Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas Celebrations Around the World

We continued to learn about different traditions in other countries around the world and how we use those traditions in our homes today. One of my favorite stories is The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tommie dePaola. It is about a little girl that learns that any gift you give should be cherished. This story took place in a village in Mexico and the kids learned about the “weed” that grows in Mexico and how this “weed” is now seen in our stores, homes, churches, etc…and how beautiful the poinsettia is.

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We also read another story by Tommie dePaola called The Legend of Old Befana. It is about an old lady that was very lonely and didn’t have any friends. She also swept her home and porch every day several times. She was woken one evening when a bright star appeared in her sky. Then a procession began outside her home. She found out that they were following the bright star and looking for the “new king”. Old Befana began to bake and decided to follow the procession and would go and sweep out the home of the “new king” and take gifts of baked breads to the family. It is said that Old Befana is still looking for the “baby king” today and in Italy this is a tale that is told to the children about how gifts were brought to them and how Old Befana leaves those gifts and sweeps and cleans their rooms.

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Another tradition we learned about was from the country of Sweden. We learned about St. Lucia day and how the people of Sweden celebrate with the oldest daughter bringing a tray of Lucia rolls on the morning of December 13 to celebrate the start of their holiday season. She would wear a crown of candles on her head when she serves her family.

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