Sunday, 21 December 2008

Our European Christmas card tree!

This is the tree with all the cards we received from our partners so far!Thank you all so much!!!

Merry Christmas to all!!!

This is one of the crafts we made for Christmas at school!We wish we could send you one!

Merry Christmas to all of you little Jesus will bring you health,happiness and success!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

... more drawings from Italy

Italian Children's Drawings

Aren't they nice?

Our school sends you a simple and sincere wish:

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!

Our favourite Christmas traditional sweet


The fig tree of Cosenza is the best making tasty sweets.Crocette are four figs simply sun dried and crossed and stuffed with almond.”I palloni di fichi” (fig balls) are also very famous and are made by stuffing leaves from the fig tree with small pieces of dry fruits.Serve with a Locride passito IGT wine.

Dry figs, peeled and toasted almonds or walnuts or dried citrus peel.

Divide two figs into two halves from the stalk to the bottom, leaving the bottom of the fruit connected, Fill some of the figs with almonds or half the walnuts or the citrus peel. Then put the oder figs on top, close by pressing down with the finger. Repeat with the remaining two figs and place on top of the other figs to form the shape of a cross. Press the figs again using a utensil that allows them to stay that way for 24 hours. When ready put on a baking tray and cook in the oven at between 150-120°until golden.When cold brush figs with a solution of water and fighoney, dust ith sugar and garnish with laurel leaves.
Giorgia (I A), an Italian student from Catanzaro

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Christmas in Poland

In Poland people start preparing for Christmas at the beginning of December. Christmas trees are set in every home and decorated with sparkling tinsel, lights, glass balls. On Christmas Eve when the first star appears in the sky people sit at a table. They do not forget about leaving an empty place for an expected guest.

At midnight many people go to church to attend a special mass. 25 December is spent at home. The next day people pay and receive visits. Christmas in Poland is the most familiar, traditional and joyful time. The most popular dishes are: red borsh with pies, carp: fried or in a jelly, pies with mushrooms, herrings, poppy-seed cake. Before the supper members of the family share the holy wafer, after supper they give each other presents which were put under the Christmas tree.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Christmas songs

Christmas songs

We have been learning Chritmas songs. We have put up displays about our songs.

We have been busy getting ready for Christmas. We have put up a Christmas tree, an advent calendar and some advent promises in the main hall.Each day we open a door on the advent calendar to count down to Christmas.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Reindeer craft

This is the reindeer we made today with a wooden spoon.Tomorrow we will make a Santa!

Melomakarona:recipe from Greece

- 7 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

1 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 3/4 cup of mild olive oil

1 1/4 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of cognac

3 oranges zested and juiced

4 teaspoon of freshly ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground clove

3/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg


- 1 pound of honey-

1 cup of sugar & 1 clove

- 1 1-inch piece of cinnamon

- 1 lemon zested & juiced-

1 cup of water


- 1/2 cup of shelled almonds

- 1 tablespoon of sugar

- 1 teaspoon of freshly ground cinnamon



put honey, sugar, cinnamon, clove, & lemon zestin a saucepan

- add water, bring to boil & simmer for 5-10 minutes

- add lemon juice & chill


- sift flour, baking soda & salt together

- put the olive oil & sugar in a large bowl & beat togetherwith a wooden spoon

- beat in the Cognac, orange zest, spices, & juice from2 oranges (about 1/2 cup)

- beat flour into bowl, a few spoonfuls at a time, until thedough is malleable, add more flour if it is too soft & moreorange juice if it is too stiff

- turn dough onto a floured surface & knead for10-15 minutes until very smooth

- pinch off pieces of dough (approx. 2 tablespoons) & forminto flattened oval shapes

- bake in an oven preheated to 400-425 F for about 20 mins.on oiled or non-stick baking sheet until golden browncool to 'hand' temperature, dip in syrup for approx. 1 minute& then place with a slotted spoon on a tray to cool

Sprinkle with chopped almond mixture

New Year's Day in Italy

On New Year's Eve, families and friends get together for a huge party. The dinner includes:

“Cotechino” (a large spiced sausage ) or “zampone” (stuffed pig’s trotter ) and lentils symbolizing money and good fortune for the coming year.
In the bigger city you can find music and dancing.There is a unique tradition to light petards and fireworks. The New Year is also celebrated with Itaian sparkling wine. Don't forget to wear your red underwear in the New Year. They say it will bring you luck in the coming year!!!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

A short description of Christmas time in Slovenia

...the time around Christmas and New Year's is a magical time. Especially for children.
The children in Slovenia are probably amongst the happiest children of all during this time of year. And "Why?" you is beacuse they have more gift-bearers than the children in other countries. They get gifts from three good men: St. Nicholas, Santa Claus and Grandfather Frost.

In Slovenia, we celebrate Christmas just like in any other country. The preparations for celebrations begin in the first days of December. You can hear Christmas songs on the radio all the time, everything is being decorated, the bigger parks in the cities, the bigger towns and cities also and people make ornaments for their homes mostly by themselves.
We usually write and send Chrismas cards a few days before Christmas. Many people make and decorate the cards they send by themselves, so that they are more personal. We send best wishes to our relatives and friends. Merry Christmas-VESEL BOŽIČ and a Happy New Year-SREČNO NOVO LETO!
On the 24th of December mothers and grandmothers make potica's (a special cake made of wallnuts and nuts and raisins), children decorate the Christmas tree and set up the Christmas crib under the tree.
The Christmas tree can be artificial, or real/natural (you can buy them at different markets), and lately it doesn't even have to be a tree to decorate it. Many people decorate tree branches and it still looks great. After the tree is decorated with different ornaments (may they be homemade or bought), the families gather and prepare themselves to go to the Midnight Mass Service. In the countryside people used to walk at night with lamps or candles to the nearest church to pray and sing and celebrate Christmas time. There are places where this still exists. After the mass, people go home.

