CHRISTMAS IN EUROPE 2016 IN THE MARCHE
Start date: Aug 1, 2016,
End date: Mar 31, 2017
The purpose of the event is to bring together 60 students and 30 teachers from different European countries each year in another region to celebrate the rich variety of traditions relating to Christmas, in the areas of food, costumes, legends, and music. This year's edition takes place in Italy. In December 2016, students and teachers will gather in San Benedetto del Tronto, a town on the Adriatic Sea attracting a lot of tourists, that the Christmas in Europe delegations will go forth and meet during their parade throughout the city, while stopping at different tourist attractions. The cultural diversity will be the starting point for a presentation of the different ways of celebrating Christmas as well as a debate on 'the importance to get united in diversity (to raise awareness about EU values)' as well as on tolerance, exclusion, racism and xenophobia.. Moreover, all countries are encouraged to take part in the event with at least one participant with disadvantaged backgrounds and/or fewer opportunities from either a social, economical, health/medical, educational, cultural or geographical point of view to foster (as for the other participants) their inclusion, mobility and employability. On the other hand, the event provides an opportunity for students and teachers to network with a view to future collaboration in terms of arranging student and teacher exchanges, and of planning participation in European programs.The main part of the event is an exhibition build up in two multi-purpose halls of the hosting hotel in the city center of San Benedetto del Tronto, where each delegation gets a stand to be decorated with typical Christmas items from their regions and where they offer small products for tasting from their country. They should distribute documentation on their region and discuss with the visitors about the different Christmas customs in Europe. The hosting partner will above all organize an entertainment program together with other Italian schools or organizations. Its principal will ask the local Municipality to invite local primary schools to visit the exhibition with their pupils, thus giving them an opportunity to have a "European look" at Christas and its customs. After the official opening of the exhibition to the public, the event continues with a Parade through the old city of San Benedetto del Tronto, to promote the event amongst the local population, in which the participants march in their traditional Christmas clothes ( e.g. Saint Lucia for Sweden, Beffana for Italy, St Nicholas (Sinterklaas) for the Czech Republic or Housécker for Luxembourg, Christkindel for Alsace, St Nikolaus and Krampus for Austria, Father Frost and the Little Snow Child for Russia, aso) with their national flags and those of the AEHT and the Erasmus+ Program fluttering in the breeze along a route decided by the organizers. On two evenings, always half of the delegations will set up a European Buffet at the Hotel school IPSSOA BUSCEMI, where students will have to prepare and serve traditional food for Christmas from their region. The guests are the participants themselves as well as special guests invited by the hosting partner who supported financially or materially the event. For the following day is scheduled a Cultural show at the City theater with presentations by each delegation on Christmas traditions (songs, music, dances, legends, sketches, ...) in their respective countries. A religious Church Service may be considered an optional extra, and attendance will be free choice. A Tourism program as well as a sociocultural program will be offered by the hosting partner to the participants during their stay to get even more acquainted with the hosting city and region as well as its traditions. An group excursion to discover the wonders of Ascoli Piceno and Offida is also scheduled. At the end of the activities, an assessment session will take place, which will help the AEHT to improve the organization and guarantee the smooth running of the event in future years by means of enhanced guidelines.The organizers expect significant improvements of youngsters' linguistic, cultural and transversal skills as well as main key competences. Through exchanges with their peers and new practical experiences, students will also broaden their horizons, get more responsive to sociocultural diversity, develop their professional abilities and enhance their employability. These improvements will be recorded in a Youthpass handed over to the participants.The AEHT Head Office will disseminate the outcomes of the projects via its newsletter, Internet site and Facebook page to all 400 AEHT member schools and even not members. All other partners will also contribute to the dissemination of outcomes through different media amongst their school community.
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