Category Archives: Events


By: Ajmal Abdirahman

Muslims have two major holidays, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The two holidays are determined by the Islamic calendar, which is a lunar calendar, meaning it depends on the cycles of the moon phases. There are 12 months in the calendar. A new month begins when a new moon is sighted.

Muslims are currently observing Ramadan, and Eid al-Fitr will be celebrated at the end. Eid al-Fitr commemorates the end of Ramadan. It’s a time for Muslims to gather with friends and family. Also, to show gratitude toward God following the previous month of reflection. It is a time when Muslims are reminded to be grateful for what they have, and to share what they have with others who are less fortunate. 

The day will start off with families attending an Eid prayer, early in the morning. Families will dress in beautiful cultural attire.

After prayers, families will go visit their friends and family. A lot of Muslims also exchange gifts. Eid al-Fitr is celebrated either for 1 or 3 days!

Eid al-Adha marks the end of hajj. Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca. Very similar to Eid al-Fitr there will be a prayer, with many people, visiting loved ones and gift exchanges!

Different from Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha can take place anytime of year, so not right after Ramadan. It comes typically around two months after Eid al-Fitr. During Eid al-Adha those that can afford to sacrifice an animal do so, they either sacrifice a sheep, goat, camel, or cow, and divide it among friends, family, and the poor. It’s less common here in America for many Muslims to sacrifice animals.

My experience with celebrating Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha has always been amazing. It’s the time I look forward to most every year. It’s a time of fun and happiness for me. I love seeing family and friends I haven’t seen in a long time. Me and my family will typically go out to eat after the Eid prayer and then spend the rest of the day going to different Eid parties or doing fun activities at home! I love Eid!

For more information please visit:

Women’s History Month

By: Lauren Kottke & Ella Sutherland

Image taken from:
.net%2Fen%2F20 19%2F10%2F16%2Fpublic-appeal-on-behalf-of-kongra-star-and-the-womens-council-of-norther n-and-easternsyria%2F&psig=

Women’s history month is the month of March that is dedicated to women. It’s to honor the women that have been mistreated, pushed down, and suffered throughout history. It’s well known about the struggles that women have faced for hundreds of years. Up until the women’s suffrage movement, they couldn’t even vote. And before that, it wasn’t normalized for women to have a job or to be unmarried. Though much has changed, the world is still unsafe for women.

Women’s history month started in 1978. At first it was only a week-long celebration and was called “Women’s History Week’. It started in Santa Rosa California by the Education Task Force of Sonoma County Commission and the Status of Women. Women’s History Week was led by a teacher named Molly Murphy McGregor. During that week, Santa Rosa had presentations on women’s contributions to history, society and culture. After the Santa Rosa Women’s Week, it spread across the country. More and more states started to follow and celebrate Women’s Week.

Someone who helped start celebrating women was Gerda Lerner. She organized and chaired a 15-day conference on women’s history. Her conference had many different sponsors for the event. Women’s Action Alliance and the Smithsonian Institution were two of the many sponsors. This conference made more people push towards Women’s Month.

“Women’s history is a women’s right—an essential, indispensable heritage from which we can draw pride, comfort, courage, and long-range vision.”— Gerda Lerner

It wasn’t until 1980 that Women’s Week became a national celebration. In February of 1980, president Jimmy Carter declared March 2-8 as National Women’s History Week. After it was declared by the president, more issues started to be passed by the president. On August 4, 1981, president Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation that Women’s History Week would be celebrated with ceremonies and activities. People wanted there to be speakers, presentations, and parades.

Then, in 1987, congress passed a petition which made Women’s Week, Women’s Month. The petition was made by the National Women’s History Project. And after 1987 it became an annual celebration.

Now Women’s History Month is celebrated by the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Other countries celebrate but at different times. For example, Canada celebrates Women’s Month during October. There is also International Women’s Day on March 8th.

Since Women’s History Month started, there have been things that have improved and some things that haven’t.

