Winter Holiday Programming

From Darkness to Light : A celebration of holiday traditions

This holiday season, make something to celebrate light, harmony and hope.

The winter solstice marks the gradual return to longer daylight hours. In many cultures, this day acts as a sign of renewal, change, and hope for the future. It is commemorated with festivals and traditions that aim to chase away the darkness of winter and usher in the return of light. Join us in celebrating traditions from around the world that reflect this important journey from darkness to light.


Mask making for Junkanoo

Junkanoo is a vibrant street parade that takes place in the Bahamas on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.  The festival is thought to have originated centuries ago when enslaved people working on plantations were given three days off during the Christmas season. Participants in Junkanoo parades wear bright, colourful costumes and masks to commemorate the sense of freedom these people would have felt for this short period of time.

Meet members of the Caribbean community and make your own mask for Junkanoo!


Lanterns for the Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year is celebrated every winter in February. According to an ancient legend, the festivities that accompany Chinese New Year started when a mythical creature called Nian was attacking children who lived in local villages. One day, a wise, elderly man appeared who said he knew how to defeat the Nian. He put bright, red papers up throughout the village and set off firecrackers. The next day when the villagers returned, they saw that their homes were safe and that the Nian was gone. They learned that the Nian was afraid of the colour red, bright lights and loud noises. Since then, Chinese people have decorated their homes with red lanterns each year to celebrate the New Year.

Join in this centuries-old tradition by learning how to make your own lantern for the Chinese New Year!


Make a light box for winter solstice

Explore a 3,000-year-old legend from Pacific Northwest Indigenous cultures. Weget is a young boy who journeys to get the light back for his people at a time where darkness covers the land. He must find the Chief of the Heavens, who is known to keep the light in a box – but he will have to overcome many challenges on his journey.

Make your own light box and express how you believe we can all work together to bring light, peace and hope to everyone around the world during the holiday season. 


Dates: From Tuesday, December 26, 2017 to Sunday, January 7, 2018

Programs are free with admission and free for Members.

Please note that scheduled programs are subject to change or cancellation.