Events And Celebrations
February 4th The Super Bowl, is the annual American
Football championship and a popular time for friends to gather in
front of the TV. Last year, 86 million people watched the game!
Besides football fans, the show attracts watchers for the half-time
musical entertainment and also for the commercials. People will
be talking about the commercials for days.
February 13th International Pancake Race, The first International Pancake Race was held on this day in 1950 in Kansas. The women in the race wear dresses and aprons and cover their heads in scarves to run a 415-yard (380 meter) course. Each woman also carries a pancake in a skillet and must toss the pancake three times.
February 14th Ash Wednesday, in Christian churches, is the first day of the penitential season of Lent. On Ash Wednesday some Christians have a smudge of ashes placed on their foreheads as a sign of penitence.
March 13th Mardi Gras, French for "Fat Tuesday,"
marks the end of Carnival and the beginning of the Christian fasting
of Lent. The biggest Mardi Gras celebration in the U.S. is in New
Orleans, Louisiana. Rio de Janeiro in Brazil also has a huge celebration.
May 16th Ramadan, The month of Ramadan is
the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is the holiest month
of the year. During Ramadan many Muslims fast from dawn until sundown,
abstaining from food and drink. The fast is for self-purification
June 14th Ramadan ends, with the festival of
Eid al-Fitr, literally the "Festival of Breaking the Fast." Eid
al-Fitr is one of the two most important Islamic celebrations; like
all Islamic holidays, it begins at sundown. Prayers, feasts, and
family get-togethers are the major highlights of the celebrations.
It was during this month that the holy Koran was revealed. "Eid"
means recurring happiness or festivity. Greetings of "Eid-Mubarak,"
or "a blessed Eid," are exchanged. A very important aspect of Eid
is charity, which all the Muslims are expected to extend to the
July 1st Canada Day, is Canada's national holiday,
marking the establishment of Canada as a Dominion on July 1, 1867.
Canada Day is often referred to as "Canada's birthday," particularly
in the popular press. It is a day off from work, so is often a time
for outdoor activities to welcome the beginning of summer.
July 14th Bastille Day, the French celebrate Bastille Day. This day marks the end of monarchy and the beginning of the French Revolution. A favourite way to celebrate in France is with a picnic.
August 22nd National Tooth Fairy Day, when a child loses a tooth, the Tooth Fairy comes during the night to take the tooth and leave a surprise. The surprise varies by family but it is usually replaced by coins.
September 21st World Peace Day, This day commemorates August 6, 1945, when the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. More than 50 years ago, a young Japanese girl named Sadako Sasaki, a victim of the bombing at Hiroshima, dreamed of creating 1,000 paper cranes to release into the wind as a symbol of peace throughout the world. Unfortunately, she died before she was able to fulfill her dream. Each year at the Hiroshima Peace Park, 1,000 paper cranes are released into the wind in the hope that death and destruction caused by war will never be repeated.