Dates and Festivals to Celebrate in July

8 Dates and Festivals to Celebrate in July: From NAIDOC Week to Bastille Day

July is Australia’s coldest month. In the middle of winter, it is a time for meditation and reflection. In the Northern Hemisphere however, July is their warmest month, and it signifies the height of summer.  We’ve looked all over the globe for our best picks of July dates to celebrate and commemorate from our cultural calendar. Ranging from Japan’s Star Festival to NAIDOC Week and Bastille Day, get ready to discover global festivals and celebrations to enjoy in July.  July Morning Festival 1st July In Bulgaria, July Morning is an annual festival celebrated the night before and on July 1st. Although the tradition is unique to Bulgaria, it is not universally celebrated by the entire country.  On this day, people gather on the country’s Black Sea coast to welcome the sunrise of a new day, month and summer season. The festival originated in the 1970s as a symbol of freedom and rebellious youth, but now, participants light fires, play music and jump over the flames, embracing the spirit of renewal and new beginnings. It is this blend of cultural celebration, communal gathering and music festival that draws both locals and tourists to the picturesque coastal locations.   Star Festival  7th July  Tanabata, also known as the Star Festival, is a Japanese celebration that takes place on July 7th or August 7th, depending on the region. Originating from a Chinese legend, it celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi, represented by the stars Vega and Altair, who are allowed to meet only once a year on this day. During Tanabata, people write wishes on colorful strips of paper called tanzaku and hang them on bamboo branches. Festivities include parades, traditional decorations and performances, making it a joyful and vibrant occasion symbolising love, wishes and the beauty of the night sky.  Celebrate Japanese culture with our Japanese Infusion educational program (available face-to-face in New South Wales), bringing Japanese culture to life using songs, games and storytelling to teach children about the culture, traditions, seasons and celebrations of Japan. Our Japanese Calligraphy or Japanese Ink Painting educational programs, led by award-winning artist Junko, are also other ways to learn about Japanese culture. In these educational programs, student learn different types of brush techniques and touch on Japanese history and origins. Both programs are available in Victoria.  We also offer Taiko Drumming in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, which is a traditional and original Japanese music program that combines spectacular performances with interactive workshops. This educational workshop allows students to be introduced to Japanese culture through music and language.  NAIDOC Week 7th July – 14th July  NAIDOC Week is an annual celebration in Australia that honors the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It stands for National Aborigines’ and Islanders’ Day Observance Committee. NAIDOC Week typically features various events such as cultural performances, art exhibitions, workshops and community gatherings. The week provides an opportunity for all Australians to learn about and acknowledge the rich heritage and contributions of Aboriginal communities. It also serves as a platform to address issues faced by First Nations peoples and promote reconciliation and understanding among all Australians.  This year in 2024, the theme of NAIDOC Week is ‘Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud’. The term ‘blak’ is a reclaimed word used by Indigenous Australians to assert their cultural identity and solidarity, stripping away the pejorative undertones often associated with ‘black’. ‘Blak’ is not just a word, but a declaration of resilience, pride and ongoing resistance against colonisation and its lingering effects. The term serves as a reminder of the strength and vitality of Indigenous cultures, as well as the significance of preserving heritage, language and identity for the future generations to come.  As we observe NAIDOC Week, let us take the time to engage in the stories and cultures of our First Nations presenters in our Aboriginal Infusion educational program (available in Victoria, Queensland, and New South Wales) and our Aboriginal Culture For A Day program (available in Victoria). Let us acknowledge the resilience and strength of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and learn through dance, symbolic art, didgeridoo and a wide range of other engaging activities.  Students can also learn traditional Aboriginal symbols from our First Nations presenters in our Aboriginal Storytelling Through Art educational program, available in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales. This unique experience will give students the opportunity to create and share their own stories and is a perfect intercultural experience for any age! Aboriginal Storytelling and Artefacts  available in New South Wales, Australia Capital Territory and Western Australia on the other hand, combines storytelling with an introduction to the history of Aboriginal tools and artefacts. Students will get to immerse themselves in Aboriginal culture throughout this program by acting out stories and engaging with cultural artefacts.  Nevertheless, it is vital to keep the fire burning, not just during NAIDOC Week, but in our everyday actions and interactions as it is important for us to continue learning and engaging with Aboriginal culture and history on an ongoing basis.  Bastille Day  14th July  Bastille Day is a significant festival and holiday in France that marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, a symbolic act that ignited the French Revolution. This event was a pivotal moment in French history, signaling the start of the struggle against the monarchy’s absolute power and the fight for freedom, equality and solidarity.   Today, Bastille Day is celebrated with great fervor across France with festivities such as military parades, firework displays and communal gatherings. The iconic parade along the Champs-Élysées in Paris showcases France’s military might and cultural diversity, while smaller towns and villages hold their own festivities, featuring local traditions and cuisine.  Cultural Infusion provides a variety of skilled French presenters to assist schools throughout Australia in celebrating Bastille Day. Our Man of a Million Faces and Mime Magnifique! educational programs by renowned international entertainer, Chris, offer students the chance to join interactive and engaging workshops exploring French history and culture. These two programs, available in Victoria, teach students about French theatre life, including magic, mime art and Commedia dell’arte.  In terms of music, we also offer our Classic French Music educational program in New South Wales where our presenters play music from legendary French artists and contextualise the music to students by introducing the lyrics, instruments and cultural context. In Queensland, Les Chansons Françaises with Pauline gives students the opportunity to learn stories of her Parisienne childhood in an interactive vocal session with songs that explore intercultural understanding. Students will hear and speak French throughout the program and end the session learning to waltz!  Eid Al-Adha  16th July – 20th July  Eid Al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, is one of the most significant Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide. It honours the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham in Christianity and Judaism) to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) as an act of obedience to God’s command. However, before he could carry out the act, God provided a ram to sacrifice instead.   During Eid Al-Adha, Muslims commemorate this story by sacrificing an animal, typically a sheep, goat, cow or camel, and sharing the meat with family, friends as well as the less fortunate. The festival also marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. It is a time for prayer, reflection and spending time with loved ones, emphasising the values of sacrifice, charity and community solidarity in the Islamic faith.  Nelson Mandela Day  18th July  Nelson Mandela Day, celebrated annually on his birthday, is a date to raise awareness of the life and legacy of a man who shaped both the 20th and 21st centuries. It is a time for everyone to rediscover the principles that motivated Nelson Mandela, a deep commitment to justice, human rights and fundamental freedoms. Nelson Mandela was a fierce advocate for equality and the founding father of peace in South Africa.  Nelson Mandela demonstrates to us the power of resisting oppression, of justice over inequality, of dignity over humiliation, and forgiveness over hatred. Let us keep in mind Nelson Mandela’s life lessons and the fundamental humanism that shaped him: “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”  As also said by Nelson Mandela during the Rivonia Trial in 1964, “I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” His beliefs are in line with Cultural Infusion’s goals in building cultural harmony and wellbeing.   Racial Harmony Day  21st July  In Singapore, Racial Harmony Day is observed annually on July 21st to commemorate the importance of racial and religious harmony in the country. It marks the anniversary of the 1964 racial riots, a dark period in Singapore’s history.   The day is dedicated to promoting understanding, respect and unity among Singapore’s diverse ethnic and religious communities. Schools, workplaces and communities organise various activities such as cultural performances or sharing sessions to foster mutual respect and appreciation for Singapore’s multicultural fabric. Racial Harmony Day serves as a reminder of the nation’s commitment to building a harmonious and inclusive society, where people of different backgrounds can live and thrive together in peace.  Explore our cultural education programs which celebrate and share appreciation of practices and traditions across diverse cultures!  International Friendship Day  30th July  International Friendship Day is a global observance dedicated to promoting friendship and camaraderie among people from all walks of life. The day serves as a reminder of the importance of fostering friendships, both old and new, and cultivating understanding and goodwill across cultures and borders. It’s a time to appreciate the meaningful connections we have with others and to reach out to friends, near and far, to show gratitude and solidarity.   International Friendship Day encourages acts of kindness, reconciliation and bridge-building, emphasising the universal value of friendship in creating a more peaceful and harmonious world.  To celebrate this day, choosing to participate in our cultural education programs which use cultural and artistic expression as a means of promoting social cohesion will allow students to forge strong bonds with each other. This will further help them create friendships based on mutual understanding and respect.   Book your July celebrations now!  Enquire about our cultural education programs available Australia-wide to celebrate important dates for the month of July.  Stay tuned for next month to learn the cultural dates to celebrate in August! 

Celebrating NAIDOC Week Outside of NAIDOC Week: This is an image of the word 'Australia' written in the sand.

