Traditions across Europe-an eTwinning project

“Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, TRADITION and myth frame our response.” (Arthur Schlesinger Jr.)

Treat or Trick! October 31, 2008

Filed under: Halloween,Old traditions — ivasil @ 2:29 pm
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Here are some photos from he Halloween in our school. As I have already told you, this is not a Romanian holiday, but it’s a nice opportunity to have fun: pupils dress up, have contests, play games. The kids you see are from the 6C and the 7A grades. Obviously, they had a great time!


HAPPY HALLOWEEN! October 28, 2008

Filed under: Halloween,Old traditions — Gina @ 9:11 pm
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Halloween non è un’antica tradizione italiana e pochi lo festeggiano. A scuola ricordiamo questa festa durante le lezioni di Inglese, prepariamo le lanterne con le zucche, recitiamo filastrocche, cantiamo canzoni e realizziamo tanti disegni per addobbare le nostre aule e per augurare “FELICE HALLOWEEN!” .

Halloween isn’t an Italian old tradition and few people celebrate it. At school we remember this festivity during English lessons: we prepare pumpkin lanterns, say rhymes , sing songs and made many drawings to adobe our classrooms and to wish “HAPPY HALLOWEEN!”.

Ecco alcuni dei nostri disegni /Here are some of our drawings:

Classe 5^A e 5^B – Sc. Primaria “A. Ciancia”- Francavilla in Sinni (PZ) – Italia


The History of Halloween October 23, 2008

Filed under: Halloween,Old traditions — stbrendans @ 3:07 pm
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pumpkin lantern

pumpkin lantern

barm brack

barm brack

Halloween: One of the World’s Oldest Festivals

Halloween is one of the world’s oldest holidays dating back to pagan times. It originated in the lands such as Ireland, which were inhabited by Celts and marked the start of the Celtic New Year on the first of November. This festival was called Samhain (pronounced sow-in).

The word Halloween comes from Christian tradition and was originally “All Hallows Eve” or the evening before All Hallows’ Day or All Saints Day

The images of ghosts at Halloween hark back to a time when it was believed the spirits of the dead came back to the earthly world at this transition from summer to winter. Candles were lit to help to guide the spirits. The tradition of bonfires comes from the Celtic druids who used to build huge bonfires and offer sacrifices to the Celtic gods.

When people left their homes after dark at Halloween they were scared of being recognised by ghosts and so dressed up in animal skins. This carries into our tradition today of wearing masks and costumes to go out trick or treating or go to parties. Now people wear costumes associated with scary stories or characters that have nothing to do with Halloween such as Dracula, Frankenstein or even zombies.

How we celebrate Halloween in Ireland:

• Trick or Treat: On the 31st of October children dress up as ghosts, zombies, devils and witches. The children knock on the door of your house and recite a poem like this one :
Trick or treat, smell my feet,
Give me something nice to eat
Not too big, not too small
Just the size of Donegal.!

Then the owners will give you sweets, fruit or monkey nuts which are brought home for the Halloween party.

Bobbing for apples : You fill a basin with water and drop a few apples (or coins) in. Then you duck your head under and try and get an apple, or a coin in your mouth!
Snap apple is when you hang an apple from a piece of string and you have to take a bite out of the apple. You are not allowed catch the apple. It is very hard but good fun!

Barmbrack is a light fruit cake that we eat at Halloween. It has a ring inside and if you are lucky to find it you can keep it. Whoever finds the ring will marry his true love within the year.

Pumpkins: Traditionally, Irish people carved turnip lanterns to frighten away the ghosts and ghouls at Halloween. Around the time of the potato famine in the middle of the nineteenth century many Irish emigrated to America taking this tradition with them. However pumpkins were a more common crop in America and so they were used for the lanterns instead.
Mid term break: In Ireland all primary and secondary schools are closed for a week at Halloween. It is called the mid term break.

• How is Halloween celebrated in your country?

Darragh Brennan 6th class


Going around the Francavilla old town centre October 16, 2008

Vogliamo farvi conoscere i luoghi più antichi del nostro piccolo paese attraverso un lavoro di una delle nostre scuole dell’infanzia:

We want to let you know the most ancient places in our little town through a work of one of our Infant schools:

“…Gli alunni dell’ultimo anno della scuola dell’infanzia di Porta Pia di Francavilla sul Sinni i rioni del proprio paese, mediante esperienze di apprendimento significative. Condotta mediante momenti ludici, l’attività di apprendimento degli alunni è stata mirata alla scoperta e all’appropriazione di alcuni ambienti vicini e vissuti dai bambini, come contesti di apprendimento per comprendere alcune trasformazioni avvenute, per cogliere alcuni rapporti tra uomo, natura e eventi, partendo dal nome dei rioni del proprio paese. Sollecitando nei bambini alcuni interrogativi, i docenti hanno motivato gli stessi che si sono divertiti a curiosare, a chiedere in giro, ad osservare a raccogliere informazioni, immagini e impressioni che hanno poi rielaborato ed organizzato mediante attività grafiche, pittoriche, plastiche, motorie, ovvero linguaggi verbali e non verbali, utilizzando registratori, fotocamere e telecamere come strumenti di lettura e scrittura della realtà.Stimolando la loro creatività si è arrivati alla invenzione di una favola dove, com’è proprio del pensiero infantile, il mondo rappresentato sfoca i suoi confini tra reale e immaginario. La conseguente realizzazione del fumetto e del film, mediante i quali raccontare la favola è stato lo sfondo integratore che ha dato unitarietà e direzione ad un lavoro scolastico. …”

