Amanda brought in a book which had two stories inside. The first one was about Mooncake and Lantern festival which Amanda always celebrates with her grandmother. They eat different flavours of mooncakes. We had a discussion about mooncakes being eaten especially for mooncake festival, but that people also eat them at other times too. The second story was about Deepavali which Amanda remembered celebrating at school a few weeks ago.
Omer shared a video of his family celebrations at Hanukah. He helped to light one of the 8 candles on the menorah. We were wondering why there are 8 candles and why Hanukah is celebrated. Then we watched a second video from Omer which explained the story of an oil lamp miraculously lasting for 8 days when there was only enough oil for one. So Hanukah is celebrated for 8 days and each day another candle is lit.
Zahin showed use phots of Hari Raya when he celebrated in Malaysia with his family. He said they wear special clothes, go to the mosque and eat special foods including cookies with family. Hari Raya is celebrated at the end of the month of fasting (Ramadan).
Guangyuan shared about Chinese New Year which he celebrates with this family. They have fireworks and a reunion meal with family. We looked at some photos Guangyuan had brought in, including a lion dance. We discussed the wearing of red to scare away Nian and to bring good luck.
Gaku shared about a bean throwing festival on the last day of winter in Japan called Setsubun. People throw beans to get rid of evil and welcome good. You must also eat the same number of beans as your age.
Mrs Hayward brought a nativity scene to tell us the Christmas story - the reason for celebrating the Christian festival, Christmas.
Jiwoo, Ella and Siu's mum's came in for a lesson to show us the game Yut Nori, a traditional game played with sticks in Korea. Players move their counters round the playing board according to how many sticks land upside down after the are thrown up. Another turn is awarded if all 4 sticks land the same way.
Sophia told us about the mooncake festival which she celebrates. This is a Chinese festival. She showed us mooncakes and said they represent the full moon which is why people eat them. Sophia also showed a lantern that is used for decoration because it looks like the full moon. We wanted to know more about the beliefs and reasons for celebrating so did some research and found a story about mid-autumn festival online.
Keshav talked about Pongal which is a Hindu celebration that he wears traditional clothes for. He said there are similarities with Christmas because you get a present, but it is different because your parents give the presents not Santa. We wanted to know why Pongal is celebrated so found a story about the roots of the festival coming from a harvest celebration.
Mikhail told us about birthday celebrations in his family. They always have a cake, play games and sometimes have a treasure hunt. He said celebrating with everyone in the family is important.
Swini shared in more detail about her Deepavali celebrations when she was in India. She showed photos of traditional clothes, the rangoli her mum made and all the fireworks.
Siu presented photos on a slideshow about a special celebration in Korea for a baby's first birthday. The celebration is called Doljanchi. The baby wears traditional clothes called Hanbok. Ella and Jiwoo talked about the tradition of getting the baby to reach for a present and this predicts what job they might do in the future.
Jiwoo told us about Korean New Year. People wear Hanbok and eat special rice cake soup. She showed us a video of herself doing a traditional Korean bow which all the children do to show respect to their elders. Jiwoo told us some traditional Korean games which people play at Korean New Year, we hope try out Yut Nori (a game with 4 sticks) next week.
Sota told us about children's day in Japan which is celebrated on 5th May. He showed us a picture of the special armour helmet that boys are presented with. Each year they add decorations to it. It is believed this brings safety for the boys. Carp kites are flown too, these represent the strength of a carp swimming upstream and are believed to bring success for the boys.
Ella also spoke about Korean New Year and that this is the day when children celebrate their birthday and turn a year older. Ella taught us a dance that people do on this day. We had fun learning it.