On the 25th of December, families gather for the Christmas lunch. Of course, children open the presents Father Christmas left under the Christmas tree as soon as they get up in the morning.
The Christmas lunch consists of soup, baked or roasted with onions and pork fat, potatoes, souerkraut, sausages, beans, žolca (specially made beef-jello with eggs and meat)and potica at the end as a dessert.

Christmas is a time of year when family gets together and friends visit each is a time to share love and happiness!



GREETINGS from Slovenia across Europe!

I've added a short presentation of songs lyrics we sing during these holidays.


Click on the links and here are two short presentations of Christmas in Slovenia...there is more to come from us...Greetings!!!



Every year in Catanzaro, on “Corso Mazzini”, there are some pipers near some people dressed like Santa Claus. They give some sweets to the children. Italian children don’t wait the morning of the 25th , but they open their presents during the night of the 24th . The night of the 24th in Italy it is costum to have a big dinner named “cenone”. In this big dinner we generally eat: fish dishes, the “zeppole”, flour pancakes stuffed with anchovies or tuna in brine. In Cassano you eat:, cod, broccoli, spaghetti with anchovies, fennel, fried pumpkin, oranges, pears. In Diamante it is typical to eat “chinali”, a sweet pastry. In Cosenza and in the Sila there are an infinity of desserts. After the “cenone”, it is costume to play bingo, with your relatives and friends.
You eat panettone, pandoro, fruit, especially dried.
It’s costume on the 25th December, to go and give wishes to the neighbours.
In my school, “the Mattia Preti”, we pass very well the Christmas. Each year we do a party where we eat and drink. We sing Christmas carols and we do a small show to manifest the peace. My school is decorated for Christmas very well,
There is the tree, the crib, Christmas garlands and some decorated billboards. My school is very beautiful every day, but when Christmas arrives it is particularly beautiful. During the week we go to learn the computer in the computer room. In this room there are 13 computers. Out teacher, Mr Giovanni Barbuto, teaches us how to use it with great patience. During the art hours our teacher, Mr Giuseppe Celi, shows us the beauty of his paintings. We are learning two languages: English with the teacher, Ms Antonella Sellia, and French with the teacher Ms Patrizia Ariosto. In our school there isn’t a gym, but we’ve a good time when we go to our court and do gymnastics.

JACOPO FERA (III A), a student

Monday, 1 December 2008

Thank you Jemma

Thank you Jemma and the children in Brynteg school for your card, news and cd which we received today - the children were very excited to receive it. We will post our letters this week. Looking forward to receiving letters from the rest of you.

Anne Harper

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Christmas cards from Italy

Italian children made this Christmas cards just for you all!!!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Preparing for Christmas

Advent begins on the Sunday nearest to 30th November and lasts until midnight on Christmas Eve.. The beginning of Advent is when the preparations for Christmas really begin - the Christmas menu is planned, gifts are chosen and wrapped, carols are sung, cards are sent to friends and family and houses are decorated. An Advent wreath might be used to count down the weeks to Christmas. It has four candles around the outside, and one is lit each Sunday leading up to Christmas. The Fifth Candle in the centre is lit on Christmas Day. The circle of evergreen used on the wreath reminds Christians that God’s love has no beginning or end.

From December 1st British children might start to open the windows on an Advent calendar. There are 24 windows and one is opened each day leading up to Christmas Eve. There is usually a Christmas picture inside the window, and sometimes there might even be a chocolate !

Angel and Santa Claus we made in our school (Greece)

Reindeers in Greece

Today we made reindeers at school with our hands and foot!They are so cute, aren't they?

A Christmas video presentation from Greece

To take an idea....Christmas in Greece...Trigona Kalanta the song you hear!!!
Merry Christmas: Kαλά Χριστούγεννα: Kala hristougena

Monday, 24 November 2008

Christmas in Taranto ( Italy )

carteddate and sannacchiudere
pandoro and panettone

rice and seafood

The streets in our city are full of coloured lights, everywhere we can feel a joy and a holiday time!!! In the week before Christmas, people go shopping and spend a lot of money. They buy presents for their friends and relatives and food for the special Christmas dinner. In the houses women prepare local sweets “carteddate” and sannacchiudere”.On Christmas Eve , at six o’clock ( more or less ) all the family gather round the table and start the special dinner. On Christmas Eve dinner we used eat fish and different vegetables. Here it is a local menu:
Starter: sea food salad, fried artichokes or artichokes in oil, aubergines in oil, stem sprouts, stem turnip tops, olives…
First course: spaghetti with mussels or clam/ rice and seafood.
Then we can eat fish or sweet-and-sour yellow eel
Fresh fruit and dried fruit and a typical Italian cakes “panettone” or “pandoro”.
Many people at eleven o’clock ( evening ) go to church, others go to church on Christmas Day.At midnight the Baby Jesus is placed in the Crib.
On Christmas day, children get up early and open their presents, the people also exchange gifts. Then it’s time x Christmas lunch. Italian families usually have : lasagne, roast lamb with roast potatoes, and many different kinds of sweets : “panettone” ( spiced brioche with sultanas ), “pandoro” (a Veronese cake),” sannacchiudere and carteddate” ( local sweets in Taranto). We usually drink red wine and sparkling wine.
On the 26th of December ( Boxing Day ) the family meet again all together, we have a light meal, like” tortellini” ( ring- shaped pasta parcel with a savoury filling) in chicken stock. We spend time chatting or playing board games or cards games.