21st April

753 BC Rome founded – try these Roman online games.

1934 the ‘Surgeon’s Photo’ of Nessie published – so go on a monster hunt. What kind of a monster would live near you?

1926 Queen Elizabeth II born – so have a royal birthday party:

Grounation Day: Rastafarians celebrate the Emperor of Ethiopia’s (who they thought was Jesus’ Second Coming) arrival in Jamaica on this day 1966.

Heroica Defensa de Veracruz (Mexico defended Veracruz against US in 1914);

1960 Inauguration of Brasilia, capital of Brazil

Kartini Day (Indonesia) – Kartini was an aristrocratic girl who fought hard for Indonesian women’s rights;

San Jacinto Day (Texas celebrates its liberation from Mexico in 1836)

Tiradentes (Brazil) – Joaquim Xavier led a liberation movement called Inconfidencia Mineira. The movement was meant to gain complete freedom from Portuguese rule.

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21st February

1842 the sewing machine patented – try these easy sewing activities with your little one:

Other events that might inspire your play today:

  • 1958 the peace symbol designed
  • Mother Language Day (International – UNESCO)
  • Bengali Language Movement Day (celebrating Pakistan allowing Bengali to be an official language alongside Urdu in 1956)
  • Birth Anniversary of Fifth Druk Gyalpo (Bhutan)
  • Father Lini Day (Vanuatu – an Anglian priest who was the country’s founding Prime Minister when it gained independence from the UK and France in 1980 – see 5th March)

21st January

Jeff Koons born 1955 – so make a balloon dog

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or a puppy made of flowers (we used scrunched up paper to make flowers and glued them to a dog shape).

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Errol Barrow Day – Barrow was the Prime Minister who led Barbados to independence from UK. .

Our Lady of Altagracia (Domenican Republic: try merengue or bachata; baseball; orange cakes (as the painting of the Lady of Altagracia disappeared and reappeared in an orange bush)

 

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Quebec Flag Day

1643 Abel Tasman reaches the Tonga islands – see 4th June

National Hug Day

21st December

Forefathers DayMayflower lands in Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1620

1872-6 HMS Challenger expedition sets off from Portsmouth, discovering many new things about the ocean

Winter Solstice (2017, the shortest day of the year – this is the first day of winter.

São Tomé Day

São Tomé and Príncipe were uninhabited when they were discovered by the Portuguese around 1470.

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São Tomé is named after St Thomas (today is St Thomas’s Day) and Principe was originally called Santo Antão (after St Antony) but in 1502 it changed its name to Ilha do Príncipe after the Portuguese prince to whom sugar taxes were paid.

The Portuguese imported slaves to grow the sugar and by the mid-16th century it was the world’s main exporter of sugar. But then other countries’ colonies exported even more sugar, and the slaves became difficult to manage.

They introduced coffee and cocoa crops, and abolished slavery in 1876, but while the workers were paid they were still kept against their will in terrible working conditions, so it didn’t change much.

In 1953 the Portuguese landowners turned violent against the Creoles in the Batepá massacre. São Tomé and Príncipe achieved independence on 12 July 1975. In 1991 they had free democratic elections. They had one military coup for a week in July 2003 but otherwise have remained one of Africa’s most stable and democratic countries.

Pancha Ganapati

Pancha Ganapati is a 5-day festival in honour of Ganesh (21st: family build and decorate shrine with Ganesh dressed in golden yellow, then work on family relationships; 22nd Ganesh dressed in royal blue and Hindus repair their relationships with neighbours and friends; 23rd, ruby red, for colleagues and customers; 24th emerald green, the family shares their artistic talents with each other; 25th family reflect on the love and harmony created thanks to Ganesh. Gifts put on the shrine every day til now are opened.)

Yalda: (Iran, 2016) an evening of staying in with family to avoid evil. The next day is joyous.

 

21st July

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1969 Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong walk on the moon

 

1970 Aswan Dam completed, allowing the Nile’s floods and droughts to be controlled and generating hydroelectricity

 

Belgian National Day: (independence from Netherlands and crowning of Leopold I).

Belgium is made up of Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia.

Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are also known as the Low Countries.

It was ruled by Franks, including the Merovingian kings and becoming part of the Carolingian Empire under Charlemagne/Charles the Great.

