26th March

1484 William Caxton’s translation of Aesop’s Fables printed

Bangladesh Independence Day:

Ancient Bengal was conquered by the Iron Age Mauryan Empire, then the Gupta Empire (which was the Golden Age of India, making scientific discoveries and Hindu culture), then the Gauda kingdom rose up.

The 8th-11th centuries were ruled by the Buddhist Pala dynasty, followed by a Hindu Sena dynasty. In 1204 a Muslim Turk army defeated the Sena dynasty and Bengal was ruled by Muslims for a while. Then it was part of the Mughal Empire, led by Turko-Mongols from what is now Uzbekistan, such as Akbar the Great.

Medieval geographers thought the original Garden of Paradise was at the mouth of the Ganges.

The Hindu Maratha Empire pushed out the Mughal Empire in the 18th century. They kept raiding Bengal, taking Orissa and Western Bengal and imposing a tax in return for leaving the rest alone.

Portuguese traders began to settle the area from 1537, and in 1757 the constant embarrassment that is the British East India Company took the whole area. We treated them terribly and crushed ‘mutinies’, like the ‘Indian Rebellion of 1857′ ((the Indians called it their First War of Independence) which brought the whole country under Empress Victoria’s rule.

In 1943 Japan occupied nearby Burma and caused a famine that killed 3 million Bengalis.

In 1947 Britain withdrew from Bengal and split it, the Hindu west going to India and the Muslim east going to Pakistan.

The Awami League was formed to promote Bengali rights; its president, Mujibur Rahman, was arrested and when he won a majority election in 1970 was blocked from taking office.

Pakistan’s preisdent, Yahya Khan, invaded East Pakistan and began a genocide of Hindus, Bengali-speakers and dissidents. America and India helped until Pakistan surrendered in 1971.

Since Bangladesh was formed, presidents were regularly assassinated, and in 2007 the military installed a neutral caretaker government to root out corruption. In 2009 a fair election was held and the Awami League’s Sheikh Hasina won.

Learn about the Royal Bengal Tiger; the national fruit is the jackfruit; the national tree is the mango tree.

Make a biryani for dinner.

Other events that might inspire your play today:

  • Mali Day of Democracy – see 22nd September
  • Prince Kuhio Day (Hawaii) – see 11th June
  • Prophet Zoroaster’s Birthday (Founder of Zoroastrianism, 660 583 B.C.)

25th March

Maryland Day: so make cookies or read Edgar Allen Poe.

Tolkien Reading Day: You know what you have to do.

Waffle Day (Sweden) – Because Vårfrudagen (“Our Lady’s Day”) sounds a bit like Våffeldagen (waffle day). Nine months before Christmas, Mary fell pregnant, hence today is Our Lady’s Day or the Annunciation. So eat waffles!

Or go to the library and find out… where do babies come from?

Heck, why not get Mary out of the nativity set and throw her a baby shower!

Greek Independence Day (celebrating the symbolic outbreak of the War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire in 1821) – see 28 October for history and activities.

Belarus Freedom Day – see 3rd July

23rd March

World Meteorological Day – see 5 February for how to build a weather station or go here for free printables to make a weather chart.

Pakistan Day: (see 14 August for history). Kids might be inspired by Pakistan’s bus and truck art:

Day of Hungarian-Polish Friendship

Bolivia Day of the Sea – mourning the loss of Bolivia’s access to the sea during the Wars of the Pacific 1879-83; Chile feels that bygones are bygones and Bolivia should give up asking. So go to the seaside! Build sandcastles, explore the rockpools, paddle in the waves and collect seashells and pretty stones.

But if that’s not a great idea for today,  here are some other sea activities:

Porthole paper plate:

Recycled bottle fish mobile:

Pirates’ sunken treasure sensory tub:

Clay sea rocks with lesson plan:

Paint the sea on a seaside pebble:

22nd March

1894 first playoff for the Stanley Cup – so play hockey

1906 the first England v France rugby union match

World Water Day – so do some water play:

Other events today that might inspire your play:

  • Day of the People’s Party (Laos celebrates the Communist party that has ruled the country since 1975) – see 2nd December
  • Puerto Rico Emancipation of the Slaves – see 27th July.