Category Archives: Today’s Holiday

Birthday of Tagore

This date commemorates the birth of Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), the great poet, philosopher, social reformer, dramatist, and musician of Calcutta, India. In 1913, he was the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize for literature. Tagore’s birthday is celebrated with a festival of his poetry, plays, music, and dance dramas. There are discussions at schools and universities of his ideas on education and philosophy, and screenings of films based on Tagore’s short stories and novels made by filmmaker and Calcutta native, Satyajit Ray. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Sunday School Day (Faka-Me)

In the Polynesian kingdom of Tonga, many of whose inhabitants are Methodist, the first Sunday in May is known as Faka Me, or Sunday School Day. The children rise early put on the new clothes that their mothers have made: valas, or kilts, for the boys and new dresses for the girls. Then they all go to church, where the youngest children sing a hymn or recite a verse of scripture in front of the congregation and the older children present biblical dramas. At the feast that always follows a church service, a variety of Polynesian specialties are served to the children by the adults. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Aboakyer (Deer Hunt) Festival

The Effutu people of Winneba, Ghana, celebrate the Deer-Hunting Festival by making an offering to the god Penkye Otu. Two groups known as the Asafo companies, each consisting of about 150 people, compete in a deer hunt that begins at dawn with the pounding of drums and the ringing of bells. When the first deer is caught, the victorious company brings it back alive and presents it proudly to their chief. Then the animal is taken back to the village, where dancing and drumming continue in an effort to placate Penkye Otu so that he will bring them a bountiful year. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia

The Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia from the USSR is marked as a national public holiday in Latvia every May 4. On that date in 1990, Latvia’s Supreme Court re-declared the country a free democratic parliamentary republic. Following a transitional period, full independence was attained on August 21, 1991. Since 1920, Latvia has been acknowledged continuously by other countries as an independent state, despite occupations by Nazi Germany from 1941 to 1945, and by the Soviet Union from 1940 to 1941 and 1945 to 1991. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Feast of St. Joseph the Worker (Worker's Day)

This public holiday in Malta is celebrated with festivities throughout the country. In Valletta, a highlight of the mass conducted by the archbishop in St. John’s Cathedral is the blessing of the tools and products of laborers and craftsmen. St. Joseph, the husband of the Virgin Mary, was a carpenter who taught Jesus his craft. He is the patron saint of workers, laborers, carpenters, cabinetmakers, and joiners. In 1955, Pope Pius XII established the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1 as a counter-celebration to the Communists’ May Day celebrations honoring workers. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Minehead Hobby Horse Parade

In England and Wales, hobby horses have been a part of celebrations welcoming spring as far back as anyone can remember. In the waterfront town of Minehead, Somerset, the “sailors’ horse” has a boat-shaped frame 7-10 feet long, which is carried on the shoulders of a man whose body is concealed by a canvas curtain that hangs to the ground. His head is covered by a painted tin mask and a tall dunce cap, and hundreds of rainbow-colored ribbons stream from the top of the horse. The horse sets out on May Day Eve, ending up at Whitecross (a crossroads to the west of town) on May Day morning. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Stockton Asparagus Festival

This celebration takes place in Stockton, California, the heart of the region that claims to be the “Asparagus Capital of the Nation.” The festival began in 1986 and it now draws 80,000 spectators to the region’s various events. These include about 50 food booths in Asparagus Alley, a wine-tasting booth, a fun run (some runners wear asparagus spears in their headbands), a car show of some 200 antique and classic cars, live entertainment, and children’s activities. There’s also a recipe contest; among the past winning entries are enchiladas and lasagna made with asparagus. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Butter and Egg Days

This is a promotional event in Petaluma, California, that recalls the historic days when Petaluma was the “World’s Egg Basket,” producing millions of eggs that were shipped all over the world. The first Butter and Egg Days was a modest affair in 1983; it now draws about 25,000 for a parade with floats, bands, bagpipers, and children dressed as such things as butter pats and fried eggs. There are also street fairs, an antiques show, an egg toss, a butter-churning contest, and the presentation of the Good Egg award to a Petaluma booster. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Vidalia Onion Festival

There are no tears during this tribute to Georgia’s state vegetable, the sweet Vidalia onion, which is said to be burp-free, good for digestion, and tearless. The festival is held in Vidalia at the height of the harvest season, which extends from mid-April to early June.The celebration of the onion includes standard festival fare—music, a street dance, a fishing rodeo and expo, and a fun run. Finally, there are onion-eating contests and a Vidalia Onion Cook-Off, which produces cakes, breads, and muffins made with onions. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary