December 7th is an exciting day in Colombia! It’s the day when many people celebrate “La Noche de las Velitas” also known as “El Día delas Velitas.” Although the origins of this celebration are religious (as the night when many families welcome and celebrate “The Immaculate Conception”), it’s also seen as a way for families to welcome the end of year festivities in which many people, but not all, celebrate Navidad. Farolitos (luminaries) and candles are seen everywhere.
I have blogged before about the importance of this celebration in Colombia. Visit the links below to read my previous posts and find other activities to help you share with your students about this and other Christmas traditions in Colombia.
This is a simple way to make farolitos with your students. You will need:
1. Paper lunch bags
2. Led tea light – battery operated
3. Templates of different Christmas shapes
4. Tissue paper – preferably green and red
Use the opportunity to bring some language to the lesson. Visit my previous post with some ideas about questions for this activity. Talk about the colors and materials needed to make the farolitos.
You will need to prepare the templates in advanced and pre-cut the pieces of tissue paper.
1. Trace the shape on the paper lunch bag.
2. Cut out the shape. Younger students might need help to start cutting the shape.
3. Glue the tissue paper inside the paper bag.
4. Insert tea light
This is optional. Students can make designs around the edges of the bag.
5. Get ready to sing some villancicos while celebrating La Noche de las Velitas in class. Here is a great playlist on YouTube. I also recommend the “Mi Burrito Sabanero” version by Colombian singer Juanes.
Mamá Tortuga, who is also a Colombian bloguera has another awesome tutorial to make farolitos with your students. Please hop over her blog – rápido y no a paso de tortuga- to learn all about it!
Every year on December 7th, Colombia celebrates “La Noche de las Velitas” (also known as El Día de las Velitas), a night filled with candles and joy to celebrate Virgin Mary. This night also marks the beginning of all Christmas activities in Colombia.
What a good opportunity to bring some culture to your Spanish classes. Use a map and invite your students to find Colombia. You can also use Google Earth to make the trip more interactive and use a play passport for the trip. Share with them some information about this important celebration. Here are some useful resources for teachers to learn about the celebration:
1. ¿Dónde se celebra la noche de las velitas? ¿En Costa Rica o Colombia?
2. ¿Dónde está Colombia? ¿América del Norte o América del Sur?
3. ¿Quién celebra la Noche de las Velitas?
4. ¿De qué color es la bandera de Colombia?
5. ¿Qué lengua se habla en Colombia? ¿Inglés o español?
¡Hola! I am Carolina, a Colombian elementary Spanish teacher based in Boston, MA. Fun for Spanish Teachers is the result of my passion for teaching Spanish to children and my desire to inspire collaboration and creativity in a vibrant teaching and learning community. It’s the perfect stop if you are looking for songs, games, teaching tips, stories, and fun for your classes.