Festivals and traditions

This assembly is designed for use with KS3 and GCSE pupils.

Once you have discussed the assembly in school, why not share your opinions in our interactive debate with schools around the world? Click the 'join the debate' tab for more details.

Celebrating Day of the Dead

Script to introduce the film

This is a film about the Day of the Dead, which is a festival in Mexico.

It stretches from 1 November all night and into the following day, and Mexicans believe that their loved ones come back from the dead to spend the day with them.

It is not a sad occasion. Instead, it's a big party, at which everyone is expected to have a great time.

Show film and use the discussion prompts afterwards. Email worldclass@bbc.co.uk if you would like to download a copy of this film.

What do you think of the Day of the Dead?

Mexico facts

  • Population: 114.8 million (UN, 2011)
  • Capital: Mexico City
  • Major language: Spanish
  • Monetary unit: 1 peso = 100 centavos

Had you heard about it before? Do you think knowing about the Day of the Dead festival helps you understand Mexican culture?

What else do you know about Mexico and Mexican culture?

What special days or celebrations do you have in your country? How do they compare with Day of the Dead? Do you think the Day of the Dead festival would work in your country?

Do you think people visiting your country would understand how your celebrations and culture work?

Pick three things that you think represent your country the best. Do you think that people outside of your country would pick the same things? Why/why not?

This is an example of cultural stereotyping. Do you think stereotyping is helpful or unhelpful? Why?

(Hints: stereotypes can sometimes provide information about something you don't understand… But it might not always be accurate.)

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Why not join us for our 'festivals and traditions' debate on Thursday 25 October 1100-1300, and tell us what you discussed in your assembly?

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If you can't join us at that time, use the comments box below to tell us what you talked about - and we'll include your comments during the debate.

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