Celebrating NAIDOC Week Outside of NAIDOC Week

We at Cultural Infusion are writing this blog from Collingwood on the land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, who have cared for this land for more than 40,000 years.   Living and benefiting from this land every day, we pay our utmost respect to Elders past, present and future. We further acknowledge that sovereignty of this land was never ceded and that this was and always will be Aboriginal land.    In the following blog post, we discuss the important history of NAIDOC week and what it is all about today and going forward. Importantly, we also discuss our role and influence as Australians on NAIDOC week in best supporting and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures.   We further discuss through the shared knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders how this celebration of culture and people is not exclusive to NAIDOC week but encouraged in everyday life.   Some Important History NAIDOC, which stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day of Observance Committee, has a strong history extending before 1920 when Aboriginal rights groups started the first boycotts of Australia Day held every January 26th. Several Aboriginal organisations emerged to continue this effort of protest and raise awareness of the unjust history and treatment of First Peoples. However, many societal barriers made progress challenging, with reports of frequent police harassment. These adversities resulted in organisations like the Australian Aborigines Progressive Association (AAPA) abandoning their work in 1927.   Australia Day in 1938 would become a significant day for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. On this day, protesters gathered and marched the streets of Sydney, followed by a congress with over a thousand attendees. This was one of the first civil rights gatherings in the world and was known as the first Day of Mourning.   After this Day of Mourning, many believed the day warranted being a regular event. Therefore, in 1939 Yorta Yorta man and Aboriginal rights activist William Cooper wrote a letter to the National Missionary Council of Australia seeking their support to promote the annual event. The outcome of this letter was successful.   Between 1940 and 1955 Australia’s Day of Mourning was held annually on the Sunday that falls before Australia Day and was known as ‘National Aborigines Day’. In 1955, Aborigines Day was changed to the first Sunday in July after people came to consensus that the day should be regarded as more than a day of protest but a celebration of Aboriginal culture.   1956 saw the formation of the ‘National Aborigines Day Observance Committee’ or NADOC. The second Sunday of July became a Remembrance Day for Aboriginal people and their heritage. This further propelled the formation of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs in 1972 as an outcome of the 1967 referendum.   In 1974, the NADOC committee, composing entirely of Aboriginal members for the first time, decided to combine both days to run for a full week from the first to the second Sunday of July. In 1984, NADOC asked that ‘National Aborigines Day’ be made a national public holiday to further spread awareness on the rich history of Aboriginal culture that makes Australia unique, which to this day has yet to happen.  From 1991, for the first time, NADOC week became NAIDOC week to include the distinct and unique cultural histories of Torres Strait Islander peoples. Hence, the new name became the ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’.   NAIDOC Week Today Today, NAIDOC Week continues to be a dedicated period focused on celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories, and achievements. The aim is to continually spread awareness and educate all Australians on the importance of respecting and embracing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.   This serves as an opportunity for the broader public to get involved in cultural celebrations, events, and activities across the country with some of the longest established Indigenous cultures in the world.   Each year, NAIDOC week has a unique theme representing a core message.   For 2024, the theme is “KEEP THE FIRE BURNING! BLAK, LOUD AND PROUD”.   The upcoming theme this year represents a celebration of the unshakable spirit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. It is an invitation for all to stand up in solidarity to amplify the voices of those who have long been silenced.   The theme of fire represents the surviving strength and vitality of Indigenous cultures passed down through generations despite facing high adversity. The theme serves as a symbol of continued connection to land, waters and sky, to the beings that share these spaces and to the abundant traditions that define Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.   Through the honouring of flame lies a renewed commitment to acknowledging, preserving, and sharing the rich cultural heritage of Australia.   “Blak, Loud and Proud” encapsulates the passionate and wholehearted celebration of Indigenous identity and hence empowering knowledge keepers to stand strong in their heritage and assert their place in the current world.   The core goals of this year’s theme, strive for a reclamation of narratives along with an amplification of First Peoples voices, and ultimately an unwavering commitment to justice and equality.   This year’s theme is an invitation for all Australians to learn, listen and actively engage in meaningful dialogue and foster a society where the deep knowledge, wisdom and contributions of Indigenous peoples are valued and respected. NAIDOC Week Going Forward Voices From First Peoples We asked Cultural Infusion’s First Peoples presenters Aunty Monica and Uncle Paul for their thoughts on the following two questions.  Aunty Monica is a Murri Elder who shares her valuable insights and thoughts on NAIDOC week along with advice to educators on how to best celebrate this week.   Uncle Paul is a Wakka Wakka Elder and passionate teacher of the didgeridoo. He shares his thoughts on the meaning and purpose behind NAIDOC week along with advice to educators on how to best celebrate this period.   From Aunty Monica: What does NAIDOC week mean to you?  Below, Aunty Monica shares the importance of community during NAIDOC week and how this time provides feelings of community as well as safety.   “When we get together there’s a sense of comfort and solidarity.”  “The spotlight is shined on Indigenous issues and some of the inequities.”   “To be visual and seen is so important.”  “For non-Indigenous people it’s certainly a great time to learn more.”   What is your advice to Educators celebrating NAIDOC week?  Aunty Monica discusses NAIDOC week as an important reminder to celebrate First Nations culture. However, she also stresses that celebrating First Peoples culture is not and shouldn’t be exclusive to one week per year.   “We would love NAIDOC week to be every week.”  “I would encourage teachers to go forward themselves in acknowledging that week.”   “There’s many things you can do.”   “All it takes is their own initiative really.”   From Uncle Paul: What does NAIDOC week mean to you?  Below, Uncle Paul shares that NAIDOC week is about celebration and not reconciliation. He stresses the importance of approaching NAIDOC week with positivity and optimism for the future.    “It’s about sharing the culture”  “It’s about Aboriginal people coming together.”   “It’s about the achievements of Aboriginal people.”   “It’s about having fun.”   “NAIDOC is just bringing everybody together.”  What is your advice to Educators celebrating NAIDOC week?  Uncle Paul emphasises the importance of schools embracing Aboriginal cultures “all year round” regardless of First Peoples children enrolment. How You Can Engage With Ongoing NAIDOC Celebrations Our blog has discussed many things NAIDOC week, First Peoples culture and more. NAIDOC week is a special period and an opportunity to both celebrate and learn about First Peoples culture all while fostering community and connection.   Aunty Monica and Uncle Paul have provided valuable First Peoples perspectives on NAIDOC Week. Through their lived experience, they both express the true meaning of NAIDOC and how this meaning extends way beyond one week but in the everyday.   It is important to continue to learn and engage with First Peoples and their cultures well beyond NAIDOC Week as they continue to exist and skilfully adapt every day to new arising conditions as the longest surviving cultures on earth. At Cultural Infusion, we offer a diverse range of cultural programs for schools,  childcare centres and more. These include engaging Aboriginal programs which can be explored HERE.    When booking a program with us, you will receive 3 months of complimentary premium access to award-winning resources found on our online educational platform Learning Lands. This learning platform can help enrich the intercultural learning experience in the classroom.   To find out more about our programs please call us on 03 9412 6666 or email us at [email protected]

