Student Snapshot: Advent Calendar
This year, the traditional Christmas Ball organised by the Rīga Stradiņš University International Student Association (RSU ISA) that usually takes place in December, could not be held. The Board's contingency plan to hold an event outdoors was also quickly discarded as emergency measures and restrictions became stricter as the months got colder. In order to still provide students with a sense of community and entertainment, Theresa Gsöllpointner (The Head of Integration and Sports) and Emma Wallfridson (The Assistant to the Head of Integration and Sports) came up with the idea to curate a digital Advent Calendar.
Each national society had the opportunity to present their culture and their unique way of preparing for the holiday season on Instagram (or Zoom for some of the live, interactive events). The formats varied from a bake-off (organised by the British Irish Society, BISA), and a tutorial on how to bind an advent wreath (organised by the German Student Society, DSiA), to a presentation of Hanukkah (by the Israeli Student Society, Yachad) and gave students a comprehensive insight into how various cultures celebrate Christmas, and what traditions exist around the world.
Did you know?
- Before Christmas Trees were introduced to Greece, people would decorate boats which symbolised reuniting with loved ones.
- In Iceland 13 Yule Lads roam around the countryside placing gifts in shoes.
- Kwanzaa is an annual pan-African holiday created in 1966 that lasts for 7 days.
- Even though Sri Lanka is a predominantly Buddhist country, Christmas is also celebrated here by donating to charities and attending midnight mass in churches. Celebrations culminate with fireworks that are set off as the clock strikes 12.
December 15 Masala tea recipe
Theresa accounts that students have really appreciated this thoughtful and unique event full of recipes, quizzes and fun facts, and that she has received many encouraging messages and positive feedback.
RSU ISA Advent Calendar
|29 November||First Candle|
|Day 1||The history of Advent|
|Day 2||Traditions (Greece)|
|Day 3||DIY Christmas/Advent wreath tutorial (DSiA)|
|Day 4||Traditions (Hungary)|
|Day 5||Baking and Krampus (Austria)|
|Day 6||Second Candle - Quiz (Italian Student Association in Riga)|
|Day 7||Christmas jumper challenge (who can put one on standing upside down?)|
|Day 8||Traditions and music (Sri Lanka, Asian Society)|
|Day 9||Traditions and sauna (Finland)|
|Day 10||Traditions and music (Russia)|
|Day 11||Great British Bake Off (UK, BISA)|
|Day 12||Traditions and stories (Iceland)|
|Day 13||Third Candle - Lucia (Sweden, SLFSR)|
|Day 14||Quiz (DSiA)|
|Day 15||Masala tea recipe (Asian Society)|
|Day 16||Quiz (Portugese Society)|
|Day 17||Traditions (Latvia)|
|Day 18||Hanukkah (Israel, Yachad)|
|Day 19||Traditions (USA, RSU US Student Association)|
|Day 20||Fourth Candle - Concert by the RSU student band Valerie|
|Day 21||Kwanza (African Association Riga)|
|Day 22||Traditions and cross-country skiing (Norway)|
|Day 23||Quiz (RSU ISA)|
|Day 24||Christmas Eve - Christmas wishes in different languages|