Category Archives: Events

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. 

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.

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Chinese New Year traditions

By: Ava Bleifuss

Image taken from:

Chinese New Year started on February 1st this year, and it is a festival that celebrates the lunar new year. Here are some of the traditions that are connected to the New Year celebrations.

The Lion and Dragon dances:

The Lion and Dragon dances during Chinese New Year have a special meaning.

The lion represents strength and superiority. The dragon represents power, excellences, and boldness.

These dances are meant to scare off the evil spirits and monsters, while also bringing in good luck and prosperity.


One tradition for Chinese New Year is to have a big dinner with the whole family. China is really big in size, so depending on where you live the food for Chinese New Year can vary. Some foods that are common to eat are longevity noodles, whole steamed fish, and sticky rice balls.

Longevity noodles (长寿面 chángshòumiàn)are long noodles where their length means to have a wish for a long life full of happiness.

When it comes to whole steamed fish(清蒸鱼 qīngzhēngyú)half of it is eaten for dinner, and the other half is eaten the next day, because people want to prolong the fish. The meaning of this is to have abundance in the new year, and live prosperously with the hope of a harmonious life.

Sticky rice balls(汤圆 tāngyuán)are sticky which makes them stick to each other. This symbolizes unity, family togetherness, and spending time with your beloved family members during Chinese New Year.

Red envelopes:

Giving out red envelopes(红包 hóngbāo) to those around you is a very important tradition for Chinese New Year.

Normally, red envelopes are given to children or those of the younger generations. This is to show you wish for them to have good fortune, prosperity, and good blessings for the year ahead of them.

Firecrackers and fireworks:

One reason for using firecrackers and fireworks is to celebrate the new year. However, there is a reason that people started doing this that isn’t just for celebrating the new year.

There was a story that during Chinese New Year a monster came to the villages and destroyed everything. The villagers tried everything to scare it away, but the only thing that worked were firecrackers and fireworks.

Every year people use firecrackers and fireworks to scare away any evil spirits that may be near, to then allow them to have a good new year.

Public school breaks revolve around Christian holidays 

By: Ella Sutherland

If you go to a public school have you ever noticed how all of your “holiday” breaks are always revolving around Christian holidays? The 2 longest breaks of the school year are winter break and spring break. Those mostly always include the two major Christian holidays which are Christmas and Easter. 

Saint Paul Public Schools have around the same time periods for breaks as many of the Christian private schools. So, even though Saint Paul Public Schools are all inclusive of religions and cultures, there is still almost a bias for when our breaks are scheduled. 

Because school decided to schedule these breaks to be around Christian holidays, students that are not Christian have to miss school or go to school and postpone their special holiday. For example, many Jewish students have had to miss many days of school this fall because of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah, which are very important Jewish holidays that should be recognized. And even though they get excused absences for missing school the students are still missing classes and important information and sometimes even tests.

 If schools arranged for breaks to revolve around many holidays and break it up, instead of having 2 long breaks, people might feel more included. Also, in elementary schools, at least mine for example, we would do arts and crafts like a week before winter break and lots of the crafts would have Christmas trees and Santa. We only ever really talked about Christmas around that time and never included any other religious holidays. This wasn’t just around the winter break, it was around most Christian holidays.

Public schools need to start respecting holidays that are important for other religions and not just Christianity. That includes cultures such as the Hindu holiday of Diwali, and the Islamic holiday of Eid. Schools should just start thinking about this. 

For more information, please visit:

Seasonal holidays

By: Fatima Mohamud and Sumaya Noor

Which holidays are celebrated this season?

In the months of November, December, and January, many celebrations and festivals are celebrated throughout several cultures and religions. Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Diwali are some of the notable holidays in these festive months.

Who celebrates these holidays?

Christmas is celebrated by Christians of all backgrounds. The holiday is one of the biggest celebrations across the globe, with over 2 billion believers indulging in the festival. It’s from December 24 to December 25, and consists of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, sharing gifts, and spending time with family and friends. Decorations and festive treats are very popular during Christmas.

Kwanzaa is a tradition that honors African heritage and African culture and is viewed by Africans and African Americans. Kwanzaa isn’t a religious holiday but more of a cultural one as there is no religion tied to it. Celebrated for a week from December 26 to January 1, the holiday brings people together and shares gifts. Kwanzaa first became a holiday less than 60 years ago.

Hanukkah is a Jewish festival observed by Jews across the world. Hanukkah celebrates the recovery of Jerusalem. Although not the holiest holiday observed by Jews, (the holiest is Yom Kippur) it’s still very significant and is from November 28 to December 6 this year. During Hanukkah, Jews read the Torah and scriptures, recite the Psalms, light the Hanukkiah/menorah and bless themselves.

What are some other holidays observed during the festive times?

Diwali is a festivity that celebrates the light and its power over the dark. It is celebrated by Hindus and Buddhists. To honor the light, people light candles and oil lamps while praying for their wellbeing. The festival goes on for 5 days, starting on November 4 and ending November 9 this year. On the night of Diwali, many Hindus pray to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and pride, and Ganesh the god of good luck and wisdom towards the coming year.

