Celebrating holidays and festivals is a significant and exciting part of the Montessori curriculum, focusing on the traditions and rituals encompassing celebrations from religions and ethnicities the world over.
Whilst festivals might be distinctly different in their ideological and cultural background, the celebratory nature of the commemorative events (and the joy emanating there from) is a language that transcends age, origin and nationality.
Montessori methodology honours the individuality of each and every festival, paying attention to the unique and wondrous manner in which people celebrate events that are important to them. In so doing, Montessori directresses hope to inspire an attitude of respect and inclusion; that although we might be different (and it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate these differences) we speak the common language of ‘being human’.
As we move into the new school year (and the latter part of the calendar year), there are many approaching festivals that will take place all over the globe, including:
Samhain, the first day of winter in the Celtic calendar, is celebrated from sunset on October 31 to sunset on November 1 and is symbolised by the lighting of bonfires on hilltops. Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, celebrates the victory of good versus evil. Dia de los Meurtos traces its origins to the Aztec celebration Catrina, the goddess of the dead. November first issues Calan Gaeaf, the Welsh first day of winter, and December welcomes a number of significant celebrations, including Hanukah, Christmas, and New Year.
At St. Andrew’s Montessori we are looking forward to teaching our little ones about the amazing diversity that perforates the world around us. If you’d like some ideas on how you too, as a family at home, can participate have a look at these two articles: “Celebrations Around the World with Montessori-Inspired Activities” and “Observing Holidays as Cultural Celebrations in the Montessori Environment”.