“The last year children of the “G. Rodari Infant School ( in the Istituto Comprensivo “Don Bosco”) in Francavilla sul Sinni have been guided to discover the quarters of own town.. Run by moments of games, the learning activity has been orientated to the discover and the appropriation of some close habitats and lived by the children as learning contexts to understand some occurred transformations , to pick up some relations among, human, nature and events, starting from the quarters names of own town. Stimulating in the children some questions, the teachers motivated them that had a fun nosing, asking around, looking and gathering information, images and impressions that then they elaborated by graphic, pictorial, plastic, motor activities, or verbal and not verbal languages, using recorder, photo- cameras and video- cameras as reading and writing tools of the reality. Stimulating their creativity they arrived to the invention of a tale where, just like the children’s thought is, the represented world goes out of the focus between real and imaginary. The consequent realization of a comic and a film , by which they tell the story, was the integrating background that gave unity of purpose to the school work. …”

Andando in giro, I Bambini hanno scoperto e fotografato molti rioni e strade antichi e tipici del nostro centro storico: Il “Fungalone”, detto anche “Gonfalone, il “Timpone”, “S. Giuseppe” con la cappella, “S. Antonio” con la Cappella, il “corso”, la strada principale verso la chiesa, e la Chiesa della Beata Vergine, la “Variante”, la “Pianura”, La “Villa Comunale”, un bellissimo parco al centro del paese, la “Fontanella”, un antico lavatoio, la “Vigna Chiesa”, “S. Domenico” un villaggio rurale.

Going around, the children discovered and photographed many typical and ancient quarters and streets of our old town centre : the”Fungalone”, also named “Gonfalone”, the “Timpone”, “S. Giuseppe” with its chapel, “S. Antonio”, with another chapel, the “Corso”, a main street towards the church, the “Variante”, a cross road, the “Pianura”, a plain place, the “Villa Comunale”, a very nice park in the middle of the town, the “Fontanella”, an ancient fountain, “S. Domenico”, an outdoors rural village.

Eccone alcune/ Here are some of them:

Scuola dell’Infanzia “G. Rodari”- Istituto Comprensivo “Don Bosco”-Francavilla in Sinni (PZ)- Italia


The “Merry Cemetery” in Sapanta

This is a remote spot, in the Northern part of our country, but it’s such a peculiar and famous one we felt you ought to know about it. Sapanta is the most well-known place in Maramures. This small village near the town of Sighetul Marmatiei amuses its visitors with the “Merry Cemetery”. People from foreign counties come to see this unique place.
This is a real cemetery, but unlike any other, it bursts with color and the tombstones are written all over with witty poems, some of them quite funny, depicting the life of the one that is buried there.
Most of these naive “works of art” are painted with scenes from the life and work of the dead, or show their weaknesses. Ion liked to drink, so he is pictured with a bottle. George played the violin at weddings, so he still holds it. All the tombstones are cut in wood by the same local carver, who follows the tradition established by his father.
Just an optimistic way to see death: as a natural part of our life.


Hurling- A Traditional Irish Sport October 14, 2008

Filed under: Traditional Sports — stbrendans @ 3:34 pm
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Hurling is a unique Irish field game. It is the fastest field game in the world. In hurling you use a stick called a hurley and a ball called a sliotar and you wear a helmet to protect your head. The aim of the game is to get the most goals and points within 70 minutes. A goal is worth 3 points. After 35 minutes through the game its half time. Hurling is a lot like hockey except in hockey you don’t raise the ball whereas in hurling you do. A hurley is made from ash and a sliotar is made from leather. A sliotar is much like a cricket ball but it’s lighter. Ireland’s Croke Park is the fourth largest stadium in Europe It cost 260 million euro to build. It can hold up to 83,000 people. The stadium has two large screens at either side of the pitch. The All Ireland final is always played on the first Sunday of September and it is played in Croke Park every year. Our county Kilkenny won their 31st All-Ireland final last Sunday against our neighbouring county Waterford. This year I was there myself. Waterford had not been in the All-Ireland final for the past 43 years!!!. Waterford had more supporters because they were so eager to win it. Every year you were allowed to run on the pitch after the game but this year you were not allowed to go on the pitch but everyone did anyway, (including me!!!). When the match was over the winning team lifts a cup called the Liam Mc Carthy Cup. The Kilkenny colours are black and amber. The Waterford colours are blue and white. There are 5 different areas in Croke Park, there’s Hill 16, the Hogan stand, Nally stand, the Cusack stand and the Canal End. I was standing on Hill 16. Kilkenny is the most successful hurling team in Ireland. Cork is another successful hurling team in Ireland with 30 All-Ireland titles.

Kieran Purcell

5th class