Let's celebrate

Topic: Present and past family life
Student activity

This is the student activity 1 of 1 of the Let's celebrate learning activity.

Task No. 1

Let's celebrate!

A celebration is about sharing happiness over an event or an achievement with other people. People celebrate things all the time all over the world. People celebrate weddings, birthdays and achievements like winning a race or getting good marks at school.

Sometimes we celebrate the same thing at the same time each year, like New Year’s Eve. At other times there is a longer period between celebrations. For example the whole world celebrates the Olympics only every four years. But sometimes we are celebrating something that will only happen once, like the day in 1969 when American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon.

Make a mind map about 'celebrations'. Include any celebrations that you or your family have had. Share your stories about the celebrations you remember with your classmates. 

Task No. 2

Celebrations - then and now

Investigate these old photos to see if you can figure out what they can tell us about celebrations in the past.


  • What are the people doing in the photo?
  • What are they celebrating?
  • How do you know?
  • Are these photos from the past or the present? How do you know?
3rd birthday part of Georgianna Ward-Williams


Sydney during the Olympic Games, 2000


Queen Victoria, Centenary of Federation parade, 2001
Chinese New Year lion dance, Festival of Sydney, Cabramatta, 1993


Indonesian community at the end of Ramadan, Addison Rd Community Centre, 19 January 1999
Task No. 3

Birthday celebrations

Look at the photograph of a girl's ninth birthday party. 


  • How can you tell this is a celebration?
  • Is this image from the past or the present? How do you know?
  • What do you need for a celebration? Think about food, clothing and venue.
  • How did you celebrate your last birthday?
  • Draw a picture or write about an exciting place where you would like to celebrate your next birthday party.
Girl's 9th birthday party
Task No. 4

Researching celebrations

Many celebrations are traditions that have continued, and changed, over a long time. In Australia we are lucky to have LOTS of celebrations, such as Lunar New Year, Christmas, Hannukah, Ramadan, Eid, Diwali, St Patrick's Day, Holi, NAIDOC week - and many, many more!

Choose one annual celebration to research from the list above, or from the Harmony Day calendar

Create a fact file about your celebration including: 

  • What is it called? Does it have other names in other languages?
  • When is the celebration? Is it on the same date each year?
  • Who celebrates this holiday?
  • When did people start celebrating this holiday?
  • What activities do people do for this celebration?
  • Are there special decorations for this celebration? If so, what do they look like?
  • Can you find pictures of this celebration from this year or last year?
  • Can you find any pictures of your celebreation in the past using the State Library catalogue?

Share the information you learnt about your celebration with your classmates and add all of your celebrations to a class calendar. Make a plan for how you can celebrate this holiday in your classroom this year - for example, by decorating the room or by doing certain activities.