January celebrations

January: A Guide to Celebrating Cultural Dates

As the year comes to a close and the new year begins, January and is full of important days that celebrate various aspects of culture, religion, and history. Featuring dates from Cultural Infusion’s expertly designed Cultural Calendar, we take a look at some of January’s culturally and globally significant dates; focusing on new beginnings, health and wellbeing, and education. Some notable January days that have global relevance include World Braille Day, and International Day of Education. These days foster discourse about important topics, honour achievements, and commemorate the history of countries across the world. The first month of the year marks a period of exploration and new beginnings, filled with possibilities and opportunities. Recognised as International Creativity Month and Self-Love Month, it encourages individuals to explore new hobbies, interests, skills, and passions. In the spirit of exploration, our Multicultural All-Day or Half-Day program offers a unique opportunity to celebrate diversity and multiculturalism through a wide variety of engaging and interactive experiences. Participants actively take part in a range of activities and artistic expressions, exploring themes such as language, culture, and history, showcasing a diverse array of cultural programs that contribute to a rich and enlightening experience. Each month of the year has days that hold special significance, making them worth remembering and celebrating. Here, we have shared the details about some commonly celebrated dates in January. Feast of St Basil 1st January St Basil the Great was a leader and a saint of the Orthodox Christian Church, who lived in Cappadocia and served the community with generosity and compassion. He is remembered on the Feast of St Basil, when people bake a special cake called Vasilopita, which has a coin hidden inside. This tradition comes from the bishop’s practice of giving money to the poor. On this day, people also visit their friends and relatives, and celebrate their culture and history together. Our founder and CEO Peter Mousaferiadis is proud of his Greek Orthodox background and heritage. He has received recognition from the Greek community for his work and achievements. He shares the same vision as St Basil the Great, which is to promote intercultural harmony around the world. Cultural Infusion is inspired by the diversity and uniqueness of each human being, and aims to create a better understanding of our society. International Mind-Body Wellness Day 3rd January January 3rd is celebrated as International Mind-Body Wellness Day and is an opportunity to celebrate how a healthy mind means a healthy body as the connection between them plays an integral role in our overall health and well-being. This day highlights the ways that we can elevate our mind-body wellness and promote physical and mental health. Everything from mindfulness, meditation, and spirituality, is encouraged! Our Yoga and Mindfulness program, available in New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia, helps students recalibrate for the new school year. Incorporating breath work, flexibility, and strength exercises, the program promotes mental and physical well-being. Students learn flowing yoga postures, classical hand gestures, meditation and breath techniques. Didgeridoo Mindfulness Journey is another fantastic program in Victoria this is a perfect way to re-calibrate the mind and body. Through this engaging program, participants delve into three stories depicting children’s global discovery of the didgeridoo. The session concludes with a didgeridoo meditation, providing a holistic experience for all involved. World Braille Day 4th January World Braille Day, on January 4th, celebrates Louis Braille’s birthday, the inventor of the Braille system empowering millions with visual impairments. This tactile writing system fosters accessibility, education, and social inclusion, highlighting the importance of equal opportunities. The day honours Louis Braille’s enduring legacy, enriching countless lives globally.  Australia celebrates January as National Braille Literacy Month. World Hindi Day 10th January Also known as Vishwa Hindi Diwas, World Hindi Day is celebrated on January 10th each year to promote and honour the Hindi language as one of the most widely spoken languages globally. This day marks the anniversary of the first World Hindi Conference held in 1975. Hindi plays a crucial role in fostering cultural understanding and connecting people from diverse linguistic backgrounds. Our Bollywood Infusion program (available Australia-wide) and Classical Indian Dance program (available in Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia), provide a vibrant cultural experience to engage students in the joy of movement, rhythm, and diversity. These are excellent programs to celebrate World Hindi Day, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of Indian artforms, traditions and culture. International Kite Day 14th January International Kite Day is a global celebration of the joy and art of flying kites. The day symbolises freedom and joy, turning the sky into a canvas adorned with creative designs in a range of colours. It’s a day of shared experiences and community, celebrating the beauty of flight and the simple pleasure of seeing kites dance in the wind. Our Chinese Kite Making workshop in Victoria offers students a hands-on cultural experience, crafting traditional Chinese kites and learning the cultural significance of the traditional art of Chinese Kite Making, perfect for International Kite Day. World Religion Day 15th January World Religion Day is a global event that recognises the significant role religion plays in fostering connections among humanity. Rooted in Baha’i principles, the day advocates for universal equality and promotes a deeper interfaith understanding, strengthening bonds across all communities. Over time, World Religion Day has evolved beyond exclusive celebrations by Baha’i followers, embracing interfaith dialogue that welcomes and shares perspectives from various faiths. Our CEO, Peter Mousaferiadis, has been a dedicated member of the United Religions Initiative (URI), actively involved in promoting interfaith dialogue and conflict resolution. The URI’s continuous initiatives have brought together esteemed individuals from across the globe to engage in discussions on peace-building and conflict transformation at both local and global scales. At Cultural Infusion, we firmly believe that fostering intercultural understanding and solidarity is a crucial step towards creating a more harmonious world. National Handwriting Day 23rd January National Handwriting Day, celebrated on January 23rd, encourages the appreciation of the art of handwriting. Commemorating the birthday of John Hancock, known for his distinctive signature on the Declaration of Independence, the day emphasises the personal touch of handwritten communication and has since been celebrated internationally. In a digital age, it reminds us of the uniqueness and cognitive benefits of handwriting, encouraging people to take a moment engage in the act of penmanship. Our Japanese Calligraphy (Shodo) program provides an opportunity for students to develop their writing skills and appreciate the beauty of Japanese characters. Available in Victoria for both schools and early childhood, students of all ages will get to explore the traditional art of Japanese calligraphy. Similarly, primary and secondary school students in New South Wales can practice their Chinese calligraphy in our Chinese Calligraphy and Brush Ink Painting program, engaging in a meaningful and culturally enriching practice. International Day of Education 24th January The International Day of Education, highlights the crucial role of education in promoting peace, development, and human rights globally. Established by the United Nations, the day emphasises the importance of inclusive and equitable learning opportunities for all. The International Day of Education is a call to collaborate and address global education challenges and reaffirms the belief that education is a fundamental human right, essential for building a sustainable and just future. Cultural Infusion provides a variety of educational programs dedicated to fostering creativity. In addition to our diverse range of in-person and virtual programs, we offer a comprehensive musical digital platform, Sound Infusion which is designed for students to discover the richness of global music. Sound Infusion, guides students on a global auditory exploration with music samples from various regions, including Latin America and South East Asia. We emphasise transformative education, encouraging students to perceive the social world through a creative and ethical lens. Australia Day / Invasion Day 26th January Known by many people as Australia Day, January 26 is the anniversary of Captain Arthur Phillip’s landing in Sydney Cove in 1788. Representing pride, patriotism, and achievement, Australia Day is a day of celebration and festivities for some. However, for First Nations Peoples, it’s known as Invasion Day. A day of trauma, Invasion Day marks the impact of dispossession, loss of culture, and the profound consequences of British colonisation and the Stolen Generation on their communities. While it’s important to acknowledge Australia’s national achievements and celebrate national pride, it’s equally vital to empathise with and comprehend the ongoing postcolonial trauma experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, along with the negative associations linked to this day. As a nation, it’s important to strive for greater harmony, necessitating reflection and amplifying the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Cultural Infusion places significance on personal reflection on January 26 and every day of the year, advocating for enhanced intercultural understanding and confronting previously held beliefs of national pride and heritage. We believe First Nations perspectives need to be heard and valued. Our Aboriginal programs at Cultural Infusion are available in many states across Australia, and are open learning environments for promoting interculturalism and connection between modern and traditional Australia. Aboriginal Infusion is a perfect interactive and engaging introduction to the rich, continuing traditions and cultural aspects of Australia’s first people. Available in Queensland and Victoria, this program features dance and Didgeridoo. Aboriginal Storytelling and Artefacts combines storytelling, artefacts and interactive activities, to introduce students to the history of Aboriginal tools, creating an engaging session for your students in New South Wales, Western Australia and Australian Capital Territory. International Environmental Education Day 26th January International Environmental Education Day, observed on January 26th, promotes environmental awareness and the pivotal role of education in sustainable development. This day encourages learning about environmental challenges, conservation, and sustainable practices, aiming to inspire positive actions for the planet. It serves as a reminder that informed individuals are crucial for building a more environmentally conscious global community. Our Caring for Country program in Queensland provides students with the opportunity to connect with the environment and foster an understanding of Indigenous sustainability practices. Through engaging activities and educational content, students develop an appreciation for nature and gain valuable insights into the importance of environmental conservation. Book your January celebrations now! Explore our cultural programs available Australia-wide to celebrate important dates for the beginning of the new year! We will join you again next month to bring you cultural dates to celebrate in February.

