Beltane is the ancient Celtic festival marking the beginning of summer. Bealtaine, (or various other spellings) is old Irish for “bright fire” or “mouth of fire.” On Beltane great bonfires may be lit, so it also known as the Fire Festival. Beltane is celebrated on the evening of April 30 into the day of May 1st. Beltane is celebrated in Ireland, Scotland and in other places where people have tried to revive Celtic festivals and observances. Remnants of Beltane traditions can be seen in many May Day festivals, including parts of Canada, such as Newfoundland.


Find out more:

RTE (Irish Radio & Television)


Newgrange: Beltane

Irish Culture and Customs

The Irish Independent

Your Irish Culture: Bealtaine

Canada’s Poet Laureate

Did you know that Canada has a Poet Laureate? Can you name her?

source: Parliament of Canada

Find out more about our current Poet Laureate and those who have held this prestigious post in the past: Parliamentary Poet Laureate

April is National Poetry Month in Canada.

Yom HaShoah

Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, is the day that Jews around the world remember the six million who perished in the Holocaust.  In Israel it is a national day of observance known officially as Yom Hazikaron laShoah ve-laG’vurah, in English “Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day.” In addition to remembrance of the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust, the day is also used to celebrate acts of resistance and heroism on the part of survivors and allies.

This year Yom HaShoah begins on the evening of April 27 and continues until sundown on April 28.

Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-N0827-318 / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE via Wikimedia Commons

Find out more about the Holocaust, the systematic mass-murder of more than 6 million Jews, and other groups, targeted by the Nazis and their allies:

Guy Lafleur

I have a very vivid memory of watching this game on television when I was a young boy. Guy Lafleur was the superstar of the NHL at the time, and once again he scored an enormous goal in the playoffs. Danny Gallivan, the master, was doing the play-by-play. It was bedlam in the Montreal Forum, the Mecca of hockey. I’m sure that millions of Canadians were watching that night and that many can remember it still.

Guy Lafleur, one of the legends of the game of hockey, died today at age 70.

Earth Day

April 22 is Earth Day.

Why do we celebrate Earth Day?

Earth is our home. Earth is the only planet that we know of that has life. Earth is the only planet in the galaxy that is known to have the capacity to support life of any kind, much less human life. Earth is all we have.

There may be other planets in the universe with life. There may even be other planets in the universe that could support human life. However, so far we have no evidence of any such planets.

Even if we were to discover another planet that could sustain human life, we lack the technology to travel to such a planet. We may develop the necessary technology in the future, but we are not close to such a possibility.

In the meantime, we are destroying our home. Our only home.

The scientific consensus is that human actions, specifically the burning of fossil fuels, is responsible for climate change. (source: UN) If left unchecked, this climate change will have catastrophic results that could destroy civilization, result in mass extinctions of plant and animal life, and even threaten the future survival of humanity.

In the incomprehensible vastness of the universe, our comparatively tiny, seemingly insignificant little rock is actually far from insignificant. Our planet is incredible and it is a miraculous gift. We must recognize how precious this place is. We must do whatever it takes to protect it, for all of our sakes.

Find out more:


During Pesach, or Passover, Jews in Canada and around the world commemorate how God delivered the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt. The Seder is a feast that takes place on the first night of Pesach. Passover is one of the most important festivals on the Jewish calendar. In 2022 Passover takes place from Friday, April 15 to Saturday, April 23.

source: datafox, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Find out more:

Good Friday; Easter Sunday

Jesus of Nazareth, the central figure of Christianity, was a Jew living in 1st Century Palestine. Jesus taught many things that challenged the religious and political power of the day. Eventually he was captured and executed. Good Friday commemorates the Crucifixion, the horrific method of execution used by the Romans, who hung him on a cross until he was dead.

source: RuizAnglada, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The followers of Jesus believed that he rose again on the following Sunday. The believers began to share their faith throughout the Roman world. Easter, like many pagan festivals of the Romans, became a Christian holiday celebrating the Resurrection.

While Christmas is a much bigger holiday in terms of secular, commercial and cultural impact, many Christians feel that Good Friday and Easter Sunday are more integral to their faith.

Find out more:

source: Pinacoteca Vaticana, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Happy Vaisakhi

Happy Vaisakhi! May your day be glorious, full of joy and happiness.

Tuhāḍā dina śānadāra, khuśī’āṁ atē khuśī’āṁ bhari’ā hōvē.

ਤੁਹਾਡਾ ਦਿਨ ਸ਼ਾਨਦਾਰ, ਖੁਸ਼ੀਆਂ ਅਤੇ ਖੁਸ਼ੀਆਂ ਭਰਿਆ ਹੋਵੇ।

Sadly, for the past few years we have missed parades like this one from 2012. Hopefully the Surrey Vaisakhi Parade is back next year!
source: waferboardCC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

We are celebrating Sikh Heritage Month in your School Library. Be sure to visit us to find out more.