How to make a tissue paper Assyrian flag
The first of April—or Kha b’Nissan—marks the Assyrian New Year, also known as Akitu. In ancient Assyria, the new year was celebrated for a period of twelve days. Now, after thousands of years, Assyrians are spread all over the world, but continue to honor the holiday annually.
As a tribute to the twelve-day custom, we’re sharing unique ways to honor Akitu no matter where you are in the world.
Looking for a fun way to get your kids thinking about Akitu? The Assyrian flag is a great place to start. Here’s a simple, inexpensive craft that will give you the chance to talk to them about Assyria and the new year.
- Tissue paper (red, blue, white, light blue, yellow)
- Elmer’s glue
- Card stock
- Picture of Assyrian flag (print out or electronic)
- Cardboard (optional)
- Cut tissue paper into small squares (2×2 is a good size). You will need more red, blue, and white squares for the piece. A good technique is to start by cutting tissue paper into strips, and then proceed to cut the stacked strips into squares. They don’t have to be perfect—it won’t matter later.
- Draw an Assyrian flag onto a blank piece of card stock. We made the star a bit larger than usual. The color of the paper and the marker doesn’t matter. We used a standard 8.5×11 sheet, but this project will work with any size. You can use regular sheets of paper if you don’t have card stock handy, but using a thicker stock will ensure the flag doesn’t flop around once finished. You may choose to glue the sheet (card stock or not) to a piece of cardboard before starting. While we recommend this, it’s not necessary.
- Start by wrapping a square of tissue paper around the pencil’s eraser, and dip the end into glue.
- Using the pencil, press the tissue paper onto the sheet. Children should have a picture of the Assyrian flag handy to use as a guide. We started from the very center of the Assyrian star, working our way out. Don’t worry about getting the pieces to look “right.” As you continue to fill the flag, it will come together.
- The red and blue lines might be difficult to replicate using tissue paper. Don’t stress over this—the tissue paper will give them a fun, organic look.
- While working, consider talking about the symbolism of the Assyrian flag.
- Once finished, allow flag to dry.
- Display the piece in your home to celebrate Akitu, or gift it to nana and jedo. Either way, it’s sure to brighten up any room. Smaller versions can be used to decorate a bouquet.
If you give it a try, please be share to share your photos with us! Use #12DaysofAkitu and tag us on Facebook.
Looking for more Assyrian-themed art projects to try with your kids this Kha b’Nissan? Check these out:
- Ishtar Gate Mosaic: This unique mosaic-style art activity will give your child the opportunity to recreate one of the most iconic Assyrian sites.
- Little Scribes: Your child will learn how to write like an ancient Assyrian—on a clay tablet!
- Assyrian Metalworking: A fun art activity that will give kids a look at an ancient Assyrian industry.