8 Dates to Celebrate in March: This is a photo of multicoloured tulips with the words “hello March”.

8 Dates to Celebrate in March

March is much more than a simple transition between summer and autumn. It’s a month rich in international events that highlight important issues such as women’s rights, cultural diversity, and global challenges. Thanks to Cultural Infusion’s cultural calendar, we can see some important dates to celebrate in March.   This month of the year marks a period of exploration and new beginnings, full of possibilities and opportunities. Recognised as International Creativity Month and Self-Love Month, March encourages people to explore new hobbies, interests, skills, and passions. 1. International Women’s Day  8th March Every year, the world celebrates International Women’s Day. This day is much more than a simple commemoration; it is an opportunity to recognise the achievements of women in all fields, while highlighting the need to fight for gender equality.   International Women’s Day is marked by a different theme each year, highlighting an important issue for women around the world. This year’s theme is “Invest in women: Accelerate progress”. These themes are chosen to highlight persistent gender inequalities and to encourage governments, organisations, and individuals to take action to address them.   It is celebrated all over the world, with a variety of events such as conferences, artistic performances, exhibitions, and more. There occasions give women the chance to come together, support and inspire each other in their fight for equality.   By recognising women’s achievements and raising awareness of the challenges they face every day, we can all help to create a world where women are respected, valued, and treated fairly.   At Cultural Infusion, we represent many talented and culturally diverse women who present in schools, early childhood and more, sharing their culture through the arts, and appreciating the significant impact of women’s contributions to the world. Our Diversity Atlas data analytics platform focuses not only on cultural differences but also on gender. It highlights the importance of gender diversity in an organisation.   2. Maha Shivaratri 8th March Maha Shivaratri is one of the most important festivals in the Hindu calendar. This annual celebration is dedicated to honouring Lord Shiva, one of the most revered deities in Hinduism.   According to legend, Maha Shivaratri marks the night when Shiva dances the Tandava, the cosmic dance, which symbolizes the creation and destruction of the universe. It is an opportunity to renew one’s commitment to values such as truth, purity and compassion, and to seek Shiva’s blessing and protection for a prosperous and fulfilling life.  Maha Shivaratri is much more than just a religious festival; it is a celebration of spirituality, devotion and Shiva’s divine grace. By honouring Shiva and dedicating themselves to his devotion, Hindu devotees find inspiration, strength and guidance for their spiritual journey. Whether through meditation, prayer or participation in sacred rituals, Maha Shivaratri offers everyone the opportunity to connect with the divine and find inner peace and fulfilment.   Embark on a colourful journey to the vibrant world of Bollywood with Bollywood Infusion; a dynamic Bollywood dance workshop where students will learn about the folk and classical origins of the dances, as well as the symbolism of certain movements. Bollywood is an important part of modern Indian culture, referring to the Hindi film industry and characterised by colourful displays of music, dance and costumes. This program is available Australia-wide for early learning centres and schools.   3. Nyepi 11th March  Known as the ‘Day of Silence’, Nyepi is one of the most important festivals in Bali, Indonesia. This annual celebration is unique in its kind, as it is marked by a full day of silence, meditation, and reflection, followed by colourful rituals and community festivities.   The significance of Nyepi lies in the belief that silence and meditation can help to purify the soul, eliminate negative energies, and strengthen the connection with the gods. It is a day to withdraw from the hustle and bustle of the outside world, to refocus on oneself and to reflect on one’s life, actions, and aspirations.   On the eve of Nyepi, the Balinese celebrate ‘Ngrupuk’, where colourful parades and street performances are organised to chase away evil spirits. On Nyepi day itself, all activity is forbidden, including leaving your home. The streets are deserted, shops are closed, and the island is enveloped in a solemn calm.  This sacred day embodies spirituality, tranquillity, and communion with nature. By observing a full day of silence and meditation, the Balinese find inner peace and connection with their deepest selves. Whether meditating at home or taking part in community rituals, Nyepi offers everyone the opportunity for spiritual renewal and cultivate peace and harmony in their lives and in the world around them.   Immerse yourself in the world of Balinese culture with our Bali in Motion program. Available in New South Wales and Western Australia, students will learn about the origins, symbols, and significance of Indonesian culture through dance and music.  4. Cherry Blossom Festival 20th March This annual celebration marks the blossoming of cherry blossoms in Japan and other parts of the world. This iconic festival is an opportunity to celebrate the ephemeral beauty of cherry blossoms, gather with family and friends, and celebrate nature and Japanese culture.   Deeply rooted in centuries-old tradition, the Cherry Blossom Festival holds deep significance in Japanese culture and spirituality. Considered as symbol of renewal and rebirth, cherry blossom is celebrated as a sign of life’s transient beauty. Cherry blossoms represent fragility, grace, and gratitude.  For many Japanese, this festival carries profound meaning. It’s a time to connect with nature, to meditate on the impermanence of life and to appreciate the fleeting beauty of the present moment. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate friendship, conviviality and sharing. By admiring the cherry blossoms and participating in the festivities, people find joy, inspiration and connection with their inner selves and the world around them.   Discover a variety of programs showcasing Japanese culture such as Japanese Infusion ; available in New South Wales or our Japanese Calligraphy that is available in Victoria, which gives students the opportunity to develop their writing skills, appreciate the beauty of Japanese characters and experience more about Japanese cultures and traditions.   5. International Francophonie Day  20th March This celebration is a special opportunity to celebrate the French language as well as the cultural and linguistic diversity of Francophone countries around the world. It is therefore an opportunity to create the links that unite Francophone peoples and to promote the French language as a vehicle for communication, cooperation, and cultural exchange.   International Francophonie Day is marked by a series of activities and events organized in Francophone countries and within the global French-speaking community. These events include conferences, debates, art exhibitions, music concerts, film screenings, poetry competitions, public readings, and cultural festivals.  For many Francophones, International Francophonie Day holds deep spiritual significance that goes beyond simple cultural celebration. It is an opportunity to celebrate the shared identity and common values that unite Francophone peoples, such as tolerance, respect, and solidarity. This day strengthens the ties of friendship and cooperation between Francophone countries and promotes an inclusive and open-minded vision of the world.   By celebrating this day, Francophones around the world have the opportunity to celebrate their common heritage and promote the French language. This day offers everyone the opportunity to immerse themselves in the richness and diversity of French culture.   Our Mime Magnifique! program in Victoria is packed with action, fun and festivities. As participants explore French culture and history, they’ll learn about the importance of the French art form of mime. With charades, magic tricks and more, the presenter brings theatre to life in a highly interactive and engaging workshop.  6. International Day For the Elimination of Racial Discrimination  21st March This day was proclaimed by the United Nations in 1966. Its main aim is to raise awareness of the persistent challenges of racial discrimination and to promote equality, tolerance and diversity.   The date was chosen in remembrance of the Sharpeville massacre (1960) in South Africa, when police opened fire on a peaceful crowd protesting apartheid laws. This tragedy resulted in the loss of many lives, drawing the world’s attention to the horrors of racial discrimination and oppression.  International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is a powerful reminder of the importance of combating discrimination in all its forms and promoting equality and justice for all. We must work together to build a world where everyone is respected, valued and treated fairly, regardless of their race, ethnic origin or skin colour. 7. Harmony Week 18th to 24th March   Harmony Week is an annual celebration in Australia that aims to promote inclusion, diversity and mutual respect between the country’s different cultures, religions, and communities. This week is an opportunity to celebrate Australia’s rich cultural diversity and to recognise everyone’s contribution to creating a harmonious and inclusive society.   The week is celebrated across the country with a variety of events. Multicultural festivals, world music concerts, art exhibitions, fashion shows, film screenings and culinary workshops are being organised in cities and communities across the country. These activities aim to promote intercultural understanding, strengthen community ties, and raise awareness of the issues surrounding diversity and inclusion.   For many Australians, Harmony Week has a deep spiritual significance that goes beyond simply celebrating cultural diversity. It is a time to reflect on the fundamental values of respect, acceptance, and solidarity, and to recognise the dignity and humanity of every individual, whatever their origin or culture.   Harmony Week helps to promote peace, tolerance and cooperation in society, and a fairer world for all. Aligned with these values, our Multicultural All-Day program offers a unique opportunity to celebrate diversity and multiculturalism through engaging artists and interactive experiences. Participants actively take part in a series of activities and artistic expressions, exploring themes such as language, culture, and history, presenting a diverse range of cultural programmes that contribute to a rich and informative experience.  8. Holi Festival 25th March The Holi Festival is one of the most vibrant and joyous festivals celebrated in India and other parts of the world. This annual celebration marks the arrival of spring and is an opportunity to get together, have fun and celebrate life with bright colours and lively festivities.   The festival has its origins in the ancient traditions of Hinduism and is famous in honour of various Hindu legends and deities. The most famous legend associated with Holi is that of Prahlada and Hiranyakashipu, which symbolises the victory of good over evil. Holi also celebrates the love between Krishna and Radha. Holi has become synonymous with the celebration of love and unity.   For Hindus, the Holi festival is an opportunity to celebrate unity in diversity. It is a time to erase social and cultural differences. By throwing colours at each other without distinction of caste, religion or social status, people express their acceptance and respect for all forms of life.   By taking part in colour battles, dancing to traditional music and sharing delicious feasts, people celebrate life in all its splendour and celebrate the love and friendship that unites us all as human beings.   Check out our Bollywood Infusion program (available in all states) and our Classical Indian Dance programs available in Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia provide a vibrant cultural experience that allows students to discover the joy of movement, rhythm, and diversity.  March cultural celebrations offer us a precious opportunity to celebrate diversity, inclusion and harmony in our societies. Explore our cultural programs available Australia-wide to celebrate important dates for the month of March!  Book your March celebrations here and enjoy 3 months of free intercultural education resources!   Cultural Infusion offers cultural education programs to various settings to promote intercultural understanding and raise young people’s awareness of cultural diversity. These initiatives play a crucial role in promoting inclusion and tolerance from an early age, helping to create a more harmonious world that respects diversity. Together, let’s celebrate our differences and work to build a future where diversity is celebrated and respected by all.   We will join you again next month to bring you cultural dates to celebrate in April.  

celebrate in February

8 Dates to Celebrate in February

Exploring notable dates to Celebrate in February guides us through a variety of international events and awareness days that enhance our cultural calendar. Among these, the Lunar New Year stands out with its festive atmosphere and vibrant fireworks, especially cherished by the Chinese, Malaysian, Korean, and Vietnamese communities across Australia. We also delve into Interfaith Harmony Week, Children’s Mental Health Week, and the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Celebrate in February: Lunar New Year 10th February Lunar New Year marks the beginning of February with its valued traditions and family gatherings. Celebrated predominantly in East Asia, this event holds historical significance as a time for families to come together, adorned with traditional decorations and exchanging red envelopes symbolizing prosperity. Festivities include dragon dances and fireworks, representing a time of familial unity and cultural heritage. To share the essence of Lunar New Year in Australia, Cultural Infusion organises lively Lion Dances in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, and Western Australia. Through engaging programs like Little Lion Dance and Chinese Lion Dance, children experience the symbolism and customs of East Asian culture first hand. World Interfaith Harmony Week 1st to 7th February Originating in 2010, World Interfaith Harmony Week blossoms annually into a celebration of unity amidst diverse religious and ethnic communities, particularly in the Middle East. Endorsed by the United Nations, this week champions dialogue and solidarity between Muslim and Christian communities, fostering mutual understanding through shared values and peaceful discourse. In the spirit of cultural exchange, our Middle Eastern Belly Dance program invites students across Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, and Western Australia to revel in the artistry of traditional dances and costumes, offering a vibrant glimpse into Middle Eastern culture. Similarly, our Middle Eastern Drumming program, available in Queensland, introduces students to the rhythmic wonders of traditional instruments, fostering an appreciation for the rich musical heritage of the region. World Hijab Day 1st February World Hijab Day commemorates the history and significance of the hijab, symbolising empowerment and identity for Muslim women worldwide. Challenging misconceptions, this day celebrates the beauty and agency behind wearing the hijab, inviting both Muslims and non-Muslims to embrace its cultural and symbolic significance. World Wetlands Day 2nd February World Wetlands Day emerges as a global call to action, spotlighting the critical role wetlands play in our ecosystem. Amidst alarming degradation, this day advocates for the preservation of wetlands, essential for biodiversity and environmental equilibrium. Through global awareness campaigns and collaborative efforts, we strive to safeguard these vital habitats. Highlighting the ecological imperative, our Hero Ladybirds of the Galapagos Islands program, available in Victoria, underscores the delicate balance of ecosystems, emphasising the importance of environmental stewardship from a young age. Caring for Country (available in Queensland), is a great program which allows students to learn about Indigenous sustainability practices including bushfire prevention using fire-stick farming, bush tucker, and predicting rain just by the squawking of the Cockatoo. The Night Journey and Ascension (Al-Isra wal Mi’raj) 8th February Al-Isra wal Mi’raj holds profound significance in Islamic tradition, celebrating Prophet Muhammad’s miraculous journey and the divine revelation of prayer. Japan’s National Foundation Day 11th February Japan’s National Foundation Day celebrates the nation’s rich heritage and achievements, fostering community spirit and collective pride. Through parades and festivities, this day celebrates Japan’s contributions to culture, technology, and society, nurturing a sense of unity and progress. Our Japanese Cultural Education programs are all perfect if you are looking at celebrating this date.  Japanese Infusion (New South Wales) is a great program that brings culture to life while teaching children about the culture, traditions, seasons and celebrations through music, games and storytelling. We also offer Japanese Calligraphy and Japanese Ink Painting in Victoria which are both very exciting and interactive and hands on workshops! Another great interactive workshop is Taiko Drumming which is will leave the room shaking with the sound of the Taiko Drumming after students are introduced to Japanese Culture through Music and Language. World Day of Social Justice 20th February World Day of Social Justice underscores the imperative of equitable access to resources and opportunities, advocating for a fair and inclusive global society. International Mother Language Day 21st February International Mother Language Day celebrates linguistic diversity, recognising the profound significance of language in preserving heritage and fostering inclusive societies. Fairytale Puppetry (available in Victoria) explores different languages and cultures through exquisitely crafted traditional European hand puppets. This program is available in many different languages such as French, Mandarin, German, English, Spanish and more! Lantern Festival 24th February The Lantern Festival, steeped in tradition, marks the culmination of Lunar New Year celebrations, illuminating communities with radiant lanterns and cherished customs. Our Chinese Lantern making and Calligraphy (Victoria) workshop would be a great way to celebrate this in the classroom! If you were wanting more of a Dance focused workshop we also offer Chinese Lantern Dance workshop in Victoria. Dates to Commemorate: World Cancer Day 4th February World Cancer Day serves as a poignant reminder to raise awareness about cancer prevention, treatment, and support. With millions impacted annually, this day galvanises global action to combat the disease, emphasising prevention strategies and equitable access to care. Children’s Mental Health Week 5th – 11th February Children’s Mental Health Week advocates for open conversations and support systems to nurture the emotional wellbeing of young minds. Amidst rising concerns, this week underscores the importance of destigmatising mental health issues and providing resources for children and adolescents to navigate their emotional journeys. Cultural Infusion’s Yoga and Mindfulness program fosters emotional regulation and self-esteem among students in Victoria, Western Australia, and New South Wales, equipping them with valuable tools for mental relaxation and resilience. Stand up to Bullying Day 23rd February International Stand Up to Bullying Day rallies communities to combat bullying and promote empathy and respect, fostering safer and more inclusive environments for all. February is brimming with diverse celebrations that honour cultural heritage, foster unity, and champion social justice. As we bid farewell to February, let’s embark on a journey through March’s notable dates, including World Wildlife Day, International Women’s Day, and Japan’s Cherry Blossom Festival. Considering the importance of these events, February highlights a diverse array of cultural celebrations and social initiatives, emphasizing the need to embrace our common humanity and strive for a more inclusive and compassionate world. Book your February celebrations now! Explore our cultural programs available Australia-wide to celebrate important dates for the month of February. We will join you again next month to bring you cultural dates to celebrate in March.

