La Noche de Las Velitas

La Noche de Las Velitas is the official start of the holiday season in Colombia.  It is a very special night in which families gather to light candles and lanterns in honor the Immaculate Conception. The festivities begins at sunset on 7th December and ends at sunrise on 8th December. People place paper lanterns and candles on their windowsills porches, balconies, streets, sidewalks, squares and parks.

Here is a video with more info!

In my 8th grade classes we do a unit on December holidays and focus on holidays in Colombia and Spain.  We begin the unit by talking about holidays they celebrate and the first holiday we learn about is this one.  One special video we watch is this Home Center video – it is a great video to build vocabulary and if you have higher level students talk about indigenous tribes, environment and giving back to the community.

 

Here are two activities I do with La Noche de Las Velitas – one reading and one listening. Do you teach December holidays? Which ones?! Share below!

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Navidad en España

Wow! It’s been a while since I’ve posted – but the babies, the holidays and everything else have totally taken over!!!

In the next few days I’m going to post some resources for Navidad as – IT’S ONLY 3 WEEKS AWAY!!! AHHHHHH!!!!

As part of my family unit I like to discuss family traditions and celebrations- and how perfect that this unit always falls in December!  I start my celebrations unit off by having the students fill out a KWL chart about what they think they know and want to know about holidays in the Spanish-speaking world.

I came across this great video from http://www.bablingua.com- it’s called ¡Feliz Navidad! and covers the basics on holiday time in Spain.  It’s not free 😦 but it does come with a pretty great packet, audio files and a video for $8.00.  I highly recommend it, so it’s totally worth the $$$.  The video covers Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, “El Día de los Inocentes” (the Spanish version of April Fool’s Day), New Year’s, Christmas songs and typical foods.  I usually do the video in chunks and then do the follow up activities from the packet and I also have the students make connections with their own celebrations.

The video also talks about the big Christmas lottery they do in Spain.  Every year they come out with these great commercials promoting the lottery.  Here are some of the videos I found on YouTube from this year and previous years.

Do you do a unit on holidays?  What resources do you use?