These are the most important weeks in a year. Many traditons are celebrated during these weeks of peace and friendship, waiting for the birthday of Jesus Christ and the final of the year on 31st January.
The students of our videoconferencing day on 17th December, one week before the birthday of Jesus Christ, recognised these similarities and differences.
Picking out certain dates during these weeks students and teachers from Europe, Africa and North- America introduced special traditions to the audience how they celebrate Advent, Christmas, Sylvester, New Year's Eve and sang a local Christmas Carol. Finally, at the end of the meeting, all students sang "Silent Night - Holy Night" and "Jingle Bells" as a global students choir, two of the most popular English Christmas Carols in most of the participating countries. The conductor of these global choir was the german music teacher, Mr Jens Hartz.
The German kids were talking about the advent wreast, Christmas Eve on the 24th December and Sylvester during the afternoon meeting.
The Swedish students from Alneskolan in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, reported about special traditions during the advent time, especially about the traditions on 13th December, when they honour Saint Lucia, one of the most famous Saints in Sweden. And they sang that song children usually sing at school and at home that day to safe home and life of everybody living in that house.
These grade 5 students from near Dublin, Ireland, reported about traditions on 1st and 2nd Christmas Day and how they spend these days in their families. They presented a famous English Christmas Carol, but in Irish language.
These primary students from an international school in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, told us all about how they celebrate Christmas, which was very interesting, because most of these children have a different cultural background. So we learned a lot about traditions, not only about American traditions, but also about different Asian Christmas traditions.
Jairus Makambe, teacher at the Cheery Children Education Centre in Nairobi, Kenya and his colleague, Livingstone Kegode, gave us information about how Christians celebrate Christmas in Kenya.
Students from Windsor, Ontario, Canada, described their Advent wreast and why they use coloured candles on the wreast. They sang an English Christmas Carol.
The first international meeting had already taken place during the morning hours that day. We met students from Brno in the Czech Republic, who gave us a deep view into the traditions of our neighbour country.
They sang a typical Czech song. The Germans presented about typical food on Christmas and during the weeks before, most of them selfmade sweet pastries, we serve for tea or coffee in the afternoon or in the evening. The Germans sang "O Tannenbaum", a famous German Christmas carol.
Joe McNulty, teacher from Pennsylvania, kept himself awake until 2.30 am in the morning to show us all his decorated living room and he gave us information about how rooms are decorated in the USA.
On behalf of all participants, we want to thanks you all, teachers and students from Europe, Africa and North- America, for that wonderful meetings that day, getting to know a lot about similarities and differences in Christmas traditions. Everybody is now waiting for his or her Christmas celebration and they now know again, why they celebrate Christmas like they do.