Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a minister and a leader of the Civil Rights movement who advocated a non-violent form of protest. He helped to organize some of the most famous marches in the Civil Rights Movement: the 1963 March on Washington where he delivered his “I have a dream” speech and the 1965 marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. In 1964, Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Martin Luther King was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.

Each year America honors Dr. King with a holiday in his honor on the third Monday in January. This year, Martin Luther King Day falls on January 16th. Learn more about Dr. King on our page of links.

New Year’s Day

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.'” — Alfred Lord Tennyson

The new year is on the horizon. Take a look back at 2016 and get ready to plunge into 2017 with our page of links.

New Year’s Eve

“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.” — Rainer Maria Rilke

It’s almost time to ring in the new year. New Year’s Eve is celebrated around the world on December 31st with a variety of traditions and events. In the United States there are parties with family and friends, fireworks at midnight and many public events ranging from the iconic Ball Drop in New York’s Times Square to Boston’s First Night celebration, which has inspired similar events across the country. For many, New Year’s Eve is also a time for reflection and making resolutions for the coming year.

Find ideas for celebrating the start of 2017 on our page of links.

St. Stephen’s Day

St. Stephen’s Day honors the first Christian martyr, stoned to death shortly after the Crucifixion. St. Stephen’s Day is a national holiday in Ireland, celebrated on December 26th, but the celebrations have little connection to the Saint.

In Ireland, St. Stephen’s Day is the day for “Hunting the Wren” or “Going on the Wren.” Originally, groups of small boys would hunt for a wren, and then chase the bird until they either caught it or it died from exhaustion. The dead bird was tied to the top of a pole or holly bush, which was decorated with ribbons or colored paper.

Find out more about this celebration on our page of links.

Celebrate Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is an African-American harvest and community festival that was founded in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, as a way of reaffirming African-American identity, instilling knowledge and pride in African roots, and reinforcing bonds among members of the community. Kwanzaa is now celebrated by an estimated 18 million people in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Britain, India and some African nations. Kwanzaa begins on December 26th and lasts for seven days.

Kwanzaa is devoted to seven principles, know collectively as Nguzo Saba: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative economics) , Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity) and Imani (Faith).

Learn more about Kwanzaa on our page of links. Happy Kwanzaa!

Christmastime is here

“Christmas is a season for kindling the fire for hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.” — Washington Irving

The Christmas season is upon us. Christmas, celebrated around the world on December 25th, commemorates the birth of Christ and is one of the most important days in the Christian calendar. Though is it a religious observance, Christmas has many cultural manifestations which vary in different countries. In the U.S., familiar traditions include decorating of Christmas trees, singing carols, exchanging gifts, and welcoming Santa Claus on his annual visit.

See our page of links featuring Christmas activities, recipes and book lists.

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