One of the things that have improved for women is the amount of women working in the government. This may not seem like a huge deal but it is. Women now have a say in laws that get passed, and are more likely to recognize women’s struggles.

Another way that things have improved for women is now many more countries are instigating laws to support the fight for gender equality. In the last 10 years, 131 countries have passed over 274 legal reforms in order to create more equality between genders. This is important for the futures of young girls and women.

One more way that things have improved for women is the percentage of young women and girls, that are attending school, has gone up hugely. As of today there are over 79 million more girls that are in school learning than there were in 1998.

There are still many issues that women face today like pay gaps, job security, gender based violence, and reproductive rights being taken away. We still have a long way to go before women can feel fully comfortable in the world we live in today, but from what we can tell we are making slow progress.

For more information, please visit:


By: Yumna Abajebel

I’m sure we’re all wondering what the holiday Ramadan really is about. In the religion of Islam Muslim, Ramadan marks the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

When the crescent moon is sighted in Saudi Arabia, it starts the long awaited month of fasting. Ramadan isn’t only about fasting, it’s a month about giving zakat (charity), making prayers, and forgiveness for the sake of Allah (God).

The real reason why we fast is to be grateful for what we have, and see what it’s like for people who are less fortunate. Usually, we don’t have food or drinks from sunrise to sunset. Before the sun rises we have to have a filling meal. Then towards sunset, you have to start preparing for dinner, which is called Iftar, and is at an exact time. You can eat anything you want, but have to stop right before sunrise.

Fasting is mandatory in Islam once you hit the age of puberty, exceptions being extend for people who are either ill, diabetic, traveling, pregnant, or women in their menstrual period.

Towards the end of the month, Laylat al-Qadr starts; it’s one of five odd-numbered nights which fall during the last 10 days. Those last days are the most spirited days of the month which is spent praying all you can and asking for forgiveness of all your past sins.

Then, on the 30th night, the new crescent moon has to be sighted for the completion of the thirty days of fasting. After the moon is sighted, it marks the beginning of Shawwal, the next lunar month.

Then sparks up the celebration of Eid al-Fitr. Eid is the celebration after Ramadan that lasts for 3 days. It’s spent wearing the best clothes you have, being with family, and eating all the food you can. Muslim people all around the world are the happiest during this time. They spend all year preparing and waiting for this holy month. We don’t have that many holidays in our religion, but Ramadan and Eid will forever make up for that.

Lunar New Year

By: Julia Yang

It’s Chinese New Year, a new year is a new animal. This year, we explore The Year Of The Rabbit. Did you know that in Chinese culture, the rabbit represents mercy, elegance, and beauty? It’s said to be the luckiest animal of the twelve.

Lunar New Year is also known as the Spring Festival. It lasts for fifteen days and is the most important festival in China.

The rotation of the twelve animals is based on the tale of a “Great Race” consisting of the twelve animals, created by the Jade Emperor— a god in Chinese mythology. According to the tale, animals had to overcome a rapidly-flowing river in order to get to the finish line. The results came in the following order: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.

Those born in the years 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023 and so on (every twelve years) are born in The Year Of The Rabbit. Each animal has their own years assigned to them. With that, everyone has their own Chinese zodiac assigned to them.

Although these are the twelve zodiac animals for Chinese culture, some animals can switch out based on where it’s celebrated. In Vietnam, the ox is replaced with a water buffalo, and the bunny with a cat. In the “Great Race” tale, the cat was not included in the Chinese zodiac cycle because the rabbit failed to inform the cat of the race, even after promising to do so.

Nobody is confident in how the cat came to be in the Vietnam zodiacs, but there is speculation that the ancient words for rabbit and cat sounded similar. So, technically, it is also The Year Of The Cat.

China has several traditions that come with the New Year, traditions that include putting up decorations, eating reunion dinner with family on New Year’s Eve, giving red envelopes and other gifts, firecrackers and fireworks, etc.

If you wish to learn more about The Lunar New Years, feel free to visit the sources given below.

