23rd June

1868 typewriter patented – so practise typing with these games.

Võidupüha: Estonia’s Victory Day. They had to fight the Germans and Communist Russia in 1918-20 to keep their independence. Estonia’s famous for its Singing Revolution in the 1980s, with a kind of nighttime flashmob of singing to gain independence from Russia. Estonia is the least religious country in the world after China: only 16% of people believe in a god. Their sport, kiiking, is kind of entertaining. Can you try it on the swings at the local playground?

Luxembourg National Day:

Luxembourg is the world’s only remaining sovereign grand duchy (i.e., it is ruled by a grand duke). The King of the Netherlands used to be the Grand Duke of Luxembourg but in 1890 the throne passed to the king’s daughter while the duchy passed to his male heir (as per the then male heir rules of the duchy) elsewhere.

Its official languages are German, French and Luxembourgish (great word).

Luxembourg Castle is very pretty and old.

http://www.castle-vianden.lu/english/

Occupied by the French (after the Celts, Romans, Bourbons, Habsburgs and Hohenzollerns) until the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, both Prussia and the Netherlands wanted to own Luxembourg. The Belgian Revolution in the 1830s took the west (French-speaking) half of Luxembourg but afterwards Luxembourg became independent.

In WWI Germany invaded and occupied Luxembourg but didn’t interfere too much; however in WWII, as a strategic route to France, Luxembourg was treated as a Germanic territory and its government had to move to London!

Activity: Celebrate Luxembourg’s famous export, RTL (Radio/Television Luxembourg) by making a radio or television show. Radio Luxembourg is so famous because it broadcasts in French, German, Flemish and English and also until the 1980s there were no private radio stations in France so it offered an alternative media view.

23rd December

Japan Birthday of the Emperor

Sweden Queen Silvia’s birthday

….so probably decide which one of the toy’s is emperor/queen and throw them a birthday party.

The Night Before Christmas is published (1823)

hanselset3

1893 Hansel and Gretel opera premiers – so make gingerbread houses

Night of the Radishes (Oaxaca, Mexico, radishes are carved into all sorts of things and then they have a party)

23rd November

1924 Edwin Hubble discovers that Andromeda is not a nebula but a galaxy, so the Milky Way is not alone – you can make galaxy slime or galaxy playdough. The Hubble website is actually great too.

1963 Dr Who premiers – this Dr Who premier party is fabulous (and has galaxy jelly, spot today’s theme)!

Also today:

  • Giorgoba (St George’s Day)
  • Japan Labour Thanksgiving Day

23rd September

1846 Neptune discovered

1909 Phantom of the Opera published

Saudi Arabia National Day

Thimphu Tshechu (Bhutan, 2015)

Eid-ul-Adha (2015 – the one where they eat all the meat, usually sheep/goat, to celebrate that time Ibrahim – Abraham in the Bible version – was asked by Allah/God to sacrifice his son Ismail/Isaac. Allah gave him a goat to sacrifice at the last minute.