We are taking a break from learning the alphabet to talk about how holidays are celebrated all over the Hispanic world. The Christmas season is the most important time of the year in Latin America which is predominantly Catholic. The start of the Christmas season is 9 days before Christmas on December 16. Especially in México, the celebration of "Las Posadas" represents the journey of Mary and Joseph and their quest to find shelter in Bethlehem. Today, children go from door-to-door singing Christmas carols in their neighborhoods for nine nights. At every house they ask, "¿Hay Posada?" (Is there shelter?) and the reply is always the same, "No posada" (No shelter). Finally, the children find a house that welcomes them in and there is a big party always with a large, star-shaped piñata.
In class this week, we are making our own star-shaped piñatas and learning some Christmas carols in Spanish. We are also reading the book, "N is for Navidad" which is a beautifully written book that tells about all the Hispanic Christmas traditions in chronological order while also talking about key Christmas vocabulary words in alphabetical order. Ask your students about what they find interesting about the ways Hispanics celebrate the holiday season. What is the same as your own traditions? What is different? Making these types of comparisons is a key component in language learning and learning about cultural traditions is what makes learning another language fun and exciting!