Things to do in Minneapolis over winter break

Winter break is here, and you’re probably wondering what to do over this long winter break. Here are a few events that will be taking place in Minneapolis.

1. A Christmas Carol

This event will be taken place on Saturday, December 29, 2018 at 7:30 PM at the Guthrie Theatre, located at 818 South Second Street Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415. This event has been happening for the past 44 years, making Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol a Twin Cities holiday tradition.

2. Holidays at Flyover America

This event will take place on November 23, 2018 – January 01, 2019 at
Mall of America. This event will be fun. Guests will help Santa find missing elves, while flying over America and the North Pole. It’s a ten minute flight, and it will have holiday decorations and activities.

3. Holidazzle

Holidazzle is a Minneapolis tradition. It celebrates the Minnesota winter season, and  event include: shopping, food and drinks, along with ice skating, and visits with Santa Claus. The event this year will be on Thursdays-Sundays, November 23 – December 23 at Loring Park.

4. Festival of Light

This Festival of Light is a fabulous light show with music and other things to enjoy, this event will be held on Fridays-Sundays, November 23-December 23 at Sovereign Estate Winery, 9950 North Shore Road, Waconia, MN 55387.

5. Gingerbread Wonderland

This event will be held on November 21-January 7 at 10 a.m. at the Norway House, 913 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55404. This event is a fun activity to do with your family. You will be decorating gingerbread houses and they will be selling gingerbread cookies, and ornaments. The fee is $5 for adults and children older than 12. Children under 12 will be free.

For more info, please visit:

Holidays in December you might not know about

Christmas. Hanukkah. New Year’s Eve. Are these the only three holidays in December? Many might forget that there is more to the month than menorahs and mistletoe. To shed some light on forgotten festivities, we curated a list of lesser known holidays this December.

Kwanzaa began being celebrated in the late 1960s. After the Watts riots, Kwanzaa was formed as a celebration of harvest: similar to Thanksgiving. In fact, the title “Kwanzaa” comes from the term “first fruit.” The holiday includes: meals, dancing, singing and storytelling. It spans seven nights.

Boxing Day is celebrated on December 26. It originated in the UK, and is the day where church collection boxes are opened. The money is given to the poor, and workers are given the day off to spend with their family.

World AIDS day takes place on December 1. It is used to spread awareness on aids and mourn the loss of those who have died from it.

Saint Nicholas Day is on December 6. It could be considered a Christmas holiday, and it is considered a day to focus on giving rather than receiving. The holiday tells the story of a Catholic saint and his morals.

The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is a yearly event on December 2, organized by the United Nations General Assembly. The day was first celebrated in 1986. The Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others was approved by the United Nations General Assembly on December 2, 1949. Also, by resolution 57/195 on December 18, 2002, the Assembly proclaimed 2004 the International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, is an international observance promoted by the United Nations since 1992. It has been observed with varying degrees of success around the planet. The observance of the day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. It was originally called “International Day of Disabled Persons” until 2007. Each year the day focuses on a different issue.

Each year, on December 8, brownie lovers across the nation enjoy one of their favorite baked goods on National Brownie Day. Brownies were created in the United States at the end of the 19th century. A cross between a cookie and cake, they soon became very popular across the country. Though it is unclear of who created this holliday, would you miss an opportunity to eat you’re favorite treat?

International Migrants Day is observed on December 18, in accordance with Resolution 55/93 of the United Nations General Assembly which was adopted on December 4, 2000. On December 18, 1990, the General Assembly had adopted a resolution on the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (resolution 45/158). This day is observed in many countries, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations through the dissemination of information on human rights and fundamental political freedoms of migrants, and through sharing of experiences and the design of actions to ensure the protection of migrants.

Bacon Day is observed annually on December 30th. Everything’s better with bacon. Someone said that once. Within our research, we have found very little to dispute this assertion. In the United States and Canada, bacon is made from the pork belly. Elsewhere in the world, the side and back cuts of pork are used. The meat is cured in either a salt brine or in a salt pack. It is then either dried, boiled or smoked. Bacon is a very popular food in the USA. You can find many items also flavored or scented with bacon including popcorn, soap, candles, air fresheners, and much more. Tthe proper way to celebrate it is by surrounding yourself with bacon!

Did you know some of these? What was your sore out of 9? Share with your friends and find out if you got the best score!

NaNoWriMo

by: Vivian S

Image taken from: https://nanowrimo.org/press Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

In July 1999, 21 people in the San Francisco Bay Area challenged one another to write 50,000 words in one month. Surprisingly, they found it fun and decided to continue on doing it. It has grown since then, with 394,507 people participating in 2017, in 646 regions.