May Celebrations: Diversity, Education, and Awareness – this picture is of a series of paper side profile cut outs of heads in a range of skin tones, with a paper Earth in the middle.

May Celebrations: Cultural Diversity, Education, and Awareness

In our cultural calendar, the month is filled with various May celebrations from all around the world, such as World Belly Dance Day and Africa Day. The month even ends with National Reconciliation Week, to commemorate the history and culture of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia.  May is known as the month of transition, where in the Northern Hemisphere, the fresh cold winds disappear, bringing along the blooming of flowers and chirping of birds. In Australia however, May is the final month of Autumn, transitioning into the beginning of Winter. But don’t worry – the weather is still mild, and it is an amazing time for sightseeing if you aren’t up for the sweltering heat!  Children’s Day Japan   5th May  The first celebration in our calendar to start of the exciting May is Children’s Day in Japan. This day, also known as Kodomo no hi, is a national holiday in Japan with its origins filled with rich history. It is a holiday to respect children’s personalities and to celebrate their happiness. On this day, koinobori, a carp-shaped windsock, are typically flown on poles outside of public buildings and houses to symbolise their desire for children to become brave and strong individuals. Within their homes, families also display miniature Japanese armour and kabuto called Gogatsu Ningyo (May doll), as they represent courage and strength.  Our Japanese Infusion program brings Japanese culture to life, using songs, games and storytelling to teach children about Japanese culture, traditions, seasons and celebrations. This program is available face-to-face in New South Wales and online in all other states. Our Japanese Calligraphy and Japanese Ink Painting programs teach students different types of brush techniques and touch on Japanese history and origins. These programs are available in Victoria, guided by award-winning artist Junko.   We also offer Taiko Drumming programs in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. This traditional and original Japanese music program combines amazing performances and interactive workshops to introduce Japanese culture through music and language.  Cinco de Mayo   5th May  Cinco de Mayo is a holiday celebrated in parts of Mexico and the United States to commemorate the triumph over the French empire in 1862. The day is primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla, as the victory of Puebla became a symbol of Mexican resistance to foreign domination, with military parades, speeches and reenactments of the battle.  Nowadays, celebrations include parades, parties, Mariachi music, Mexican folk dancing and traditional dishes such as tacos and mole poblano. In the United States, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston are places that host some of the largest festivals.  Available in New South Wales, our Viva Mexico program explores the wonder of traditional Mexican and Spanish music. Students will learn folk dances and the basics of Spanish language through popular song lyrics. Not only that, but they’ll also get the opportunity to see performances with some Mariachi instruments up close while learning the cultural history of these instruments.   Latin American Dance (available in Victoria, New South Wales, Australia Capital Territory and South Australia) and Latino Grooves (available in South Australia) are another two programs that explore these music traditions, this time in the form of dance! These educational programs introduce students to Latin dance styles like Salsa, Bachata and Tango, and provide insightful cultural history of the dances in Latin America.   World Belly Dance Day 11th May  Celebrated on the second Saturday of May every year, World Belly Dance Day was created to acknowledge the ancient art of belly dance and to dispel common misconceptions surrounding it. The Middle Eastern dance is characterised by intricate movements of the torso, hips and arms, often accompanied by vibrant music and elaborate costumes.  Belly dancing is a welcoming and inclusive art form that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, body types and fitness levels.   Whether you’re interested in exploring a new cultural tradition, getting a workout or simply having fun, our Middle Eastern Belly Dance program offers something for everyone. Through this program available in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia, students get to explore Arabic cultures through stories and movement while also learning the meaning behind each move.  World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue & Development   21st May  Sometimes abbreviated as World Day for Cultural Diversity, this day serves as an opportunity to promote the importance of cultural diversity and harmony in societies around the world. On this day, various events and activities are organised worldwide to raise awareness about the importance of cultural diversity and encourage dialogue and cooperation among different cultures. This is to emphasise the need to recognise and celebrate the richness of cultural heritage and creativity, while also promoting equal opportunities for individuals of all cultural backgrounds.   Our Multicultural Day program, available as both an All-Day and Half Day experience Australia-wide, is a perfect way for participants to immerse themselves in Australia’s rich diversity of ethnic communities. With a choice of three or five cultural presentations, participants can explore specific cultures or languages in-depth or travel the world with a range of assorted programs. To complement this experience, we also offer free educational resources and lesson plans to help navigate students through their comprehension of intercultural understanding.  International Day for Biological Diversity   22nd May International Day for Biological Diversity is commemorated annually to raise awareness about the importance of biodiversity and its conservation. It highlights the rich variety of life on Earth, including plants, animals and microorganisms, and emphasises the vital role biodiversity plays in sustaining ecosystems, providing ecosystem services, and supporting human well-being. The day aims to promote efforts to protect and conserve biodiversity, address the threats it faces such as habitat loss, climate change, pollution and overexploitation of resources, and encourage sustainable practices that promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.   Hero Ladybirds Galapagos Islands is a scientific educational program we have, to help teach children basic ecology through quirky stories from firsthand experience and the help of cute hand puppets. This interactive educational program is presented by ecologist Carolina and is available in Victoria.   Africa Day   25th May  Africa Day is celebrated annually to promote unity and solidarity among African nations and advocating for the decolonisation of Africa. Africa Day serves as a reminder of the continent’s rich history, cultural diversity and ongoing struggle for independence, unity and development. It provides an opportunity for African people worldwide to celebrate their heritage, achievements and contributions to the world, while also reflecting on the challenges and opportunities facing the continent today. Cultural festivals, conferences, seminars and discussions on topics related to African unity and development are held on this day.   In our Rhythms and Instruments of West Africa program, we showcase the musical cultures of West Africa through rhythms and songs from Ghana, Guinea and Senegal by introducing students to a wide range of African traditional instruments. Available in Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia, this fun and interactive program will give students the opportunity to play the drums and other percussion instruments firsthand!   Songs of Uganda and Mbira of Zimbabwe are interactive educational programs that center on the traditional instruments of Africa as well. Each unique to two different parts of Africa, students from Queensland and Western Australia respectively will learn the rich history of these African cultures while accompanying the presenters with instruments and by singing some traditional tunes.   Ethiopian Dance and Culture in Victoria explores the diversity of Ethiopian culture through songs, dance moves and stories. This highly interactive program presented by Seble teaches students the cultural significance behind the dance and music, while also sharing her experience travelling around the world with the Ethiopian Circus.  Dates to Commemorate:  National Sorry Day   26th May  National Sorry Day is a time for reflection and acknowledgment of the injustices inflicted upon Indigenous Australians. Stemming from the legacy of the Stolen Generations, where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were forcibly removed from their families, this day serves as a solemn reminder of past wrongs.  It’s a moment for all Australians to express remorse for these actions and to commit to reconciliation efforts. While National Sorry Day may be brief, its impact is profound, reminding us of the ongoing journey towards healing and unity in our nation.  As we observe National Sorry Day, let’s take the time to listen to the stories and experiences of the Stolen Generations survivors and their descendants in our Aboriginal Culture For A Day (available in Victoria) and Aboriginal Infusion (available in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales) educational programs. Let’s acknowledge the resilience and strength of Indigenous cultures and discover its beauty through dance, symbolic art, didgeridoo and a wide range of other engaging activities.   National Reconciliation Week   28th May to 3rd June  National Reconciliation Week (NRW) in Australia commemorates the history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia. It is a time to reflect on our nation’s history, acknowledge the injustices and trauma experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples while celebrating their resilience and cultural richness. NRW empowers individuals and communities to address past wrongs with courage and compassion, paving the way for a more inclusive and reconciled Australia where all voices are heard and valued.  Aboriginal Storytelling Through Art in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales is a hands-on educational workshop where students will learn symbolic art from Aboriginal culture. This unique experience will give students the opportunity to create and share their own stories, perfect for intercultural experience at any age! Aboriginal Storytelling and Artefacts in New South Wales, Australia Capital Territory and Western Australia on the other hand, combines storytelling with an introduction to the history of Aboriginal tools and artefacts. Students will get to immerse themselves in Aboriginal culture throughout this program by acting out stories and engaging with cultural artefacts.  Book your May celebrations now!  Explore our cultural programs available Australia-wide HERE to celebrate and commemorate important dates for the month of May.  Next month, we will join you again to introduce you to the cultural dates to celebrate in June! 

