Monthly Archives: Jan 2013

Carnaval – Mardi Gras VIVA!!!

Carnival reminds me of all my youth, when we would anticipate the week of Carnival and enjoy the “ensaios” rehearsals that in my home State, Bahia, prepare the people for the largest Party on Earth! Carnival in Brazil, where a bands set up very sophisticated equipment to give the people an amazing show! On the streets, no tickets, no money to watch, dance and enjoy it!

My father lives on a street two blocks from the main stage for the carnival procession in Salvador, the capital of Bahia, which is called Campo Grande. We used to come and still listen to the music from our open windows!

Just think about 7 days without traffic, hospitals, supermarkets or schools…..that’s how the people from Salvador live during carnival! Just sun and music! Who could ask for more!

Summer heat, cold drinks, light meals, music and fun!

One year, I decided to spend Carnival in Venice and see what it was all about, a completely different experience, elegant costumes, expensive parties, winter freezing cold and a lot of things I can’t share here on our blog…..

When I try to share my experience with Carnival and show my son a little bit of what happens during Carnival, I share the music, the fun, the carnival parties I attended as a child, being a member of nice swimming clubs, we had access to those private parties! The costumes, the confetti…the fun I remember from early days and the fun I had as a young teen going out with my friends and having lots of fun!

I also love bringing old Carnival songs like mamae eu quero, chiclete com banana, yvete san galo and other songs and artists and sharing them with my son! We do our own party and dance around the house with juice and colorful shirts!

How do you share Carnival with your children, students? Did you grow up enjoying it? Can’t wait to hear from you!!!

Viva Carnaval! 

¡Ya Vienen Los Reyes Magos! The Three Wise Men Are Coming!


 Dia de Reyes

After New Year’s Day, many Hispanic families still have a very special date to commemorate and enjoy.  On January 6, most of the Hispanic world celebrates El Dia De Reyes, the Epiphany, remembering the day when the Three Wise Men following the star to Bethlehem, arrived bearing their treasured gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the Baby Jesus.

The Reyes Magos In La Alameda

A couple of days earlier, the children write their letters to the Wise Men, or to their favorite Rey Mago: Melchor, Gaspar, or Baltasar, asking for the presents they would like to receive.

During the evenings before the great celebration on January 6, families go to the Alameda, in Mexico City, a beautiful park that dates back to the Colonial era. There, every year, hundreds of stands are placed with food, toys and best of all, there are sets, where the children can have their picture taken with the Three Kings of the Orient.

Hundreds of colored balloons, filled with helium, are sold during the season, so the little ones can attach their letters to them, and have them fly, up to the sky, carrying all their wishes with them.

If they forgot their letters at home,  there are also stores that offer writing paper and envelopes specially designed for the occasion and addressed to the Reyes Magos. This lovely tradition of going to the Alameda park is passed on from one generation to another.

January 6, Dia de Reyes

On the night, of January 5, the figurines of the Three Wise Men are added to the nativity scene. Before going to bed the children place their old shoes under their bed or in the living room, where the Wise Men will leave them their presents.  Some also place outside the house, some hay and a bucket with water for the animals, and even some cookies and milk for Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar.

This is the picture of our nativity scene! We will add the Reyes tomorrow!

nativity scene

I wanted to share some books I used in my classes this week:

Los Reyes a Caballo

Los Reyes Magos


We watched some videos:

This one was shown to older children:

This one to younger ones:

I also wanted to share some crafts we used in classes and at our home:

My students and I made some simple crowns and used verbs learned to act out bringing presents to Baby Jesus!

We used this template from First Pallete, cut from construction paper and used more paper to decorate it!



We used Crayola’s Craft:




Family Fun has a more complicated, but very pretty craft!                                                                          three kings

This is the letter template we used! Which is a free template found on :


We had not really celebrated Dia de Reyes before since it is not celebrated in Brazil, but it was great because my son had a chance to write a second letter to the reyes, that was great, he really enjoyed it and also enjoyed learning about the story behind it! He attends a Christian School, he said he will take the letter and show to his teacher and share the story in class!

                                                                                  Claudia-sigmy pic 2012