7th April

World Health Day – so talk to your kids about what they think is healthy and unhealthy in their own lifestyles, and whether they want to (as opposed to ‘could’) make any changes;

Motherhood and Beauty Day (Armenia) – see 21st September

Mozambique Women’s Day (where it seems women can do what they want for a day) – see 25th June

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7th March

1872 Piet Mondrian born – so make your own:

 

1876 Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone patented – see 3rd March

 

H Lavity Stoutt’s Birthday (longest serving Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands) – see 1st July

7th September

1895 first game of rugby league played in Britain

1936 the last thylacine dies in Tasmania Zoo (Australia’s National Threatened Species Day)

Brazil Independence Day (from Portgual, 1822) – see 22nd April

Mozambique Victory Day (independence from Portugal, 1975) – see 25th June

Canada/US Labour Day (2015, first Monday in Sept) – here’s a career’s quiz for your kids.

7th July

Tanabata: In Japan this is the one day a year that Vega and Altair meet in the Milky Way – can you spot them in the night sky?

Girls wish traditionally for better sewing skills, boys for better handwriting, by writing the wish on a bamboo leaf, or on a piece of coloured paper tied to bamboo. In the 1700s the tradition was to write the wish in dew on a taro leaf. The myth behind the festival is here.

Here’s how to make:

1911 seal hunting banned by US, UK, Japan and Russia

1928 sliced bread sold for first time in Missouri

1990 World Wide Web born

Solomon Islands Independence Day

Papuan-speaking settlers arrived here about 30,000 years ago. A Spanish navigator arrived from Peru in 1568. Britain declared it a protectorate in 1893 (protecting it from the slave trade, which we were against by then).

During WWII planters and traders were evacuated, and actually some of the most brutal battles occurred on the Solomon Islands between Japan and America.

The Solomon Islands gained independence from the UK in 1978, but kept our queen.

Weird fact: about 10% of people in the Solomon Islands have blonde afros, without European genes. Their unofficial song is Walkabout Long Chinatown.

Saba Saba Day (Tanzania; means 7/7 and marks the day the National Union party was formed, but is also called Tanzanian Peasants/Industry Day and is generally celebrated with a trade fair)

Cayman Islands Constitution Day/Remembrance Day: (2014, 1st Mon in July)

These islands were uninhabited until the 17th century (except for the occasional pirate, shipwrecked sailor, refugee from the Spanish Inquisition or deserter from Cromwell’s army). Isaac Bodden was the first recorded permanent resident, born there in 1661, to a dad who was probably a Cromwell deserter.

In 1670 Britain decided it owned the Caymans, and English people came to live there in the 1730s. And we brought slaves over, so that in 1834, when it was abolished, more than half the population were slaves. There’s not really any tax on the island (no income tax), so it has more registered businesses than people.

Ivan Kupala Day:

St John the Baptist Day in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, as in the Julian calendar this would be 23 June; lots of water fights, and there’s the usual jumping over bonfires, this time as couples for good luck in their relationship; looking for fern flowers and magical herbs in the woods; women float wreaths of flowers lit with candles down rivers to try and foretell their futures in romance by the eddies they take; the men try and catch the wreaths to woo the women.

7th December

Armenian Earthquake Memorial Day, so learn about earthquakes

Gallileo orbits Jupiter 1995 – so learn about Jupiter.

Delaware founded 1787: very liberal

Bernini born 1598: Bernini’s Baroque marble sculptures are incredible. Can you make ‘marble’ sculptures out of soap?

1732 Royal Opera House, London, opens:  so listen to some opera together or watch a clip from an opera like the Magic Flute, Madame Butterfly, the Barber of Seville, La Treviata, or Carmen.

Dia de las Velitas: From sunset in Colombia it’s the Day of the Little Candles – when people cover everything in candles and lanterns.

La Quema del Diablo: At 6 p.m. people in Guatemala set fire to papier mache devils to symbolise a cleaning out of sins in readiness for the Virgin Mary’s immaculate conception.