebrate that summer is on its way, the animals make wildflower garlands and dance around a Maypole. There is much festooning of ribbons. May Day is Emma Rabbit’s favorite holiday – she collects ribbons all year long, and teaches special May Day dances to the other animals.

Emma Rabbit leading the animals in a Maypole dance


Summer Solstice, June 21st 
Firefly Ball

On the shortest night of the year, the animals gather to watch the fireflies twinkling among the meadow grasses and treetops. They have a forest party with twinkly lanterns, music, and dances. Phoebe Fawn has composed a book of songs for the occasion.

Phoebe Fawn admires the industrious twinkles of her firefly friends


Fruit and Nut Festivals

There are many throughout the summer and fall. When the type of fruit is ripe or the type of nut is ready to harvest, the animals spend a day going out to pick it, then another day making it into jam, pies, etc. Extra appreciation if you dress alike to that thing.

Here are some fruits and nuts that the animals celebrate, and the month in which these festivities usually occur:

  • Strawberries (May or June)
  • Juneberries (June)
  • Cherries (June) 
  • Blueberries (June)
  • Raspberries (July)
  • Peaches (August)
  • Blackberries (August)
  • Hazelnuts (August)
  • Apples and pears (September)
  • Walnuts and chestnuts (October)

At the Strawberry Festival each year, the Grand Strawberry Crown is worn by the animal who finds the biggest berry of the season. 


Fall Equinox, September 23rd
Bird Parade South

In the autumn, the animals dress up like birds and march south in the Bird Parade. They scatter birdseed and perform their best birdcalls. That way, the birds who are flying overhead can have a little snack, and a helpful guide of which way to fly.

Oliver Mouse dressed up like a bluebird (2021)


Early November
Squash Festival

The Villagers harvest all the late season vegetables and make a huge pile. Some vegetables will be preserved for the winter; others will be cooked up right away and eaten together to celebrate the year’s harvest. Everyone says what they are thankful for, and then hibernating friends go to bed.

Lucas Rabbit wearing a Squash Festival commemorative sweater (2019)


Winter Solstice, December 22nd
The Icicle's First Twinkle
(sometimes referred to as Twinkle Day)

On the longest night of the year, when pond is cold enough to skate on, the animals have a twinkly lantern ball. Then they stay up all night long in the Lodge, drinking cocoa and singing songs. They take turns sneaking outside to the Present Tree, to decorate it with beautiful decorations, birdseed treats, and presents for their friends. In the morning when the sun comes up, they open their presents together.


Annicke Mouse decorates the Present Tree


Those are all of the animals' holidays, so far as we know! Thank you for reading, friend. If you would like to learn more about life in Hazel Village, we highly recommend our storybook, The Gifts of the Year. Written and illustrated by our head elf Jane, the book follows Gwendolyn Raccoon and her woodland animal friends as they enjoy every season in Hazel Village. They celebrate holidays; harvest the treasures of field and forest; and make nice presents for their friends.

You might also like:

A Tour of Hazel Village

Baking with Gracie Cat

If you have any questions or just want to say hi, you can always reach us by email at