Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
A place for poems, songs, rhymes and traditions from around the world for both kids and grown-ups to enjoy!

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Articles about 'Holidays Around the World'
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Ayako shared her impressions about Easter from Japan… Hi, Lisa   This year I got some Easter sweets here in Japan. I was curious about the Easter tradition because we are not so familiar with it yet, but I knew the tradition from Mama Lisa’s blog.   I was very impressed that Lisa naturally dyed […]
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May 5th is Children’s Day in Japan!  Carp shaped windsocks are flown to celebrate the day. Crafts include origami (おりがみ) of carp streamers (こいのぼり) and samurai helmets (かぶと).  Here’s a video showing how to make an origami carp windsock… Here’s a video showing how to make a samurai helmet. (If you make it larger and […]
In Turkey and Turkmenistan, children go door-to-door for Ramadan singing and asking for a gift (like candy or coins). "As the holy month of Ramadan gets under way, children in Turkmenistan are taking part in one of the local customs associated with the holiday: visiting their neighbors and asking for gifts as they sing a […]
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Carolina L. M. wrote to us from Colombia about Love and Friendship Day (El Día de Amor y Amistad)… Hello! My name is Carolina I am a teacher in Colombia, South America! In schools we do not celebrate Valentine’s Day in February, but we do celebrate Love and Friendship Day the third Saturday in September! […]
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Ayako wrote from Japan about the Setsubun Festival…   Feb 3rd is Setsubun  節分.  Setsubun literally means "division of seasons” and now it means the day before the first day of spring.   There are many Setsubun events held in different temples and shrines in Japan.   This year I went to a Setsubun festival […]
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People in Japan ring temple bells for the New Year and they watch the sunrise.  Sadao Mazuka wrote to me about these traditions: On New Year’s Eve, many Japanese people go to their local temple and wait for their turn to ring the big bell (one time per person). It is called 除夜の鐘, Joyanokane, “The […]
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I’ve been writing a lot about traditional Japanese dishes for the New Year.  Here’s another installment! My friend Ayako wrote from Japan about the food she made for New Year’s Day: Lisa, Happy New Year ! This year I didn’t have a lot of time, so I made just two dishes of New Year foods. […]
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It’s January 1st, a new year a new you! Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to lose weight and get in shape. There are apps that can help you. I decided in December to try a weight loss app in advance of the New Year. I found one called LoseIt!  So far I’ve lost 3 pounds […]
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Sadao Mazuka wrote to me about New Year’s food (おせち料理) that’s eaten in Japan. "On New Year’s Eve, we ate year-crossing noodles when my sons were young. This year on Jan 1st to 3rd, we are going to have ‘zoni’ and ‘sechi’ or ‘O-sechi’." Zoni is a soup with either a fish based broth or […]
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There’s an old Japanese tradition,  from over 200 years ago, to eat soba noodles on New Year’s Eve.  About half of the population of Japan still follow this custom. The dish they eat is called Toshikoshi Soba or Year-Crossing Noodles. Sadao from Japan wrote to me about it: "On New Year’s Eve, we would eat […]
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Sugarplums are associated with Christmas even though most people don’t really know what they are!  They’re actually like Jordan Almonds – but not necessarily with almonds inside.  Jordan almonds are almonds with several coatings of sugar. Sugarplums aren’t heard of much anymore outside of Christmas poems like, "T’was the Night Before Christmas" with the lines: […]
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In the US, we all see the bright holiday lights in December in our neighborhoods. NASA has found such an increase in luminosity that it can be seen from space!  A 20 – 50% increase in light during the Christmas season in the US. Here’s an image that shows a similar effect, which can be […]
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Check out Celebrating Christmas Musical Traditions Around the World to learn about different holiday traditions.  You can take a virtual holiday trip to Mexico, South Korea, Norway, Australia and Nigeria.  Enjoy! Mama Lisa
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Season’s greetings! At Mama Lisa’s World there’s no time of year we love better than the holidays! We’re happy to announce that we’ve recently added the following Christmas Carols to Mama Lisa’s World with mp3 recordings and YouTube videos: Italian Dormi, dormi, bel Bambin (Sleep, Sleep Beautiful Child) Tu scendi dalle stelle (You Come Down […]
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Shirley Pitcher wrote to me from Australia about a family tradition, handed down from her great-grandmother who came from North Ireland, to eat Nettle Cake or Eccles Cake on New Year’s Eve. Here’s Shirley’s letter followed by a recipe I found for Eccles Cake: The Great-Grandma I remember – Her name was Rosa – she […]
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Ayako wrote to me about two popular Christmas songs from the Philippines that she learnt recently. Here’s her letter: Hi, Lisa I learned these Christmas songs from my English teacher.  She is from the Philippines. She told me that about 80% of Filipinos are Catholic and go to church about for 2 weeks ahead of […]
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The feast of St. Nicholas is celebrated by some people in the US, usually those with German ancestors.  The holiday takes place on the night of December 5th to the morning of the 6th. Shoes or stockings are left out for St. Nick to fill with gifts.   Here’s what Donna Berich wrote about it from […]
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It’s almost the time of year when many of us will be preparing gingerbread houses with our families! We don’t often think of it but, of course, gingerbread houses are associated with the story of Hansel and Gretel. They’re lured into the home of the witch in the forest since it’s made of gingerbread and […]
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It’s easy to make Day of the Dead cookies!  Simply buy a skull cookie cutter like this one.  Make your favorite recipe for sugar cookies and cut out skull shapes.  After they’ve been cooked and have cooled, put white icing on them.  Finally, using a tube of black icing and make fancy features to create […]
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Sadao Makuza wrote to us about Halloween in Japan… Halloween here is mainly a sales strategy in department stores and supermarkets. Children only go trick-or-treating if it’s arranged in school or with family and friends. Halloween first appeared in Japan in the 1970’s by the Kiddy Land Company store in Tokyo to promote Halloween goods. […]

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