As an International school culture is a big part of our curriculum. We have several special events that we incorporate into our yearly schedule as such and they are always a treat for the children. The first event comes up at the end of April, and that is Easter!
The children get a chance to dye eggs, go on a hunt for chocolates, meet and take pictures with the Easter bunny, and spend a Saturday learning about the cultural significance of Easter and the traditions that surround it!
The next major event is Halloween, a holiday that all the children look forward to! Halloween dates back to many old European traditions that celebrated the passing of the seasons from what they considered the ‘living’ season (spring and summer) into the ‘dead’ seasons (fall and winter). In many ways the traditions are similar to the Japanese Setsubun, just at opposite ends of the year! The children come to school on Halloween dressed up in their favourite costumes, they go trick or treating… which includes a spooky haunted house! They also get to play some fun Halloween games and learn about where the tradition began!
Lastly we have our winter celebration. This is a day to celebrate many of the western traditions surrounding the end of the year and all the good children, which are all of our children of course, are visited by a very special man – Santa Claus! It’s a day of receiving gifts from Santa, of making special holiday crafts, and playing fun holiday games.
Throughout the course of the year we also teach the children about the other western traditions and holidays such as Valentine’s day, or Saint Patrick’s day, and often the children will make a special craft to commemorate the day. We also highlight all the major Japanese culture days as well, such as hinamatsuri, setsubun, children’s day, and more!