In Finland, like in all European countries, Christmas is very important. It's a feast, that is celebrated in the middle of the darkest time of the year. In northern Finland Lapland, the sun is not at all seen in many weeks, and in Oulu area the day is hardly a few hours long.
In ancient Finnish language December was called the Winter month, but because of the importance of Christmas celebration it was changed to Christmas month
There are many traditions at school, like preparing decorations and presents, listening Christmas stories and singing carols, as well as making performances on scene. These performances are very popular, and usually the whole family want to participate because of the nice Christmas atmosphere. This is one of the best home-school cooperations.
Today there has been a lot of discussion about some traditional Christian plays and hymns at school, because of both immigration and secularization , if they are suitable for all or not, regarding their religion or world view. Christmas in Finland is a blend of secular traditions and Christianity, and in many traditions we have also quite a lot international influence.
One of the main topics in the Christmas celebration is the Declaration of Peace of Christmas, and this wish for global and national peace and friendship is highlighted in many ways.
Finland is also known as the home of Santa Claus or Father Christmas. On this course you will meet Santa and Oulu is also famous for a traditional Tiernapojat "Star boys" groups, and we are going to follow that singing performance.
During this session by presentations, visits and workshops as well as celebrating our own small Christmas party, you will be young at heart. At least when you meet Santa, and he will ask, if there are any nice children present
We also compare Christmas between the countries of participants. So after this course you will have a plenty of information to deliver to the pupils at school. And having interesting and enjoyable days you gain the Christmas spirit of your own working together with others.
Christmas is maybe the easiest and most popular topics used in eTwinning. It is nice topic because it consists so much doing and being together, not to forget the message of world peace. It suites both the traditional ways to work but also to the newest media possibilities. Also it engages children of all ages, as well as adults.
And last, if you are very lucky, this session is in the time of the year when you might experience the fabulous Northern Lights in the evening sky.