14 April Dates to Celebrate - this is photo of a calendar open to the month of April.

14 April Dates to Celebrate

April is a month filled with vibrant celebrations from around the world, marking the new beginnings and cultural heritage. We kick off the month with the Assyrian New Year, known as Kha b-Nisan, a joyous occasion signifying the arrival of spring. This ancient tradition, steeped in history, brings communities together for hours of festivities, including parades and parties, as they welcome the season of growth and renewal.  In  our cultural calendar, we also celebrate Chinese Language Day, Spanish Language Day and round out the month with International Dance Day and International Jazz Day. We hope you enjoy travelling the world with our April dates to celebrate.  1. Kha b-Nisan (Assyrian New Year)  1st April Sheeta khadta hoya brekhta (Happy New Year in Assyrian). Kha b-Nisan or Akitu, the Assyrian New Year, celebrates the beginning of spring amongst Indigenous Assyrians and is one of the oldest traditions in the world. With celebrations including parades and parties, communities come together in harmony and practise traditions that have been maintained for centuries. The auspicious occasion comes with traditional dress development and positivity for the new year to come.   Our Assyrian-Iraqi Band program provides an insight into the fascinating 7000-year history of Assyrian peoples in Iraq. Students will be immersed in music spoken in the native Assyrian Aramic language, providing valuable cultural knowledge.   2. Fan Dance Day 3rd April Originating in South Korea, Fan Dance Day celebrates the long history of the traditional fan dance across Southeast Asia including in Japan and China; each with their own unique characteristics. With brightly coloured kimonos and fans, it acknowledges the important art form that has been around for centuries and represents beauty delicacy and grace. Performances are accompanied by live traditional music and are enjoyed by people from all around the world.   Our  Chinese Fan Dance  offers a remarkable opportunity for children to immerse themselves in a delicate and beautiful dance form. With eye-catching and vibrant fans, students can experience the elegance and grace of the traditional fan dance. Available in New South Wales and Victoria, this program ensures a one-of-a-kind learning journey that honours the richness of Southeast Asian culture.  3. Children’s Day 4th April Celebrated on April 4th in Hong Kong and Taiwan, Children’s Day is a joyous occasion filled with laughter and delight. It is a day dedicated to honouring the innocence and happiness that children bring to our families and communities. With festivities including gifts, treats, and games, children come together with friends and loved ones to make cherished memories.  Moreover, Children’s Day serves as a reminder of every child’s fundamental right to education. With their boundless creativity and intelligence, children possess incredible potential from an early age.  To challenge and push the minds of students, our martial art programs are a wonderful way for students to learn the complexities of these sports. Our Cool Capoeira program combines acrobatics with traditional musical beats creating an engaging and immersive experience for students. Available in Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, this program teaches discipline, dedication, and persistence.   4. International Day of Conscience 5th April Established by the United Nations General Assembly, the International Day of Conscience promotes peaceful relations and recognition of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all irrespective of race, ethnicity, gender, language, or religion. To have conscience is to be sincerely aware of one’s intentions and be always conscious of morality. Encouraging social interaction with people from diverse cultures, faiths and beliefs is essential to live in harmony with others. Being in a state of peace is not merely the absence of conflict but the active engagement and enjoyment of diverse communities. The International Day of Conscience aims to educate our younger generations on the importance of supporting and advocating for the rights of all.   Our diversity analytics tool-  Diversity Atlas, is a comprehensive platform that assesses the demographic diversity within an organisation. With the awareness of incredible intersectionalities that exist in our world, our tool assesses the identities an organisation consists of, to create better representation in all industries. By discovering linguistic, cultural, gender differences, an organisation can then use such information to move forward in building a space which actively recognises, promotes, and advocates for differences in the workplace.   5. International Day of Sport for Development and Peace 6th April International Day of Sport for Development and Peace recognises the importance of physical and emotional wellbeing. It acknowledges the incredible contribution that sport has made for individuals all around the world, particularly during COVID-19. Sports played a crucial role in providing solace and support to individuals worldwide during these challenging times, offering an outlet for stress and anxiety while promoting fairness, equality, and inclusion through teamwork and friendly competition.  At Cultural Infusion, we offer highly interactive programs designed to promote spiritual, physical, and emotional balance. Our Chinese Martial Arts Workshop available in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria, teaches the philosophy behind martial arts and the range of training methods that are used. Students will develop important skills such as dedication and perseverance through learning various techniques.   6. Eid al-Fitr 9th April Eid al-Fitr, the “Festival of Breaking the Fast,” holds profound significance in the Islamic faith as it marks the culmination of Ramadan, the holiest month in Islam. Ramadan, one of the five pillars of Islam, represents the period when the Quran was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad. During this sacred month, Muslims observe rigorous fasting from sunrise to sunset, abstaining from food and water as a means of spiritual purification and discipline.   While fasting may seem challenging, Muslims eagerly anticipate Ramadan as an opportunity for self-reflection and growth. Beyond its physical aspects, Ramadan serves as a time for individuals to cleanse their hearts and minds, striving to cultivate virtues such as patience, generosity, and integrity. Through connecting with Allah (God), Muslims end the month with an optimistic and content feeling and carry forward by implementing such favourable habits for the rest of the year.    Eid al-Fitr also known as the “Festival of Breaking the Fast” commemorates this effort with a morning prayer which is then followed by communal gatherings with friends and family. Altruism is demonstrated through Zakat al-Fitr which is a mandatory charity collected before the morning prayer and is given to the poor and needy to ensure all can partake in the celebrations.    7. Songrkan (Thai New Year)  13th to 15th April Sawad dee ppee mai! (Happy New Year in Thai)  Celebrate Songkran, known as the Thai New Year, which is an auspicious occasion on the Buddhist calendar that signifies the sun’s passage into the Aries constellation and the start of a new year in Thailand.  Starting in mid-April at the end of the rice harvest, Songkran is a special time for people to reunite with their families and pay respect to older adults, ancestors, and sacred Buddha images. The act of pouring water is a core part of the festival which symbolises cleansing, reverence, and good fortune. This includes bathing Buddha images and splashing water on friends and family.   Today, Songkran has evolved into one of the most popular cultural festivals in the world and has even been promoted in tourism as the “world’s biggest water fight” where both locals and tourists can enjoy Thai music, games, and a lot of food!   A range of instruments from around the world can be explored on our award-winning platform Sound Infusion including the Thai instruments, Khim and Pi Java.   Songkran is one of the most significant periods of the Thai calendar, and embodies the spirit of community, cooperation, and forgiveness, making it one of the most cherished and significant periods in the Thai calendar.  8. World Art Day 15th April World Art Day promotes the creativity, curiosity, and cultural diversity of fine arts. It celebrates the creative means in which humanity has expressed themselves. Through sharing history, experiences and stories, World Art Day acknowledges how art has transformed the world.   Cultural Infusion promotes the world of art through our vast range of programs that explore culture, art, storytelling, history, and language. Our immersive and engaging programs cater to students of all ages, from pre-primary to Year 12, fostering a deep appreciation for artistic expression and cultural heritage.  Aboriginal Storytelling through Art is an incredibly interactive program that engages students to the world of Indigenous art. This program is available face to face in Victoria and New South Wales, and virtual delivery for all states.   9. Zimbabwe’s National Day 18th April Zimbabwe’s National Day of Independence symbolises a day of freedom, unity, and strength. Overcoming a difficult journey to independence, the day represents happiness and pride for Zimbabweans. Nestled in Southern Africa, Zimbabwe boasts a vibrant culture and breathtaking landscapes, including the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls, showcasing the natural wonders of the world.  With music playing a crucial role in Zimbabwean culture, Cultural Infusion offers an engaging program in Western Australia that discovers the beauty of the instrument Mbira. The Mbira of Zimbabwe uses music, language and singing to explore the traditional instrument. Having been used for more than a thousand years, George introduces its origins and history. With traditional songs in the Shona language, students participate in an immersive experience to learn about Zimbabwean culture.   10. Chinese Language Day 20th April Chinese Language Day celebrates the richness and diversity of the Chinese language, recognised as one of the United Nations’ six official languages. With over 1.3 billion speakers worldwide, the United Nations’ Chinese Language Day recognises and acknowledges the importance of the Chinese language. Since 1946, Chinese language day has celebrated the linguistic diversity of the language. The Chinese language is a comprehensive system that has multiple characters, with each character having its own complex component. With multiple dialects, further sub-dialects and regional variations, Chinese is an incredibly diverse language.  11. World Creativity and Innovation Day 21st April World Creativity and Innovation Day shines a spotlight on the indispensable role of the creative arts industry in driving sustainable development worldwide. This day brings awareness to the importance and need for artistic expression. Creativity leads to the emergence of new possibilities and solutions and without innovative ideas, the world cannot develop and progress as it needs to. Therefore, creativity is vital for the advancement of the UN’s sustainable development goals. The arts industry has allowed for the cultivation and development of many communities by presenting the diverse artistic fields of theatre, fashion, design, and dance from all around the world.  Sharing the beautiful artistic design of traditional Indonesian attire, our Bali in Motion program has vibrant and colourful costumes and dresses that highlight the tremendous artistic industry found in Bali. Available in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, and Western Australia, students can immerse themselves in Balinese cultural traditions with a combination of dance and music.   12. Spanish Language Day 23rd April Spanish Language Day celebrates and acknowledges the wonder, evolution, and linguistic diversity of the Spanish language. Being the 4th most spoken language in the world and one of six official languages of the United Nations, Spanish has more than 500 million speakers all around the world.   Nations come together in solidarity including Argentina, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Spain and more. Not only is language merely a means of communication but through it, we discover ideas, experiences, and beauty of other cultures.   In celebration of the rich Spanish culture our Fire of Flamenco program available in Victoria, South Australia, and Queensland is a beautiful, vibrant, interactive workshop that shares the wonders of the traditional dance. Students will discover the expressive art form and the complexity involved in the traditional artform.   13. International Dance Day 29th April International Dance Day celebrates the significance and importance of dance as an art from. Founded by the international theatre institute along with its main partner of the performing arts being UNESCO, International Dance Day recognises the value of dance to societies as it symbolises a means of artistic expression. With its value often being undermined, this day creates an awareness of the world of choreography and dance and encourages a global celebration of the fine arts. Through captivating performances, the artistic diversity of the world is enjoyed with performances representing a great deal of cultures.   Cultural Infusion has a vast range of programs that share the joy of East Asian, Southeast Asian, European dance and more!   Our Multicultural Moves program available in Victoria, takes students on a journey across the world. From Jamaican Dance Hall to Hip Hop, children are sure to be immersed and engaged in a highly interactive workshop.   14. International Jazz Day 30th April Uniting teachers, musicians and communities, International Jazz Day shares the wonders of jazz music!   Originating from African American communities, jazz music has played a significant role in the expression of human experience. International Jazz Day provides insight into the evolution, history, and practice of jazz music around the world. Through upbeat melodies, a greater intercultural understanding is gained as International Jazz Day reinforces peace, cultural acceptance, harmony, respect, and tolerance for all.   And that is a wrap on our April dates to celebrate! We hope you find the time to enjoy one or many of the cultural celebrations above.  To book or learn more about our cultural programs please click here or alternatively call us on 03 9412 6666.   Next month, we will look at May’s top cultural dates, including Cinco de Mayo, World Belly Dance Day, and National Reconciliation Week in Australia. 

