Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

December is a time when we learn about different ways to celebrate the holidays. We've participated in a Kwanzaa celebration led by Dee and a group of enthusiastic fourth-year students. Students have learned about Hanukkah and played dreidel during math time. Dee read The Christmas Story. We also had a number of parents come in to talk about ways their families celebrate the holidays. These holiday sharings have included a Ukranian folktale, sharing about food traditions, making birdfeeders with pine cones, holiday book readings, and a fun reindeer craft. Check out the holiday slideshow at the foot of this post.

It's important and wonderful to learn about traditions from other countries and below you'll read about an Iranian tradition shared with us and written by Anita Ghajar-Selim, a River Class parent.

Yalda Night or Shab-e-Chelleh is the Iranian festival celebrating the longest night of the year, which normally coincides with the 20th or 21st of December. On this night, Iranians gather around (with their legs stretched under ) a short table (called Korsi with a heater underneath) covered with the heaviest and longest blanket on it and eat the fruits of the season (especially pomegranate and watermelon nicely decorated on a big tray on Korsi with candles and nuts) while listening to stories from their elders. They read poetry and have poetry competitions and/or play Persian traditional instruments.

Our Holiday Slideshow - Video clip courtesy of Brandon

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