National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, is a challenge that anyone can take on to write 50,000 words of a novel in the month of November. They have a website where you can sign up and make an account, and it tracks your progress and tells you how many words you should write each day to complete that goal. With the website, you can receive pep talks from other authors, get support, meet other writers online, find out about events in your area, and all around challenge yourself. NaNoWriMo awards badges that you can earn over the month for your achievements.

Some novels written over the course of NaNoWriMo have been published and become successful. Examples include Marissa Meyer’s Cinder and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.

NaNoWriMo is run by a non-profit organization that hosts other events as well. They have a Young Writers Program and a Camp NaNoWriMo. They used to do a script writing event, but they don’t do it any longer.

In the Young Writers Program, you can participate alone or in a classroom. You can set word count goals and work toward them. Educators can create online classrooms where they can keep track of student progress.

In April and July, Camp NaNoWriMo is hosted, and it is where you set your own word count goals and work toward them.

Even after November, you are still urged to continue to work on your NaNoWriMo novel. In January and February, they host “Now What?” months where you can work on revising and publishing your novel.

NaNoWriMo is an event that anyone can take on to put words on paper (or computer) and challenge themselves.

For more information, go to https://nanowrimo.org

A brief history of Thanksgiving day

Thanksgiving day is celebrated by millions of Americans around the United States. This year, it will be celebrated on Thursday, November 22. On September 6, 1620, the Mayflower departed from Plymouth, England, with 102 passengers known as the Pilgrims. They explored the shores of Cape Cod, far from their destination at the Hudson River. A month later, the Mayflower ship crossed Massachusetts Bay, and there they began working on establishing a village at Plymouth.

In the year of 1623, there was a terrible drought, and the Pilgrims prayed for rain to come. They celebrated a day of Thanksgiving after the rain came, but it was more of a prayer than a day of parties.

Between 1789 to 1863, American presidents tried to proclaim that November 26 should be celebrated as a national day of Thanksgiving, but it failed to become a tradition. Every president after George Washington tried tried to make Thanksgiving an annual tradition.

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln, declared that Thanksgiving should be celebrated on the last Thursday of November for a ‘‘day of Thanksgiving and Praise’.’ Lincoln ordered government departments to close on Thanksgiving, and it has been celebrated by the nation ever since.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt was president, he moved Thanksgiving one week earlier, because sometimes the last Thursday of November was the fourth, and sometimes the fifth. Thanksgiving has been the fourth Thursday in November ever since this change.

For more information visit these cites:

https://www.history.com/news/abraham-lincoln-and-the-mother-of-thanksgiving

https://www.surfnetkids.com/thanksgiving/52/history-of-thanksgiving-a-timeline/

https://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/thanksgiving/timeline/1621.html#

MEA Conference

Image taken from: https://www.google.com/search?q=mea+minnesota+educators+association&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwj4vPjshpreAhVqgoMKHQPPAN0Q2-cCegQIABAC&oq=mea+minnesota+educators+association&gs_l=mobile-gws-wiz-img.3..33i299.16885.22395..22686…0.0..0.135.2285.30j2……0….1………0j0i67j0i8i30j0i30j0i24j30i10j33i10.i8gHDBBWZBo&ei=D8PNW7j5CeqEjgSDnoPoDQ&safe=strict&rlz=1C9BKJA_enUS813US813&prmd=nmiv&biw=1024&bih=653&hl=en-US#imgrc=X_6xjNDSiKi3CM

The week after MEA, I’d always listen to my friends and their interesting stories about their vacations. Their families went to Duluth, or they went to apple orchards, or they had movie marathons. I, however, being the daughter of a teacher, spent part of my MEA break at the Xcel Energy Center for the MEA Statewide Teachers Conference. The oddest part was that I wasn’t envious of my friend’s fall breaks. I liked the conference. Then again, I was a weird third grader.

The event is an annually held conference that teachers and educational workers statewide can attend. It offers workshops, speakers, a job fair, educational exhibits, and much more. It’s Minnesota’s biggest (professional) event for teachers and educators.

I remember getting up at 7:00 AM for the event, and driving through painfully terrible traffic to get to the conference. We’d eat breakfast muffins there, and then walk around the educational exhibits. Being one of the only children there, I received prizes, candy and loads of much wanted attention. Being the age I was, we often didn’t stop to listen to the speakers or sign up for workshops.

This year, the 2018 MEA Fall Conference was held at the Saint Paul RiverCentre on Thursday, October 18. For the first time, it was only open to Minnesota educators. So, while some teachers will be in classrooms and schools, others will be at the Saint Paul RiverCentre this Thursday.

Hispanic Heritage month

By: Daniela Fernandez

Every year, there is Hispanic Heritage month throughout the months of September and October. It takes place September 15 – October 15. This year’s theme was “Hispanics: One Endless Voice to Enhance our Traditions” according to Hispanic Heritage Month. This year’s theme was about reflecting on traditions, culture, and the history of Hispanic Americans. The theme was announced by The National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers.

