If you come by room 306 you will see what we have been up to in V44. What have we been up to? Well we have been learning about Buon Natale or Christmas in Italy. As you may know in Italy they eat a lot of pizza and macaroni. Here some ways they celebrate Christmas in Italy.
In Italy a very religious and catholic country the Nativity is a major symbol of Christmas time. You see pictures and statues of the Christ child’s Birth everywhere. They consist of figurines, in clay or plaster , of the infant Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
In the United States you are familiar with Santa Claus or St. Nick. He comes down the Chimney and brings presents to good people. Not so in Italy.
In our class we read a book Christmas Strega Nona.It is based on the story of the Befana. In the book Strega Nona a witch has magic. It is Christmas Eve and Strega Nona did not want to use her magic, because she felt Christmas had it’s own magic. She tells her nephew Big Anthony to do chores for her. But he does not do them. This makes Strega Nona very upset because now they cannot have their Christmas Celebration. So Strega Nona goes to mass and she lets every one know that she will not be having the annual Christmas feast. She returns home and everybody surprises her with a beautiful Christmas feast that Anthony put together. Strega Nona is surprised at how thoughtful Big Anthony was.
This story comes from an ancient tradition in Italy. The tradition of La Befana. It is said that Befana lived in the town of Aosta in Northern Italy. The story of La Befana says that Befana an old women or witch is working very hard. They call her Busy Befana. She cleans her house and bakes all kinds of treats. She works all day.
When Christ is born, The Three kings pass her house on the way to Bethelehem to see the Christ child. They invite her to take the journey with them to find the Christ Child. She says she is too busy. Sweeping Constantly.
She goes to find the three kings and angels come and help her fly. She brings her baked gifts to all the good children and looks for the three wise men. To the bad children she brings coal and ashes. Now every year in Italy the good and bad children wait for the Befana, their version of Santa Claus.
We are learning about Christmas in Spain. We did some research about Christmas in Spain. In Spain they have a tradition called the Hogueras. This takes place on December 21st. This is an old tradition. In it people jump over small fires on the Winter Solstice the shortest day of the year. They believe this will prevent illness and sickness for the long winter ahead. The fire blesses them for the Winter.
Spain is a catholic country so they are very religious. On Christmas Eve they ring the bells telling everyone to go to Church. This is the mass of Rooster.
The most beautiful of the Candlelit service is in the monastery of Montseratin the high mountains of Barcelona. They also do a Nativity scene that has the baby Jesus in it. The Spanish word for it is Nacimiento.In Barcelona they bring lit candles to the mass. The Spanish call this Mass La Misa Regallo.
Then comes Christmas dinner and it is never eaten until way after midnight, the people do not eat food all day, they fast until the midnight meal. Click on the Christmas quilt to hear a Spanish Christmas carol
After the meal they sing Christmas carols. They sing until the early morning hours. Christmas Day is spent at Church and feasts.
On the right side of this blog I am in the process of posting links to research Winter Holidays Around the world for our Multi-cultural holiday celebration. . If you don’t see your country of choice please let me know.
This is also an invitation to all teachers to guest post about the countries Holiday that their class is studying. You could write a group piece with your class, take photos of your class making something, or even create a podcast/vodcast of your class exploring their countries holiday celebration.