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Mali stelt de vraag van de maand

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Hello!

My name is Mali! I’m from a company called HABA and I am very curious. At least, that’s what the grownups say about me. There are so many interesting things to discover in the world! But some things are really complicated, so I have loads of questions. Fortunately for me, the people at HABA are very nice and explain everything I want to know. And then I can tell you all the new things I have learned.

Sincerely yours, Mali

February: Why can’t I dress up like a witch every day? 

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Dear HABA Decorating Team,

Should I tell you what I will be at our kindergarten Mardi Gras party? I’m going as a beastly, gruesome witch with a huge witch’s hat and cloak! Naturally, I have a magic wand with bewitching powers! Everybody better watch out at Mardi Gras, especially those boys who are always teasing me! Do you like to dress up as much as I do? Can’t we dress up more often, instead of only at Mardi Gras? 

Sincerely yours,

Mali

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Dorothea from the HABA Deco Team

Dear Mali,

You certainly have picked out a gruesomely lovely costume! And I bet those boys in your kindergarten group are going to keep a safe distance from such a wild witch! I also love to think up an extraordinary costume each time Mardi Gras comes around, especially something totally unique. You certainly know how much fun it is to put on a costume and makeup, slipping into a role of someone completely different for a day. That’s probably why so many children and grownups love Mardi Gras, Fastnacht or Carnival. Depending on the region, the “crazy days” have different names and are also celebrated differently. Mardi Gras is celebrated with enthusiasm in many European countries, including France, Belgium and Italy. But the most famous Carnival, known for its fantastic costumes, is in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.   

As you can see, dear Mali, Mardi Gras is celebrated all over the world, but only at a special time of year. That doesn’t mean that you can’t dress up at other times! How about turning your next birthday into a costume party? You can have a certain theme or let your guests dress up in the costumes they like best. Dressing up is wonderful fun, not only at Mardi Gras! You can get some ideas by taking a look at HABA’s wonderful children’s costumes and role games accessories. In no time, you and your friends can become valiant knights, sassy witches, scary vampires or enchanting princesses and fairies. A well-filled dress-up trunk is every child’s dream, but with a little bit of fantasy, HABA costumes can be easily adapted. Just ask your mommy or daddy if you can borrow some of their clothes and accessories. 
  
I wish you a wonderful Mardi Gras party in kindergarten and loads of fun dressing up all year round. And perhaps you could invite the boys in your kindergarten group to a costume party? Playing and celebrating together, especially when dressing up and creating exotic new worlds together is not only great fun, it also makes fast friends!

Sincerely yours,

Dorothea

January: Why is winter cold? 

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Dear HABA Asia Team,

Do you know what I like most about Christmas? Snow! When it snows, I want to run outside right away and build a snowman or go sledding. But Mommy always says I must put on warm clothes first, so I don’t get sick. After all, she says, it’s winter and cold outside. Why is that? And is it so cold where you are, too?

Best regards,

Mali

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Felix from the HABA Asia Team

Dear Mali,

I can easily understand why snow fascinates you! Many, many children all around the world feel the same way about snow. Grownups like snow, too. Particularly when they enjoy doing winter sports or walking through a snowy-white winter landscape. But there are times when the grownups groan when it snows, like when they have to drive the car on slippery, snowy roads. Still, you wanted to know why it is so cold in the winter. That has to do with how the Earth is tilted. In summer, the Northern Hemisphere tilts towards the sun, and in the winter, it tilts away from the sun. That means that we are further away from the sun in winter, so it gets cold. You will learn more about exactly how that works in school. But I can tell you something else that is really interesting. Here in Hong Kong, where HABA Asia has its office, it’s also winter in January, but it never gets cold and the children here have never seen snow. In Hong Kong, the climate is damp and tropical and the temperature stays around 25 degrees all year round. We can walk outside in t-shirts all the time, even in winter! It’s not only like that here, but also in other countries on other continents. The Earth has many, very different climate zones. If you look at a globe or map of the world at home, you can see how the Equator circles around the center of the Earth. The area around the Equator is the warmest in the world, and the farther away you live from the Equator, the colder it gets. All the way up or down to the Arctic or Antarctic, the coldest places on the planet. That is something else you will discover much, much more about in school.  

The seasons and how they change is something very beautiful, because Nature looks very different each season. Our Puzzles The Seasons lets you discover summer, spring, fall and winter again and again, any time of the year. It’s always fun, no matter what the weather. Since you love the snow and being outside, you would have loads of fund with HABA’s Bricklayer set. In the winter, when it snows, you can build a fantastic igloo…and in summer an excellent sand castle!

Whether you play indoors or outside, I wish you a beautiful winter. Enjoy it, Mail, it only comes around once a year!

Best regards,

Felix

December: Why can't I have an Advent calendar every month of the year? 

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Dear Export Team,

Yummy, is that good! I just opened the first door of my Advent calendar and found a little chocolate snowman. I can hardly wait to see what's hiding behind the next door. This is so exciting! It's a pity that I can only have an Advent calendar in December. Why is that? Why can't I have an Advent calendar every month of the year?

Best regards,

Mali

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Christian from the Export Department

Dear Mali,

Oh yes, I can understand how much you enjoy your Advent calendar! I remember how excited I was when it was time to open the first door. Today, I help my own children when they can't get the door open right away. 

I'm afraid December really is the only month when you can have an Advent calendar. An Advent calendar is meant to help the time until Christmas pass more quickly, enhancing the days from December 1st until December 24th. The other months of the year do not have such an important holiday, where all the children are so excited. And imagine this, in some countries children do not have an Advent calendar, not even in December. Christmas customs are different around the world.   

In the Netherlands, the children often receive their gifts on the night of December 6th. The gifts are brought by St. Nicolaus (Sinterclaas) and his helper Farmhand Rupert (Zwarte Piet). Here in Germany, we also have a St. Nicolaus, but it usually the Christ child or Santa Claus who brings the gifts. Most of the children in southern Germany and Austria believe in the Christ child, while in northern and eastern Germany, as well as in other parts of the world, Santa Claus brings the presents. But Santa Claus looks differently in different countries. In France, he wears a red coat with a pointed hood, carrying the presents in a sack. In the USA, Santa Claus wears a red jacket with a white fur collar and red pants. Throughout the night on December 24th, he drives a sled pulled by reindeer, stopping at every house and sliding down the chimney to leave the Christmas gifts under the tree. So, our HABA colleagues open their presents on the morning of December 25th. 

In Spain, neither the Christ child nor Santa Claus brings gifts. The children in Spain receive their presents from the Three Kings on January 6th. I bet you're thinking, that's a long time to wait, aren't you, dear Mali? But that is the way it is. Christmas traditions are very different all around the world. In Russia, Christmas is celebrated on January 7th! But the children get to open their gifts on New Year's.  

So, dear Mali, I wish you a lovely Christmas season with lots of cookies and a kind St. Nick. Enjoy the excitement every day before you open the next door of your Advent calendar. Then it will stay special! Have you and your family put up festive decorations? By the way, there are many nice decorations and small gifts for your grandparents or other relatives in our Christmas category. I wish you and your family a wonderfully beautiful Christmas holiday!

Best regards,

Christian

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