Learning the history and developing an understanding of the different cultures and diversity in our community helps us become aware, rethink any assumptions, creates allyship and fosters a sense of connection with each other.

To help us get to know each other better, the Municipality of Kincardine will be highlighting different cultures, days of significance / remembrance and celebrations of our diverse community throughout the year. 

*Please note that population of this page is currently in progress. If you have suggestions for this page, please e-mail Lorie Fioze, Manager of Strategic Initiatives. 

February Days of Significance/ Remembrance

February 2023: Black History Month

February is Black History Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the many contributions and accomplishments of the Black community across Canada and here at home.

February is also a time to acknowledge that racism and inequities still exist, reminding us that there is still much work to do to ensure that everyone has the same opportunities in life.

The theme for 2023 is: “Ours to tell”. This theme represents both an opportunity to engage in open dialogue and a commitment to learning more. To continue your learning a digital toolkit was created by the Government of Canada.  

 Previous Days of Significance/ Remembrance  

March 18, 2022: Holi
Also known as the Festival of Colors, Holi is a Hindu holiday and is considered one of the most revered and celebrated festivals of India. It is celebrated in almost every part of India.
 
Holi has a rich history. It celebrates the triumph of good over evil and the changing of the seasons from winter to spring.
 
Celebrants light bonfires, throw colorful powder called gulal, eat sweets, and dance to traditional folk music. They might put colored powder on each other's faces, throw colored water at each other, have parties, or dance under water sprinklers.
 
To everyone celebrating, Happy Holi! होली मुबारक!
April 2 - May 2, 2022: Ramadan

Ramadan is marked by approximately 1.8 billion Muslims around the world and is a month-long religious celebration. Wherever Muslims may be, either in their home country or abroad, the practice of Ramadan is the same.

Ramadan is observed to detoxify one's soul, make time for spiritual reflection, self-control, worship, and make universal connection. To personally benefit from the goal of observing Ramadan, Muslims need to follow certain practices for this month-long holy observance. Healthy adult Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan from dawn until dusk. This includes abstaining from drinking, eating, immoral acts and anger. Other acts of worship such as prayer, reading the Quran and charity are also encouraged during the holy month.

As the Islamic calendar is based around the lunar cycle, the Holy month of Ramadan rotates by approximately ten days each year. This year, Ramadan is expected to begin on Saturday 2nd April, 2022 and end on May 2, 2022, depending on the sighting of the moon.

On the first day of Ramadan, it is customary to wish someone a 'Happy Ramadan' by saying 'Ramadan Mubarak'. Alternatively, you can say 'Ramadan Kareem' which translates into 'Have a generous Ramadan'.

 

To learn more about the dos and don’ts during Ramadan, read this article by Remitbee - Mar 25, 2022.

April 13: Day of Pink

Day of Pink originated in 2007 when two Nova Scotian highschool students, David Shepherd and Travis Price, witnessed a Grade 9 student being bullied for wearing a pink shirt. The bullies physically threatened the boy and taunted him using homophobic slurs.

In response, David and Travis purchased and distributed 50 pink shirts, which they encouraged peers to wear the next day. This act of kindness and solidarity started an international campaign. 

Today, everyone is invited to wear pink shirts to take a stand against homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic bullying.

Days of significance are an important way to raise awareness and support Two Spirit and LGBTQIA+ communities, but we must all also take action to foster inclusion in our community.

We encourage you to share photos of your Day of Pink with the hashtag #KincardineDayofPink.

 April 17, 2022: Easter

Easter is a Christian celebration, usually in April, of the day when Christians believe that Jesus of Nazareth came back from the dead. Remembering the resurrection of Jesus is a way to renew daily hope that we have victory over sin. Easter follows a period of fasting called Lent, in which many churches set aside time for repentance and remembrance. 

 

Easter, like Christmas, has accumulated many traditions, some have little to do with the religious aspect but derive from folk customs of the past. For many of us, the first image of Easter that comes to mind is the Easter Bunny and Easter eggs. So how did a rabbit distributing eggs become a part of Easter?

 

There are several reasons for the rabbit, or hare, to be associated with Easter, all of which come through pagan celebrations or beliefs. The most obvious is the hare’s fertility as rabbits usually give birth to a big litter of babies (called kittens), so they became a symbol of new life. Easter comes during spring and celebrates new life. The hare is also an ancient symbol for the moon. The date of Easter depends on the moon. This may have helped the hare to be absorbed into Easter celebrations.