This year’s Hispanic Heritage month had many events going on. The events listed below are according to the National Hispanic Heritage Month website. One of these events was Realm of the Jaguar, that took place at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian on September 22. This event was about honoring the jaguar found in artistic traditions from Mexico to the Amazon. There were many dances from places like Bolivia, Guatemala, and Mexico. At this event people could see how masks are made, and how traditional ceramics were made too.

Another event this year, was on September 23, at the National Zoo, called the ZooFiesta. At this event they had live music and activities that were educational, and that focused on conservation in South and Central America. During this event there were presentations and demonstrations, and feedings from animal keepers about sloths, tamarians, golden lions, golden frogs, and Panamanian and Andean bears.

A third event was on September 27, and it was a conversation with Congressman Pete Aguilar. He is a representative of the 31st Congressional District of California, and he is on the House Appropriations Committee. This conversation was about issues that Latinos are faced with today. This also included talks about his experience as a Latino person in congress. This event took place at the Library of Congress.

Another event that took place this year was on September 28, and it was the 2018 Americas Award Ceremony at the Library of Congress. This was an awards ceremony for two authors who wrote books portraying Latinos in the United States. These writers were Duncan Tonatiuh, for writing and illustrating Danza!, El Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, and Amalia Hernández, and author Ibi Zoboi for writing American Street. They received the 2018 America Award for their writings.

The fifth event was on September 29, called Nuestra Ciudad (Our City). This was an event where people could meet local artists, dancers, and musicians. This was an event where people from Washington D.C. could learn about their local hispanic culture. This event took place at the National Portrait Gallery.

Inktober 2018

No, I did not misspell October.

Inktober is a month long drawing challenge that takes place during October. The challenge is to fully complete one ink drawing every day from October 1st through the 31st. The challenge was created by Jake Parker back in 2009 to help artists develop their skills and get in the habit of drawing every day. There aren’t many rules, just draw and complete a full piece every day, and upload it onto Instagram or any social media platform.

Some people wonder why Inktober is a challenge. Why not just draw every day? What makes Inktober more challenging than “drawing every day” is that you must fully complete the drawing. Personally I draw every day, but most commonly the drawings are just sketches, and not inked and completed pieces.

How do you come up with an idea every day? On the official Inktober website there is a prompt list. The first prompt list was created in 2016. Each year the prompts change, although I have noticed many of the prompts tend to be fall/Halloween themed. There is a different prompt for every day, and although most people follow these prompts it is never required. Some groups also make alternative prompt lists. Feel free to come up with your own ideas, or only follow your favorite prompts!

Now, you’re probably thinking I’m crazy right now. Thirty one days of drawing? If a whole month is too much for you, people also do a “half-marathon” (One drawing every other day) or a “5k” (One drawing a week). There is also some confusion about which art supplies to use. Originally, the challenge was to do just black and white ink. Now, people do color as well, but the official rules suggest limiting the amount of color that you use to one or a few colors. People have also done calligraphy, lettering, watercolors, and more. If you do decide to participate this year (It’s not to late!) or in the future, just remember that you are the artist – do this challenge to help yourself and have fun!

For more information on Inktober, or to see what other people are drawing, check out Inktober.com, @inktober, #inktober, and #inktober2018.

Eid

Vector illustration of Eid Mubarak Islamic Holy Celebration greeting card design – image taken from: https://www.google.com/amp/indianexpress.com/article/when-is/when-is-eid-al-adha-4821958/lite/?source=images

There are two different holidays Muslim people celebrate. The first one is Eid-al-Fitr which happens after the holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, and in that month Muslim people fast from sunrise to sundown.

The second holiday is Eid-al-Adha which happens after Hajj. Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. Hajj is when Muslim people go to pilgrimage to the holy city Makkah. Every Muslim person looks forward to Eid, because it only occurs twice in the entire year, and because all your family members have the chance to get together to celebrate and enjoy Eid together. We eat a lot during Eid, since we have been fasting an entire month before it, and our plates seem to never become empty.

For Eid-al-Fitr, families all have different ways of celebrating. Since it is the next holiday coming up, here are some ways that we have celebrated it in the past.

On Eid, my family and I start off our day by praying the Eid prayer. After we finish praying we go to my grandma’s house where we meet up with all our aunts and uncles and their kids. While we are there we eat breakfast and catch up with people we haven’t seen in a long time. We usually stay there for at least 2 hours, then we go to a restaurant, then to an amusement park where we stay. The next day we usually hang out with our friends and do something with them.

Weeks before celebrating Eid, you need new clothes because when you pray the morning prayer you need to be clean. My family and I go to a restaurant, Old Country Buffet, where we eat, and as you would expect it’s all you can eat, with really great food. There are usually a lot of other Muslims who are there eating because they are celebrating Eid as well. After that, we go to an amusement park, Valley Fair, where we meet up with my relatives and just enjoy the day as we celebrate the ending of fasting. Eid celebration is a beautiful day
where people get together and everybody is happy, parents are nice, and they give their children money.

