L'exploration indépendante : Les fêtes

This is a mockup of a site my students will see when they access this section of their independent exploration options in Canvas, our school's LMS.  For each suggestion there is some sort of follow-up "accountability" piece for me to give students credit, be it a reflection question or a screen shot.

Les fêtes - Holidays
Below are some YouTube playlists highlighting various holidays as they are celebrated around the French speaking world.  We will learn about most of these holidays during the year but through this activity you can delve a little deeper on your own.  The holidays are presented in the order in which they fall during the school year.

Note:  There are religious (Christian in particular) aspects to most of these holidays, but they are presented as a facet of the culture of the countries whose people celebrate them and not in an effort to compel you to adopt any particular religious beliefs.  The Catholic religion is heavily embedded into the holidays of France and many other French-speaking countries, so most holidays, even if they are celebrated in a more secular (non-religious) way today, still have Catholic origins.  You will also see a couple videos about Muslim holidays.

Note:  On many of the videos, you can get closed captions in French or English.  Click on the CC button (if it's available) to make closed captions appear.  Then, to change them to English, click the little gear icon to the right and click "Subtitles/CC" and if English isn't an option, click "Auto-translate" and select English from the list of languages.  If the closed captions are auto-translated, they will not be perfect, especially if the speaker is speaking very fast or not clearly, but they will help you follow along.

Follow-up:  After watching one of the playlists to learn about a holiday and tell me 3 things you learned.

And finally:  If you don't know where a country/region is that is mentioned in a video, please use Google Maps to find it!

Halloween (October 31) / La Toussaint (All Saints Day - November 1)
Halloween is not widely celebrated in French-speaking countries, but All Saints Day, which falls the day after, is.  These videos will help you learn the difference between the two.

La Saint-Nicolas (Saint Nicholas Day - December 6)
This holiday is widely celebrated throughout Europe, especially in Germany, and in the eastern part of France that borders Germany.  Saint Nicholas is NOT the same thing as Santa Claus and this holiday is NOT the same thing as Christmas.  Don't forget to turn on closed captioning and translate to English, as these videos are all in French!

La fête des rois / L'Épiphanie (Three Kings Day/Epiphany - January 6)

La Chandeleur (Candlemas - The French version of Groundhog Day - February 2)

Mardi Gras / Carnaval (Carnival is the season lasting from around January 6 [La fête des rois - see above] up until Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, which is the last day of Carnival.  Mardi Gras changes each year but it is always 40 days before Easter.)
First watch this video about Mardi Gras and Carnaval which I cropped irrelevant parts from using EdPuzzle before watching the YouTube playlist:

Autres fêtes - Other Holidays
In this playlist, I included a couple videos about the Muslim holiday Ramadan. Many French speakers in Africa are Muslim, especially in the North African countries of Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco.  The very last video shows how the Muslim community in the capital of Madagascar (an island nation off the coast of Africa) celebrates Ramadan, and how they invite their non-Muslim friends and neighbors to join them.

If all these videos are making you hungry for holiday-related treats, head on over to the cuisine page for recipes!

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