January 2018

The Artwork

Crestwood Secondary School

Together We Can Overcome Fear

Photograph by Rachel Fletcher

January Calendar Resources 

Spirit Moon - Mnidoo Giizis (Anishinaabe- First Nations) Month of December

Anishinaabe Moon Calendar- This month is usually cold with many unpredictable storms, as if some unseen force was at work; the howling wind and the snapping of the twigs from the frost add to the idea of a “Spirit” at work.

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. http://onlc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/13-Moon-curriculum2.pdf

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. 
www.wintranslation.com/ojibwe-months/

Mahayana New Year (Buddhist)**

While Buddhists all over the world celebrate the New Year at different times, Mahayana Buddhists observe it with special rituals, prayers, songs, food and gatherings on the first full moon day in January.

Buddhism is the world’s 4th largest religion and like the other major religions, there are many different types of Buddhism. To learn more about Buddhism in general see www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/5minbud.htm or to learn more about Mahayana Buddhism www.burmese-art.com/blog/mahayana-buddhism.

Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh (Sikh)

Guru Gobind Singh instituted the five items of faith worn by Sikhs - Kesh, Kanga, Kara, Kaccha, Kirpan - and established the Order of the Khalsa.

To learn more about this holiday, the Guru Gobind Singh and the Sikh religion see http://aglobalworld.com/holidays-around-the-world/birthday-guru-gobind-singh-sikh/.

Makar Sankranti (Hindu)

Makar Sankranti observes the first Hindu festival of the solar calendar year. This is a great article to learn more about this festival and some of the ways that it is celebrated. https://scroll.in/magazine/864777/on-makar-sankranti-the-one-thing-that-unites-festivities-across-india-is-seasonal-eating

World Religion Day (Bahá’i/Multifaith)*

World Religion Day was instituted by the Bahá’i community in 1950 to help foster interfaith understanding and harmony. Occurs on the third Sunday of January.

You can get more information on World Religion Day and the Bahá’i faith here:  www.vancourier.com/community/world-religion-day-reflects-baha-i-faith-s-broad-principles-1.2155411. 

World Braille Day

World Braille Day recognizes the contributions of Louis Braille, creator of the braille code, and brings awareness about the challenges faced by individuals who are visually impaired.

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) is a great source for information about Braille, vision loss, and what it is like to live with vision loss. To learn more about Braille see: www.cnib.ca/en/living/braille/Pages/default.aspx.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day - January 15

This day celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., for his role as a civil rights leader in the fight for racial equality.

Visit this site to learn more about Martin Luther King Jr., and the reason for this holiday. www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1964/king-bio.html 


Other Resources


This is a great book to learn more about the history, traditions, and culture of the Ojibway people through stories and myths passed down through generations.

The Mishomis Book: The Voice of the Ojibway Paperback – January 22, 2010, by Edward Benton-Banai    Amazon.ca

One of the unique things about this Makar Sankranti is that people, young and old fly kites. This is a wonderful book about Besant, a kite flying festival in Pakistan.

King for a Day by Rukhsana Khan (Author),‎ Christiane Kromer (Illustrator)           Amazon.ca


Author/llustrator Demi tells the tale of how Lord Vishnu, “the greatest of all the gods,” came to Earth as a child

The Fantastic Adventures of Krishna by Demi 
Amazon.ca

A beautifully illustrated retelling of ancient Zen stories to and for contemporary children.  Zen Shorts by Jon J Muth
Amazon.ca


A young boy explains how he and his family observe the Bahá’i faith.

My Name Is Nabil by Wendy Heller
Amazon.ca

A Picture Book of Louis Braille by David A. Adler
Amazon.ca


A lovely book on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement.

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport (Author),‎ Bryan Collier             (Illustrator)
Amazon.ca

For an inspiring look at the Civil Rights Movement from the eyes of a child -

Child of the Civil Rights Movement by Paula Young Shelton (Author),‎ Raul Colon (Illustrator)  Amazon.ca