Christmas Greetings 2010
At Christmas we have many celebrations. On the first Advent we light candles, give little presents to each other, eat candies and clebrate the beginning of Christmas time. All through December each class practices Christmas carols and prepares their own performances for the actual big Christmas party that ends the autumn term. In the last school week we also have a traditional Christmas dinner with ham and herring and salmon and salads and all kinds of Finnish Christmas specialities.
The Christmas party is the most important celebration of the whole school year and it also ends the auttumn term. Everybody wears nice clothes (something red perhaps). Students and their parents fill the school hall so that it's absolutely crowded and some can't fit in and have to stay out in the corridor. We sing Christmas carols together, listen to the Christmas Gospel and enjoy the wonderful performances and plays students have prepared.
END OF SCHOOL YEAR
At the end of spring term we have the second biggest celebration, which also marks the end of the school year. It's always on a Saturday around the end of May. This year (2005) it'll be June 4th. This is obviously especially important for students who graduate or, as in our case, for the 6th graders who'll move up to the lower secondary school.
It's always a bit sad, because it's a time of goodbye, but it's happy too, because it's the beginning of the lovely over two months' summer holiday.
The school hall is decorated with perch trees and flowers, the Headmaster gives a speech remembering all the important achievements of the past school year, we sing Summer Hymn together and the 6th graders get their school reports and roses and hugs from all their teachers.
The Independence Day on Finland is celebrated on December 6th and it's a public holiday. It's also a flag-flying day with a lot of concerts and other celebtations, with two candles burning on every window sill and the President's annual Independence reception and party. Finnish people find independence a very serious thing and thus the ceremonies are often quite solemn.
At school we celebrate the Finnish Indepence by raising the Finnish flag and singing the National Anthem. Sometimes we have a special dinner or veterans of World War II visiting the classes or singing.
May 1st is a real carnival. It's a public holiday with a lot of outdoor concerts, processions and public speeches. At school we celebrate with balloons and streamers and sweets.
Sometimes we have a masquarade. Well, at least you can wear a funny hat or a colourful wig or a false nose.