25th February

1897 Peter Llewelyn Davies born (after whom Peter Pan was named)


Kuwait National Day:

Kuwait was part of the Parthian (Iranian/Persian) Empire from 123 B.C. and the Sassanid Empire (the last pre-Islamic Persian empire) from 224 A.D.

By the 14th century it was part of the Muslim caliphate (religious rule). It was part of the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire from the 17th century.

The current ruling family in Kuwait are descendants of its ruler in 1756, Sabah I bin Jaber.

In 1899, the Sheikh worried that the Ottoman Empire would take over completely, and so Kuwait became a protectorate of the UK.

Large oil reserves were discovered in 1937 and after WWII the country became quite wealthy because of it.

In 1961 Kuwait became independent. Iraq cheekily said, well, now Kuwait is ours, but Britain said haha, no. Kuwait then tried a bit of democracy and then the emir said haha, no.

Magically – even though when the UK was in charge it did a terrible job of negotiating Kuwait’s boundaries and left it sharing swathes of land with Saudi Arabia – and even though that land is full of oil – magically, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia share it without warring about it. Which I love.

In the 1980s Iran and Iraq were at war with each other, which helped Kuwait as they could focus on selling oil while those two messed about with guns.

Kuwait supported Iraq, and Saddam Hussein, and deported thousands of their Iranian Shi’ite expats to avoid internal terrorism protests.

However, Kuwait did expect to paid back for supporting Saddam ($65 billion), which he did not like, and he invaded them in 1990. This led to the first Gulf War, with America and 34 other countries bombed Iraq and Kuwait until Iraq pulled out, setting fire to all the oil wells they could find as they did.

Kuwait paid the US coalition $17 billion to say thanks. The destruction caused by the Iraqi army had filled the Persian Gulf sea with oil and the smoke and damage from the fires was atrocious.

Over two-thirds of people living in Kuwait aren’t Kuwait citizens, which is a bit weird. They have the best freedom of press in the Middle East, and women can vote, stand in Parliament and don’t have to wear a burka.

Pearl fishing used to be a very important trade for Kuwait until the Japanese started pearl farming – so make little pearl oyster cakes.

Or try this ‘pearl sensory play’ with tapioca pearls from bubble tea or water beads from a florist’s:

Other events that might inspire your play today:

  • Kitano Baika-sai – geishas perform a tea ceremony beneath the plum blossom;
  • Philippines People Power Day – see 30th December
  • Georgia Soviet Occuption Day – see 26th May

14th October

1066 Battle of Hastings fought – see an animated Bayeux Tapestry here.

1926 Winnie the Pooh first published

2012 Felix Baumgartner jumps from the stratosphere

Svetitskhovloba (Georgian Orthodox Festival of the Life Giving Pillar Church, which holds Jesus’s mantle or tunic)

Nyerere Day (Tanzania – see 26th April)

26th May

1897 Dracula published – The Graffex version is great for young readers (7-9ish)

Crown Prince’s Birthday (Denmark) – see 5th June

Georgia Independence Day (from Russia, 1919)

Georgia, made up of Colchis in the west and Iberia in the east, has been unified since the 4th century B.C. In Greek mythology, Colchis was the home of Medea and the Golden Fleece.

In 66 B.C. Georgia became part of the Roman Empire. In 337 A.D. it became a Christian country.

In the Middle Ages Georgia was trapped in the middle of the Romano-Persian wars and disintegrated into feudal regions. It became a single realm again in the 11th century, and saw its peak under Queen Tamar, who resisted Turkish invasions and abolished the death penalty and torture and was generally a good queen.


However, later Georgia broke apart again under Mongol invasions and the Black Death. The Eastern Roman Empire fell and Georgia was isolated as a Christian country in a Muslim area. In the 16th to 18th centuries Georgia was divided and conquered by Turkey and Iran.

In 1783 Georgia became a protectorate of Russia, but it was a ruse for Russia to just annex it later.

The Russian Revolution in 1917 led to Georgia declaring independence in 1918 – and they became a protectorate of Germany. But Germany lost WWI and had to withdraw its help. So Georgia became a British protectorate.

But in 1921 Russia invaded Georgia because it had arrested some communists. One particular Georgian, Josef Stalin, then rose to power and led the Soviet Union from the next year.

In 1991 Georgia declared independence … and then had a civil war. Abkhazia and South Ossetia declared independence from Georgia, and massacred or expelled hundreds of thousands of Georgians.

Since 2008 Ossetians and Georgians have been attacking each other. Georgia ordered a ceasefire, the Ossetians broke it, Georgia invaded Ossetia so Russia invaded Georgia.

Georgia has three alphabets.


Guyana Independence Day (from UK, 1966)

Guyana was claimed by Britain in 1796 and claimed its own independence in 1966. It became a republic in 1970. It is the only South American country to have English as its official language.

National Sorry Day/National Day of Healing (Australia)

14th April

1894 the world’s first commercial picture house opens, using Kinetoscopes – so make a movie!

1912 the Titanic hits an iceberg, and sinks on 15th – here’s an interactive Titanic game and here’s another.


2003 the Human Genome Project is completed

Ambedkar Jayanti (India celebrates Ambedkar, b.1891, an ‘Untouchable’ who railed against the Hindu caste system and converted to Buddhism)


Black Day (South Korea singles eat jajangmyeon to make up for missing out on Valentine’s Day or White Day 14 March)

Divehi Language Day (Maldives)

Day of the Georgian Language (celebrates the day Georgia rose up against Soviet Russia, who was trying to remove Georgian as an official language)

Mologa Day (Russia evacuated the town of Mologa in 1941 so that it could become part of the Rybinsk reservoir and hydroelectric plant; 130,000 people had to leave and 126 refused, eventually drowning. Every year on this day, monks hold a service in front of the belfries of the submerged church there)

N’Ko alphabet day (N’Ko means ‘I say’ and is a writing system for some West African languages)

Pan-American Day (the Americas include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela; Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Grenada, Suriname, Dominica, St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Bahamas, St. Kitts and Nevis, Canada, Belize, and Guyana.)

Sinhala and Tamil New Year

12th February

Vasant or Basant Panchami (2016): A Sikh/Hindu festival celebrating the start of spring and the Holi season. Hindus worship Saraswati Devi, while Sikhs sing Basant Raga. In Punjab there is the Basant Festival of Kites. Go here for more info.

1809 Charles Darwin born – Darwin Day. There is a Darwin game here and other activities here.

1809 Abraham Lincoln born – Lincoln Day and 1914 first stone laid for the Lincoln Memorial. List of activities here, or…

Build a log cabin:

Or make a Mount Rushmore out of Playdough:

Other events that might inspire your play today: