2nd March

1904 Dr Seuss born

Texas Independence Day (see 22 November for general America or try some Tex-Mex recipes)

Other events that might inspire your play today:

  • Omizu-Okuri (Japanese Buddhist water-carrying festival, where river water is carried to the temple)
  • Burma Peasants Day (politicians discuss how to improve the lives of peasants, or farmers, and there are fairs of traditional crafts)
  • Victory of Adwa (celebrates Ethiopia defeating Italy in 1896)
  • Jamahiriya Day (Libya’s People’s Power Day, because Gadaffi liked to pretend he let the people rule themselves).

11th February

Venice Carnival starts, 2017, so make a Carnival mask:

paper-plate-masks-300x169

http://www.guidepatterns.com/paper-plate-masks-creative-ideas.php

1942 Glen Miller’s ‘Chatanooga Choo-Choo’ first to receive a gold record for selling more than a million copies

US Inventor’s Day

Japan National Foundation Day:

Japanese call Japan Nippon, which means ‘sun-origin’ so it’s also called Land of the Rising Sun.

map_of_japan

Japan is actually made up of 6,852 islands!

First evidence of humans was 30,000 years ago. Buddhism came over in the 3rd century.

From about 1200 A.D. a ruling warrior class of samurais emerged, called shoguns. Everyone was very fighty, and there was a century of civil wars called the Sengoku period.

In the 16th century the Portuguese reached Japan for the first time. From 1590 Japan was united into one nation.

From 1603 codes of conduct were issued for the samurai classes to try and stop them from doing things like killing someone just for an insult, as they had been doing until now.

From 1639 Japan isolated itself from the rest of the world to try and stay united. This is called the Edo period.

In 1854 the American Navy arrived and made the Emperor agree to trade with them. The Japanese people were cross about this, and it led to the Boshin War, with the shogun resigning and Japan was then ruled by the Emperor Meiji.

Japan became an industrialised world-power and kept invading nearby countries to expand its power. The Emperor Taisho was a bit elderly so they introduced a democracy so that parliament could rule.

In WWI Japan was one of the Allies, but when it invaded Manchuria we all thought that was a bit much, so Japan left the League of Nations and by WWII Japan had flipped and was on the Nazis’ side. They agreed not to fight with Russia, but they invaded China a lot, with the Nanking massacre a particular low point.

They invaded French Indochina to stop France from supplying arms to China, so America stopped sending oil to Japan, so Japan bombed Pearl Harbour and brought the US into WWII.

Russia gave up its treaty not to fight Japan and took Manchuria; meanwhile, America dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan surrendered.

The Allies put all the Japanese colonists back in Japan and prosecuted war criminals. Since then Japan has gone all liberal and democratic, and even has a bit in its constitution where it renounced the right to declare war. Imagine if everyone did that.

In 2011 the biggest recorded earthquake in Japan, triggering a tsunami which partly destroyed the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Make an origami kimono or an origami crane.

Have a go at sumo wrestling, jujitsu, judo or karate.

Do karaoke!

Here is a list of Japanese games.

Make real sushi or playdough sushi.

9th January

Philip Astley created the first circus in 1768 London – so we made our own circus!

We set up a tent and Baby tried snake charming (the snake being my arm in a green legging)

… riding a lion (I was the lion);

… one of her toys dared to put its head in a lion’s mouth;

…. we tried juggling and doing a clown act with an invisible car;

… we tried balancing toy elephants on a ball

… and gymnastics (Baby swinging from my hands).

For dinner we had hotdogs and toffee apple muffins.

 

Connecticut founded (1788): famous for Yale, ESPN, Gilmore Girls, election cake.

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)

11th November

Armistice: Wear a poppy and talk about what it means; make a poppy picture; observe two minutes’ silence. We watch these two sand art/ shadow theatre pieces.

 

Pocky/Pretz/Pepero Day (Japan and South Korea): you can make your own using this recipe.

1889 Washington State founded: where Starbucks and Microsoft come from.

Angola Independence Day (from Portugal, 1975)

Angola was first inhabited by hunter-gatherers, and then the Bantu people. The Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão arrived in 1484, and the Portuguese soon established forts, settlements and trading posts – mainly for trading in Angolan slaves. Nice.

(to be continued…)

Poland Independence Day (1918)

Karneval/Fasching opens

Maldives Republic Day

9th October

Hangul Day (S. Korea celebrates invention of its alphabet, 1446) – find your name in Korean here.

Leif Erikson Day (Viking bringing first Europeans to America in the 10th century) – resources here, and the rune alphabet here.

Takayama Autumn Festival – more info here.

World Post Day (after Swiss Universal Postal Union founded, 1874)

Uganda Independence Day:

Learn Swahili!

Up until around 300 B.C., Ugandans were hunter-gatherers. Then the great lakes were ruled by the Empire of Kitara, or the Chwezi Empire, until the Luo and Ateker peoples of the Nile valley invaded.

From the 1830s Arab traders arrived, followed by British explorers, and from 1888 it was part of the British East India Company.

The Brits imported Indian workers to build the Ugandan railway. In 1900-20, two-thirds of Ugandans by the lakes died of a sleeping sickness.

From 1962 Uganda was independent from the UK and became part of the Commonwealth.

After that, as with nearly all post-colonial countries, democracy soon turned to violent dictatorship. The first voted-in government had a prime minister, Milton Obote, and a president  who was also king, Edward Muteesa II; four years later the prime minister booted out the king-president, changed the constitution, declared Uganda a republic and abolished the traditional kingdoms.

Idi Amin

In ’71 Obote was deposed, and a violent dictator Idi Amin killed 300,000 Ugandans and extradited all the Indians, ruining the country’s economy.

Eight years later Ugandan exiles joined with Tanzania, invaded and reinstated Obote. He was again deposed and replaced by Tito Okello in 1985, who six months later was deposed in a ‘bush war’ led by the current president Yoweri Musoveni.

If you’re a child, female or gay in Uganda, it’s pretty bad times. Children can be kidnapped to serve in Kony’s army, or work in dangerous factory conditions, and parliament is pushing for homosexuals to receive the death penalty. Because women are expected to do all the housework, looking after the young, ill and old, and also have to bring in an income, they work 15-hour days compared to the men’s 8-hour days.

Despite fertile lands, lots of mineral resources and untapped cruel oil reserves, Uganda owes $2 billion in foreign debts. Through open discussion, Uganda managed to reduce HIV cases from 30% in the 1980s to 6.4% in the 2000s.  In 2003 George Bush started financially supported ‘abstinence-only’ campaigns against HIV, and cases doubled. Nice one, Bush.

Make a handprint elephant.

double-ninth-festival-art-pictures-images

Chung Yeung Festival (2016 Hong Kong: 9th day of 9th lunar month; ancestor-worship in cemeteries; they also hike to the highest points for good luck and eat ko cakes)