This month a number of holidays will be celebrated in cultures around the world. The Bakersfield City School has deemed December the “Multicultural Festival of Lights” in honor of these celebrations.
The Multicultural Festival of Lights celebrates seven holidays:
- Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights.
- Bodhi Day, a Buddhist holiday
- Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Light
- Christmas, a Christian holiday
- Kwanzaa, a holiday honoring African-American heritage
- Lunar Year, an Asian holiday marking the end of winter
- Las Posadas, a Christmas festival celebrated in Hispanic Communities
While the festivities differ in traditions, a common theme is the use of light or candles.
“Lights are important parts of celebrations that occur in a lot of different cultures. I think it’s primarily because they offer a sense of joy and warmth.,” said Connie Koop, a BCSD Ed Tech Library Media Specialist.
This recognition of different cultural holidays is part of a bigger plan at BCSD to acknowledge the cultures and traditions represented in the District. In 2019, the BCSD Board of Directors adopted a resolution to acknowledge and honor cultures in the District. The resolution states, “Bakersfield is home to a diverse population,” and BCSD is, “committed to being a model of educational equity and inclusiveness.”
“It’s important because we are all part of a large community and we need to recognize the value that each culture brings to the table, and for us to be understanding of important events just broadens the scope of our world. It just provides a basic foundation for us to be respectful and honoring of other people no matter where they come from or who they are,” Koop said.
The resolution led to the creation of the BCSD Multicultural Guide. The guide highlights different cultures throughout the year and includes a calendar of celebrations and holidays. Schools, teachers, and families are encouraged to learn more and follow suggestions in the guide to celebrate the holidays through online activities, art projects, and links to places to explore.
To find out more go: go.bcsd.com/fj3
The website is updated with new information every month.