 

In Southern Germany, the first pastry and candy Easter bunnies became popular at the beginning of the nineteenth century. This custom also crossed the Atlantic, and children (and adults) still eat candy rabbits – particularly chocolate ones – at Easter.

 

The easter egg hunt, seems to have multiple origins. For example, the New York Times 1899 article notes that in "In Scotland, it used to be the custom on Easter Sunday for young people to go out early in the morning to search for the eggs of various wild fowls for breakfast, it being though most lucky to find them."

 

Legend has it that the Easter Bunny lays, decorates and hides eggs as they are also a symbol of new life.

 

For all those who celebrate, Happy Easter!

May 2, 2022: Eid

The end of Ramadan fasting is celebrated as Eid al-Fitr, the “Festival of Fast-Breaking,” which is one of the two major religious holidays of the Muslim calendar. It is a religious festival celebrated by the Muslim community worldwide and is all about happiness, special prayers, gift giving and sharing meals.

 
People dress in new clothes and perform special Eid prayers at the mosque to give thanks before visiting friends and family and enjoying a feast. Gifts and greeting cards are exchanged, women and children apply henna to their hands, special desserts are made and graves of relatives are visited. Old wrongs are forgiven and money is given to people who need support.
 
To those who celebrate: Eid Mubarak! Happy Eid! 
May 5: National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit People (MMIWG2S)

May 5 is designated as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit People (MMIWG2S). This is a day to honour and remember all missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBT+ People who are more than twelve times as likely to go missing or be murdered than any other population in Canada. 

From 2015-2019, Canada conducted a National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, (Home Page - Final Report | MMIWG (mmiwg-ffada.ca)which concluded:

“The National Inquiry’s Final Report reveals that persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses are the root cause behind Canada’s staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQ+ people. The two volume report calls for transformative legal and social changes to resolve the crisis that has devastated Indigenous communities across the country.”

“Colonial violence, as well as racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQ+ people, has become embedded in everyday life – whether this is through interpersonal forms of violence, through institutions like the healthcare system and the justice system, or in the laws, policies and structures of Canadian society. The result has been that many Indigenous people have grown up normalized to violence, while Canadian society shows an appalling apathy to addressing the issue. The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls finds that this amounts to genocide.” (Executive Summary of Final Report)

To support the ongoing learning, we invite you to continue your learned and explore the following resources: 

  • Podcast: CBC’s Finding Cleo. Where is Cleo? Apprehended by child welfare authorities as part of a wave now known as the Sixties Scoop, and adopted in the U.S., the young Cree girl is believed to have been raped and murdered while hitchhiking back home to Saskatchewan. CBC offers additional support material.
    • Season 1: Highlights the interconnected and complex nature of the ongoing tragedy of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. In 1989, 24-year-old Alberta Williams was found dead along the Highway of Tears near Prince Rupert, B.C. Police never caught her killer. Twenty-seven years later, her unsolved murder continues to haunt her family. Additional resources available.
    • Season 2: Highlights the interconnected and complex nature of the ongoing tragedy of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. 
  • PodcastWarrior Life by Pam Palmater (numerous related episodes including “Judy Wilson & Ellen Gabriel on Canada's Failed National Action Plan,” “Canada's Genocide: Murdered & Missing Indigenous Women and Girls”)
  • VideoCBC A look back at the MMIWG inquiry (3:52)
  • Video: CBC Docs: Peace River Rising: The link between violence against Indigenous women and violence against the land (9:36)
 May 29 to June 4, 2022- National AccessAbility Week

Every year, starting on the last Sunday in May, Canadians celebrate National AccessAbility Week (NAAW). National AccessAbility Week (NAAW) is a time to celebrate the contributions of Canadians with disabilities and promote efforts to increase accessibility and inclusion in Canada. Did you know that today, roughly one in five Canadians identify as having a disability, and that number is growing as our population ages. 

The Rick Hansen Foundation creates and delivers innovative solutions that lead to a global movement to remove barriers and liberate the potential of people with disabilities. Through the Foundation they have created resources to help break down one of the most fundamental barriers that people with disabilities still face: physical barriers in the places where we live, work, learn and play.

