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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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. In 1983,...
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The creepy Hearse Song (The Worms Crawl In) is very popular at Halloween time. There are many versions. Here’s one with a recording. You can find more Halloween Songs on Mama Lisa’s World. Enjoy! Mama Lisa Image: Thanks to Gracie Gralike for the great drawing!
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"Pumpkin, Pumpkin" is a cute little song that’s sung to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star".  It’s perfect for October and Halloween. You can watch the video below and read along with the lyrics. Pumpkin, Pumpkin 1. Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground 2. How’d you get so big and round? ...
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This video about local festivals around the world will surprise you.  The festivals include rolling cheese down a hill in England, a buffet for Monkeys in Thailand and a Yorkshire Pudding Boat race for kids.  (If I was a kid in that race I think I’d eat my boat!) Check out the video below… ...
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The Star Festival is held in Japan in July.  It’s called Tanabata. Tanabata means "evening of the seventh"… it takes place at night on July 7th every year.  Ayako Egawa wrote about it from Japan: "Tanabata is the Star Festival held on July 7th.  It originated in China.  We hang pretty fancy origami paper on which...
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The Persian New Year is celebrated on the first day of Spring.  It’s called Nowruz.  There are many New Year traditions, including throwing grass into a river or lake.  Here’s what Fatima wrote from Iran about some New Year’s traditions: In the last month of the Iranian year people shake up the house (i.e. they clean...
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The expression "to tie the knot" means "to get married".   There are several places where tied knots have been connected to marriage and love. During Roman times, brides wore a belt or girdle at their wedding tied in a Hercules Knot. Only the groom was allowed to untie it (the unloosening was supposed to be a...
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Mother’s Day is celebrated in May in many countries. One great way to express love to a mom is through a song or poem.  We have many Mother’s Day poems and songs from around the world on Mama Lisa’s World.  Here are some songs and poems for Mother’s Day: Happy Mother’s Day! -Mama Lisa Image:  Boulevard...
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This seasonal recipe for Takikomi Gohan (mixed rice) was sent by Ayako Egawa in Japan.  Takikomi Gohan is made with rice and seasonal ingredients and is made to celebrate the changing season. Here’s Ayako’s note on the dish, along with her recipe… "Lisa is very curious about our food in Japan. So I’d like to...
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In the Spring, people in Japan traditionally view the cherry blossoms and picnic under the trees.  This is called Hanami.  When people view the blossoms by night, it’s called Yozakura.  At this time of year it can be cool at night so some people bring blankets, warm saki and body warmers.  Sadao sent me the...
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It’s hanami time in Japan, when people view the cherry blossoms and picnic below their beautiful blooms. The photo above was sent by Ayako Egawa.  Ayako wrote, "I took a pic of white sakura (cherry trees) and pink sakura… that’s a really nice combination. White sakura is called ‘ooshimazakura’ and pink sakura is called ’someiyohino’." Thanks for...
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I recently posted a song about Mt. Fuji and a haiku poem about a snail climbing Mt. Fuji. While I was working on them, I came across mention of there being a tradition in Japan of people wanting to climb Mt. Fuji during their lifetime.  I asked Sadao Mazuka who’s from Japan about this tradition....
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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Check out the song "I am the Wee Falorie Man" (with a recording) to get you in the mood… Today, I’m going to make a Guinness Stew since I had the traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage yesterday at my Mom’s house. You can check out some Irish recipes, songs and poems here. I’ll leave...
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Since Valentine’s Day is around the corner, I wanted to post this little love poem called "A Scrawl" by James Whitcomb Riley.  You can listen to a recording of it below and read along with the poem. MP3 Recording of A Scrawl A Scrawl By James Whitcomb Riley   I want to sing something–...
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Emanuela wrote from Italy about St. Nicholas of Bari… "We celebrate St. Nicholas of Bari on December 6th. Our St. Nicholas is the Nicholas who is celebrated in northern Europe. St. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra (now part of Turkey), but now his body is in Bari, Italy. European immigrants brought this character to America....
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In parts of Italy, La Befana is the one who gives gifts to children instead of Santa Claus.  She does this on the night of the Epiphany on January 5th.  That’s when the 3 Wise Men are said to have given their gifts to Jesus.   La Befana goes around leaving presents for children, in imitation...
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"’Ainsi périssent les ennemis de la République!’ (Thus perish the enemies of the Republic), referring to how fictional character Mère Royaume poured boiling hot vegetable soup on soldiers climbing up the city walls of Geneva in a surprise attack on December 11-12, 1602. One of the ways the Genevois celebrate this defeat is by eating...
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Happy St. Nicolas’ Day! Here’s a link to info about the legend of St. Nick. Here’s a link to a Dutch St. Nick song with a recording:
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Check out Mama Lisa’s World’s New Christmas Carol App for $1.99! Featuring… -75 Beloved Carols from Around the World. -Each carol includes lyrics in the original language, with an English translation. -Each includes recordings, some by professional musicians, but many by ordinary people who have contributed them to us, to help preserve...
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I saw this pretty autumn tree craft at our local library’s children’s room.  Here’s how you make it… Supplies:  Medicine Dropper, Glossy Photo Paper, Watercolor Paint, Straw, Brown Construction Paper (for tree trunk). Drip watercolor paint onto the top half of the paper using the medicine dropper.  Use autumnal colors like yellow, orange, green and red.  Take...

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