Welcome to 2017!
Welcome to New Year and a snowy Winter wonderland. New Year is an exciting holiday, and blends in with many of the Christmas festivities in North America. It is a fun time where many kids get to stay up much past their bed times, and couples try to kiss in the new year. Resolutions are made, some of them even kept. However, New Years looks different around the world.
In China, New Years is a festival celebrating the coming spring of the new year. Unlike North America it is more than a one-day holiday spanning from the end of December to the middle or end of January. Some special aspects of the Chines New Year are fireworks, dancing dragons and special foods like mandarin oranges. Bring some Chinese New Year fun into your lesson plans by:
- Making a Dancing Dragon Puppet (elementary art)
- Having Chines Noodles for dinner (optional additives of other veggies and cooked chicken are good in this recipe).
- Making Salt Fireworks Art
The Jewish New Year is called Rosh Hashanah and is celebrated in September during harvest time not January during the winter. The North American tradition of making New Year’s resolutions may have come from Rosh Hashanah as it is a time where people think about the past year, make any wrongs right, seek forgiveness if needed to rebuild relationships and think of how to make the new year better. Bring some Rosh Hashanah fun into your lesson plans by:
- Having a traditional Rosh Hashanah snack of apple slices dipped in honey.
- Having friends or family over for a meal, Rosh Hashanah style
- Make a traditional Challah Braided Bread (Foods class)
In Thailand, New years is celebrated April 13th-15th and is both the celebration of spring and change. Traditionally people will return to their home villages and have a meal with friends and family. Elders of the families will be honoured for the care they have given and the wisdom that they pass along. It is also traditional to have a water and baby powder fight. When you are covered with the powder you are protected from sunburn, symbolizing good luck in the year to come. Bring some Thai New Year’s fun into your lesson plans by:
- Having Grandparents over for dinner and listening to their stories
- Having a water fight (with or without baby powder) or a snowball fight if it is cold (physical ed class)
- Make a traditional Thai dessert (foods class)
In Canada’s First Nations Tribe, Nisga’a, New year is called Hobiyee and is Celebrated in February. This tribe figured out that the phases of the moon were connected to the changing of the seasons, how full the moon was at the time of their celebration foretold how bountiful the year’s harvest would be.
As Christians New Years may not be a Biblical holiday but it is a great time to thank God for all that He has done in your life and to dedicate the next year to Living for Him.
God Bless you this year. May you see His hand at work in your lives, may you draw closer to Him than ever before and may you know to a greater degree how much He loves you. Happy New Year