The customs of the Twelve Days

“The customs of the Twelve Days” was the title of the Christmas celebration

presented by the classic section of the 3rd Kindergarten Triadi on 12/23/2015. It

concerns the dramatization of certain customs and traditions of our land related to

the period from Christmas Eve until the Epiphany.

The children presented the tidying up of the house,which was done by housewives,

the “feeding” of the tap(the offer of food and sweets to appease the spirit,

who was considered to live in water) to get the silent water,the kneading of the Christmas cake

and the other Christmas sweets (melomakarona, sugared buns, folds), the sharing of Christmas

cake from the landlord with all family members, the searching at the mountains for

Christoxylo and its burning in the fireplace,the decorating of the ship, the footboard

and pomegranate’s breaking for good luck and finally thecarols from various regions

of our country (Macedonia, Ikaria, Moraitika and classic carols of Christmas and New

Year).

The involvement of children in our popular culture has invaluable pedagogical benefit

as children realize the sense of tradition and strengthen their bonds with the local

community to which they belong. In addition, the popular expression and creation in

all its forms (fairy tales, myths, legends, folk songs, proverbs, dances, artwork, etc.)

is governed by a collective character that leads to the development of teamwork,

cooperation and group cohesion .

It is useful and beneficial for children to come into contact with traditional elements

because they are the successors of cultural values ​​that shaped the distinctive

features of our people. Tradition describes who we are, where we come from, what

are our roots. It is a prerequisite for the existence of culture as it is the chain that

binds the generations together.

Especially nowadays, due to the crisis of institutions and values, the technological

developments and the promotion of foreign standards from television, children tend

to move away from the culture and tradition of their place. The role of the school is

among others to contribute to the preservation of our cultural heritage and safeguard

the fundamental traits that have shaped over the centuries the lifestyle of the modern

Greeks.

The kindergarten can provide many opportunities for children to come into contact

with the tradition through songs, dances, dramatizations, art exhibitions,

manufactures of the children themselves, creation of folklore corner, revival of

customs, etc. The celebrations are prominent feauture of the kindergarden’s

programm and are aimed at all-round and balanced development of the infant as well

as the entertainment. In particular, the revival of customs in the context of a

celebration is an occasion for toddlers to be connected with traditions, ways and

customs of our country, in an experiential way, in order later to become conscious

followers of their national heritage.

This way ,children foster their creativity and imagination as well as we encourage

them to appreciate and feel proud of their land, broaden their knowledge for the

community from which they come, sharpen the perception of the world around them.

We also help them to deal in detail with something that is familiar to their place and

observe this new information to make comparisons with the present finding

similarities and differences, to answer how and why, to criticize, to give explanations

for use and usefulness of certain objects or situations and for the necessity of the

development over the years. It is also being developed their aesthetic education.

The school is the vehicle that will transport children in the past with experiential way

in order to learn, to discover, understand through the tradition, manners and customs

of our land as a source of knowledge, principles and values in order ​​to set a right

course in the future. In this sense, the children deserve to be congratulated for

responding fully to all levels and gettιng tired for this celebration. Ι also consider that

the benefit is much greater than it seems and it was worth it!

Karavasili Maria

nursery governess