Motivational Monday: Dr. Martin Luther King

By Damien Knight

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Today we remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. While I could write about what he means to people today but his words stand on their own.

“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”

― Martin Luther King Jr.I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World

With today’s news and increased visibility of racial tensions let us not forget Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s dream. After all :  “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World

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New Year’s Resolutions: A Tradition

By : Damien Knight

Before I list my New Year’s resolutions for this year, I want to give you this post. Another one of my holiday histories.

New Year’s resolutions are nearly as old as New Year itself. It dates back to almost 4000 years back to the kingdom of Babylon. Babylonian New Year was celebrated during the feast time Akitu. It was during Akitu new kings would be crowned or oaths to old kings were sworn. They also would swear oaths to their gods. These oaths often included promises to pay debts.

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April Fool’s Day

By Damien Knight

(Originally written on April 1st 2017)

I have never been one to really get into this holiday. I don’t like surprises or pranks. I hate people jumping at me and sneaking up on me. Today is also my son’s favourite day to do all the above. This got me thinking, why do we celebrate April Fools day.
According to Snopes, it started with a legend. Once upon a time we started the year in March 25th and the new year was celebrated on April 1st. History.com also cites this as a potential origin,  stating that it started in France and those who did not know the new year changed to January were “April Fish” a term to describe being easily caught.
Even though this legend seems plausible the celebration goes back even further and might even link to the Roman Festival of Hilaria where Romans wore disguises. During this time of year even Mother Nature gets in on the act giving us tricky weather.
Snopes states those who, like myself, respond poorly to hoaxes will call bad luck on themselves. Another supposed rule is hoaxes past noon bring bad luck on the prankster. Either way I hope all you pranksters and the “fish, gowks and fools” had a great Fools Day.

Halloween: A Brief History

By: Damien Knight

(Written in Oct 2016)
As All Hallow’s Eve or as we today call it Halloween approaches I thought it pertinent we reflect on the origins of this so called “Devils Holiday.” For me it is particularly important as my family follows the tradition of the Samhain feast. A feast that is said to have come from old harvest feasts back in Europe before the spread of Christianity and is supposedly the original purpose of Halloween.
Samhain was an ancient Celtic festival that celebrated the end of harvest and the preparation of winter. It was believed by the Celts that during this time the spirit world veil was thinnest. Many other cultures today still believe this which is why the Day of The Dead is celebrated on November second while the veil is still ‘thin.’ Like the Day of the Dead, Samhain also featured paying respect to the deceased and Aos Si (old gods, fae) that they might survive the coming winter. They would do this by leaving an offering of drink and a small portion of that years harvest.
It is customarily believed costumes were donned at some point to trick spirits. The earliest known use of costumes for trick or treating was in medieval Europe during Hallow-mas on November first. Poor folk would go door to door begging for food in return for praying over the houses dead. This practice was called Souling. This was followed by All Souls Day on November second which was similar to the Day of the Dead in today’s modern culture.
Halloween was slow to pick up in America. The earliest report of something like trick or treat in America was in the early 1900’s. While stories portray Halloween as an invention by American adults to keep kids from performing trick (pranks) and instead get treats this is not entirely true. In some places kids had to stage protests due to adult unwillingness to celebrate. By 1952 Halloween became a well-established American custom.
All around the world people celebrate Halloween and various other death honouring holidays. While today we enjoy getting our scare on it is good to remember that Halloween was a day to pay respect to those who passed on. It isn’t about fearing death but respecting it and enjoying life. Happy Halloween!

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My Favourite Holiday

By Cera Knapp

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I love St.Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day is on my birthday. This is why I love St. Patrick’s Day. In America we celebrate by wearing green.

St. Patrick’s day is from Ireland. It is celebrated on March 17th, the day St. Patrick died. It is a Catholic holiday.

The holiday honours St. Patrick. He is the patron saint of Ireland. Irish myth claims St. Patrick banished snakes from Ireland. In reality St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland.

This is why St. Patrick’s day is my favourite holiday. I like wearing green. It’s so fun having everyone celebrate on my birthday.

The History of Father’s Day

By: Damien Knight

The barbeque is lit and hotdogs are on the grill, kids are playing and Dad is wearing his grilling apron. It’s that time of year again, Father’s Day.  You watch your dad crack a cold one and laugh about the gaudy tie your mom bought for the occasion. Then it comes to mind, how did Father’s Day get it’s start?

While Mother’s day was established in 1908, it took another 6o years for Father’s day to become an official National Holiday. The first unofficial Father’s Day was celebrated in 1910 but it did not pick up right off like Mother’s day. Mother’s Day was officially started by Anna Jarvis to honor her mother and backed by a retail store. People of that time felt father’s did not garner the same affection as mothers. It would not be profitable.
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