Christmas Around the World

We will celebrate Christmas Around the World. This will be our first year doing this (2005). Here is a list below of the Countries and projects we will do with each:

I will add photos as we learn about each tradition and complete our projects.

Christmas in Finland:

The highlight of the evening is of course when Santa knocks on the door. His words are always the same: "Are there any well behaved children here?" Naturally, in every home there are only good children and they all receive presents.(make door display with Santa knocking on door asking "Are there any well behaved children here?”…have the children make word bubbles saying…Yes!)

Christmas in Germany:

According to legend, on Christmas Eve in Germany rivers turn to wine, animals speak to each other, tree blossoms bear fruit, mountains open up to reveal precious gems, and church bells can be heard ringing from the bottom of the sea. Of course, only the pure in heart can witness this Christmas magic. All others must content themselves with traditional German celebrating, of which there is plenty. As a matter of fact, there is so much celebrating that is has to begin on December 6th, St. Nicholas Day.

As in many other European countries, on the eve of Dec. 6th children place a shoe or boot by the fireplace. During the night, St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children, hops from house to house carrying a book of sins in which all of the misdeeds of the children are written. If they have been good, he fills the shoe or boot with delicious holiday edibles. If they have not been good, their shoe is filled with twigs.(on the 5th-students will help teachers make a fireplace in the classroom hanging from the countertop; on the 6th-students will design their own boots to stick under the fireplace…they will get a small treat in their boot! [provided as a donation from a parent])

Christmas in Mexico:

Nochebuena, the Mexican name of the flower English-speakers call poinsettia, was discovered in Taxco and the valleys surrounding Cuernavaca. Prized in the prehispanic era for the curative properties of the milk that dripped from the leaves, stems and flowers when cut, the pigment from the red leaves was also used to dye cotton fibers. (children will decorate their own poinsettia-with glitter)

Christmas in China:

Christians in China celebrate by lighting their houses with beautiful paper lanterns and decorating their Christmas trees, which they call "Trees of Light," with paper chains, paper flowers, and paper lanterns. Chinese Children hang muslin stockings and await a visit from Santa Claus, whom they call Dun Che Lao Ren (dwyn-chuh-lau-oh-run) which means "Christmas Old Man." (students will make paper chains to hang around the room and on the tree).

Christmas in Canada:

Also in Nova Scotia, during the twelve days of Christmas small groups of belsnicklers, or masked mummers, appear in neighborhoods, ringing bells, making noise, seeking candy or other treats. The hosts may try to guess who the mummers are and if they guess right the mummer removes his or her disguise and stops making rude noises and actions. (Children will make masks on the 1st, then use the masks on the 2nd to dance around and ring bells; then, have children guess who each other are with masks on).

Christmas in Africa –Kwanzaa:

On December 26th African Americans celebrate with Kwanzaa, a holiday that originated at the time of the civil rights movement in the 1960's and is in commemoration of African heritage. Created as a ritual for harvest time and using the language Swahili, Kwanzaa lasts a week during which participants gather with family and friends to exchange gifts and to light a series of black, red and green candles which symbolize the seven basic values of the African Americans family life that is unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. (children will make candles to represent the 7 Principles of Kwanzaa- 3 green, one black, 3 red)

Umoja or Unity
Kujichagulia or Self-Determination
Ujima or Collective Work and Responsibility
Ujamma or Cooperative Economics
Nia or Purpose
Kuumba or Creativity
Imani or Faith

Christmas in Ukraine:

In the Ukraine, Father Frost visits all the children in a sleigh pulled by only three reindeer. He brings along a little girl named Snowflake Girl. She wears a silver blue costume trimmed with white fur and a crown shaped like a snowflake. (Children will decorate a crown shaped like a snowflake for the Snowflake Girl)

Christmas in Sweden:

Christmas begins in Sweden with the Saint Lucia ceremony. Before dawn on the morning of 13 December, the youngest daughter from each family puts on a white robe with a red sash. She wears a crown of evergreens with tall-lighted candles attached to it. She wakes her parents, and serves them with coffee and Lucia buns. The other children accompany her. The boys dressed as star boys in long white shirts and pointed hats.

The custom goes back to Lucia, a Christian virgin martyred for her beliefs at Syracuse in the fourth century. The Saint Lucia ceremony is fairly recent, but it represents the traditional thanksgiving for the return of the sun. Often she is followed by star boys, who wear pointed hats, and carry star wands. Candle-lit processions to Church feature Scandinavian Christmases, where, in the home, it is mother who always lights the candles on Christmas Eve. (9th -Children will make a stat wand as mentioned in the tradition for the star boys; 12th –children will design pointed hats as mentioned).

Christmas in Ireland:

Lighted candles are placed in windows on Christmas Eve, as a guide that Joseph and Mary might be looking for shelter. The candles are usually red in color, and decorated with sprigs of holly. (13th – children will make red candles out of paper; –they will make holly for the candle; hang in windows)

Christmas in United States of America:

Singing Christmas Carols (sing Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, We Wish You a Merry Christmas…etc…)


Meenas Graphics