Today, I helped teach a few lessons. Every day I feel a little more comfortable in the classroom and I enjoy being able to contribute and not just sit as a distraction in the classroom. I think my counterpart and I are figuring out how co-teaching will work for us and we’ll get into the swing of things in no time!
Today was supposed to be my first English club for teacher, but it turns out today was a holiday! This country has SO MANY holidays! I’ve been at site for about a month and a week how and by my count, there have been at least six different holidays. This is also more complicated because they celebrate Orthodox holidays here, so Christmas here falls on January 7th and it is totally different than Christmas in the United States.
Here, New Year’s Eve is more like American Christmas. There are presents, ‘Christmas’ trees and there is often caroling. Additionally, some people celebrate ‘Old’ New Year’s, which is NYE following the Orthodox calendar. This falls on January 14th.
Today’s holiday was the Epiphany or the 12th day of Christmas. Attendance was pretty low today and we ended up having a half day. I did some research, because I was curious about this holiday. It celebrates Jesus’ baptism as well as the wise men visiting baby Jesus. There are a variety of ways this day is celebrated all over the world. Check out this article for more fun info on the Epiphany.
In Ukraine, it is celebrated in a pretty chilly way. People jump in lakes, rivers, etc. where the ice has been carved in the shape of a cross! I think the symbolism with Christ’s baptism is pretty cool. The fact that is was 12 degrees today is really cool. Cool as in cold. As in really really cold. My counterpart showed me some pictures of her neighbor doing just this near her house and I have some friends that took part.
Check out this video for more info!