November 1, 2019

Today is La Toussant in France

La Toussaint is what they call All Saints Day in France. It is celebrated on November 1. All Saints Day is a Catholic holiday that celebrates the dead and all the saints in heaven. The French celebrate by visiting cemeteries to see the graves of their deceased loved ones.

One tradition they have is placing chrysanthemum flowers on the graves every La Toussaint.

This day is designated as a time to be with family and other loved ones as you remember your deceased loved ones. It is a day for prayer and silent remembering.

Chrysanthemum flowers.

October 12, 2019

Hispanic Day

Hispanic Day (Día de la Hispanidad) also known as National Day (Fiesta Nacional de España), celebrated on October 12, marks the day Christopher Columbus landed on an island that is now part of the Bahamas in the Caribbean in 1492. The king of Spain supervises the raising of the Spanish national flag in the center of Madrid on Hispanic Day. He and the prime minister lead a military parade after that. October 12 is known as Discovery Day in the Bahamas, Day of the Cultures in Costa Rica, Day of the Race in Argentina, Chile, and Mexico. It is even celebrated on the second Monday of October in the United States, though it is known as Columbus Day.

September 13, 2019

Mid-Autumn Festival in China

Today is the mid-autumn festival. This festival takes place on September 13 this year. It is a time of family reunions and peace. Many people play with lanterns or eat reunion dinners with their families. Popular foods include moon cakes, duck, and pumpkin. Some regions like Hong Kong will hold dragon and lion dances. The festival has a history of over 3,000 years! It was derived from the custom of moon worship during the Shang Dynasty.

Making colorful lanterns is a happy activity between families and children. The lanterns have different shapes and can also resemble animals, plants, or flowers. Children love making colorful lanterns. They are hung in trees or houses or floated on rivers. Parks will also hang up colorful lanterns, which provide a beautiful view at night.

Moon cakes are pastries that contain a filling made from red bean paste, lotus seed paste or jujube (Chinese date) paste, which surrounds the salted yolks of duck eggs. The yellow yolk is meant to represent the moon.

Chinese moon cakes

August 15, 2019

Spirit Festival in China

The Hungry Ghost Festival is one of several traditional festivals in China to worship ancestors. In 2018 it takes place on August 25. Chinese people perform special ceremonies to avoid the wrath of the ghosts such as putting the family’s ancestral tablets on a table, burning incense, and preparing food three times that day. The main ceremony is usually held at dusk. People put the family’s ancestral tablets and old paintings and photographs on a table and then burn incense near them. Plates of food are put out for the ghosts on the table, and the people may kowtow in front of the memorial tablets and report their behavior to their ancestors to receive a blessing or punishment. People also feast on this night, and they might leave a place open at the table for a lost ancestor.

They want to feed the hungry ghosts who have been wandering the land since the beginning of Hungry Ghost Month. It is thought that after two weeks of activity, they must be very hungry.

July 20, 2019

Why Should My Child Learn Spanish?

Why should your child learn to speak Spanish? Approximately 13% of the United States' population can speak Spanish; that's 44 million people. That's the second most-spoken language in the United States! Mexico and South America are our closest neighbors, and almost all of those are Spanish-speaking countries. With more than 400 millions speakers worldwide, Spanish is a fast-growing language. Becoming bilingual is not just a perk; it is a necessity.

Unfortunately, most Americans do not start learning a second language until middle school or even high school. It is possible to become bilingual as an adult; however it is far more likely that many Americans will remain monolingual. 53% of Europeans learn to speak a second language, compared with only 18% of Americans. In order for the United States to maintain its world standing, every American should be learning a second language from an early age.

Luckily, Cultured Kids Club does offer Spanish classes for children as young as 18 months! Keep reading to discover some of the perks of learning Spanish from a young age.

Develop early language skills.

Take advantage of the critical time in early development when acquiring language skills comes naturally and easily. A child’s capacity to pronounce unfamiliar, foreign sounds and to absorb new grammar rules is highly enhanced prior to age six.

Children who start learning at a younger age have a better chance of developing a natural-sounding accent, something older kids have a hard time with if they learn later. Learning another language can also help with listening skills. A study at Northwestern University showed that people who knew a second language could better identify another speaker's voice among distracting noises. Most importantly, kids will develop a broader perspective of the world.

Broaden cultural horizons.

You can travel to a Spanish-speaking country and really get to know the culture. Spanish is the official language of 21 countries worldwide, and those countries are home to many exquisite and fun travel destinations. If you speak Spanish, you can stray from the tourist path and explore local culture with ease. Travel stress is also minimized when you understand directions and menus, and countless doors open to travelers who speak the native language of the country they’re visiting. Prepare your child for aventuras!

Give your child access to Spanish films, music, and literature. World-renowned singers like Juanes and Gloria Estefan, filmmakers such as Pedro Almodovar, and writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez are all native Spanish speakers. Knowing Spanish will help your child understand and appreciate other cultures and Hispanic cultural contributions. Your child's ability to understand Spanish will enable him or her to gain important insights which monolinguals cannot.

It’s easier than you think.

Hundreds of words are the same in both English and Spanish. Animal, hospital, actor, color and doctor mean the same things in English and Spanish; they’re just pronounced a little differently. For English-speaking children, there’s no easier second language to learn than Spanish.

You might think that it would be difficult to learn a second language due to different sounds and the rate at which native speakers talk. This is why we at Cultured Kids Club teach immersion classes! This kind of learning enables your child to pick up on the rhythms and accents of Spanish while their ear adapts to the sounds of an entirely different language.

It’s fun!

Your child can learn Spanish with us here at Cultured Kids Club. With our engaging and age-appropriate curriculum, kids will have so much fun, they won’t even realize they’re learning! Click here to learn more about our awesome program.

July 7, 2019

Fiestas of San Fermin

The fiestas of San Fermin are celebrated in Irunea/Pamplona, in the region of Navarra, every year from the 6th to the 14th of July. They have become internationally known because of the running of the bulls, where the bulls are lead through the streets of the old quarter as far as the bull ring by runners.

June 7, 2019

Dragon Boat Festival, China

Dragon Boat Festival, also called Duanwu or Tuen Ng Festival, is a traditional holiday observed annually for over 2,000 years in China to commemorate Qu Yuan, an ancient Chinese patriotic poet. Dragon boat racing and eating zongzi are the central customs of the festival. In some regions in China, people also wear a perfume pouch, tie five-color silk thread and hang mugwort leaves or calamus on their doors.  It takes place on June 7 this year.