To learn more about these Accessibility Resources visit: 

Accessibility Resources | Rick Hansen Foundation

To learn more about what the Municipality of Kincardine is doing to remove barriers for people living with disabilities see the attached summary visit this page.

 June: Pride Month

Pride Month celebrations were born from the Stonewall Riots of late June 1969. One year late, in June 1970, Stonewall rioters organized a march to Central Park in support of “Gay Pride”, building on the spirit of resistance built through the riots. The march expanded to other cities and grew in popularity throughout the 1970s. 

Kincardine proudly hosts its own Pride Parade every June.

Watch a video of staff painting the Pride Crosswalk:

 June: Indigenous History Month

Indigenous History Month provides an opportunity to reflect on the histories, sacrifices, culture, contributions, and strengths of Indigenous Peoples, recognizing that knowledge is a key component of the journey towards reconciliation.

For Indigenous Peoples, the month is an invitation to celebrate history in the spirit of pride and preservation; For non-Indigenous Canadians, it’s an opportunity to learn and recognize the role Indigenous Peoples have played - and continue to play - in shaping Canada. 

September 30: National Day for Truth and  Reconciliation   Orange  Shirt Day

Thursday, September 30 marks the #NationalDayforTruthandReconciliation and #OrangeShirtDay. It's a day to honour the First Nation, Métis, and Inuit children who did not return home from Canada's residential schools, to honour the survivors, their families, and their communities.

We hope you'll join us in wearing orange.

We also hope you'll join us beyond September 30, as an ally to Indigenous Peoples year-round.

One way to demonstrate allyship is to continue learning (and unlearning) the history of First Nations peoples.

To learn more about what we're doing for #truthandreconciliation, visit www.kincardine.ca/en/living-here/journey-to-reconciliation.

October: Islamic History Month
October is Islamic History Month, proclaimed in 2007 as a time to recognize the significant role that Muslim communities play in Canadian society and highlight their extraordinary contributions.

In the Municipality of Kincardine, the Kincardine Islamic Centre operates as a community centre serving the social service needs of the Muslim community in Kincardine and the surrounding area.

Learn more about the history of Islam in Canada and recognize the many achievements of Muslim Canadians in the arts, sports, academics, sciences, literature and their communities at www.islamichistorymonth.ca

Together, we have the opportunity to recognize the ongoing challenges and barriers Muslim Canadians face in the face of racism and hate and work to combat all forms of discrimination, Islamophobia and hate-fueled violence directed at Muslim communities across the country. 

Happy Canadian Islamic History Month!

October: Deepawali
To all those celebrating, we hope you have a blessed, healthy and prosperous Deepawali (also known as Diwali).

Deepawali, the Festival of Lights, is an important cultural and religious holiday originating in India. The holiday has many different meanings but one of the key themes of Deepawali is the celebration of the triumph of good over evil.

Deepawali is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs around the world and has a lot in common with other global holidays. The gatherings, gift exchanges, fireworks, and lights of Deepawali are reminiscent of other celebrations such as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Chinese New Year.

Deepawali has its unique significance, drawing from different legends and traditions of the Vedic era. It's also a time when daylight is really dwindling and the days are growing shorter, especially in the northern hemisphere and end of harvest season. During this relaxing time we are in need of company, light, sweets, and festivities.

You can wish anyone you know, from your neighbours to your coworkers – Happy Deepawali. Wishing everyone Shubh (happy) Deepawali!

November 20, 2022: Transgender Day of Remembrance

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is November 20th and commemorates the trans, two-spirit and non-binary people who have lost their lives to transphobic violence. It also honours those who continue to face violence and discrimination as they work for more just and inclusive communities.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people and publicly mourns and honors the lives of transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.

What does transgender mean? How can you be an ally to transgender people? Learn more about Transgender Day of Remembrance or learn tips when talking about Trans People

International Day of People with Disabilities

December 3, is International Day of People with Disabilities - a global event celebrating achievements of people with a disability.

In 1981, the United Nations proclaimed this as a recognized day for the celebration of the achievements of people living with disabilities across the world.

Today, we invite you to raise awareness of the challenges faced by over 1 billion people living with disabilities, and the role communities and societies play in accelerating the eradication of barriers to social inclusion, equity, participation, and citizenship.

