Thursday, November 1, 2012

1st November All Saints Day

Year 1 is doing a unit of study on Celebrations and I've had to do a bit of reading this week. Why do teachers think that the librarian knows everything?   T: Why is it called Halloween?  L: Well it comes from the the Eve of All Hallow's.
T: But what is All Hallows? L: Isn't it another name for All Saints Day. 
T: Well what is All Saints Day? L: I think it is the day before All Soul's Day.
So went one conversation I had before I thought I had better do some reading. I found it easy to find books and information about Halloween and its history. The others were harder.

I found this website about All Saints Day helpful and here I read that  it is a day when many Christians remember and honour the saints. Now although I teach at a Christian school it is not a Catholic school and therefore not a lot of emphasis is placed on saints in a religious context. However in a historical context there are many picture books depicting the life of saints. Many of these tell amazing stories and have brilliant illustrations.
Look for these by Demi:
The Legend of St Nicholas describes the pivotal events in the history and life of the saint who inspired the legend of Santa Claus.
Mother Teresa  of is a biography of Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, known as Mother Teresa for all her time spent helping the poor in Calcutta, India.
Joan of Arc
These two by Joyce Denham
Patrick: Saint of Ireland
Saint Francis of Assisi
And two by Tomie dePaola
The Holy Twins: Benedict and Scholastica 
 Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland

Then I looked up All Soul's Day and learned that this is a day for  Christian communities to remember deceased family members and friends. This is more like the idea behind the Mexican/ Latin American Day of the Dead. There are also picture books about this day. Among them are:
Felipa and the Day of the Dead by Birte Muller
Maria Molina and the Days of the Dead by Kathleen Krull
Day of the Dead by Tony Johnston & Jeanette Winter
Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet  Book by Jeanette Winter
 Ghost Wings by Barbara Joose & Giselle Potter

So this week I have learned quite a bit about Christian celebrations and some of the pagan connections with them.

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