Harmony Week Activities to Celebrate Diversity in the Classroom - this photo features 3 West African performers, drumming at a Harmony Week Event.

Harmony Week Activities to Celebrate in the Classroom

As Harmony Week approaches (Monday, 18 to Sunday, 24 March 2024), it is an exciting opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge diversity within the Australian community and bring people together. This blog post explores Harmony Week Activities to celebrate in the classroom. As one of the world’s most culturally diverse countries, Australia takes pride in its cultural diversity, a defining aspect of our national identity. Over half of Australians are first generation migrants or come from a migrant background, contributing to the diversity of Australia. This annual celebration symbolises inclusiveness, respect, celebrate diversity and fosters a profound sense of belonging for everyone. Harmony Week has been supported by the Australian Federal Government since 1999, and there are many activities that can share the richness of our collective diversity in commemoration of this annual celebration. In this piece, we will explore how teachers can celebrate Harmony Week in classroom celebrations, facilitating representation of members of the school community and meaningful connections. What is Harmony Week? Harmony Day, observed on March 21st, holds significant importance, marked as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This day serves as a reminder to take a stand against racial discrimination and embrace our collective diversity. It also marks the remembrance of the Sharpeville massacre in 1960, that arose from protests against the apartheid system in South Africa. In response to the tragic event, the United Nations intervened and proposed a week of solidarity among member states to collectively oppose racism in 1979. This annual observance serves as a poignant reminder of the distressing experience and challenges faced by racial minorities. In 1999, the Howard government in Australia introduced ‘Harmony Day’, to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, focusing on building a more united multicultural society. The Department of Home Affairs takes the lead in Australia in celebrating Harmony Week, which is all about recognising and celebrating diversity, with inclusion activities happening throughout the entire week. In 2019, the Department of Home Affairs expanded the celebration, rebranding it as ‘Harmony Week’ to better acknowledge the diversity and inclusion activities occurring throughout the week, particularly in schools and workplaces. Harmony Week, celebrated from Monday to Sunday during the week that includes March 21, is dedicated to celebrating Australia’s rich multicultural heritage. This year, under the theme “Everyone Belongs,” Harmony Week is scheduled from Monday, March 18 to Sunday, March 24 2024. Here are our recommendations for enjoyable activities that teachers can integrate into their classrooms to promote the spirit of Harmony Week! 1. Embrace the spirit of Harmony Week by adding a pop of orange to your style or embracing a Traditional Attire Day! As part of the lively celebrations during Harmony Week, we are encouraged to incorporate a touch of orange into our outfits, symbolising unity and our shared commitment to an inclusive Australia. Teachers and schools are encouraged to source orange ribbons to distribute to the students throughout their Harmony Week celebrations. The colour orange not only embodies social communication and meaningful conversations, but also resonates with the freedom of ideas and the promotion of mutual respect. For students, this is the perfect opportunity to share their cultural heritage by dressing in traditional clothing. Arrange a mini fashion show, where students not only present their attire but also take a moment to explain the cultural significance behind their clothes. It is a wonderful way to connect, learn, and appreciate the diverse backgrounds that make up your school community. 2. Share and try new meals for Harmony Week: Host a Multicultural Food Day! They say the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, and what better way to spread joy than by sharing delicious food and stories of our cultural backgrounds? Host a multicultural food day in your classroom, encouraging students to bring in dishes that represent their cultural backgrounds. Alternatively, spice things up with a fun cooking show where students and parents can team up to prepare a simple dish, all while sharing the fascinating stories behind the recipes. Cultural Infusion has a Recipes for Harmony Educational Supplement, packed with fantastic ideas for families looking to add a dash of cultural flair to their kitchen adventures! 3. Book an Incursion For Harmony Week with Cultural Infusion! Recognising the importance of living harmoniously in our diverse world, the Australian Curriculum now considers Intercultural Understanding as a fundamental General Capability. This aspect is important for equipping young individuals to become responsible citizens, both locally and globally. Cultural Infusion provides a diverse range of resources and cultural education programs for students. These resources are designed to assist students in embracing and exploring the rich diversity of cultures around the world, which you can book easily through our website. By emphasising this aspect in their education, we ensure that students are well-equipped for collaborative living and working in our interconnected 21st century world. Promoting intercultural understanding to students is crucial, and it can be achieved through enjoyable activities and engaging experiences that make learning more dynamic. The most effective way to understand and embrace a culture is through personal experience. Cultural Infusion also collaborates with diverse presenters to lead your students on an engaging exploration of various cultures, which cater to all year levels and encompass a global array of traditions and customs. Professional Development Cultural Infusion offers a wide array of curriculum-aligned programs and resources specifically designed for educators aiming to cultivate intercultural understanding, available in both virtual and in-person formats across the nation. Our Professional Development programs encompass topics such as: We are excited to share that for any bookings with Cultural Infusion, our Learning Lands platform will now be available for teachers/educators to access for free for 3 months. You’ll get to enjoy all that Learning Lands has to offer; with integrated teaching resources, hundreds of lesson plans that are Australian Curriculum coded, digital tools, videos, links and a digital music studio of instruments from around the world. Our resources are designed to foster empathy, critical and creative thinking, and a deeper understanding of different cultures. Multicultural Half-Day or All-Day Program Discover the vibrant world of diversity with Cultural Infusion’s Multicultural All Day or Half Day Program. You have the flexibility to choose between three or five presenters, and we will customise the schedule to fit seamlessly with your school’s bell times. Whether you prefer a deep dive into one specific culture, language, or topic, or you want to embark on a journey exploring a variety of cultures from around the globe, this program will have you covered. This program is your way to a tailored and enriching multicultural experience. One popular program to include in your Multicultural All Day is Bollywood Infusion, which present an energetic dance session in which participants will delve into the history and cultural significance of Bollywood and learn some moves, as well as, gaining insight into the symbolism behind various dance movements. Touring Program – Melanesian Infusion This year, we also have a touring program on offer, Melanesian Infusion, which immerses students in the rich cultural experience of Solomon Islands and the traditional art forms untouched by the outside world.  Natty, a prominent figure from the Lau Tribe as our presenter, aims to preserve the traditional cultures by sharing knowledge and providing a global experience and perspective unique to Melanesia through various activities such as, storytelling, traditional singing, instruments, and dance from the Solomon Islands. This program will be available in Victoria for March and April – perfect for Harmony Week activites, and you can easily book through this link! Book a Cultural Education Program for Harmony Week today! Our cultural incursions cater to all year levels and audiences; providing interactive, vibrant, and memorable programs. With a wide range of program options available Australia-wide, we celebrate diversity and cultures from around the world  Enquire today to explore how we can collaborate and create unforgettable cultural experiences that reflect the spirit of Harmony Week. Book a program through our enquiry form or contact us directly at 1800 010 069. Our Education and Experiences Team is always eager to assist. Secure the program of your choice to celebrate diversity, promote a sense of togetherness and enjoy 3 months of free intercultural education resources! 