Hmong New Year

By: Ayamei Her

Hmong New Year is all about celebrating the culture and showcasing Hmong dance groups, fashion shows, cultural food and so much more. People sometimes ask why Hmong New Year happens at the time of year that it is celebrated, the reason for that is because Hmong New Year is celebrated during the time of the end of a harvest and it’s celebrated to honor our ancestors and spirits. Every year the River Centre is packed with people who are dressed up and are there to celebrate the culture. 

At Hmong New Year, there are tons of activities for people to do and the most popular activity is called “Pov Pob” which translates to “throw the ball”. This game was originally meant for women to find a husband. During this, you throw the ball to a boy you like in hopes he tosses it back, but it can now be played with your significant other or your friends and family. 

Also during this celebration, a singing and dancing competition is held. Each of these are based on traditional backgrounds, for example, the dancing is a traditional style of dancing which normally is showcased by all girl groups, and during the singing competition, every contestant (usually) sings an older Hmong song or a popular Hmong song. 

Now, for most people’s favorite part: the food. Every year the variety of food is different but some staples that show up every year are sticky rice, spicy papaya (which is a spicy salad) and egg rolls. Each of these are usually made by the community elders, or Hmong caterers, and everyone appreciates a good break for the food during the celebration. 

Hmong New Year is a great time to celebrate and give thanks to our ancestors and show off our cultural clothing. There are many activities to do during this celebration. 

Spring celebrations: India and Europe

By: Ava Bleifuss

Spring is known for bringing in new life. It has the smell of fresh flowers and sounds of chirping birds. Spring can occur during different times of the year depending on the location of the country. There are many different ways that people celebrate spring. Two of the many festivals are Holi and May Day. 

Holi is a spring festival that is celebrated in India. In 2023, it will be celebrated on March 8. It is also known as the festival of color and is celebrated over two days. It is based on Hindu mythology, telling the story of Lord Vishnu and the triumph over the evil king.

Holi is a celebration of spring, family, and friendship. People gather in streets to splash colored powder on each other with colored water. Each color has its own meaning: red symbolizes love and fertility, yellow is the color for turmeric and is a natural remedy that is used in India, blue symbolizes the Hindu god Krishna, and green symbolizes new and fresh beginnings.

Families decorate their homes and share delicious treats with each other. Foods that are commonly eaten during Holi are: thandai, dahi bhalle, puran poli, malpua, rasmalai, badan phirni, coconut milk murukku, and bhang pakora. 

May Day is celebrated on May 1st, right before the beginning of summer. This holiday is a celebration of ancient origins. It started in Roman Britain where soldiers danced around decorated trees to celebrate the coming of spring while thanking their goddess, Flora. Flora is the goddess of flowering plants, and bringing in new life. She is often correlated with being the goddess of the budding of youth.

The Maypole dance is usually done during the celebration of May Day. There is a pole in the middle with colorful bright ribbons that people hold on to when they dance. When the dance is done correctly, the ribbons create a beautiful pattern around the pole. After they do the dance the other way, they undo the ribbons around the pole which symbolizes the longer days as summer approaches.

There are different ways to celebrate May Day. In Austria and Germany, the pole is painted with blue and white stripes and is put in the middle of a village. This is then followed by a procession. Another tradition is that people try to climb to the top of the Maypole. 

Spring connects the end of hibernation to the beginning of growth and summer. People around the world all celebrate this wonderful season in many different ways. Regardless of where people live, festivals and celebrations of spring are something that everyone has in common.

Met Gala 2022

The 2022 Met Gala is held every year, on the first Monday of May, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The theme this year was “The Gilded Glamour”. Celebrities were encouraged to wear something from the late 19th century with a modern spin on it. 

Kim Kardashian wore a Marilyn Monroe dress, the dress she wore in 1962 when she sang “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy. Kim wore the dress with a white fur coat and walked the carpet with her new boyfriend, Pete Davidson, wearing a Dior suit. Even though this was an iconic dress it wasn’t on theme.

