Culture

Miķeļdiena at the kindergarten 

Miķeļdiena is a celebration celebrated in Latvia and the end of september. It is the autumn solstice, when we say goodbye to the part of the year, that has brought us the most harvest, and at this point all of the work on the fields has to be done. There are many beliefs and traditions that talk about this time and are important to the culture, therefore are important to talk about.  

A while ago Miķeļdiena was a huge celebration, that was celebrated in each home. Nowadays the importance of this day is mentioned usually only in kindergartens and in the younger classes at school. However it is wonderful, if we dont forget this day and show why it has been so important to our grandparents, their parents and even older generations. 

A while ago, most of the people living in Latvia were heavily dependent on how good the year's harvest was. If a lot of food was produced during summer, the family would have an easy time waiting for spring. That is why the day when all of the work on the fields was finished was so important  - on Miķeļdiena everyone came together and had fun. 

 

How to make sure that this day is special at the kindergarten? 

Talking about beliefs and traditions

There was a time, when people didn't have smartphones with precise weather predictions. That is why they paid close attention to what was happening in nature and tried to make their own observations and predictions. A lot of beliefs of Miķeļdiena have practical things to do in them, therefore it is interesting to explore them. A few of them are: 

  • If there are still acorns in the oaks during Miķeļdiena, there will be a lot of snow during Christmas. 
  • If there is rain during Miķeļdiena next summer will be warm. 
  • If you count beans or peas during Miķeļdiena, then you will have money to count for the whole year. 
  • During Miķeļdiena you have to honor bread and have dark break on the table, that you can eat with honey. Then you will have strength during winter. 
  • During this celebration you have to have autumn flowers in the house and you have to create crowns, put them in hair or hang them by the window, in order for the autumn blessings to come in the house. 

When reading the belief, you can also immediately do what it says. Before that you have to ask parents to bring necessary things - beans or peas, dark bread and honey, autumn flowers, etc. When reading the belief about peas and beans, the kids have to count how many beans and peas they have, that way also having an exercise in counting. 

The crown of autumn flowers can be made by each child individually, however they can and want. and then they can bring it home, hang it by the window and tell their parents about the belief. The beliefs that require going outside (for example, finding an oak tree) can be left for the end, so that everyone can prepare to go outside together and find an oak tree at the nearby park. 

Exploring beliefs can also be made into a little project kids can do with their parents. At Miķeļdiena children with their parents look, what kind of weather is outside and write it down (take photos, draw or do something else, that will help them remember), and then - when Christmas comes, children can look back at it and see, if the belief has come true. 

 

Creating autumn decorations 

To get the autumn feeling, you can create decorations! You can use cones, chestnuts, acorns, colorful leaves, different flowers and everything else, that belongs to autumn. Out of these materials you can create houses, animals, autumn people - whatever you want. Leaves can be used to create beautiful paintings and crowns. 

To not have extensive food waste, you have to have an agreement with parents that you shouldn't use different vegetables and foods from the garden for this task. 

The kindergarten or class can be decorated with flowers, leaves and chestnuts as well. 

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