Dr. G.J. MacGillivray Public School
"In Diversity There is Beauty and There is Strength"
Every student in our school (YR1-GR. 6) was invited to decorate a paper doll and include ways that we can together by kind to one another, include everyone and celebrate everyone's differences. The paper dolls have been displayed on the walls so that everyone can enjoy their messages. The EDI's group decided to take some of the dolls and arrange them so that they could be photographed and shared for the EDI calendar. The messages on the dolls help inspire students, staff, parents and the community that "Together We Can" be a school that celebrates everyone's uniquness and differences and is united.
Little Spirit Moon- Mnidoo Giiz’soons (Anishinaabe- First Nations) Month of December
Anishinaabe Moon Calendar- As December isn’t always too blustery and stormy just yet, that type of weather is attributed to the work of the “Little Spirit”
For more information on local Full Moon Ceremonies go to www.facebook.com/groups/16994197269 or contact Trent University Department of Indigenous Studies.
The Ontario Native Literacy Coalition has released this informative PDF to share information about Ojibway, Cree, and Mohawk languages and their respective understandings of moons, seasons, days and cycles of ceremonies. It also explains the significance of the Aboriginal Calendar.
Win Translation’s page “Ojibwe Months: Names Chosen by Nature?” explores the relationship between the Ojibwe languages and dialects, and how moons come to have been named in such a way.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities (UN)
This day promotes awareness and mobilizes support for critical issues related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in societies.
The International Day of People with Disability organization has its own website which you can find below. There are likes to teacher and student resources, themes from the past, and event suggestions and registration should you choose to get involved!
National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women (Can)
On December 6th, 1989, 14 women at École Polytechnique de Montréal were killed in a gender-based act of violence. In 1991, the Parliament of Canada declared December 6th to be the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The day now represents a time to reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women-identified people in our society and to speak out against all forms of violence against women and girls.
The Ontario Women’s Directorate has a webpage dedicated to honouring the 14 women who were murdered at the École Polytechnique de Montréal. The page has the names of the 14 women, along with information about the YWCA Rose Button Campaign, links to Women’s Organizations and Leadership roles, as well as links that will direct you to information about ending sexual violence, ending domestic abuse, and ending violence against Aboriginal women.
Bodhi Day (Buddhist)
Date of Siddhartha Gautama’s realization and presentation to fellow seekers of the Four Noble Truths.
The Huffington Post article below is a relevant read in terms of bringing Buddhist practices into modernity, and applying Buddha’s teachings to current events. It is titled “Celebrating Buddha Day for the 21st Century”, and speaks to “acknowledging dedication to the principles of wisdom, compassion and kindness” while also recognizing privilege and power.
About Religion has a page on “Rohatsu”, or “Bodhi Day”, which is the last day of a week long “sesshin”, an intensive meditation retreat. This page also has information on how Buddha found peace on the Day of Enlightenment.
Mawlid al-Nabi (Muslim)* **
A quiet festival marking the Prophet Muhammad’s birth and death.
Typically in Islam, birthdays and other celebratory events are not observed. Some Muslim sects find the observance of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday to be blasphemous, others will “quietly” take part in this day of remembrance and celebration of his life.
In the article “What is Mawlid? How Muslims Celebrate The Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday During Rabi’ Al Awwal” gives a description of Muhammad’s early life, as well as shows pictures of dirrferent celebrations across the globe. Find it here:\
In this article titled “The Celebration of Mawlid, The Birthday of the Prophet”, Omid Safi addresses the difference in celebration that Muslims take up on this day. The article includes poetry that is relevant to the celebration, as well as vibrant and lively pictures of observers in many different countries. This is a great read!
A time to hold vigil together through the longest night of the year and at the dawn welcome the turning of the wheel and the return of the light. It is a time for ritually shedding the impurities of the past year and for contemplating avenues of spiritual development in the year ahead.
This fantastic article gives a descriptive history of Yule, along with the symbolism, Deities, foods and herbs traditionally associated with this solstice. Read more here:
“Yule: Winter Solstice” written by The White Goddess on Pagan Portals and Forums is a great resource full of information on this holiday. It provides insight into what the word Yule means, the cycle of the year, and the Yule log, of course!
Honours the birth of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the Son of God.
Using historical and biblical histories, Religion Facts has published a webpage on Christmas. It provides information about the history of Christmas, and customs and observances.
The Jewish “Festival of Lights” celebrated for eight days to commemorate the victory of the Maccabees over Hellenistic Greeks in the 2nd century before the Common Era, and to celebrate the power of God and the faithfulness of Israel.
Judaism 101 has an article that explains the story of Hannukah, the traditions around this holy day, music, a list of dates and their meaning and even a latke recipe!
Chabad.Org published a webpage that provides a rich history of Hanukkah. You can read about it here:
A holiday based on the African tradition of celebrating the harvesting of the first fruits (Kwanzaa means “first”). Kwanzaa was recreated and introduced in the U.S. by California college professor Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966. The celebration has now spread worldwide; Kwanzaa is celebrated by millions of people in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and America.
This website has all things Kwanzaa, from “How to Embrace Kwanzaa’s Principles and Practices” to the colours and decorations of this holy day. You can also read a welcome message from the founder, Dr. Maulana Karenga.
The Holiday Spot has a webpage the explains the meaning and traditions behind each of the seven days of Kwanzaa:
Ontario Native Literacy Coalition
World Literacy Federation
Métis Harvester's Guide - Métis National Council
In the pages of Yule, Dorothy Morrison presents a wonderful potpourri of holiday lore from around the world and throughout history, along with fun crafts, delicious recipe seven a calendar of celebrations for every day in December.
When a baby was born in the manger, Mary and Joseph rejoiced. The angels sang, and kings journeyed to bring gifts. When you came into the world, there was a celebration too - because every new baby is a small miracle.
Christmas is one of the most important holidays celebrated in most countries around the world, yet the true origin of this special day is often missed. Almost everyone equates Santa Claus and the giving of gifts with Christmas, but what event was the catalyst behind this centuries-old tradition?
Say "Happy Hanukkah!" with this joyful story of one family's holiday celebration, from spinning dreidels to cooking yummy latkes to lighting the menorah together. With sweet, lyrical text and warm illustrations, this is the perfect way to celebrate the festival of lights. Includes a sticker sheet in the back!
Kids love holidays, especially Hanukkah, which is celebrated for eight dazzling nights. From the lighting of the menorah to the blessings and all the tradition in between, kids are mesmerized by the magic of this celebration. With this book, kids will enjoy more than 100 puzzles and activities about: the history of Hanukkah from its roots more than 2,000 years ago; the meaning behind the various rituals, traditions, and prayers; why certain foods are eaten during Hanukkah; Hanukkah crafts, decorations, and gifts they can make; and more!
Andrea Davis Pinkney, the author of "Seven Candles for Kwanzza," does a great job of explaining the different traditions and rituals of Kwanzaa. This book is enriched with detailed information about the beginnings of Kwanzaa as well as the modern celebrations that take place during the week-long holiday. Your students will definitely appreciate this read.
Kwanzaa is Kayla’s favorite time of year. But this year, it looks as if a heavy snowstorm will keep her big brother, Khari, from getting home in time for the festivities! Will Khari miss the celebration completely? Or will Kayla and her brother somehow find a way to be together for Kwanzaa? A perfect introduction to Kwanzaa, this book will teach children all about the traditions and practices that make it a special winter holiday.