Upcoming Dates & Celebrations
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This is the fifth of ten Smore newsletters to be distributed this school year with the goal of sharing District calendar dates, school-related appreciation days, national recognition celebrations, and if applicable, related community events.
If we are missing anything or you wish to contribute information, please email email@example.com! We are open to feedback on these date-driven newsletters!
Stay tuned for the January "DNA" which will contain good news from around the district!
DISTRICT CALENDAR DATES
Operational dates listed within each month of the Annual District Calendar
Jan. 16 - No School: MLK Jr. Day
SOCIAL CELEBRATIONS & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
As we move into the month of January, the trending events and holiday acknowledgements listed below will begin to pop-up on social media. Here is a little information about the upcoming dates and what they mean.
International Creativity Month
International Creativity Month is celebrated every year in January. Being creative in the first month of the new year can set you up for a year of success. International Creativity Month was founded by Randall Munson, a speaker, an entertainer, and a bestselling author of books such as “Creativity 102”. This month is celebrated to inspire people to get out of their comfort zones and start being innovative in their daily lives. A fresh start in the new year can go a long way in building a successful and happy future. Change is only possible if an attempt is made to do something new. Stay tuned on social media for various showings of creativity!
Upcoming FPS Theater Events
Whether building sets or managing lighting, acting, singing, dancing, and performing are all creative outlets for FPS students! If you haven't already, consider getting tickets to any of the following upcoming performances!
January 12th, 13th, 14th, 20th, and 21st
Framingham High School Drama Company presents Cinderella
Framingham High School Theatre
115 A Street, Framingham, MA, 01701
January 20th, 21st, and 22nd
Fuller Drama Company presents The Little Mermaid, JR
The Chris Walsh Performing Arts Center - Fuller Middle School
31 Flagg Dr., Framingham, MA 01702
February 10th and 11th
Cameron Drama Company presents The SpongeBob Musical
Cameron Middle School
215 Elm St, Framingham, MA 01701
* Sensory-Friendly Performance Details Coming Soon!
January 1st: New Year's Day
New Year's Day was January 1 and marked the start of a new year according to the Gregorian calendar. It marks the end of New Year's Eve celebrations and offers the chance to both reflect on the previous year and think ahead to the new year.
The start of New Year's Day, at midnight, may be heralded by fireworks, parties and special events, many of which are televised around the world. In some towns and cities, parades may be held and special football games are played. The birth of the first baby in the New Year is often celebrated with gifts to their parents and appearances in local newspapers and on local news shows. Many people set goals or make New Year's resolutions to improve something in their own lives.
January 6th: Three Kings Day
Each January 6th, many families around the world celebrate this religious holiday. Members of many western Christian churches, celebrate it as Three Kings Day and members of many eastern Christian churches celebrate in memory of Jesus's baptism. Three Kings Day— Día de los Tres Reyes Magos or Día de Reyes for short—also known as the Feast of the Epiphany and the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Three Kings Day has deep religious and cultural significance to the Latinx community.
To read more on Three Kings Day, Día de los Tres Reyes Magos, or Día de Reyes - please read last year's District News Item: Three Kings Day - Around the World
January 16th: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
The third Monday in January is Martin Luther King Jr. Day (often abbreviated to “MLK Day” or "MLK Jr. Day"). It has been a federal holiday since 1986. Martin Luther King Jr. was a leader of the civil rights movement, championing justice and equality from the mid-1950s until his death by assassination in 1968. As he said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Dr. King was also a strong advocate of change through nonviolent civil actions. He was a great speaker, and his powerful words still resonate with us today.
The Martin Luther King, Jr., National Day of Service is a defining moment each year when Americans across the country step up to make communities more equitable and take action to create the Beloved Community of Dr. King’s dream. While Dr. King believed the Beloved Community was possible, he acknowledged and fought for systemic change. His example is our call to action.
MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. During the last quarter-century, the MLK Day of Service has grown, and its impact increased as more Americans embraced the idea that citizenship involves taking an active role in improving communities.
MetroWest MLK Day of Service
The MLK Day of Service event, organized by J-LOFT (Jewish Learning Opportunity for Teens), takes place on Sunday, January 15, at Temple Beth Am in Framingham (300 Pleasant St, Framingham). There are volunteer and leadership opportunities available for teens, adults, and families with young children. Kids in grade 7 and under should be accompanied by an adult.
This year, there are in-person and at-home volunteer opportunities!
In-person – On-site volunteers bake lasagnas and banana breads, assemble soup jars, build wood desks and decorate Stars of Hope – all under the guidance of the volunteer Leadership Team.
Kit-based – Volunteers pick up kits with all the ingredients/parts and instructions to prepare food and furniture at home, and bring back the final products.
MLK Day of Service 2023: Volunteer Registration
MLK Day if Service 2023: Leadership Team Registration
J-LOFT offers a variety of classes, courses, and programs (known as tracks), led by a team of local clergy members and educators. In addition to the different tracks, J-LOFT hosts a monthly program-wide gathering and is open to all teens in grades 8-12, regardless of temple affiliation, and is intended to complement, and not substitute individual synagogues’ Religious or Hebrew School programs. In fact, many students who attend J-LOFT do so in addition to their own temple’s programs.
January 22nd: Lunar New Year
Lunar New Year is one of the most important celebrations of the year and while it is based on the Chinese lunar calendar, this holiday is also celebrated in Korea, Singapore, Mongolia, Tibet, Vietnam and in Asian communities worldwide. The New Year celebration is usually celebrated for multiple days—not just one day as in the Gregorian calendar’s New Year. In 2023, Lunar New Year begins on January 22.
In this video from Socratica Kids, young learners can hear about the traditional activities that take place on each of the 15 days of the Lunar New Year celebrations, including eating special foods, setting off fireworks, receiving red envelopes with money inside, and lighting special red lanterns:
Lunar New Year for Kids | 2023 Year of the Rabbit | Chinese New Year
China’s Lunar New Year is known as the Spring Festival or Chūnjié in Mandarin, while Koreans call it Seollal and Vietnamese refer to it as Tết. Tied to the lunar calendar, the holiday began as a time for feasting and to honor household and heavenly deities, as well as ancestors. The New Year typically begins with the first new moon that occurs between the end of January and spans the first 15 days of the first month of the lunar calendar—until the full moon arrives. The year 2023 is slated to be the year of the rabbit. The year of the rabbit last came up in 2011.
January 27th: International Holocaust Remembrance Day
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is commemorated annually on January 27, marking the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest concentration camp and extermination center created by Nazi Germany. On this day, communities commemorate the six million Jewish people and millions of other victims who perished due to the actions carried out by the Nazis and their collaborators.
The Anti-Defamation League encourages us to embrace the somber day as a learning opportunity for our community. Spanish philosopher George Santayana’s words, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” underscore the importance of reflecting on the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides and connecting them to the present.
The need for these lessons is even more urgent today as incidents related to antisemitism and extremism are on the rise. Last year Framingham’s Temple Beth Sholom was defaced with a couple of swastikas, K-12 schools across the country have been impacted by other hateful graffiti, and there have been other high-profile incidents in Massachusetts where students and community leaders use Holocaust terminology inappropriately, whether in football plays or comparisons to COVID-19 precautions.
January 27th is an opportune time to create awareness about the Holocaust, to help educate the community about antisemitism, and to help build inclusive school communities.
Please stay tuned for resources to initiate or further conversations in your homes.