Kindergarten participated in Holidays Around the World during December.
The children traveled to Mexico, where they watched a video of a family preparing to host the party for Las Posadas. For this holiday families act out the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, looking for a place to stay (a Posada). Knocking on friends' doors, they sing special songs asking if there is room in the inn. Everyone says no room, until the last house. Finally, they find a place to stay, and everyone celebrates with lots of tamales, sweet bread, sparklers, a warm punch called Ponche and Pinatas. In Mexico, Las Posadas is celebrated for the 9 days leading up to Christmas.
They also traveled to Russia where Mrs. Black told them all about Grandfather Frost and his granddaughter. Did you know that families in Russia celebrate their holiday after the new year? The children visited Germany, where they learned that the idea of decorating gingerbread men originated there. They also saw what houses and German villages are decorated like this time of year.
The children also learned about the Hindu holiday of Diwali. The book The Diwali Gift explained some of the background and celebrations surrounding the Diwali holiday. They learned about the Rangoli and Diya, both important symbols of Diwali. The Diya earthen lamp is celebrated to mark the victory of good over evil and holds oil that burns during the celebration. Then the children visited Israel, where they learned about Hanukkah and the Festival of Lights. The children saw gelt, and learned about the dreidel, which many families use to play a game during their holiday celebrations. This year, Hanukkah started on December 2, and went until December 10th.