February is African American History Month

During February we celebrate African American History Month, also known as Black History Month. At this time we pay special attention to the contributions of African Americans to arts, culture, science, industry and society as a whole throughout American history. Please see our page of links for resources for celebrating African American History Month.

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 19th. Learn more about Dr. King on our page of links.

Celebrate Tu B’Shevat

Tu B’Shevat, the 15th day of the Jewish month of Shevat, is the New Year for Trees. This is the date used to calculate the age of trees for tithing. It has become a custom to collect money on this date to plant trees in Israel. The day may also be celebrated with fruits, especially those associated with Israel.

This year, Tu B’Shevat falls on January 15th. Learn more about this holiday 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 2014 and get ready to plunge into 2015 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 2015 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.

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