Jodie Turner-Smith wore a Gucci gown and Stuart Weitzman heels. She went full 1920s; she was dressed in a fringed leotard with a full skirt. Her makeup was on point, and it embraced the era, but her outfit wasn’t on theme. 

Gigi Hadid wore a Versace suit and Chopard jewelry. She wore a burgundy latex catsuit and paired it with a  huge, floor-length puffer coat. Her outfit was all about volumes which went with the theme of Gilded Glamour.

Khloe Kardashian made her first appearance ever at the Met Gala, she wore a Moschino floor-length glittering gold gown. She completed the look with gold sunglasses and a long-sleeve black coat with black gloves. Her look was okay. The gloves matched up with the theme, but the outfit and gloves didn’t pair well together. 

The best dress of the night was Blake Lively, she knows how to make an entrance. She went with one of her go-to brands for the red carpet Atelier Versace, in a design inspired by New York City. The star arrived in a shimmering, rose gold, gown with a bow attached to the side. This idea was based on Manhattan’s intricate architecture and the Empire State Building. Her second look was revealed halfway up the red carpet stairs when the bow on the skirt was untied to reveal a cascading blue train, which was designed to inspire the decor of Grand Central station. The crown she wore symbolized the Statue of Liberty, which has seven rays. When ask about her look she said that “Instead of looking to fashion to influence the dress, I looked to New York City architecture and the classic buildings.”

What Is Ramadan?

By: Salman Said

Image taken from: (A view of Mecca from the Mountain of Hira)

Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar, begins on the first sight of the crescent moon, and lasts until the end of the moon cycle. It’s the month in which the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by Gabriel; from Allah, and in the mountains of Hira. Previously illiterate, Prophet Muhammad was given the knowledge of the Quran through Gabriel; he in turn messaged it to the people and it was consecrated for thousands of years; unaltered from that day.

Needless to say, the month isn’t about the moon or even fasting, but is about achieving Taqwa. Taqwa is a concept that means consciousness of Allah. During the month we fast in order to become more pious and restrain ourselves from all substances and temptations. During Ramadan we receive more Thawab or reward in our good deeds; and more harm in our bad deeds. This is why we try avoiding anything Haram (Sinful). 

Reading the Quran, giving charity and changing ourselves for the better are all things we do during this month. It’s the month of self-reflection and change. Controlling our urges during this month becomes significantly easier, and as we fast we see things that used to make us fall into our bad habits go away. Many use this month to quit bad habits like smoking, or even drug use, for the sake of Allah; in turn Allah makes it easier. 

In Islam, the most major sin is Shirk or the association of things with God. This is a topic that is brought up in the Holy Quran hundreds of times. Polytheism, or Association to the One Maker (Allah), is something that is strictly forbidden in Islam and those who do so aren’t considered Muslims. 

Needless to say, Shirk or Blasphemy is something Muslims avoid especially during this month, since it ruins all Taqwa and rewards from our fasts. Not praying, eating or drinking; menstrual cycles, sickness and drugs all break our fast. It’s important we stay away from these things while fasting. Cursing, fighting, holding grudges or disrespecting our parents all lower our “Hasanat” or our reward. 

In the last 10 days of Ramadan it’s the most important because of Laylatul Qadr. Laylatul Qadr or “The Night Of Power, Significance or Decree” (Qadr has many different meanings). It’s the most important night of the year and said to be worth more in reward than thousands of months. During the “Night of Significance”, the angel Gabriel comes down from the heavens as well as all the other angels. 

All we know is that the “Night of Power” is in the last 10 nights. The consensus of scholars is that the night falls on an odd number (21, 23, 25, 27 , and the 29th Night of Ramadan will hold Laylatul Qadr). Islamic scholars say it’s very likely though that the night is on the 27th, but only Allah knows. During the nights we should make and say prayers; ask for forgiveness, and make our wishes. It’s more likely that our prayers will be answered on that night if we fast for the rest of the month.

