October 2017

The Artwork

Otonabee Valley Public School

Our Lightbulb Moment

It was done using ink and oil pastels. The students talk about their "lightbulb" moments when they finally understand something that was originally difficult to understand. The girls thought it was a fitting way to represent how working together can help each of us achieve our "lightbulb moments".

Online Resources

The Falling Leaves Moon – BinaaKawii Giizis (Anishinaabe – First Nations) Month of October

This is the month when the leaves fall to the ground, preparing Mother Earth for the coming months of winter.

For more information on local Full Moon Ceremonies go to www.facebook.com/groups/16994197269 or contact Trent University Department of Indigenous Studies.

The Ontario Native Literacy Coalition has released this informative PDF to share information about Ojibway, Cree, and Mohawk languages and their respective understandings of moons, seasons, days and cycles of ceremonies. It also explains the significance of the Aboriginal Calendar.


Win Translation’s page “Ojibwe Months: Names Chosen by Nature?” explores the relationship between the Ojibwe languages and dialects, and how moons come to have been named in such a way.


Navaratri (Hindu)**

A festival celebrating the triumph of good over evil, Navaratri honours God as a mother figure- an element that is unique from many other religions. Women traditionally plant nine different seeds at this time, in honour of the goddess Durga.

This website is devoted to providing information on Navaratri, its celebrations, the nine goddesses, as well as the day that each goddess is celebrated.


Al-Hijira (Muslim)**

The first of Muharram 1492, the Muslim New Year marks the migration of the Prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina.

On Islamicity’s website, there is a wealth of information about the Islamic New Year. The page is titled “Muharram: The Start of the Islamic Calendar” and speaks to the events, blessings, and traditions of Muslim people who celebrate this high holiday each year.


Rosh Hashanah (Jewish)

Rosh Hashanah celebrates New Year as harvest ends. It is a time for reflection and self-assessment for the community and for individuals, as well as a time for promoting universal peace and well-being. 

Judaism 101’s “Rosh Hashanah” page provides basic information about the history, ceremony and significance of the high holiday, which in Hebrew means “head of the year”. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year, and with it comes a great deal of meaning for Jewish people worldwide.


For more information, visit the My Jewish Learning page titled “Rosh Hashanah: What You Need to Know About Rosh Hashanah”, and click on one of four links: Basics, Food, Traditions and Rituals, and Prayers.


World Teacher’s Day

We all know how important the role of being a teacher is in any given community. Teachers help to nurture, instruct and guide the next generation so that they made become successful and strong adults. World Teacher’s Day is a day to celebrate their work, and to make space for important discussions around poor training, staff shortages, and low status internationally.

For more information, please visit the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO)’s site here:


Dussehra (Hindu)**

Dussehra continues from Navaratri festivities to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. It honours to goddess Durga.

If you would like more information about Dussehra beyond what we have provided for Navaratri, please visit this site which is more specific to Dussehra, “the day that follows the nine days of Navaratri”.


Yom Kippur (Jewish)

Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement, the year’s holiest day and a day of fasting to re-establish oneness with God.

Judaism 101 has a webpage for Yom Kippur, as well as for Rosh Hashanah as described earlier. This particular page gives more context to what the Jewish faith means when it speaks about “atonement”, and the process of recognizing, and seeking reconciliation between a person and God, or between a person and someone in their community. Read more here:


On About Religion’s site “What is Yom Kippur”, there is information about the Three Essentials of Yom Kippur: Repentance, Prayer, and Fasting.


International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (UN)


Person’s Day (Canada)

Person’s Day commemorates the date in 1929 when England’s Privy Council decided that women were indeed persons and therefore entitled to all the rights of the persons under the law. This reversed the 1927 decision by Canada’s Supreme Court that the word “person” did not include women. It also created the opportunity for women to be appointed to the Canadian Senate.


Birth of the Báb (Bahá’í)*

This holiday observes the birth of the Báb, one of two founders of Bahá’í and Proclaimer of the faith

Written from the perspective of the Bahá’í community, “What Bahá’ís Believe: Baha’u’llah and his Covenant” is an extensive explanation of the beginning of the Bahá’í faith. There are links to “the Life of Báb”, “The Bábi Movements”, “The Shrine of the Báb”, quotations, and articles and resources.


Simchat Torah (Jewish)*

Simchat Torah marks the end of Sukkot, a joyous occasion concluding with the synagogue reading of the Torah (Pentateuch).

Judaism 101 has written extensively on each Jewish high holiday as we have seen in previous posts about the Holy Days in October, and they have provided accessible information about Simchat Torah, and its meaning of “Rejoicing in the Torah”, marking the completion of the annual cycle of Torah readings:


Diwali (Hindu)**

This festival of lights features lanterns, flowers, electric lights and oil lamps called Adiyas. Gifts are also exchanged. 

About Religion has this excellent online resource which gives detailed information about Diwali, its history, significance, and how people celebrate this festival.


Click below and find an entire website dedicated to the Diwali festival, which will provide context about each of the 5 days, pictures of “Rangoli designs” (beautiful artwork created during Diwali”, and links to different articles related to this very special time:



This significant date stems from Celtic origins and marks a time when people believed spirits of the dead crossed over into the world of the living for one night. Many people wear costumes and children visit homes in their neighborhoods to receive candy.

The Irish Genealogy Toolkit gives an historical account to the evolution of Hallowe’en as a Celtic event, and how it has changed into what we celebrate today:


Community Organizations

Other Resources

This book assumes familiarity with the concepts of challah and Rosh Hashanah, and offers a gently humorous explanation for a question which probably occurs to children each Rosh Hashanah.  The illustrations are very simple cartoons.


Happy Birthday, World introduces some of the customs of Rosh Hashanah (eating apples dipped in honey, blowing the shofar, giving tzedakah) by comparing them with activities a child would associate with their own birthday (eating cake, tooting party horns, getting presents).  The realistic illustrations show a contemporary boy and girl with their parents.



Talia of Talia and the Rude Vegetables fame is back with another pun-driven story of misheard words and malapropisms. When grandma talks about preparing for breaking the Yom Kippur fast, Talia instead hears the words as 'breakfast' and 'Yum' Kippur, setting a funny series of events into motion with her misunderstanding.


On Yom Kippur, also called the Day of Atonement, Jews fast, pray, and ask God's forgiveness for their sins. Deborah Heiligman's lively first-person text introduces readers to the sounding of the shofar, the holidays' greeting cards, prayers, and special foods. Rabbi Shira Stern's informative note puts the High Holy Days into wider historical and cultural context for parents and teachers.



A collection of writings from an extensive number of sources and presents them in an accessible, user-friendly format for those interested in learning about the Bahá’í Faith. The question-and-answer format highlights the clarity in which many of the topics associated with the Faith are discussed, and can be used by those seeking a basic and informational introduction to what is one of the fastest growing religions in the world.


Two siblings plan a special breakfast in their family’s sukkah during the harvest festival of Sukkot and end up sharing it with some very special guests.




Brilliant firecrackers lighting up the night,
Diyas twinkling like stars - what a sight!
This is Diwali, in all its glory
As told to little Klaka, by his Amma - a magical story.


The beautiful artwork by Anna Koan not only introduces little readers to our festival of lights but also amuses them with its funny storyline. It is a tale of tradition, fun and lot of curiosity! It keeps your child engrossed with the funny story of three monkeys – Suno, Dekho and Jaano, who discovers a mysterious package, a Diwali Gift that arrives just in time, making them excited and curious about what package holds in it.