For tips to increase equity and inclusion for people with disabilities, take a look at the DEI best practices collection created by Disability:IN: https://lnkd.in/eKqM6N3M.

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

On December 6, 1989, 14 young women were killed at Polytechnique Montréal because of their gender.

Today, December 6, is recognized as The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in remembrance of the victims of that tragedy: Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte, and Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz.

Approximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased in gender-based violence.

The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women calls all of us to action, to educate ourselves and others on gender-based violence and speak up against harmful behaviours.

December 6 falls within the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence - share how you are being part of the solution to end gender-based violence using the hashtag #16Days.

Together, we can make a difference.

Hanukkah

Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights. The 8-day Jewish festival commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem by the lighting of candles on each day – this year until December 26th. People of Jewish faith celebrate by lighting the menorah, playing the game of dreidel and eating special holiday foods like latkes and sufganiyot.

Hanukkah commemorates the victory of the Jewish people over persecution and oppression, and the forces of light over darkness. It is a time to celebrate miracles, both big and small, and reflect on how lucky we are to live where religious and cultural freedoms are protected.

To everyone celebrating, Happy Hanukkah! Hanukkah Sameach!

Every year, Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of Kislev, a month in the Hebrew calendar. It lasts eight nights (yes, because of the oil), and this year it's from December 18th to the 26th. Learn more about Hanukkah here.

Yuletide

Yuletide’s roots are old and representative of more than one culture. Spanning December 21st to January 1st, the Yuletide refers to the festive season that typically falls between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day or Epiphany. 

Winter Solstice

December 21st is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. Many Indigenous communities acknowledge this day as a time for quiet, reflection, and hope. 

Festivus

Popularized by the sitcom Seinfeld, Festivus is an authentic holiday dating back to 1966. A secular, non-commercial holiday, it is celebrated on December 23rd.

Christmas

December 25th is the annual religious and cultural celebration recognizing the birth of Jesus Christ. Customs associated with the holiday vary between faiths and countries, with households often recognizing their own unique traditions at this time.

Kwanzaa

Created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chairman of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach in 1966, Kwanzaa is an annual week-long celebration that is observed from December 26 to January 1.

Following the Watts Riots that took place in LA Dr Karenga was keen to create an event that would unite African-Americans. He wanted African-Americans to have an opportunity to celebrate themselves and their history instead of imitation of participation of the dominant society. He founded US, a cultural organization, and started to research African first fruit (harvest) celebrations. Karenga combined aspects of several different harvest celebrations, such as those of the Ashanti and those of the Zulu, to form the basis of Kwanzaa.

This celebration is based around seven major principles which are, according to Karenga, a communitarian African philosophy: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. On each of the seven nights of the week long celebration, families gather together and light one of the seven candles of the Kinara. Usually a discussion about the one specific principles takes place.

Kwanzaa also has its own symbols which include: a decorative mat, an ear of corn, crops, the Unity Cup, gifts, the seven candles and candleholder. All the symbols are designed to convey the seven principles of Kwanzaa.

Many African-Americans who celebrate Kwanzaa observe it as an additional celebration to Christmas.

January 22, 2023: Chinese New Year

To all those celebrating, Happy New Year! Lunar New Year is the beginning of a new year based on the lunar calendar observed as a festival in many cultures. Also known as the Spring Festival, it is celebrated in many Asian countries, including China, Mongolia, Korea, and Vietnam. The festival begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon, 15 days later.

Chinese New Year 2023, falls on Sunday, January 22nd, 2023, and celebrations culminate with the Lantern Festival on February 5th, 2023. The Lantern Festival symbolizes reunions, it’s also a time of socializing and freedom. It is an evening where everyone—regardless of age or gender—go out onto the streets to celebrate.

Chinese New Year marks the transition between zodiac signs: 2023 is the year of the Rabbit. Your birth year determines your Chinese zodiac sign. What is your Chinese Zodiac sign? According to the Chinese calendar, the year you were born might determine your personality. That’s because each year is represented by an animal, called a Chinese zodiac sign, and legend has it that people born under that sign have similar traits to the animal.

The year 2023—starting January 22—is the Year of the Rabbit. The sign of Rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity in Chinese culture. 2023 is predicted to be a year of hope.

Contact(s)