Celebrating Lunar New Year in the Classroom - this image is of red envelopes and a Lion Dance head ornament situated in a tree with yellow blossoms.

6 Ways of Celebrating Lunar New Year in the Classroom

Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a vibrant and culturally rich celebration observed by millions of people around the world. It marks the first day of the Lunar calendar and typically falls between January 21st and February 20th of every year. In this blog post, we’ll explore creative ways of Celebrating Lunar New Year to bring the joy and significance into the classroom, creating a memorable and inclusive learning experience for students. For 2024, Lunar New Year is the 10th February. The holiday is celebrated for 15 days, and customs and traditions vary depending on the region and the specific culture. In addition to China, Lunar New Year is also celebrated in many other Asian countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines, each with their own customs and traditions. Embracing diversity and fostering cultural understanding are essential aspects of education. Decorate the classroom with arts and crafts Transform your classroom into a festive space by incorporating Lunar New Year decorations. Engage students in hands-on arts and crafts activities that encourage celebrating Lunar New Year. The Lunar New Year has its roots in ancient legends, one of which tells of a monster that used to terrorise villages at the start of each new year. Villagers discovered that the monster was scared off by the colour red. Over time, this tactic became integral to the Lunar New Year celebrations, symbolising triumph over the monster. As a result, the use of the colour red has become a longstanding tradition in the Lunar New Year festivities, bringing luck and prosperity, and are commonly featured in banners, paper lanterns, and other decorations, and is a fun way for students to explore Lunar New Year customs! To practice their writing skills, have a calligraphy session where students can practice writing Lunar New Year greetings and characters, such as ‘新年快乐’ (Xīn nián kuài lè – Happy New Year) and ‘福’ (Fú – good fortune or luck) and hang up their pieces to bring happiness to the classroom. Our Chinese Kite Making and Chinese Lantern Making and Calligraphy workshops in Victoria offer students a hands-on cultural experience, crafting traditional Chinese artworks and the cultural significance of the traditional artforms. Similarly, our Chinese Calligraphy & Brush Ink Painting program is available in New South Wales, this is an interactive workshop focusing on imagery, self-expression and the significance of Chinese Calligraphy and Brush Ink Painting in Chinese culture. These activities not only enhance creativity but also foster an appreciation for cultural art forms and create positive associations when celebrating Lunar New Year. Learn about Lunar New Year traditions Take the opportunity to educate students about the customs and traditions associated with the new year. Share stories about the origin of the festival and how they can be celebrating Lunar New Year. During the Lunar New Year, families come together for a substantial feast on New Year’s Eve and to gift red envelopes, or ‘红包’ (hóngbāo), filled with money to children. The significance of the red packet lies not just in the money it holds but in the envelope itself, as it is red. Additionally, households engage in a thorough cleaning to sweep away any lingering bad luck, burn incense to pay homage to their ancestors, and consume specific foods believed to welcome in luck for the upcoming year. Lunar New Year festivals typically span several days featuring dance performances and martial art demonstrations. The Lunar New Year is also a time to honour ancestors and gods, and people often visit temples to make offerings and pray for good luck and prosperity in the coming year. Another integral aspect of Lunar New Year to explore is the significance of the zodiac animals with your students. The zodiacs are a sequence of 12 animals that symbolise the passage of time. The designation of zodiacs is based on the lunar year that you are born in; Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig, with each possessing distinct traits and characteristics. In 2024, it is the Year of the Dragon. People born in 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, and 2024 have the Dragon as their Chinese zodiac, and are thought to be confident, intelligent, enthusiastic and lively; often seen as natural leaders. It’s a common misconception that Lunar New Year is exclusively celebrated by China. However, in addition to China, Lunar New Year is also celebrated in many other Asian countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines, each with their own unique customs, festive rituals, and diverse cultural expressions. Consider inviting guest speakers or cultural incursions to provide firsthand insights! Cultural Infusion offers cultural education programs across Australia: Korean Classical Dance is available to schools in Victoria, and early learning centres and schools in New South Wales. Also available in Victoria for early learning centres and schools is our Filipino Music and Storytelling program. Chinese Martial Arts is a great physically engaging workshop available for schools in Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria. Embracing this cultural diversity allows us to appreciate the shared humanity underlying the festivities and fosters a sense of global unity during this auspicious time. Explore Lunar New Year foods Introduce students to the flavours of Lunar New Year by learning about the symbolism behind each dish and its significance in celebrating Lunar New Year. Depending your school’s policies and student allergies, students could bring in snacks to share, or take ideas home to try with their families. Some accessible ideas can include fruits such as oranges, and mandarins; the colours representing good luck and happiness, and the roundness is an auspicious symbol of togetherness and harmony. Grapes are considered a symbol of abundance because they typically grow in bunches, representing a good harvest and plentiful blessings. This symbolism suggests that good luck will consistently be by your side. Additionally, both green and purple grapes carry positive meanings. Purple symbolises respect and elegance, while green signifies vitality and prosperity. Choosing grapes during the Lunar New Year brings not only a sense of abundance but also a connection to meaningful qualities like respect, elegance, vitality, and prosperity. Another popular food choice is fish as the Chinese character for fish “魚” (yú) reads exactly the same as the character for plenty “余”. Eating fish for the Year End dinner symbolises having plenty of wealth every year. Traditional foods are often deeply rooted in the history of a community and hold great significance in traditions. Exploring food with your students highlights new cultural aspects and can be a great way to try new things! Host a Traditional Attire Day Encourage students to dress in traditional Lunar New Year attire or colours. This could include traditional Chinese clothing like the qípáo or chángshān, or simply wearing red and gold to symbolise good luck. Other colours students can wear include: Yellow – to bring happiness, good health, and longevity. Green – representing harmony, growth, renewal, and prosperity. Blue – symbolising stability, trust, and wisdom. This not only allows students to engage with the culture but also promotes a sense of unity and inclusivity within the classroom. Our Chinese Classical Dance workshop features our presenter’s bright, and vibrant traditional attire that is always fun and visually engaging for students of all ages! This program is available in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, and Western Australia. Facilitate or host performances and presentations Organise student performances or presentations that showcase talents related to Lunar New Year. This could include traditional dances or music performances. It’s a great way for students to take ownership of their learning and share their understanding with their peers. Alternatively, host a cultural performance or cultural workshop; welcoming a range different artforms to appreciate! Always a popular favourite for schools, our Chinese Lion Dance program is available in Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and Australian Capital Territory. Available in New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria, our Chinese Classical Music program presents the origins of Chinese classical instruments and how music is an integral contributor to the harmony and longevity of society. For an interactive all-day option, our Chinese Culture for a Day program is available in New South Wales and Victoria, featuring workshops such as Lion Dance, martial arts, a drumming workshop, folk dancing, and calligraphy. Include Lunar New Year themed readings Incorporate Lunar New Year themed readings into your curriculum. Choose stories or books that highlight the cultural aspects of the festival or feature stories set during the Lunar New Year. As mentioned earlier, 2024 is Year of the Dragon, and one of the most widely told Chinese mythological legends is of The Dragon and the Pearl; often featured in traditional art. The tale unfolds in a rural province in central China, governed by a greedy emperor. Faced with famine and thirst, a young boy stumbles upon a unique grassy field that regrows overnight with each plow. Unearthing a hidden pearl beneath the turf, he brings it home. When the boy hides the pearl in a rice sack, the once-thriving grass field withers, but the rice sack overflows. Sharing their newfound prosperity with neighbours, news of their good fortune reaches the emperor. To protect the precious pearl, the boy swallows it and transforms into a dragon; dedicating himself to safeguarding the land and its people. Unlike Western culture where they are considered evil or are associated with Satan due to references in the Book of Revelation, dragons in the east are symbols of good fortune; of luck, of wisdom, the progenitor of power and creation. They are rain deities and protectors of the people. The pearl, serves as a symbol of wisdom, spiritual energy, and power. Stories like The Dragon and the Pearl not only expands students’ literary horizons but also deepens their understanding of different customs and traditions. Book your Lunar New Year celebrations now! Explore our cultural education programs available Australia-wide to celebrate Lunar New Year for the beginning of the new year! For more culturally significant dates to celebrate in the classroom, have a look at Cultural Infusion’s expertly designed Cultural Calendar. Celebrating Lunar New Year in the classroom is a wonderful opportunity to foster cultural awareness and appreciation among students. By engaging in diverse activities, decorations, and learning experiences, educators can create an inclusive environment that celebrates the rich cultures represented within their classrooms. Embracing traditions and instilling a sense of curiosity about different cultures contributes to a well-rounded and culturally competent educational experience.