On Eid, my family first all gets together. All the relatives we haven’t seen in forever come sleep over at our house. They sleep over so we can all wake up in the morning and go to Eid prayer together. Eid is a celebration after the month of Ramadan. Eid is meant to be spent with your family and friends. It’s like a reward after all the fasting we had the month of Ramadan. After prayer, my family comes home and goes back to sleep because it’s still pretty early and everyone is still tired. When we get back up, we go together as family to get breakfast and after that it’s up to you what you want to do. Whether you want to spend the day with your friends, and go to the movies or the mall, or if you want some quality time with your siblings and parents. Eid is a good day, and a day of happiness, don’t just stay home.

Ramadan

The month of Ramadan is a sacred month to Muslims. This month is a basic belief and command that all Muslims must follow. This month is part of the 5 Pillars of Islam which are: Shahadah, belief in Allah and His Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon Him – PBUH); Salat, praying five times a day to Allah ONLY; Zakat, giving charity/alm; Sawm, fasting during the month of Ramadan; and Hajj, going to pilgrimage at least once in a Muslim’s lifetime.

The month of Ramadan is a month of 29 or 30 days where all Muslims, with the exception of few, have to fast (no eating or drinking) from sunrise to sundown. All able Muslims that have reached puberty, or the age of 15, must fast. The exceptions are: if you are menstruating, just gave birth, breastfeeding, pregnant, traveling, ill and need medication, or don’t have sanity etc. The people who have any of the above, except for insanity, will have to make up their fast after Ramadan and Shawwal.

The month of Ramadan brings people closer together because more people will do more good because Muslims believe that any good deeds they do will be multiplied more than any day that wasn’t in Ramadan. It is a month to learn to become a better person and a better Muslim. It also bring Muslims closer to God because God loves when we do good things for others and ourselves, and when we pray to Him, and do what we were commanded to do.

Also, during this month, the Holy Qur’an was revealed to our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and we try to read the entire Qur’an at least once or twice, during Ramadan, in Arabic because we follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) which is his life story or biography and the Prophet (PBUH) read it once or twice.

There is a day called Laylatul-Qadr a.k.a. the Night of Power. This night is on one of the last 10 days, most likely an odd number day, but it is unknown to us which day it is. We give more, read the Qur’an more, learn more about Islam, and pray a lot more during these last 10 days because if we do these good deeds on Laylatul-Qadr we will be rewarded by Allah more and be rid of our previous sins.

There are about 1.8 billion Muslims around the world, and most will be fasting during this month. If you aren’t Muslim, and there are Muslims around you, keep in mind that they might be fasting. It isn’t an easy thing to do when people around you are eating/drinking or even listening to music, and it’s okay to ask them questions. Ramadan Kareem or Ramadan Mubarak (Have a blessed Ramadan)!

Mother’s Day

What is Mother’s Day and why is it important?

Mother’s Day is an important day to show appreciation to mothers around the globe. Mother’s Day is celebrated in 46 countries, and it is a special day for mothers who are mostly dealing with a male dominant society.

History

According to Quora, Mother’s Day began in 1908 by a woman named Anna Jarvis, who did a memorial for her mother, who was a peace activist that helped the wounded soldiers during the Civil War. She began by getting support for Mother’s Day after her mother died. She wanted to honor all of the mothers who supported her family and loved ones.

Most of the U.S. started to celebrate Mother’s Day, and West Virginia, where Jarvis is from, declared Mother’s Day as a holiday. It became an official holiday when President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation in 1914.

It became an international celebration, and countries like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Italy, Singapore, Belgium, and more countries recognize it.

Mother’s Day is important because it is a day to honor, respect, and show more love than usual to mothers. The day acknowledges the maternal bonds, and roles of a mother in society. It is celebrated on May 13 in the U.S., but is different in other countries. Even if your mother is dead, or not there, it is a day to remember their importance to you.

Study from Psychologists

According to study.com, in the 1950’s, psychologists studied mother and child relationships by looking at how the child is affected to form long lasting bonds throughout their lives.

Infants that deal with high stress environments grow up to be worried adults who have difficulty developing bonds. Children with close relations to their caregivers end up being developing adults.

Also, maternal figures (moms) play a key role to help us become the people we are because they care and comfort us and provide us in so many ways.

Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

  • A Custom Handwriting Bracelet
  • Personalized Photo Stamps
  • Snapshot Mix Photo Art
  • Milk Chocolate Gift Basket
  • Flowers deliveries
  • Broadway Tickets
  • Personalized necklace
  • Plantable greeting card
  • Succulent Print Gardenia Candle
  • Mothers Day Box
  • Moms favorite perfumes