Students from the Spanish and German MFL classes enjoyed a festive Christmas celebration, decorating cookies and immersing themselves in cultural traditions.
In Spanish-speaking countries, the Christmas experience is vibrant and diverse. Families often engage in the tradition of baking classic Christmas cookies, known as ‘Galletitas de Navidad‘. These cookies are adorned with colourful icing and festive motifs, providing a creative and unique expression of Christmas culture. Students from Year 3 to Year 6 learning Spanish had the opportunity to unleash their imagination as they decorated cookies with holiday shapes like Christmas trees, stockings, candy canes, gingerbread men, and Papá Noel (Santa Claus).
Beyond the delicious touch it adds to Christmas, decorating cookies becomes a fun activity for all ages and a valuable opportunity for students to learn new vocabulary and unique traditions associated with the festivities. ¡Feliz Navidad y Feliz Año Nuevo!
Meanwhile in Secondary, as part of World-Languages ongoing celebration of different cultures within the countries of the languages it teaches, the focus on this occasion was on ‘Christmas in German-speaking Countries’. The Year 8 Language 1 Germanists delivered a Presentation to fellow Germanists (and also Non-Germanists) on just how differently German Christmas is celebrated, with a varied selection of interesting facts, a chance to sample some genuine German biscuits- Lebkuchen, topped off with some entertaining games (to check just how much they could recall!). Now we know!
These were some of the Interesting facts the students included:
- The Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt) – now seen around the world, is a tradition which was first derived from Germany!
- St. Nicholas delivers gifts on the 5th-6th December! On the night of 5th December, children clean and polish their boots, and leave them outside the door before going to sleep. The next morning they’ll find their shoes full of goodies from good ol’ St. Nicholas!
- The Christmas tree (Tannenbaum) is a tradition that started in Germany, over 400 years ago. Also it only goes up on Christmas Eve.
- The Advent Calendar (Adventkalender) is another German invention, dating back to the early 19th century!
- Christmas is actually celebrated on Christmas Eve! This is when it all happens in Germany. Called Heiligabend, it is a day where German households decorate the tree, prepare food for the family, and spruce up the home. As soon as the night draws in, households will gather around the tree and exchange gifts. Children must leave the room while the Christkind (or Christ Child) delivers the presents!
- Krampus Night (Krampus Nacht) – popularised by Hollywood movies in the 2000’s, Krampus (a horned, tailed, fanged devil) is a tradition dating back to the 17th century, where someone decided to pair him with jolly old St. Nicholas, to teach naughty children a hard lesson!
- Christmas is time for Glühwein (mulled-wine), together with Lebkuchen (ginger-biscuits) and Stollen (German Christmas-cake)
We wish you all ‘Frohe Weihnachten’ – Happy Christmas!