Many people who are not Hindu or Buddhists also take part in this holiday. In the days coming before Diwali, many people exchange gifts, foods and hang up decorations just like for other holidays. In north India, many people host parties late at night with cultural food, drinks and lots of games such as gambling, it’s an ongoing tradition for many. Although this is not a requirement, many people do so to get together to celebrate.

New Year’s Eve is a celebration for people all over the world. It doesn’t follow a specific religion or belief, only to those who feel like celebrating the coming year. Lots of people buy decorations such as the last two numbers of the incoming year and throw lots of parties that night.

In New York, every year at Times Square there is a very iconic late night show that hosts singing, performances, and games before the clock hits midnight. This tradition has been going for many years and lots of people stay up to watch or go in person if they have the chance.

Thousands of people come up with New Year’s Resolutions to set a goal or plan to overcome. It’s a great way to have something to look forward to.

Thanksgiving is a mostly American national holiday celebrated by most people of color, religion, or beliefs. It falls on November 25th and it’s not long before winter starts. This holiday consists of spending time with loved ones, family and friends to show appreciation and kindness. Others have big feats or harvests to celebrate the day and prepare for it nights before. People get together to enjoy turkey, a very common food that is usually eaten at this time of year where the animal is most popular before it migrates to the south.

During this holiday flights can get very expensive and traffic will become more common because of people wanting to go visit family or friends to enjoy the holiday.

Celebrating Thanksgiving this year

Image taken from: – but created by: rawpixel/CCO

Thanksgiving day is a national holiday in the United States, and it’s celebrated this year on November 26. Thanksgiving is all about expressing gratitude for family; it’s a holiday built upon simply being with family and enjoying delicious food. The traditional Thanksgiving meal includes: roast turkey, turkey stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. 

Unfortunately, with the COVID cases rising in the United States, dinner parties and other social events are going to be too risky this holiday season. According to the CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), it’s best to limit in-person gatherings and to celebrate with people in your household. To celebrate with your extended family you can do a virtual gathering over zoom.

If you plan to spend the holiday with other people, here are few safety precautions: 

  • Wear a mask- Wear the mask over your nose and mouth
  • Have multiple tables- Have families that live in the same household sit together
  • Stay six feet apart- Staying six feet apart is important to protect others around you; people with COVID sometimes don’t show any symptoms
  • Have sanitizers- Put hand sanitizers around the house, use the ones that kill 99.99% of germs
  • Open windows– If you’re indoors, open windows for air to come in
  • Outdoor meal- If it’s warm where you are, have a small outdoor meal
  • Clean and disinfect – Frequently clean and disinfect tables
  • Limit people who prepare food- You can have the guests bring their food, or have one person share the food and use plastic utensils.

If you plan on traveling on a plane:

  • Get a flu shot 
  • Quarantine before traveling 
  • Wear your mask the proper way, for the entire journey
  • Wear a face shield if possible 
  • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Bring your food 
  • Clean your hands often
  • If you are driving, when you are stopping for gas, wear your mask
  • Bring a small bottle of hand sanitizer in a purse or pocket
  • Avoid touching areas and touching your mask 

For more information please visit:

Traditions of Dia de los Muertos

By: Leslie Lopez Ibanez & Kayla Arellano

Día de los muertos is a Mexican holiday that is celebrated on November 1st and November 2nd. It originated in Mexico and Central America. This holiday is celebrated by many Mexicans to remember and honor their loved ones who have passed away. 

On November 1st, we honor the children who have passed away and on November 2nd, we honor the adults. This holiday is a celebration of life, not death. 

There are many traditions that Mexicans do when this time comes around in the year. One of them is putting up an altar and una ofrenda. An altar is a way where you honor your loved ones by setting up a table with some pictures of them, some of their belongings, and memorable objects.

Every ofrenda includes 4 elements which are: wind, water, earth and fire. 

  • Papel picado, or the traditional paper banners, represent the wind. Many beautiful and vibrant colors are used for this. You fold the paper, cut it up, then you open it and it creates a pattern so you can hang up around the altar.
  • On the altar, they leave water so the spirits can drink it when they come and visit.
  • Earth is represented by food. Some traditional food that is placed on the altar are pan de muerto, tamales, sugar skulls, champurrado, mole, and some people put the deceased’s favorite food.
  • Fire is represented by candles. People set up their candles in the shape of a cross so the spirits can find their way to the altar.

Another way spirits find their way from the cemetery to their family’s homes is by making a path with a traditional flower that is called Cempasúchil flower, or in English, Mexican Marigold flower. It’s a very beautiful flower with a vibrant color. 

Another tradition that is done in Mexico to celebrate your loved one is music and dancing. There is a traditional dance that is called “Danza de los Viejitos” (“Dance of Little Old Men”). This dance is danced by boys or young men dressed as old men with a cane who walk slowly then suddenly they jump up with a lot of energy and start dancing. 

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