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

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5th May

Cinqo de Mayo: or the Day of the Battle of Puebla.

Mexico had just finished fighting America for independence, in which it lost Texas, and a couple of civil wars, and decided not to pay any foreign debt for two years until its economy had recovered.

Britain and Spain popped over but realised the decision was for the best; Napoleon III, however, decided to take the opportunity to build a Latin Empire.

But, even though France was then the world’s top army, Mexico crushed it. This is what’s celebrated on this day.

A year later the French came back and occupied Mexico for three years, but once the US was done with its own civil war, it helped Mexico push them out.

Here are some tips on how to celebrate it.

1865 the first train robbery in the US – so go on a train ride

Kyrgryzstan Constitution Day

Also today:

  • Japan/Korea Children’s Day (in Japan parents put up koinobori flags and serve mochi rice cakes)
  • S. Korea Buddha’s Birthday
  • Europe Day
  • Feast of Al-Khadr/St George (Pakistan)
  • Indian Arrival Day (Guyana – the Indians were brought to work on the sugar plantations by the British in 1838)
  • Netherlands/Denmark Liberation Day (from Nazi Germany)
  • Lusophone Culture Day (Portuguese-speaking)
  • Ethiopia Patriots’ Victory Day (against Italy, 1936-41)
  • Senior Citizens’ Day (Palau)

3rd May

Roodmas/Finding of the Holy Cross Day. The church above which the cross was found, built by St Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, is still to be found in Jerusalem.

Japan Constitution Memorial Day – see 11th February

Poland National/Constitution Day

In 966 A.D. Mieszko I, ruler of the land that is now Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, and in 1569 it became part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1772–95 Poland was partitioned among Prussia, the Russian Empire, and Austria. It regained its independence at the end of World War I and became the Second Polish Republic.

In 1939, World War II was started when the Nazis and Russia invaded Poland. More than six million Polish citizens died in the war. After the war Poland became a satellite state of the Soviet Union. In 1989 Poland’s Marxist–Leninist government was overthrown and Poland became a democracy called the Third Polish Republic.

It has one of the oldest mountain ranges on earth (the Jura range) and a desert with sand 40 metres deep! They have a national reforestation scheme aiming to cover a THIRD of the country in forest (they’re only about 3% off the target) and a lot of the landscape is protected.

Famous Polish people include Marie Curie (moved to Paris when she was 24); Copernicus, and Chopin. They invented the polonaise. And you got to check out the Wieliczka Salt Mine.

29th April

International Dance Day – it’s time to reenact some of your favourite dance videos, isn’t it? We like Daft Punk’s Around the World, Fatboy Slim’s Praise You, Run DMC/Jason Nevin’s It’s Like That, the Evolution of Dance, and Beyonce’s Move Your Body.

1789 George Washington becomes first elected President of US

Showa Day (Japanese reflect on the reign of Emperor Hirohito 1926-89, which saw Japan’s pretty appalling behaviour during WWII and subsequent occupation by America)

Vallenato Legend Festival (Colombian music festival, 2014)

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.