Seasonal festivities reflect Vaughan’s diverse heritage
The City of Vaughan is a culturally diverse city, made up of an array of nationalities and ethnicities, with more than 310,000 residents and 99 different languages spoken here. This season, the City had the privilege of celebrating its diversity with a number of holidays and events.
Here is a look at some of the holiday observances that take place at this time of year:
Diwali: Festival of Lights, Nov. 3 to Nov. 7, 2013
This Hindu festival is a five-day celebration of light over dark, good over evil and knowledge over darkness. Festivities often include lighting oil lamps, putting up decorations, eating delicious traditional sweet treats and exchanging gifts made of gold.
Chanukah: Festival of Lights, Nov. 22 to Dec. 5, 2013
Chanukah is an eight-day Jewish holiday celebrated each year to commemorate the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in the second century BCE. The festival is observed through the lighting of the menorah, or holiday candelabra, which is the most recognizable symbol of Chanukah. Traditional treats, like sufganiyot doughnuts, and entertainment are part of the celebration. View photos from this year’s menorah lighting ceremony at Vaughan City Hall.
Festival of Light, Dec. 12, 2013
The Festival of Light is an annual event that takes place at Vaughan City Hall to commemorate the various cultures, traditions and religions in which the theme of “light” is significant, with the goal of cultivating an understanding among different cultures.
Christmas, Dec. 25, 2013
Christmas is a widely observed holiday that marks the birth of Jesus Christ for many Christians. This holiday includes the exchange of gifts, festive family meals and carolling. Symbols of Christmas also include baby Jesus in the stable, Santa Claus and Christmas trees. Vaughan’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony took place outdoors at City Hall on Dec. 5 in the Civic Square. The event featured festive music, holiday treats and a visit by Santa Claus. View photos from this year’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Vaughan City Hall.
Kwanzaa, Dec. 26, 2013 to Jan. 1, 2014
Kwanzaa is an African-American and Pan-African holiday that celebrates African heritage. Kwanzaa is also a celebration of seven core principles that signify African culture: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, co-operative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
Chinese New Year, Jan. 31, 2014
The Chinese New Year is an elaborate, colourful and important festival in the Chinese community. It symbolizes parting with the old and welcoming in the new. Every year the City hosts an event with a variety of entertainment and cultural performances. The year 2014 will be the year of the horse.
The City of Vaughan embraces our diversity and wishes everyone a happy holiday season.