School year opening Party
Every year at 4 o’clock on the last Friday of August we have a party to celebrate both Plum Pudding’s birthday and the beginning of the new term. We are happy to greet new and old students with their parents and welcome them with fruits and refreshments. While parents enjoy having a conversation, their children occupy themselves with funny games led by the teachers. At 4:30 pm the games begin, in which parents can join their children and try their luck. Every year an artist comes to entertain us and heighten the excitement of the afternoon. After the performance food is served. To crown the evening, a huge plum cake is laid out to celebrate the birthday of the school.
According to the Hungarian tradition, Santa Claus comes on 6th of December. Everybody awaits him with excitement, counting down the days and practicing the songs, which they hope he will hear when he pays his visit. On the big day Santa arrives at Plum Pudding and starts to call the children one by one. Naturally, he knows everybody's name and he even has a few personal words of advice to say to each one of them. Then he gives them their presents: a tangerine, sweets, peanuts and a small toy. After talking to everyone of them he picks up his - now empty - bag and walks out of the room leaving the cheerful children playing happily with their new toys.
We like to celebrate the most intimate and familiar feast of the year here at school, too. Preparations start several weeks before to make sure everything is ready for the big day. The huge Christmas tree is decorated with the works of the children. The parents come in the afternoon, welcomed by the neatly dressed, excited children. We start the party with singing together; and after this children play their role in the show. Then a little performance is given by the teachers. We light up the candles on the tree and the big sparklers too. After this, the children happily hand their presents over to their parents. Then, of course, as a surprise they also get a present from the school. Nothing else is left but to enjoy the rest of the evening with the snacks and cookies. Some of them are brought by parents to represent the traditional Christmas cake of their country for this special evening.
It is, no doubt, the funniest and happiest day of the year. On this day the teachers are also dressed up, that's how they welcome the children - pirates, ballerinas, cowboys, fairies – who
Would be able to give a full list of them? Breakfast takes place at the usual time, but not at all in the usual manner. Just imagine that unexpected situation when Bob the Builder is having breakfast with a crocodile or Batman's bib is put on by a real fairy! The morning snack
is not the usual fruit or vegetable, but traditional Hungarian carnival doughnuts. In the afternoon, apart from more funny games comes the most awaited happening, face painting.
This is the first festival of the spring, so we like to celebrate part of it in the garden, if the weather permits. After breakfast we start playing funny games, but around 11o'clock news sweeps around the school that something happened in the garden. We all go out together and an enthusiastic treasure hunt begins. Under trees, behind logs, on the branches of trees and other places small presents are waiting for sharp-eyed treasure hunters, and soon everybody plays happily with the new toys. After this, those who want can play funny games in the garden.
For this event, children prepare a little show of songs, music and dances, performed by different age groups. Even the smallest ones sing a few songs, enjoying their performance as their mothers and grandmothers watch them eagerly. After the performance they thank their mothers and grandmothers for coming to see them with a flower and a hand-made present.
We would like this to be a really memorable day every year. For this we hold the "Indian day" when the children have to compete; - sometimes using their brains - sometimes theirs skills. At the end of the games the number of golden pebbles they got are counted, and the winner is announced - but the most important thing for everybody is that they enjoy the day.
The course of the day goes pretty much like that of Mother's day. Fathers and grandfathers are invited for this show. After the show the children also thank their fathers and grandfathers for coming to see them with a flower and a hand-made present, just like on Mother's day.
On this day we say farewell to the oldest children. They get a small bag containing a little present and a home-made cookie. They walk singing along the school and the garden and say good bye to the small ones and their teachers.