Festivals and holidays

Necessary material

Videos, audio recordings, photos, books, objects, traditional artifacts and Internet resources about the events; poster paper, pencils, scissors, glue.

Objective of the activity

The objective of this activity is to make students aware of festivals and holidays in their own culture and in that of the classes with whom they interact.

Students learn about the traditions, ceremonies, music, songs and various cultural aspects of celebrating festivals and holidays, in their own and other families, countries or cultures. They also have the opportunity to reflect on their own way(s) of celebrating festivals and holidays.

Preparing for the activity

The teacher selects or asks the students to collect the information necessary for the presentation of festivals and holidays or events that occur during the school year. If the teacher chooses to use videos or images for the initial discussion, they should prepare the videos or a collection of images that they can show the students as an introduction to the topic.

Significant benefit of the activity

This activity makes it possible to initiate and/or consolidate students’ cultural awareness of the diversity of festivals and celebrations in their families and countries.

In addition, it makes them aware of the value of cultural diversity as students gather new information about festivals and holidays in other countries and cultures.

Thus, they will be able to reflect and compare their own traditions and culture with those of others.

Students from a multilingual background or from a different culture have the opportunity to present aspects of their traditions and culture to their peers.

This potential for authentic contribution to language and culture must be used and valued in the classroom.


Teachers should explain the purpose of the activity in order to initiate data collection and class discussion on festivals, holidays, traditions, etc.

Possible questions for discussion are:

  • What are your favorite festivals and holidays? What are they called in your language?

(→Multilingual Wall)

  • What are your favorite traditional activities and why?
  • What do these traditions mean to you and your family?
  • How does your family celebrate this holiday/tradition?

Before the class discussion, the teacher can initiate a narration using images of different cultural events. The images can then create a shared understanding of the selected event prior to class discussion. Students can describe the images and make suggestions about what is happening in them, where they came from and the event being celebrated.

For their own project, students are encouraged to choose a cultural event, tradition, object or activity that they enjoy or find interesting.

Their subject can be from their own culture or from another culture they would like to learn about. Students should work in small groups on a chosen topic. At home or in class, students should prepare a presentation of their topic using a multimodal approach and using posters, videos, acting, singing, etc.

The presentation should include information on:

  • What festival, celebration, tradition or object is presented?
  • When, why and how is this event/object celebrated?
  • To which culture and which country does this celebration, this tradition or this object belong?
  • Why did the group choose this topic?
  • What does this mean for them and why?

Students should also create a multilingual wall with typical words and phrases related to the chosen party or object, expressing compliments, sayings, rhymes or important key words used during the celebration to link cultural aspects and languages between them.

Presentations should be made in class or at a school event, with ample time to ask and answer questions.