'Tis the season.

Kellie Davenport October 21, 2019
Photo showing three people skating hand-in-hand down an ice lane beneath coloured lights at night.

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

Must-see holiday happenings and festive fun across Manitoba.

All night long.

Winter solstice—the point when the sun is farthest away from Earth—is the shortest day and longest night of the year. But it shines bright in significance for Canada’s Indigenous Peoples. “The solstice represents our healing season—a time when Mother Earth is at rest,” says Paul Guimond, an elder-in-residence at Red River College. As part of the Indigenous Education department, Guimond advises students and staff, leads ceremonies and teaches the Ojibwe language. Traditional solstice gatherings, usually held around December 21, bring people together to share stories, laughter and food. “It’s a time to reflect on the past year and remember the teachings of our ancestors,” Guimond says. The college hosts pre-solstice events on December 9, including a pipe ceremony, storytelling and a celebratory feast.

Christmas spirit.

The Scott Woods Band leads the Old Time Country Christmas variety show, featuring fiddle tunes, carols and step dancing. Winnipeg (Nov. 12), Portage la Prairie (Nov. 13) and Brandon (Dec. 2)

At the Winterfest Craft Sale and Market in Niverville, you’ll find handmade gifts for hard-to-buy-for friends and family while noshing on holiday nibbles and sipping seasonal drinks. Nov. 16

Feast on a homemade breakfast, bid in the treasure auction, play reindeer games, decorate cookies and get a picture with the big guy himself at La Rivière’s Breakfast with Santa. Dec. 7

Joy to the World.

Established in 1966, Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration that honours African culture. The Congress of Black Women of Manitoba hosts an annual event filled with fellowship, fun and food at the Jamaican Cultural Centre. Enjoy storytelling, a festive feast and gifts for the kids. Dec. 8

Hanukkah takes place from Dec. 22 to 30 this year, but another well-loved holiday tradition is Chinese food and a movie! Celebrate the third night of Hanukkah with a kosher Chinese feast and a flick at Adas Yeshurun Herzlia. Dec. 24

Held on New Year’s Eve, Joya-e is a Buddhist service to express gratitude for the past year. At the conclusion of the ceremony at the Manitoba Buddhist Temple, attendees ring the kansho (temple bell) 108 times to “ring out” the 108 sins and desires each person is said to possess. Dec. 31