Because your Montessori preschool puts a lot of focus on diversity and culture, the holiday season is a great time to explore the diversity of the holiday season. Christmas is a festive time in many parts of the world, but not every country celebrates in the same way. An exciting and educational Christmas activity is to take a look at the most popular traditions from different parts of the world.
Festival of LanternsYour preschool student will love to learn about the Festival of Lanterns, an annual tradition in the Philippines. Individuals and groups try to build the best and biggest lanterns, and building the lanterns are most of the fun. At home or in class, Montessori children will enjoy making lanterns of their own and displaying them for family and visitors.
Krampus and St. NikolasIn Austria, St. Nick has a sort of evil twin named Krampus. As St. Nikolas is giving treats and small gifts to the good children of the community, Krampus hunts for the naughty children to punish them or even stuff them into his sack. Legends of Krampus can be found throughout Eastern Europe and makes a great counterpoint to the eternally kind and giving St. Nikolas.
Kentucky Fried Chicken FeastsIn Japan, Christmas traditions are not very common because very few Japanese are Christian. However, a trend that has been growing in recent years is for families to have a feast of KFC. For the holiday meal, Japanese KFC locations also special menu items to complement an unusual yule time meal.
Two Men and a DonkeyOn December 6th in the Bavarian region of Germany, Saint Nikolaus travels to the homes of children who have behaved all year to give them candy and other treats. But Nikolaus, like the St. Nick of Austria, has a companion who travels with him. Named Knecht Ruprecht, this unappealing character threatens to punish children who misbehave and carries a whip or bells to punish with.
It is also important to teach children that Christmas is not the only holiday celebrated at this time of year. Hanukkah, Kwanza, Ōmisoka (Japanese New Year), and Boxing Day are similar holidays that will be fun to learn about. Preschool kids are the perfect age to explore new cultures and unknown traditions to gain a better understanding of the larger world they are a part of.