What is Cinco de Mayo?

By: Jessica Garcia Saligan & Marleen Medina

How did it start?

Cinco de Mayo is a holiday celebrated on the 5th of May. It’s a big celebration for the Mexican Army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, during the Franco-Mexican War. According to Omar Gonzales, a lot of people think that Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican Independence Day, but it’s not.

Cinco de Mayo is not just celebrated by Hispanics, as Cinco de Mayo is to bring all the community together, and to show other people Hispanic creativity, traditional food, and other activities. They want to make everyone feel welcome and have a good time with each other. Cinco de Mayo is also a good time to bond with people and make new friends.

Where is Cinco de Mayo celebrated?

In St. Paul, Cinco de Mayo takes place on the West Side (Cesar Chavez St, St Paul, MN 55107). They close the street from Wabasha, all the way to 206 Robie St E, St Paul, MN 55107. Everything will be set up around 6AM, and they will start letting people in around 8AM in the morning. It ends around 8PM at night.

What will you find?

Once you go there, there is no parking. You will have to find a parking spot on the street and walk down. Once you walk down, you will see a lot of kids waiting with their school. Why? Well every Saint Paul Public School has an opportunity to walk in the parade and have their own banner with their school name and logo printed on it. Students are welcome to walk with their school, and they are able to give out candy to the people watching the parade from the sideline.

You will also find people doing traditional dance (like Folklorico, Danza Azteca), dancers, singers, and there’s even people dressed as princesses and people showing off their cars. At the corner of the Robie, you will a parking lot full of cool cars, and you will be able to ask the owners for a ride in their car, take pictures, and do tricks.

Cinco de Mayo has so many activities such as parades, family parties, dancing , mariachi
music, and traditional foods! Some delicious foods that are prepared and sold that day are: carnitas, barbacoa with white rice on the side, Mexican street corn, etc.

This event and celebration is something that you and your friends and family would definitely enjoy.

For more information about the history of Cinco de Mayo, please visit:

Where did Saint Valentine’s Day come from?

By: Ella Tabor

Image taken from: Where did Saint Valentine’s Day come from?

Saint Valentine’s Day occurs on February 14th every year. On this day we celebrate love around the world by gifting our love interests chocolates, candies, teddy bears, flowers and more. Many have wondered “Where did this romantic tradition begin?”

My apologies to the romantics, however, the origins of Valentine’s Day have hardly anything to do with romance. Then why do we connect February the 14th with love?

Well, The legend roots itself in Christian and ancient Roman history. There are 2 versions of the story of Saint Valentine that are mainly told, the only real difference being their position in the church.

The legend depict Saint Valentine as a priest (or a bishop in the 2nd version) of Terni, who performed secret marriages to young lovers after the Roman emperor Claudius outlawed marriage for young men, believing that single men made better soldiers.

When Claudius caught wind of this, he ordered him to death. According to legend, while Valentine was imprisoned, he healed his captor’s blind daughter. He fell in love with her and before his beheading on February 14th, he sent her a letter.

This letter is believed to be the first Valentine’s greeting ever sent. He signed the letter with, “From your Valentine”. An expression still used to this day.

The validity of this story is argued. Historians have not decided between the 2, or if there is truth in either of them. “The two stories that everyone talks about, the bishop and the priest, they’re both so similar that it makes me suspicious”. Says Bruce Forbes, a professor of religious studies at Morningside college in Iowa.

Even though the story of Valentine was around, Valentine’s Day only started becoming a celebration of love starting in the Middle Ages, mainly thanks to English poet, Geoffrey Chaucer.

Around the 1370s, Chaucer wrote “Parliament of Fowls,” in this poem he said, “For this was on St. Valentine’s Day when every bird comes to choose its mate”. Inspired by Chaucer, soon others started writing their own poems of love called “Valentines” for their lovers.

Thus connecting February the 14th with love.

For more information, please visit: