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Global Holidays And Celebrations
 

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January February March April May June July

August September October November December

WEBSITES ON HOLIDAYS

JANUARY

January 1 – New Year’s Day

New Year's Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome. With most countries using the Gregorian calendar as their main calendar, New Year's Day is the closest thing to being the world's only truly global public holiday, often celebrated with fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the new year starts. January 1 on the Julian calendar corresponds to January 14 on the Gregorian calendar, and it is on that date that followers of some of the Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate the New Year. More at: ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year%27s_Da

Watch the below New Year's 2011 video with music by ABBA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zw1vvGYHQBw

 

January 17 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a United States federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around the time of King's birthday, January 15. King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. He was assassinated by a prison escapee in 1968 on the balcony of a hotel as he went to get some fresh air before making a speech. The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination. Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed in 1986. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000. More at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King,_Jr._Day

Martin Luther King Jr

http://s460.photobucket.com/albums/qq324/jeancruzue/?action=view&current=MartinLutherKing.jpg

January 22 – Roe vs Wade Day

Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), was a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court on the issue of abortion. The Court decided that a right to privacy under the due process clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution extends to a woman's decision to have an abortion, but that right must be balanced against the state's two legitimate interests for regulating abortions: protecting prenatal life and protecting the mother's health. Saying that these state interests become stronger over the course of a pregnancy, the Court resolved this balancing test by tying state regulation of abortion to the mother's current trimester of pregnancy. The Court later rejected Roe's trimester framework, while affirming Roe's central holding that a person has a right to abortion up until viability. The Roe decision defined "viable" as being "potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid," adding that viability "is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks." In disallowing many state and federal restrictions on abortion in the United States, Roe v. Wade prompted a national debate that continues today, about issues including whether and to what extent abortion should be legal, who should decide the legality of abortion, what methods the Supreme Court should use in constitutional adjudication, and what the role should be of religious and moral views in the political sphere. Roe v. Wade reshaped national politics, dividing much of the nation into pro-choice and pro-life camps, while activating grassroots movements on both sides.

More at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roe_v._Wade

January 27 –  International Holocaust Remembrance Day

International Holocaust Remembrance Day, 27 January, is an international memorial day for the victims of the Holocaust, the genocide that resulted in the annihilation of 6 million Jews, 2 million Gypsies (Roma and Sinti), 15,000 homosexual people and millions of others by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 60/7 on 1 November 2005 during the 42nd plenary session. The resolution came after a special session was held earlier that year on 24 January 2005 during which the United Nations General Assembly marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps and the end of the Holocaust.

More at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Holocaust_Remembrance_Day

January 31 –  World Leprosy Day

World Leprosy Day is observed internationally on January 31 or its nearest Sunday to increase the public awareness of the Leprosy or Hansen's Disease. This day was chosen in commemoration of the death of Gandhi, the leader of India who understood the importance of leprosy. Leprosy is one of the oldest recorded diseases in the world. It is an infectious chronic disease that targets the nervous system, especially the nerves in the cooler parts of the body - the hands, feet, and face.

More at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Leprosy_Day

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FEBRUARY

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_New_Year

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is an important traditional Chinese holiday. In China, it is also known as the Spring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally ran from Chinese New Year's Eve, the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar. Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the "Lunar New Year".

The origin of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Traditionally, the festival was a time to honor deities as well as ancestors. Chinese New Year is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Philippines, and also in Chinatowns elsewhere. Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the lunar new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors.

More at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_New_Year

February 14 --- Valentine’s Day

Valentine Day Flowers

Website for image of flowers: http://www.funny-potato.com/valentine-flowers.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentine%27s_Day

Saint Valentine's Day, commonly shortened to Valentine's Day,  is an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 500 AD. It was deleted from the Roman calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI, but its religious observance is still permitted. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.

Modern Valentine's Day symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.

Victorian Valentine's Card

American Heart Month

In 1963 the President of the United States declared February the American heart Month.  Read below President Obama’s proclamation this year.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/01/31/presidential-proclamation-american-heart-month-2011

January 31, 2011
Presidential Proclamation--American Heart Month, 2011

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION

Heart disease is a staggering health problem and a leading cause of death for American women and men.  Thankfully, there are steps each of us can take to prevent this chronic disease.  In a time when one in three adults in the United States is living with some form of cardiovascular disease, American Heart Month provides an important reminder that it is never too early to take action to improve our heart health.

All Americans should be aware of risk factors that can lead to heart disease, including:  high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, tobacco use, and family history.  Practicing everyday habits such as eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting sodium consumption, exercising regularly, avoiding tobacco, and moderating alcohol intake can reduce these risks.  Each of us can be proactive about our well being, and my Administration is committed to helping Americans protect themselves from chronic conditions like heart disease.  Under the Affordable Care Act, all new individual and group health plans must now provide recommended preventive care and services without a copayment, coinsurance, or deductible.  These potentially life saving screenings include blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, and body mass index tests, as well as counseling on quitting smoking, losing weight, and eating well.  To learn more about the risk factors and prevention of heart disease, I encourage all Americans to visit:http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/

To save lives in the fight against cardiovascular disease, my Administration is investing in world class research to prevent and treat this and other chronic diseases.  We are also continuing to raise awareness of heart disease and its risk factors among Americans of all ages.  First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative is safeguarding healthier hearts for the next generation by addressing the factors that contribute to childhood obesity and its serious health consequences.  The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's The Heart Truth campaign sends women of all ages an urgent message about their risk of heart disease.  In support of women's heart health, I encourage all Americans to wear red or the campaign's Red Dress Pin on National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 4 in honor of the movement to increase awareness of women's heart disease.  Learn more by visiting:  www.HeartTruth.gov

During American Heart Month, we honor the health professionals, researchers, and heart health ambassadors whose dedication enables countless Americans to live full and active lives.  This month, let us rededicate ourselves to reducing the burden of heart disease by raising awareness, taking steps to improve our own heart health, and encouraging our colleagues, friends, and family to do the same.

In acknowledgement of the importance of the ongoing fight against cardiovascular disease, the Congress, by Joint Resolution approved December 30, 1963, as amended (77 Stat. 843; 36 U.S.C. 101), has requested that the President issue an annual proclamation designating February as "American Heart Month."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim February 2011 as American Heart Month, and I invite all Americans to participate in National Wear Red Day on February 4, 2011.  I also invite the Governors of the States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, officials of other areas subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and the American people to join me in recognizing and reaffirming our commitment to fighting cardiovascular disease.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

BARACK OBAMA

Black History Month
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_History_Month

Black History Month is a remembrance of the events in the history of the African diaspora. Since 1976, it is celebrated annually in the United States of America and Canada in February and the United Kingdom in the month of October. In the U.S., Black History Month is also referred to as African-American History Month.

Black History Month actually started as Negro History Week in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson. The goal of Black History Week was to educate the American people about African-Americans' cultural backgrounds and reputable achievements.

When Carter G. Woodson started Negro History Week, his purpose was for the history of African Americans to become considered a more significant part of American history as a whole.[2] According to historian John Hope Franklin, Woodson “continued to express hope that Negro History Week would outlive its usefulness”. The purpose of Black History Month is to promote awareness of African American history to the general public. It is arguable that despite the opinions of several critics, Black History Month has several advantages, and to an extent, Woodson’s hopes were realized. During Black History Month, African American history is taught to thousands of students at the elementary, high school and university levels respectively. African American history is an extremely important part of American history, and it is almost impossible to find an American History textbook that does not include passages about black history.

 

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MARCH

March 8th is International Women’s Day and March is Women’s History Month

International Women’s Day
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Women%27s_Day

National Women’s History Project
http://www.nwhp.org/

Women’s History Month—Library of Congress
http://womenshistorymonth.gov/

Women’s History Month
http://www.infoplease.com/spot/womenshistory1.html

Women’s History Month
http://www.history.com/topics/womens-history-month

Women’s History Month 2010: Discussion and Activities
http://edition.cnn.com/2010/US/studentnews/02/28/women.history.discussion.activity/index.html

 

March 17---Saint Patrick’s Day
http://www.holidayinsights.com/stpat/index.htm

March 22---World Water Day
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57575631/world-water-day-why-it-matters/

 

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APRIL

April is National Poetry Month

Read about its origins at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Poetry_Month

And about various events at:

http://www.poets.org/
http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/41

Poetry Poster


Above is the 2010 National Poetry Month poster, commissioned by the Academy of American Poets. It is designed by Marian Bantjes.  Marian Bantjes (b. 1963) is a Canadian designer, artist, illustrator, typographer and writer.  Visit her website at: http://www.bantjes.com/

Some of the famous poets listed on the above website include:

Langston Hughes
http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/images/_spacer.gifShel Silverstein
http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/images/_spacer.gifPablo Neruda
http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/images/_spacer.gifMaya Angelou
http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/images/_spacer.gifEdgar Allan Poe
http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/images/_spacer.gifRobert Frost
http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/images/_spacer.gifEmily Dickinson
http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/images/_spacer.gifElizabeth Barrett Browning
http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/images/_spacer.gifE. E. Cummings
http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/images/_spacer.gifWalt Whitman
http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/images/_spacer.gifWilliam Wordsworth
http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/images/_spacer.gifAllen Ginsberg
http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/images/_spacer.gifSylvia Plath
http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/images/_spacer.gifJack Prelutsky
http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/images/_spacer.gifWilliam Butler Yeats
http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/images/_spacer.gifThomas Hardy
http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/images/_spacer.gifRobert Hayden
http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/images/_spacer.gifAmy Lowell
http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/images/_spacer.gifOscar Wilde
http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/images/_spacer.gifTheodore Roethke

Read the top 50 poems as listed on the above website at:

http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/top_poems.html

April 1st is celebrated as April fool's Day. Why? Read about the origins of April Fool’s Day at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Fools%27_Day
http://www.infoplease.com/spot/aprilfools1.html
http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/Hoaxipedia/April_Fools_Day_-_Origin/

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MAY

Mother's Day, May, 9, 2010

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother%27s_Day

The modern Mother's Day is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in May or in March/April, as a day to honour mothers and motherhood. In the UK and Ireland it follows the old traditions of Mothering Sunday, celebrated in March/April…this day emerged from a custom of mother worship in ancient Greece, which kept a festival to Cybele, a great mother of Greek gods.{Encyclopædia Britannica|(1959)Vol.15,p. 849} This festival was held around the Vernal Equinox around Asia Minor and eventually in Rome itself from the Ides of March (15 March) to 18 March.

The ancient Romans also had another holiday, Matronalia, that was dedicated to Juno, though mothers were usually given gifts on this day.

In Europe there were several long standing traditions where a specific Sunday was set aside to honor motherhood and mothers such as Mothering Sunday. Mothering Sunday celebrations are part of the liturgical calendar in several Christian denominations, including Anglicans, and in the Catholic calendar is marked as Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent to honour the Virgin Mary and your "mother" church (the main church of the area). Children and young people who were "in service" (servants in richer households) were given a day off on that date so they could visit their families (or, originally, return to their "mother church). The children would pick wild flowers along the way to place them in the church or to give them to their mothers as gifts.

International Women's Day was celebrated for the first time in 28 February 1909, in the US,[2] by which time Anna Jarvis had already begun her national campaign in the US. It is now celebrated in many countries on March 8.

The "Mother's Day Proclamation" by Julia Ward Howe was one of the early calls to celebrate Mother's Day in the United States. Written in 1870, Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation was a pacifist reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. The Proclamation was tied to Howe's feminist belief that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level.

Some websites dedicated to Mother’s Day:

  1. http://holidays.net/mother/
  2. http://www.mothersdaycelebration.com/
  3. http://www.mothersdaycentral.com/

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JUNE

June 5th—World Environment Day


World Environment Day was June 5th and the horrific fallout from the oil spill makes us wonder: why is it that we forget that as we know it, we have only this one planet to live on? Let’s give a silent tribute to the environment with a prayer to seek our utmost to keep the Earth beautiful, loveable and livable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Environment_Day

World Environment Day (WED) is a day that stimulates awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and public action. It is on 5 June. It was the day that United Nations Conference on the Human Environment began. The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was from 5-16 June 1972. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972. The first World Environment Day was on 1973. World Environment Day is hosted every year by a different city with a different theme and is commemorated with an international exposition in the week of 5 June. World Environment Day is in summer in the Northern Hemisphere and winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

"Stockholm was without doubt the landmark event in the growth of international environmentalism," writes John McCormick in the book Reclaiming Paradise. "It was the first occasion on which the political, social and economic problems of the global environment were discussed at an intergovernmental forum with a view to actually taking corrective action."

Under the theme 'Many Species. One Planet. One Future', this year’s event will celebrate the incredible diversity of life on Earth as part of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity.

This year’s global host, Rwanda – a country of exceptional biodiversity that has made huge strides on environmental protection – will lead the celebrations with three days of keynote events.

Thousands of activities will also be organized worldwide, with beach clean-ups, concerts, exhibits, film festivals, community events and much more.

Read more about the Environment Day at:

http://www.unep.org/wed/2010/english/
http://www.bing.com/news/search?q=World+environment+day&
FORM=EWRE&qpvt=World+environment+day

http://www.un.org/depts/dhl/environment/
http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/un/world-environment-day

June 18th---Father’s Day

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father%27s_Day

Father's Day is a day honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. It is celebrated on the third Sunday of June in 55 of the world's countries and on other days elsewhere. It complements Mother's Day, the celebration honoring mothers.

Father's Day is a celebration inaugurated in the early twentieth century to complement Mother's Day in celebrating fatherhood and male parenting. It is also celebrated to honor and commemorate our fathers and forefathers. Father's Day is celebrated on a variety of dates worldwide and typically involves gift-giving, special dinners to fathers, and family-oriented activities. The first observance of Father's Day is believed to have been held on June 19, 1910 through the efforts of Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington. After listening to a church sermon at Spokane's Central Methodist Episcopal Church in 1909 about the newly recognized Mother's Day, Dodd felt strongly that fatherhood needed recognition, as well.[1] She wanted a celebration that honored fathers like her own father, William Smart, a Civil War veteran who was left to raise his family alone when his wife died giving birth to their sixth child.

It took many years to make the holiday official. In spite of support from the YWCA, the YMCA, and churches, Father's Day ran the risk of disappearing from the calendar.[3] Where Mother's Day was met with enthusiasm, Father's Day was often met with laughter.[3] The holiday was gathering attention slowly, but for the wrong reasons. It was the target of much satire, parody and derision, including jokes from the local newspaper Spokesman-Review.[3] Many people saw it as the first step in filling the calendar with mindless promotions.

A bill to accord national recognition of the holiday was introduced in Congress in 1913.[4] In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak in a Father's Day celebration and wanted to make it official, but Congress resisted, fearing that it would become commercialized.[2] US President Calvin Coolidge recommended in 1924 that the day be observed by the nation, but stopped short of issuing a national proclamation. Two earlier attempts to formally recognize the holiday had been defeated by Congress.[5] In 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus "[singling] out just one of our two parents"[5] In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day.[2] Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.

In addition to Father's Day, International Men's Day is celebrated in many countries on November 19 for men and boys who are not fathers.

Websites on celebrations on Father’s Day:

http://www.holidays.net/father/
http://www.fathersdaycelebration.com/
http://espn.go.com/espn/giftguide/2010/fathers/

June 19th—Juneteenth—Freedom Day or Emancipation Day

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juneteenth

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is an American holiday honoring African American heritage and celebrated by people of all ethnic and racial backgrounds.[citation needed] It commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. State of Texas in 1865. Celebrated on June 19, the term is a portmanteau of June and nineteenth, and is recognized as a state holiday in 36 states of the United States.

The holiday originated in Galveston, Texas; for more than a century, the state of Texas was the primary home of Juneteenth celebrations, and since 1980, Juneteenth has been an official state holiday in Texas. It is considered a "partial staffing holiday", meaning that state offices do not close, but some employees will be using a floating holiday to take the day off.  Its informal observance has spread to some other states, with a few celebrations even taking place in other countries.

As of March 2010, 36 states[1] and the District of Columbia have recognized Juneteenth as either a state holiday or state holiday observance; these are Alaska,  Arizona, Arkansas, California,  Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas,, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota,  Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Though Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, with an effective date of January 1, 1863, it had minimal immediate effect on most slaves’ day-to-day lives, particularly in Texas, which was almost entirely under Confederate control. Texas was resistant to the Emancipation Proclamation, and though slavery was very prevalent in East Texas, it was not as common in the Western areas of Texas, particularly the Hill Country, where most German-Americans were opposed to the practice. Juneteenth commemorates June 18 and 19, 1865. June 18 is the day Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves. On June 19, 1865, legend has it while standing on the balcony of Galveston’s Ashton Villa, Granger read the contents of “General Order No. 3”:

The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.

That day has since become known as Juneteenth, a name derived from a portmanteau of the words June and nineteenth.

Former slaves in Galveston rejoiced in the streets with jubilant celebrations. Juneteenth celebrations began in Texas the following year. Across many parts of Texas, freed people pooled their funds to purchase land specifically for their communities’ increasingly large Juneteenth gatherings — including Houston’s Emancipation Park, Mexia’s Booker T. Washington Park, and Emancipation Park in Austin.

Ralph Ellison's second novel Juneteenth deals with this holiday and its traditions. Juneteenth was published posthumously.

Carolyn Meyer's novel Jubilee Journey is the story of one young biracial girl celebrating Juneteenth with her relatives in Texas, while also learning to be proud of her African American heritage.

Ann Rinaldi's historical novel Come Juneteenth is the story of how Juneteenth came to be, and follows the life of a young white plantation-owner's daughter in Texas during the Civil War whose family faces tragedy after their mulatto half-sister runs away when learning they lied to her about being free.

 

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JULY

July 1st: Canada Day

Canadian Flag

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_Day

http://kidsturncentral.com/holidays/canadaday.htm

 

July 4th: History And Celebrations

Read all about the U.S. Independence Day!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day_(United_States)

Pictures on July 4th on wikipedia:

July 4thJuly 4th in Miami, FloridaJuly 4th in New York

 

In the United States, Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, political speeches and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States.

 

Background

During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the American colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia.  After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:

“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

Adams' prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.

One of the most enduring myths about Independence Day is that Congress signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The myth had become so firmly established that, decades after the event and nearing the end of their lives, even the elderly Thomas Jefferson and John Adams had come to believe that they and the other delegates had signed the Declaration on the fourth.  Most delegates actually signed the Declaration on August 2, 1776. In a remarkable series of coincidences, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, two founding fathers of the United States and the only two men who signed the Declaration of Independence to become president, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the United States' 50th anniversary.

 

Observance

*In 1777, thirteen gunshots were fired, once at morning and again as evening fell, on July 4 in Bristol, Rhode Island. Philadelphia celebrated the first anniversary in a manner a modern American would find quite familiar: an official dinner for the Continental Congress, toasts, 13-gun salutes, speeches, prayers, music, parades, troop reviews, and fireworks. Ships were decked with red, white, and blue bunting.

*In 1778, General George Washington marked July 4 with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute. Across the Atlantic Ocean, ambassadors John Adams and Benjamin Franklin held a dinner for their fellow Americans in Paris, France.

*In 1779, July 4 fell on a Sunday. The holiday was celebrated on Monday, July 5.

*In 1781, the Massachusetts General Court became the first state legislature to recognize July 4 as a state celebration.

*In 1783, Moravians in Salem, North Carolina, held a celebration of July 4 with a challenging music program assembled by Johann Friedrich Peter. This work was titled "The Psalm of Joy".

*In 1791 the first recorded use of the name "Independence Day" occurred.

*In 1820 the first Fourth of July celebration was held in Eastport, Maine which remains the largest in the state.

*In 1870, the U.S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees.

*In 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.

 

Customs

Independence Day is a national holiday marked by patriotic displays. Similar to other summer-themed events, Independence Day celebrations often take place outdoors. Independence Day is a federal holiday, so all non-essential federal institutions (like the postal service and federal courts) are closed on that day. Many politicians make it a point on this day to appear at a public event to praise the nation's heritage, laws, history, society, and people.

Families often celebrate Independence Day by hosting or attending a picnic or barbecue and take advantage of the day off and, in some years, long weekend to gather with relatives. Decorations (e.g., streamers, balloons, and clothing) are generally colored red, white, and blue, the colors of the American flag. Parades often are in the morning, while fireworks displays occur in the evening at such places as parks, fairgrounds, or town squares.

Independence Day fireworks are often accompanied by patriotic songs such as the national anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner", "God Bless America", "America the Beautiful", "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", "This Land Is Your Land", "Stars and Stripes Forever", and, regionally, "Yankee Doodle" in northeastern states and "Dixie" in southern states. Some of the lyrics recall images of the Revolutionary War or the War of 1812.

Firework shows are held in many states, and many fireworks are sold for personal use or as an alternative to a public show. Safety concerns have led some states to ban fireworks or limit the sizes and types allowed. Illicit traffic transfers many fireworks from less restrictive states.

A salute of one gun for each state in the United States, called a “salute to the union,” is fired on Independence Day at noon by any capable military base.

In 2009, New York City had the largest fireworks display in the country, with over 22 tons of pyrotechnics exploded.  Other major displays are in Chicago on Lake Michigan; in San Diego over Mission Bay; in Boston on the Charles River; in St. Louis on the Mississippi River; and on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  During the annual Windsor-Detroit International Freedom Festival, Detroit, Michigan hosts one of the world's largest fireworks displays, over the Detroit River, to celebrate Independence Day in conjunction with Windsor, Ontario's celebration of Canada Day.

While the official observance always falls on July 4th, participation levels may vary according to which day of the week the 4th falls on. If the holiday falls in the middle of the week, some fireworks displays and celebrations may take place during the weekend for convenience, again, varying by region.


Other websites on July 4th: 

http://gurukul.american.edu/heintze/fourth.htm
http://travelwithkids.about.com/od/holidays/a/Fourthofjuly.htm
http://www.july4th.org/

July 9th: Martyrdom of the Bab (Baha’i)

http://www.planetbahai.org/cgi-bin/articles.pl?article=30
http://www.bahai.us/martyrdom-of-the-bab
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martyrdom_of_the_bab#Execution


July 10th: Bahamas Day

Flag of the Bahamas

http://www.chiff.com/home_life/holiday/bahama-indep.htm
http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2010/07/144141.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahamas


July 23rd: Parents Day (United States)

http://www.parentsday.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parents%27_Day

In the United States, Parents' Day is held on the fourth Sunday of every July. This was established in 1994 when President Bill Clinton signed a Congressional Resolution into law (36 U.S.C. § 135) for "recognizing, uplifting, and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children."

In the United States, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said replacing "Mother's Day" and "Father's Day" with a "Parents' Day" should be considered, as an observance more consistent with a policy of minimizing traditional sex-based differences in parental roles.

Parent's Day in the United States is more or less a combination of Father's Day and Mother's Day. The occasion is quite enthusiastically celebrated across the country on the fourth Sunday of every July. Traditionally, the holiday is mainly observed by young children who present their parents with greeting cards, flowers and small gifts. Many children on this day get up earlier than their parents to make breakfasts for them and thus give them a treat. The occasion also witnesses many children organizing enjoyable activities like song or dramatic performances to provide entertainment to their parents. In turn, parents are found to take their kids out for a sumptuous dinner in the evening.

On this day, Citizens, organizations, and federal, state, and local governmental and legislative entities are encouraged to recognize Parents’ Day through proclamations, activities, and educational efforts to recognize, uplift and support the role of parents in bringing up their children.

The Parents’ Day Council plays an active role in celebrating and promoting Parents’ Day through a range of events and activities. For example, the council honors “Parents of the Year” at local, state and national levels. Those who have been nominated or selected are people who exemplify the standard and ideal of positive parenthood. Exemplary parents from each state are nominated for “National Parents of the Year”.

Parents’ Day is a popular time for people to send cards and gifts, including flowers, cakes and food hampers, to those who play an important role as a positive parental figure in their lives. It is also a time for families to come together for lunches or dinners. Special tributes to parental figures who are seen as role models are made through local announcements, at church services, or at local community events. Parents’ Day proclamations and rallies have been held in recent times and involved organizations such as the United Civil Rights Councils of America.

 

July 31st: Anniversary of the Signing of American’s With Disabilities Act

http://www.ada.gov/pubs/ada.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americans_with_Disabilities_Act_of_1990

 

 

Full title

 

 

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

Acronym / colloquial name

ADA

Enacted by the

101st United States Congress

Effective

July 26, 1990

Citations

Stat.

104 Stat. 327

Codification

Title(s) amended

42

U.S.C.sections created

12101 et seq.

 
  • Introduced in the Senate as S.933 by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) on May 9, 1989
  • Passed the Senate on September 7, 1989 (76-8)
  • Passed the House of Representatives on May 22, 1990 (unanimous voice vote)
  • Reported by the joint conference committee on July 12, 1990; agreed to by the House of Representatives on July 12, 1990 (377 - 28) and by the Senate on July 13, 1990 (91-6)
  • Signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990

Major amendments

ADA Amendments Act of 2008

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AUGUST

* August 5th: Nelson Mandela Arrest Day—44th Anniversary

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Mandela

* August 14th: Pakistan’s Independence Day

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day_(Pakistan)

* August 15th: India’s Independence Day
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day_(India)

* August 15th: South Korea’s Liberation Day

The day celebrates national liberation from Japan in 1945. On this day, Emperor Shōwa announced surrender and World War II ended. On the same day in 1948, the government of the Republic of Korea was established. The word "Gwangbok" means "restoration of light".

Read more at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_holidays_in_South_Korea

* August 26th: Women’s Equity Day in the US
Source: http://www.nwhp.org/resourcecenter/equalityday.php

At the behest of Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), in 1971 the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.”

The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York.

The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality. Workplaces, libraries, organizations, and public facilities now participate with Women’s Equality Day programs, displays, video showings, or other activities.

Joint Resolution of Congress, 1971

Designating August 26 of each year as Women’s Equality Day

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have been treated as second-class citizens and have not been entitled the full rights and privileges, public or private, legal or institutional, which are available to male citizens of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have united to assure that these rights and privileges are available to all citizens equally regardless of sex; and

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have designated August 26, the anniversary date of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, as symbol of the continued fight for equal rights: and

WHEREAS, the women of United States are to be commended and supported in their organizations and activities,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that August 26th of each year is designated as Women’s Equality Day, and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of that day in 1920, on which the women of America were first given the right to vote, and that day in 1970, on which a nationwide demonstration for women’s rights took place.

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SEPTEMBER

* September 1st ---Healthy Aging Month
http://www.healthyaging.net/events.htm

* September 6th—Labor Day
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_day

* September 8th—International Literary Day
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Literacy_Day

* September 9th—Eid-Ul-Fitr
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eid_ul-Fitr
http://www.when-is.com/eid-al-fitr-2010.asp

* September 10th—World Suicide Prevention Day
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/events/annual/
world_suicide_prevention_day/en/index.html

* September 11th—In memory of 9/11 victims
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11_attacks
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/10/911-national-day-of-servi_n_712785.html

* September 12th—Grandparents Day
http://grandparents-day.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Grandparents_Day

* September 13th—National Peanut & International Chocolate Day
http://thechefmaven.com/2008/09/12/
national-peanut-day-and-international-chocolate-day-is-september-13th/

* September 15th—Mayflower Day
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayflow

* September 15th to October 15th

Hispanic Heritage Month is the period when people recognize the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the United States and to celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week was approved by President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988 on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

"September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. They all declared independence in 1821. In addition, Mexico, Chile and Belize celebrate their independence days on September 16, September 18 and September 21, respectively."  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Hispanic_Heritage_Month

* September 16th---Mexican Independence Day
http://www.inside-mexico.com/featureindep.htm

* September 16th—Wife Appreciation Day
http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=19958

* September 18th—Trail of Tears Commemorative Day
http://www.al-tn-trailoftears.net/waterloo.php

* September 18th—Yom Kippur
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom_Kippur

* September 18th—World Water Monitoring Day
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Water_Monitoring_Day

* September 21st---International Peace Day
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Day_of_Peace

* September 21st—World Alzheimer Day
http://www.alz.org/news_and_events_world_alzheimers_day.asp

* September 24th—Hug A Vegetarian Day
http://www.peta2.com/feat/hug/

* September 27th—World Tourism Day
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Tourism_Day

********************

OCTOBER


Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Month

Howard University, Washington D.C.holds seminar on LGBT issues:

LGBT Flyer

LGBT Flyer 2

Read about the LGBT Month:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_History_Month

LGBT History Month originated in the United States and was first celebrated in 1994. It was founded by Missouri high-school history teacher Rodney Wilson. Among early supporters and members of the first coordinating committee were Kevin Jennings of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN); Kevin Boyer of Gerber/Hart Gay and Lesbian Library and Archives in Chicago; Paul Varnell, writer for the Windy City Times; Torey Wilson, Chicago area teacher; Johnda Boyce, women's studies major at Columbus State University and Jessea Greenman of UC-Berkeley. Many gay and lesbian organizations supported the concept early on. In 1995, the National Education Association indicated support of LGBT History Month as well as other history months by resolution at its General Assembly.

October was chosen by Wilson as the month for the celebration because National Coming Out Day already was established as a widely known event, on October 11, and October commemorated the first march on Washington by LGBT people in 1979. LGBT History Month is intended to encourage honesty and openness about being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

While it was first known as Lesbian and Gay History Month, the Coordinating Committee soon added "Bisexual" to the title. It has subsequently become known as LGBT History Month. The event has received criticism from, for example, the Concerned Women for America and others who believe it to be a form of indoctrination.
On June 2, 2000, President Bill Clinton declared June 2000 "Gay & Lesbian Pride Month".  President Barack Obama declared June 2009 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Pride Month 2009 on June 1, 2009.

 

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Breast_Cancer_Awareness_Month

Pink White House

AstraZeneca, which manufactures breast cancer drugs Arimidex and Tamoxifen, founded the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the year 1985. The aim of the NBCAM from the start has been to promote mammography as the most effective weapon in the fight against breast cancer.

In 1993 Evelyn Lauder, Senior Corporate Vice President of the Estée Lauder Companies founded The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and established the Pink Ribbon as its symbol, though this was not the first time the ribbon was used to symbolize breast cancer.  In the fall of 1991, the Susan G. Komen Foundation had handed out Pink Ribbons to participants in its New York City race for breast cancer survivors.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Disability_Employment_Awareness_Month

National Mental Illness Awareness Month
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_Health_Awareness_Month

October 9th ---    National Children’s Day (U.S.)

October 12th  --- Columbus Day

October 31st --- Halloween
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween

Halloween Pumpkins

Halloween (or Hallowe'en) is an annual holiday observed on October 31. It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holiday All Saints' Day, but is today largely a secular celebration.

Common Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, wearing costumes and attending costume parties, carving jack-o'-lanterns, ghost tours, bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, committing pranks, telling ghost stories or other frightening tales, and watching horror films.

 

*********************

NOVEMBER

November 5—Diwali---

Diwali (also spelled Devali in certain regions) or Deepavali,  popularly known as the "festival of lights", is an important five-day festival in Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism, occurring between mid-October and mid-November. For Hindus, Diwali is the most important festival of the year and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes. Deepavali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, and Fiji.

The name "Diwali" is a contraction of "Deepavali" (Sanskrit: दीपावली Dīpāvalī), which translates into "row of lamps".  Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps (diyas or dīpas) in Sanskrit: दीप) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. During Diwali, all the celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends. Most Indian business communities begin the financial year on the first day of Diwali.


Diwali decorationDiwali fireworks

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diwali

November 13—World Kindness Day--World Kindness Day is 13 November.

It was introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Organisation.  It is observed in many countries, including Canada, Japan, Australia, Nigeria and United Arab Emirates. In 2009, Singapore observed the day for the first time. Italy and India also observed the day. In the UK it is fronted by Louise Burfitt-Dons and David Jamilly. According to modern psychology, altruistic acts increases our own happiness in a profound way.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Kindness_Day

November 14—World Diabetes Day---
http://www.worlddiabetesday.org/

November 16---Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى‎ ‘Īdu l-’Aḍḥā) or "Festival of Sacrifice" or "Greater Eid" is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his son Ishmael (Isma'il) as an act of obedience to God, before God intervened to provide him with a ram to sacrifice instead.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eid_al-Adha

November 16—International Day For Tolerance--The International Day for Tolerance is an annual observance declared by UNESCO in 1995 to generate public awareness of the dangers of intolerance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Day_for_Tolerance

November 20---Children’s Day---A "Children's Day", as an event, is celebrated on various days in many places around the world, in particular to honor children. Major global variants include an International Children's Day on June 1 as adopted in the former Communist bloc, and a Universal Children's Day on November 20, by United Nations recommendation.[1] Many nations declare days for children on other dates. Read about the Children’s Day in different countries: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children%27s_Day

November 20---National Adoption Day--On National Adoption Day, a number of courts and communities in the United States come together to finalize thousands of adoptions of children from foster care. More than 300 events are held each year on November 20, in all 50 US states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to finalize the adoptions of children in foster care. In total, more than 24,000 children have been adopted from foster care on National Adoption Day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Adoption_Day

November 21---World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims---The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims takes place on the third Sunday in November every year as the appropriate acknowledgment of victims of road traffic crashes and their families. It was started by T RoadPeace in 1993 and was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Day_of_Remembrance_for_Road_Traffic_Victims

November 25—International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Day---By resolution 54/134 of 17 December 1999, the General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and invited governments, international organizations and NGOs to organize activities designated to raise public awareness of the problem on that day. Women's activists have marked 25 November as a day against violence since 1981. This date came from the brutal assassination in 1960, of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961).

http://www.un.org/Depts/dhl/violence/

November 25—Thanksgiving Day--Thanksgiving Day, known informally as Turkey Day, is a harvest festival celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada…The precise historical origin of the holiday is disputed. Although Americans commonly believe that the first Thanksgiving happened in 1621, at Plymouth Plantation, in Massachusetts, there is strong evidence for earlier celebrations in Canada (1578) and by Spanish explorers in Florida (1565).

First Thanksgiving
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving

 

********************

DECEMBER

December 1-9  --- Hanukkah

Hanukha lamp

Hanukkah (Hebrew: חֲנֻכָּה ‎, Tiberian: Ḥănukkāh, nowadays usually spelled חנוכה pronounced [χanuˈka] in Modern Hebrew, also romanized as Chanukah or Chanuka), also known as the Festival of Lights is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.

The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a unique candelabrum, the nine-branched Menorah or Hanukiah, one additional light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night. The typical Menorah consists of 8 branches with an additional raised branch. The extra light is called a shamash (Hebrew: שמש, "attendant" or "sexton") and is given a distinct location, usually above or below the rest. The purpose of the shamash is to have a light available for use, as using the Hanukkah lights themselves is forbidden.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chanukah
Also more at: http://www.myjewishlearning.com/hot_topics/ht/hanukkah-2010.shtml

White House Hanukkah Party:

The White House Hanukkah Party is an annual reception held at the White House and hosted by the President and First Lady to recognize and celebrate the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. The tradition was established in 2001, during the administration of George W. Bush.

The reception has become one of a number of ways the president recognizes the holiday, along with a proclamation/message, and participation by the president or a member of his staff in the lighting of the Hanukkah menorah (Hanukkiyah, special 9-branch Hanukkah candelabra) on the National Mall. Additionally, in 1996, a United States postage stamp was issued for the first time in honor of the holiday. 

More at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_House_Hanukkah_Party

Stamp for Hanukkah

December 1---World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day Ribbon

World AIDS Day, observed December 1 each year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. It is common to hold memorials to honor persons who have died from HIV/AIDS on this day. Government and health officials also observe the event, often with speeches or forums on the AIDS topics. Since 1995, the President of the United States has made an official proclamation on World AIDS Day. Governments of other nations have followed suit and issued similar announcements.

AIDS has killed more than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007, and an estimated 33.2 million people worldwide live with HIV as of 2007, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. Despite recent, improved access to antiretroviral treatment and care in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claimed an estimated 2 million lives in 2007, of which about 270,000 were children

Read more at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_AIDS_Day

And at: http://worldaidsday.org/

December 7---National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, which is observed annually on December 7, is a holiday to remember and honor all those who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. On August 23, 1994, United States Congress, by Public Law 103-308, designated December 7 of each year as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is also referred to as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day or Pearl Harbor Day. It is a tradition to fly the Flag of the United States at half-staff until sunset.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_pearl_harbor_remembrance_day

December 15Bill of Rights Day

What President Obama says about it: “Certain rights are universal: the freedom of people ... to live as they choose, speak their minds, organize peacefully and have a say in how they are governed, with confidence in the rule of law,” said Mr. Obama’s proclamation. “History shows that countries that protect these rights are ultimately more stable, secure, and successful.”

In the United States, these fundamental rights are the core of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, Obama said.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/DC-Decoder/2009/1215/Bill-of-Rights-Day-what-Obama-says-about-it

December 17Wright Brother’s Day

Wright Brothers Day (December 17) is a United States national observation. It is codified in the US Code, and commemorates the first successful flights in a heavier than air, mechanically propelled airplane, that were made by Orville and Wilbur Wright on December 17, 1903, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wright_Brothers_Day

December 25---Christmas

christmas decorationchristmas giftchristmas tinselsnowmanchristmas treechristmas sockglowing christmas tree

Christmas or Christmas Day is a holiday observed generally on December 25 to commemorate the birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity. The date is not known to be the actual birthday of Jesus, and may have initially been chosen to correspond with either the day exactly nine months after some early Christians believed Jesus had been conceived, th e date of the winter solstice on the ancient Roman calendar, or one of various ancient winter festivals.  Christmas is central to the Christmas and holiday season, and in Christianity marks the beginning of the larger season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas

kwanzaa lamp

December 26—Kwanzaa

As an African American and Pan-African holiday celebrated by millions throughout the world African community, Kwanzaa brings a cultural message which speaks to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense. Given the profound significance Kwanzaa has for African Americans and indeed, the world African community, it is imperative that an authoritative source and site be made available to give an accurate and expansive account of its origins, concepts, values, symbols and practice.  

Read more at: http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/index.shtml

Founder of Kawanzaa:

Dr. Maulana Karenga

Dr.Karenga--founder of Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration held in the United States honoring universal African heritage and culture, observed from December 26 to January 1 each year. It features activities such as the lighting of a kinara and libations, and culminates in a feast and gift giving. It was created by Ron Karenga and was first celebrated from December 26, 1966 to January 1, 1967

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwanzaa

woman lighting kwanzaa lamp

 

********************

WEBSITES ON HOLIDAYS:

All holidays/days by month
http://www.brownielocks.com/b3bcalendar.html

Different religious and cultural holidays
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_holidays

National and world holidays in monthly format
http://aglobalworld.com/

Special months and days
http://charityvillage.com/cv/charityvillage/event3.asp

US Government holidays
http://www.opm.gov/Operating_Status_Schedules/fedhol/2009.asp

 
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