The Eighty Years’ War divided the area between Spain and Austria, and France fought them both until it managed to annex the Low Countries entirely. Later

Napoleon was defeated and it become the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. In 1830 Belgium revolted and gained independence with its own king, Leopold I.

In the First World War Germany invaded and west Belgium was the scene of most Western Front fighting. Germany invaded again in WWII.

Artists like Rubens and Magritte are very famous and Baroque was invented in Belgium.

Tintin is Belgian. The country is also famous for beer, chocolates, waffles and fries with mayonnaise.

Guam Liberation Day (from Japan 1944)

21st June

Solstice

Science: It’s going to be the usual demonstration with the Earth as a tennis ball or marble and the Sun as a football or gym ball. You know the drill.  The sun is at its most northern point from the equator. The most northern parts of the earth have their longest day – in the Arctic the sun never sets; the southernmost parts have their longest night – in the Antarctic the sun never appears.

Activities: Build a Stonehenge (or just visit it, if you’re near).

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2595920/From-Niagara-Falls-Great-Barrier-Reef-worlds-famous-treasures-built-LEGO-new-Brick-Wonders-book.html

http://www.firstpalette.com/Craft_themes/People/miniaturestonehenge/miniaturestonehenge.html

Native Americans put teepees in a circle to symbolise the cosmos on the solstice – that might be fun too if you have a lot of spare bedsheets.

In Northern Europe, the Solstice is a big deal and a good excuse for a party.

  • Bonfires (and jumping over bonfires),
  • visiting and decorating wishing wells,
  • gathering herbs because they are especially potent.
  • Austria has a spectacular procession of ships;
  • Brazil’s Festa Junina involves a lot of dancing quadrilles;
  • Sweden gets out a maypole (in June?);
  • in medieval times the French celebrated with a cat-burning ritual;
  • in Jersey they banged a brass pan to ward off evil, and we all know a tiny bairn who would enjoy doing that.
  • Hunting for magic fern blossom;
  • washing the face with morning dew to be beautiful all year;
  • making flower wreaths and throwing them on lakes;
  • balancing an egg at the exact moment of the solstice … oh, there are lots more ideas here and here.

 

Greenland National Day

Greenland was so named by Erik the Red, a Norwegian exiled from Iceland, who hoped the name would attract other settlers and he wouldn’t be so lonely. Actual Greenlanders call their country Kalaallit Nunaat, meaning land of the Kalaallit people.

At first Greenland was inhabited by stone-age Eskimos in 2,500 B.C.

http://365daysoflearning.weebly.com/on-the-go/day-92-gt-erik-the-red

In 986 Erik the Red arrived with other settlers. These Norwegians accepted Danish rule when Norway and Denmark formed the Kalmar Union. It was a hard place to live – very cold!

From 1300 Thule people arrived from Alaska, bring dog sleds and whale harpoons.

Even though by the 18th century all the Norse people had long since died and actually Europe hadn’t had any contact with Greenland for centuries, when it was rediscovered Denmark was like, “IT’S STILL OURS BY THE WAY.”

In WWII Denmark was taken over by Nazi Germany, and America occupied Greenland to protect it. In the 1950s America built a big army base there as part of the Cold War defence.

In 2009 Greenland gained self-rule, while Denmark controls its foreign affairs and defence. Denmark also pays them 3.2 billion kroner a year for welfare and investment.

Greenland’s Inuit people catch around 175 whales a year. It has polar bears, Arctic foxes and hares, and seals. There are only about 56,000 humans, and as Greenland is the world’s biggest island it is also the least densely populated country in the world.

Greenland’s traditional sport is Arctic Sports, a kind of wrestling; they also love handball.

Schoelcher Day:

The French West Indies/Antilles honour the French abolitionist Victor Schoelcher’s achievements in helping end slavery with a sailboat race, fireworks, music, etc.

Togo Day of the Martyrs: Togo gained independence from France in 1960.  They have mainly animistic beliefs, carve beautiful statuettes (Google Ewe or ibeji) and make beautiful batiks, which could be fun to do.

Bolivian New Year! and We Tripantu (Mapuche New Year, Chile)

New Hampshire founded 1788

Go Skateboarding Day

International Surfing Day

National Aboriginal Day (Canada celebrates the Inuit and Métis and First Nations)

World Music Day