Classroom Celebrations and Events
Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15th to October 15th)
Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15th to October 15th, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15th and ending on October 15th. The day of September 15th is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Day of the Dead (October 31st to November 2nd)
Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, is the Mexican holiday when people celebrate and honor loved ones who have passed away. Celebrations typically run from Halloween, October 31, to All Saints Day, November 2. Day of the Dead is a brightly colored and joyous celebration.
International Holiday Festival (Student performance and party: Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza)
GALA hosts an annual International Holiday Festival that celebrates a variety of celebrations during the month of December, including Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. At the festival, families and the greater community are invited to enjoy a culturally festive filled with student performances in Mandarin and Spanish, photos with Santa Claus, a variety of ethnic foods, drinks, craft-making, games, raffles, and more!
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival. It is the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. In Chinese tradition, each year is named after one of twelve animals, which feature in the Chinese zodiac. Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig. So the animals will have a year dedicated to them once every 12 years, in a cycle. 2017 was the year of the rooster, while 2018 is the year of the dog.
Black History Month (February)
Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month in the U.S., is an annual observance in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It began as a way for remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. It is celebrated annually in the United States and Canada in February, as well as in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands in October.
Asian Heritage Month (May)
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month became a national weekly observance in 1979, scheduled to coincide with anniversaries of the completion of the transcontinental railroad, built largely by Chinese immigrants, and the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the U.S. In 1992 the observance became a permanently designated month to celebrate API communities. What began as a seven-day period of observance has evolved into a full-month celebration of pride and remembrance for the Asian and Pacific American community.