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Honoring a man who conveyed much hope and healing to America, we celebrate civil rights leader Martin Luther King’s life and actions. MLK believed his word would not be reliable if he didn’t act on it, also. In his time, MLK Jr. fought for civil rights taking on threats, beatings, and jail time in order to truly gain freedom and justice for all despite race. This man taught us the values of justice, equality, truth, modesty, compassion, and pride.
Commemorating these values on this day brings families and friends, as well as communities, together to build and grow stronger. To educate the children on the relevance and importance of this historical figure, organizing a puppet show can keep them engaged and entertained in learning. Have an entertainer such as a face painter, go around and paint everyone’s face to look like that of another culture, to demonstrate the significance of racial equality; or they can simply provide general face painting.
Many parades are being held across the nation in honor of MLK Jr. With colorful balloons, horses and carriages, large vibrant floats, exciting dancers, marching bands, and various performers such as stilt walkers, clowns, and jugglers. Some parades or events even include an area for carnival rides and games for children and adults alike to enjoy. Food trucks will line the streets for curbside service, or there will be crowds of people filling the parks for picnics and BBQs. Whatever you choose to participate in, be sure to express appreciation to your family and friends, and express compassion toward others.
The most important celebration in the Chinese calendar, Chinese New Year typically lasts for two weeks. In China, some even take weeks off from work just to prepare. Chinese months are calculated by the Lunar Calendar. It’s believed that Buddha requested all the animals to see him on Chinese New Year; only twelve animals showed up so he decided to designate a year after each one. It was said that whoever was born in these years would take on some of the personality of that animal.
Many celebrate or observe this holiday, not just the Chinese culture, but their friends and several American communities. It is observed by wearing and decorating with the color red, creating poems on red paper, and gifting the children with “lucky money” in red envelopes. In China, this is an event meant to be shared with family; however, many Chinese have come to America without their families and have learned to celebrate with their neighbors and friends. Many Chinese-Americans will host an event in a banquet hall or have a parade with red décor, costumes and lanterns; this is a traditional way of celebrating this in the United States.
Many other elements have contributed to the festivities of Chinese New Year parades, such as, fantastic floats, marching bands, entertainers, dancers, musicians, clowns or face painted stilt walkers, and other exciting performers. The most popular of performance being the dragon dance; where several men dance and hold above them a dragon made from paper, silk and bamboo.
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