Recently Toronto was named “The most diverse city in the world” by BBC Radio. Over half of Toronto residents were born outside of Canada and a whopping two hundred and thirty different nationalities now make up our city’s population. This makes our city one of the most exciting places to live, anywhere! And with the fall season upon us, and winter just around the corner, many of us are gearing up for festivals and celebrations that add history and culture to our national and civic fabric.
Getting to know each other, and celebrating our collective histories, religions and traditions is always illuminating and enriching. At the very least, being aware of the festivals-religious and secular- going on over the next few months is cause for celebration in itself, and something to be proud of.
In the upcoming weeks we’ll be looking at some of the festivals that will be going on all around us, some will be new to us, and some old hat. Entire neighbourhoods will be distinguished by raucous or solemn celebrations, but underneath it all one thing is clear; this is Toronto now, and it’s awesome.
Today we’re naming just a few “Fallidays” that are quickly approaching. How many do you know? As the big day draws near, Fiesta Farms will be delving into these special occasions a little deeper, letting you know the history and or mythology behind the festivals, and maybe sharing some info on our favourite facet of celebrations and festivals, the food and feasting! And in a few months, who knows, you just might be out shaking your booty at a Junkanoo parade, or wishing everyone a Happy Hogminay!
Here are just a few upcoming Festivals and Holidays that will be celebrated throughout Toronto:
Oct 30: Diwali, Hindu festival of Lights.
Nov 1: Dia de los muertos, “Day of the Dead.”
Nov 15: Shichi-Go-San. Traditional rite of passage day for boys and girls in Japan, celebrating the growth and well-being of children.
Dec 10/11: Milad un Nabi Muslim celebration of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, celebrated this year on Dec 10/11
Dec 13: Luciadagen- The Feast of Saint Lucy, a Festival of Lights that often coincides with the Winter Solstice. The Festival is a big deal in Scandinavia and Italy where she is known as Santa Lucia. Lucy was a Third Century martyr who brought food and clothing to Christians in the Catacombs, using a candle lit wreath to light her way, thus the festival is associated with light in a time of darkness.
Dec 16-24: Las Posadas, “The Inns.” Honouring the journey that Mary and Joseph took from Nazareth to Bethlehem seeking a safe place to give birth to Jesus.
Dec 21: Winter Solstice. The shortest Day of the Year, celebrating and honouring the earth and nature.
Dec 24 – Jan 1: Hanukkah, the eight-day Festival of Lights commemorating the struggle for freedom.
Dec 25: Christmas, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
Dec 26: Kwanzaa. Festival observed by many African Americans, Dec 26-Jan 1, celebrating African heritage and culture in North America.
Dec 31: Omisoka Japanese New Year.
Dec 26 and Jan 1: Junkanoo-Parade in Bahamas. Started out as a spontaneous celebration of Christmastime with dance, parades and music; after emancipation it became a more formal and entrenched celebration.
Dec 31: Hogmanay. Scottish New Year
New Years Eve: Dec 31. This is the year. I mean it this time….