Christmas – December 25th
Christmas, Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus. The English term Christmas (“mass on Christ’s day”) is of fairly recent origin. The earlier term Yule may have derived from the Germanic jōl or the Anglo-Saxon geōl, which referred to the feast of the winter solstice. The corresponding terms in other languages—Navidad in Spanish, Natale in Italian, Noël in French—all probably denote nativity. The German word Weihnachten denotes “hallowed night.” Since the early 20th century, Christmas has also been a secular family holiday, observed by Christians and non-Christians alike, devoid of Christian elements, and marked by an increasingly elaborate exchange of gifts. In this secular Christmas celebration, a mythical figure named Santa Claus plays the pivotal role.
Thanksgiving – The Last Thursday of November
Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States, and Thanksgiving 2018 occurs on Thursday, November 22. In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.
Veterans Day (Armistice Day) – November 11th
On the morning of November 11, 1918, after four years of war, Allied and German powers met in Rethondes, France, to sign an armistice that halted the hostilities of World War I. The agreement was signed shortly after 5:00 a.m. and went into effect at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, finally bringing to an end the carnage of the Great War—the war thought by many to be the war that would end all wars.*One year later, on the first anniversary of the armistice, President Woodrow Wilson turned the nation’s thoughts toward those who had sacrificed on America’s behalf. He proclaimed the first Armistice Day, both to honor the services of the troops and to celebrate the opportunity that victory provided for the United States to advance the cause of peace and justice in the world:
“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”
This first Armistice Day was conceived as a day to be set aside for public parades, meetings, and a two-minute suspension of all business activity at 11:00 a.m. Other countries also observed the day, with many British Commonwealth nations using the red poppy—taken from John McCrae’s poem, “In Flanders Fields” (1915)—to honor their fallen soldiers.
Halloween – October 31st
Since the 1800s, when Irish and Scottish immigrants brought their Halloween festivities to North America, the holiday has evolved considerably. The celebration’s connection with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day has mostly fallen by the wayside, and a number of new secular traditions have developed.
For children, dressing up and trick-or-treating door-to-door is still the main event. Most households in the United States and Canada participate, and those who don’t run the risk of petty vandalism. Many adults dress up themselves, to go out with their children or to attend costume parties and contests.
4TH of July History & Traditions
The 4th of July or Independence Day is a holiday that commemorates the American Declaration of Independence from Great Britain that took place in 1776 during the Revolutionary War (1775-83).
Independence Day is a national holiday. Some of the celebrations include main-street parades and display of national patriotism. After the parades, Americans will typically gather with their families for a traditional picnic or barbecue with much-appreciated hamburgers and hot dogs. Most families will also decorate their homes and gardens with American flags, red, white and blue streamers, balloons and many other creative ornaments.
Another all-time favorite 4th of July activity is the show of fireworks.
The nation’s first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in the state of Washington. However, it was not until 1972–58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official–that the day honoring fathers became a nationwide holiday in the United States. Father’s Day 2018 occurs on Sunday, June 17.
ORIGINS OF FATHER’S DAY
The campaign to celebrate the nation’s fathers did not meet with the same enthusiasm–perhaps because, as one florist explained, “fathers haven’t the same sentimental appeal that mothers have.”On July 5, 1908, a West Virginia church sponsored the nation’s first event explicitly in honor of fathers, a Sunday sermon in memory of the 362 men who had died in the previous December’s explosions at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in Monongah, but it was a one-time commemoration and not an annual holiday.The next year, a Spokane, Washington, woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by a widower, tried to establish an official equivalent to Mother’s Day for male parents. She went to local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers and government officials to drum up support for her idea, and she was successful: Washington State celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on June 19, 1910.Slowly, the holiday spread. In 1916, President Wilson honored the day by using telegraph signals to unfurl a flag in Spokane when he pressed a button in Washington, D.C. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge urged state governments to observe Father’s Day.Today, the day honoring fathers is celebrated in the United States on the third Sunday of June: Father’s Day 2017 occurs on June 18; the following year, Father’s Day 2018 falls on June 17.In other countries–especially in Europe and Latin America–fathers are honored on St. Joseph’s Day, a traditional Catholic holiday that falls on March 19.
Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2018 occurs on Monday, May 28. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.
Mother’s day @ the World
History of Mother’s Day in USA
History of Mothers Day in USA is not even hundred years old. It is due to the hard work and protracted struggle of a loving daughter Ms Anna Jarvis that Mothers Day was declared a national holiday by the then President of USA, President Woodrow Wilson. President Wilson designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day by signing a Joint Resolution on May 8, 1914. Founder of Mothers Day, Anna Jarvis is also known as the Mother of Mothers Day. However, it may be noted that the idea of official celebration of Mothers Day was first given by a writer – poet, Julia Ward Howe in 1872. Julia is also noted for writing words of the famous Civil War song, “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and Mothers Day Proclamation, written in Boston in 1870.
Mothers Day is celebrated in USA in a big way and has been commercialized to a great extent. It is considered as the next big day after Christmas and Valentines Day. Phone lines record a heavy traffic and card sales reaches its peak. Restaurants are filled to their maximum capacity as children don’t want their mothers to cook on their special day.
At home children express love for their mother by treating their moms with breakfast in the bed or making a sumptuous lunch. Tradition of gifting flowers and gifts is also rampant. More commonly gifted flowers are carnations are these are the official flower of Mothers Day. People buy red or pink carnations for the mothers who are living and place white carnations on the grave of the mothers who are dead. Children also present skits, plays and song in honor of their mother. Some also make cards and gifts at home to show their gratitude for their mother.
Mother’s Day Celebration in Australia
In Australia, Mothers Day is celebrated with lot of enthusiasm and joy. It falls on the same day as in US – on the second Sunday in the month of May and is celebrated in a similar fashion as in US. People of Australia take Mothers Day as an opportunity to express gratitude to their mother. Children show love to their moms by gifting flowers and cards to them.
Just as in US there is a tradition of wearing carnation on Mothers Day in Australia. A colored carnation signifies that a person’s mother is living while a white carnation is used to honor a deceased mother. Besides their own mothers children honor their grand mothers and other women who love and care for them as a mother does. Children ponder over the role of mothers in their lives and acknowledge the hardships their mother go through while raising them up. As a mark of respect children pamper their mother on Mothers Day by treating them with breakfast on bed and with gifts and cakes.
In Australia, Mother’s Day has been commercialized to a great degree as it is in US. Marketers try to play on the emotional aspect of the festival to sell their goods. Card manufacturers and florists particularly see a high business.
History of Mother’s Day in England
(Mother’s Day on 11th March, Sunday)
Mothers Day in UK is celebrated with great excitement and verve but it does not fall on the same date as in US. In UK, Mother’s Day celebrations takes place on the fourth Sunday in the month of Lent. Since the Lent days are not fixed, the date for mothers Day changes every year.
Mothers Day came to be celebrated in UK in 17th century as Mothering Sunday, much before the custom began in US. Today, the traditional festival of Mothering Sunday is more commonly called as Mothers Day in England and is celebrated in much the same way as it is celebrated in US. On this day children give flowers and bouquets to their mother to express their love for them.
The tradition of celebrating Mothers Day began much earlier in England than it started in USA. In fact England was the first country in the world to dedicate a day for mothers as early as 1600s. They called this day for mothers as ‘Mothering Sunday’. The festival has its roots in the practice wherein poor people in England send their little children to work as domestic servants or apprentice with the rich. At that time it was considered important by the people who these children, staying away from their families be allowed to visit their homes once in a year. The time decided for the annual visit to home was middle Sunday of the fasting period of Lent (which lasts from Ash Wednesday to Easter). For this reason, the day was called ‘Refreshment Sunday’ or ‘Mid-Lent Sunday’.
In England the day dedicated for mothers was more commonly called Mothering Sunday as people, mainly children visited their ‘Mother Church’ or the church of their home and not the ‘Daughter Church’, the closest church in the vicinity. After paying a visit to church, children met their mothers and presented them flowers, which they gathered from bushes along the way. Girls baked special cakes called ‘Simnel Cakes’ for their mothers.
The tradition of Mothering Sunday stopped with the advent of Industrial Revolution in England when the working conditions and life pattern changed. Over the period of time one Sunday – 4th Sunday in Lent (3 weeks before Easter) was reserved in the honor of mothers. In the present time, original meaning of Mothering Sunday has been lost and has taken the form and name of Mothers Day in US.
Dia de la Madre Mexico
In the North American country of Mexico, Mothers Day is celebrated on a fixed day of May 10 as opposed to the Mothers Day in US that fall on the second Sunday in the month of May. Mothers Day in Mexico is celebrated in a colorful fashion. Children honor their mothers and thank them for their efforts in bringing them up and According to a custom in Mexico,sons and daughters make themselves present in the house on the eve of Mothers Day on May 8.
Mothers Day celebration in Mexico takes place on May 10 as the day is special for the people of Mexico. The day is celebrated with gusto as churches in Mexico organise special mass. The highpoint of the event is the orchestra which plays “las maÃ±anitas” and distribution of ‘tamales’ and ‘atole’, the traditional early morning meal to all local mothers.
On Mother’s Day people in Mexico gift flowers and cards to their mothers. There is also a tradition of giving gifts on Mothers Day. While the older children but gifts from the store the younger ones prepare handmade gifts to honor their mothers. In several schools mothers day functions are organized where little ones present skits and songs to express their gratitude for their mothers and to entertain them.
Mother’s Day in Ethiopia
Ethiopia is one such country in Africa, where Mother’s day is celebrated with utmost zeal with a bid to celebrate the love that a Mother blends in her child’s life. It is an exceedingly special celebration in the country. Unlike in many other countries where Mother’s day is a celebration of a single day, in Ethiopia it is celebrated for in a time span of three days. The day is celebrated on second Sunday of May same as is celebrated in other many parts of the world. This day is dedicated to honoring Mothers with gifts, presents and special treatment by loved ones, family and friends. While it was celebrated in the country in 2017 on 14th of May, this year it will be celebrated on 13th of May.
In Ethiopia, Mother’s Day is not only a day of celebrating Motherhood but it also sets the tone for a new season, and that’s also a reason to celebrate the day. The three-day feast celebrated during Mother’s Day is known as “Antrosht”. People of Ethiopia celebrate by organizing massive meals with family and friends and by preparing the traditional recipe of the country, “hash”. It is quite an interesting fact that for doing with the feast, children involve themselves in bringing recipe’s ingredients while the mothers relax and enjoy the feast. The task of bringing the ingredients is divided among the girls and the boys. While the boys are responsible to bring lamb or bull, girls bring vegetables, butter, spices and cheese. Mother then prepares hash and the whole family enjoys the cuddly taste of the recipe.
After the feast party has been done there’s gigantic celebratory mood all around. As pr a ritual Mother-daughter rub each other’s face with butter. While, all the ladies of the family sing songs, the males dance on the tune of their songs. This whole cycle of celebration lasts for a total of three days.
Here is one recipe which people usually go for during Mother’s Day celebration in order to lift the spirit of celebration.
Mothers Day Native American Pow Wow
Native people of the world have always celebrated Mother’s Day in one form or another as they recognize the gift of gender, which supports all Life. Women have been recognized as being all-powerful by even the mightiest of warrior as they have a systematic cycle of biological balance and necessity. American Indian women have been known to be the “Nation’s Life Source” as they are the significant tribe spinsters of the human web in which we are attached.
Children are nurtured into adulthood through the guidance of the Mother as well as uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, and fathers. The mother is the safe guard to a child’s well being and her many stories are delivered in a manner that teaches them a lifetime of do’s and don’ts. Mother Goose is a good example of such stories as is Peter Rabbit, etc. and where they may not be of American Indian origin, think about the adoptive song “Rock a Bye Baby” as the wind blows in the treetops. It was the cradleboard with baby that swayed from the branch while mother lent herself to daily chores while chanting a favored song.
For years, many people thought American Indians were praying to a host of many Gods simply because they would subscribe to his works with titles. A native person may lend to a tree as his sister, a bear or horse as his brother, the sky as his father, and the Earth as his Mother. Finally, after many, many years, we are hearing others addressing the world we live on as Mother Earth. One Creator, much creation! The plants are referred to as sisters, the animals are brothers, and so forth.
Native Americans celebrate Powwow, which is a two-day festival in which Native Americans represent a multi-tribal element of arts, crafts, foods, dance and entertainment while tricking everyone into an educational arena.
A tribute to the Earth’s bountiful and forever giving necessities of life is made. Among the Cherokee people, the women are held to the highest of esteem as they were the ones that would not only breathe life into the tribes but also recognized for their rational mindset and heart. It was the “Beloved Woman” that would let the men know when they were to go into war. It was the woman that decided the fate of a captive. These were high positions of honor and to this day the Cherokee have a Beloved Woman within their tribe as a manner of respect and tradition in which they can consult upon.
THE HISTORY of APRIL FOOL’S DAY
April Fools’ Day is an annual celebration in some European and Western countries commemorated on April 1 by playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes. The jokes and their victims are called April fools. People playing April Fool jokes often expose their prank by shouting “April fool” at the unfortunate victim(s). Some newspapers, magazines and other published media report fake stories, which are usually explained the next day or below the news section in smaller letters. Although popular since the 19th century, the day is not a public holiday in any country.
Easter is finally here! Children and parents all around the world are excited to celebrate this upcoming international holiday with different traditions from their native cultures. An ambient of festivity, joy and color is surrounding the city.
Baskets with chocolate eggs, stuff animal bunnies, and peeps are currently being exhibited and advertised in the isles of local American supermarkets. Is not a revelation that the U.S. and other countries whom predecessor relays in German colonies are getting ready to celebrate the arrival of the “Easter Bunny”.
Presently, the exact origins of the Easter Bunny has not been identify, although some historians relate this tale with the connection of the birth of baby bunnies at the beginning of spring season. In the other hand, the rest of the world who happened to have Christian beliefs celebrate Easter week as a commemoration of the Passion of Christ. Easter Sunday specifically rejoices the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
In any case, whether Easter is a religious holiday, a seasonal festivity, a commercialized celebration, or all of the above; Easter is indeed a holiday that brings people together from all over the world in a positive way. The following are examples of countries that celebrate Easter in a particular and creative way:
“Sprinkling” is a popular Hungarian Easter Monday tradition, in which boys playfully sprinkle perfume, cologne or water over young women’s head, and ask for a kiss.
People used to believe that water had a cleaning, healing and fertility-inducing effect.
2. Seville, Spain
One of the biggest Easter celebrations takes place in Seville, where 52 different religious brotherhoods parade through the streets manifesting the crucifixion, with thousands watching the daily processions of marching bands and decorated candlelit floats heaving with Baroque statues illustrating the Easter story.
Easter in Sweden sounds a lot like Halloween, with the children dressing up as Easter witches wearing long skirts, colorful headscarves and painted red cheeks. Going from home to home in their neighborhoods trading paintings and drawings in the hope of receiving chocolate eggs.
4. Czech Republic
On Easter Monday there’s a tradition in which men spank women with handmade whips made of willow and decorated with ribbons. According to legend, the willow is the first tree to bloom in the spring, so the branches are supposed to transfer the tree’s vitality and fertility to the women.
This is meant to be playful spanking all in good fun and not to cause pain.
5. Florence, Italy
A huge, decorated wagon is dragged through the streets by white oxen until it reaches the cathedral, and when Gloria is sung inside the cathedral Archbishop sends a dove-shaped rocket into the cart, igniting a large fireworks display.
Called Scoppio del Carro (explosion of the cart), this is followed by a parade in medieval costumes.
On Good Friday, the locals celebrate by flying homemade kites, eating codfish cakes and hot cross buns.
The tradition is said to have begun when a local teacher from the British Army had difficulty explaining Christ’s ascension to Heaven to his Sunday school class. He made a kite, traditionally shaped like a cross, to illustrate the Ascension.
By Maria A. Gutierrez
Happy Easter!!! 🙂