Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year is observed on February 1, and multiday, even multiweek festivals have begun, many on the weekend. The celebrations around this event include many different local practices and are known by many names around the world, including the Spring Festival; the Lantern Festival, Tsagaan Sar (Mongolia); Tet (Vietnam); Seolial (Korea); Koshogatsu or “Little New Year” (Japan). In North America it is often called Chinese New Year, although the Chinese themselves are more likely to refer to it as the Spring Festival. Moreover, the term “Lunar New Year” is more reflective of the multi-ethnic and multicultural nature of the celebrations. In Canada this is especially important, as many Canadians trace their roots to many different parts of the world, including China, but also to many other places in East Asia such as Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam and Japan.

Today and over the coming days and even weeks people in Canada will join with people around the world to celebrate the new year and look forward to the Year of the Tiger.

The lunar calendar, based on the cycles of the moon, does not match up with the solar calendar, based on the orbit of the earth around the sun. Therefore holidays based on the lunar calendar will change dates from year to year on the Gregorian Calendar, the solar calendar most commonly used by Canadians and people around the world for most scheduling related to business, politics and science, if not cultural and religious observances.

Find out more about Lunar New Year:

LunarFest Vancouver

Here’s where to ring in the Lunar New Year around Vancouver in 2022

Korean New Year

Chinese New Year


What is Lunar New Year?

Year of the Tiger at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

Chinese New Year Traditions

Lunar New Year

Second Semester

We aren’t even completely done with First Semester, yet here we are, already thinking about Second Semester. That’s just the way it goes in our school system.

We look forward to serving you in the Second Semester of the 2021-2022 School Year.¬† If you haven’t already done so, please be sure to come check out the School Library and find out what we can do to help you as a student at Lord Tweedsmuir, as a lifelong learner, and as a reader!

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

January 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Join with us as we take this day to remember the many millions who died during the Holocaust, to learn more about what happened, and resolve to fight against anti-Semitism, racism and other forms of hate and violent oppression.

The term “Holocaust” refers to the period in history in which the Nazi regime of Germany murdered over 6 million Jews, as well as millions of other victims, including Roma, homosexuals, people with physical and mental disabilities, and more. The Nazi persecution of the Jews began in the early 1930’s and reached its most horrific and brutal peak during the period of 1941-1945, as the Nazis adopted as official policy the “Final Solution,” the attempt at completely annihilating the entire Jewish population.

Holocaust RemembranceSource: CC / Sienda
Source: CC / Sienda

The Holocaust is not the only example of genocide in human history. What makes the Holocaust stand out amongst the long and plentiful list of human atrocities and evil?  Germany was amongst the most powerful nations of the world and a leader in science, technology, medicine and engineering.  The German contributions to art, music, literature and philosophy put German culture at the heart of what we would call Western Civilization. And yet this supposedly civilized people turned their great achievements and progress towards planning and carrying out ruthless genocidal murder with scientific and economic efficiency.

Children selected for extermination
source: wikimedia commons / public domain

The date of January 27 was chosen for this solemn observance as the death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated on January 27, 1945.

Auschwitz Death Camp
source: Diego Delso, Wikimedia Commons, License CC-BY-SA 3.0

For more on the Holocaust:

Yad Veshem

US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Jewish Virtual Library

Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre

United Nations / UNESCO

The Inheritance Games

This year’s list of Surrey Teens Read nominees is rife with compelling stories. This week we look at The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

Come down to the School Library to see The Inheritance Games and the other nine nominated titles for this school year’s version of Surrey Teens Read.

Find out more at

Michael Ontkean

Canadian actor Michael Ontkean was born on this day in 1946 in Vancouver. Ontkean played hockey player Ned Braden in the 1977 cult classic, “Slapshot.” He is also well known for his role as Harry S. Truman on the television show “Twin Peaks,” which, like Slap Shot, has a devoted cult following.

Michael Ontkean as Ned Braden (r), with Paul Newman as Reggie Dunlop in “Slap Shot.” (source)
Ontkean as Harry S. Truman in “Twin Peaks.” (source)

Canadians love the movie “Slap Shot” because it is the greatest hockey movie ever made. Come down to the school library to check out our display of all things hockey, as we celebrate our great game.

Lincoln Alexander Day

Lincoln Alexander was born on this day in 1922 in Toronto. Mr. Alexander was the son of immigrants from Jamaica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He would grow up in Toronto, serve in the RCAF during World War Two, earn degrees from McMaster University and York University, and eventually go on to practice law. In the 1960’s he entered politics, and in 1968 was elected to the House of Commons, the first Black Canadian to become a Member of Parliament. He would later become the first Black Canadian to become a Cabinet Minister, serving in the brief Joe Clark government of 1979. In 1985 Lincoln Alexander became the Lt. Governor of Ontario, a post he held until 1991, again the first Black Canadian to hold a vice-regal position. Mr. Alexander died in 2012. In 2015 the government of Canada established January 21 as Lincoln Alexander Day.

Find out more:

The Canadian Encyclopedia

Parliament of Canada

Province of Ontario

Lt. Governors of Ontario

I Have a Dream

Monday was MLK Day in the United States, a wonderful opportunity for people around the world to remember Dr. King and what he stood and fought for. The “I Have a Dream Speech,” delivered at the “March on Washington” in 1963, is one of the most important speeches ever made, and just one of the many incredible achievements of Dr. King. Here is a video of that speech.

A few highlights of the speech by Martin Luther King Jr:

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brother- hood.”

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day¬†live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color¬†of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a¬†dream.”

“I have a dream that…¬†one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black¬†girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and¬†white girls as sisters and brothers.”

“In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”

“When we allow freedom to ring ‚ÄĒ when we let it ring¬†from every city and every hamlet, from every state and¬†every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and¬†Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join¬†hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual,¬†“Free at last, Free at last, Great God almighty, We are¬†free at last.”