731. In China, the Dongzhi Festival is a Winter Solstice festival in which people eat brightly colored rice balls and worship their ancestors. Which of your ancestors might you want to honor during such a holiday and why? Do you think it's important to remember your family's past? Why or why not?
732. Sadeh, a Persian festival, celebrates fire and its ability to keep away frost, cold, and dark. How important might fire have been in your life if you lived over 100 years ago and why? Does fire still play a role in your life today? Why or why not?
733. On January 13, some Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Russian cultures celebrate Malanka, a night of playing pranks, acting out plays, and dressing men in women's clothing. What would such a festival be like in your neighborhood? Would you enjoy it? Why or why not?
734. Canada's Quebec City holds a Winter Carnival every February that is filled with music, art, parades and dogsled races. What would your life be like if you needed a dogsled to get to school every day? How would you take care of the dogs? What would your sled look like?
735. One of the largest international snow sculpture contests can be found on Japan's Hokkaido island in the city of Sapporo every February. If you wanted to win the Yuki Matsuri contest, what would you build and why? Who would you recruit to help you?
736. Up Helly Aa is a winter festival held in the Shetland Islands, United Kingdom, in which residents dress up like Vikings and burn down a replica ancient ship. Imagine you could bring a real Viking from the past to see this festival. What might he think about it and why?
737. During the winter, Siberia's 400-mile Lake Baikal completely freezes over, giving way to major festivals taking part on top of the ice. If all of the water in the world froze over for a week and you could travel anywhere by car or bus, where would you go and why? What would it be like traveling on the slick, icy, former lakes, rivers, and oceans?
738. In France, the story of Santa Claus is slightly different: children put out their shoes to collect presents and add beet greens to feed the donkey that Santa rides. Would you want to try out how different cultures celebrate Christmas and other holidays? Why or why not?
739. The winter holiday Bodhi Day, a part of Buddhist cultures, is less about food and celebrations and more about sitting and thinking. What kind of ideas could you come up with if you sat and thought more often? Do you think it's important to have some quiet time to yourself? Why or why not?740. Diwali is a major holiday in India that includes a festival of lights, food, and other celebrations. The winter holiday is celebrated in different ways depending on what region of India you live in. What tweaks would you add to American winter holidays if you had a choice? Would these changes catch on? Why or why not?
Use the above prompts or article as inspiration to write a story or other short piece.