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What's HappeningWhat’s happening in Nov and Dec

November 1, 2012

What’s happening in November

Thanksgiving Day

November 22, 2012 is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. This holiday started long ago. In 1620, a group of Pilgrims left England for America. They wanted to find religious freedom in America. They landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Native Americans advised the Pilgrims how to grow food. The Pilgrims decided to have a thanksgiving feast to celebrate a good harvest and invited the Native American families to their dinner. Today a traditional Thanksgiving dinner is turkey with stuffing and pumpkin pie.


Islamic New Year

November 14-15, 2012 is Al Hijra, the start of the Islamic New Year. It is the first day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. The Muslim calendar has 12 lunar months, and is 11 to 12 days shorter than the western calendar. This means that the date for the Islamic New Year moves every year. Muslim countries remember and celebrate this day because of the journey of the prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina. On this day, Muslims gather in mosques and pray.


What’s happening in December

World AIDS Awareness Day

December 1, 2012 is World AIDS Awareness Day. It was established by the World Health Organization in 1988. Tens of millions of people in the world have AIDS. A person with AIDS has the HIV virus. This HIV virus harms the human immune system. There is a lot you can do on this day. First, you can wear a red ribbon. It is the symbol of HIV and AIDS. Second, learn more about AIDS. Third, promote education about AIDS and protection against it. Fourth, help people with AIDS. Finally, donate to AIDS organization.


Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

December 7, 2012 is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Every year, Americans honor all who died in the Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in 1941 during World War II. On this day many citizens fly the flag of United States until sunset.


Human Rights Day

December 10, 2012 is Human Rights Day across the world. It started in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR identifies 30 rights for all people. People can read the UDHR in over 370 languages. The first words of the UDHR, “ All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,” are known all over the world. To read the 30 human rights in easy language and see a video, go to >> Youth for Human Rights.

Chanukkah (The Festival of Lights)

From sundown on December 8-16, 2012 is Chanukkah. It is a Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days and nights. Each day after dark, Jewish people light one more candle. On the last day there are 9 candles on the menorah (a special candle holder for 9 candles). These lights are symbols of religious freedom and victory over the Greek persecutors in 167 B.C.E. During Chanukkah, Jewish people eat fried and oily food. Two favorites are latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts). Many children play with a special toy. They spin a top called a dreidel to get candies or chocolate coins.


The Winter Solstice

December 21, 2012 begins the winter solstice. It is the date which has the shortest day and the longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere. It is the first day of winter in the U.S. This same day in the southern hemisphere has the longest day and the shortest night. So that means the people in Australia are celebrating the summer solstice and the first day of summer.


Christmas Day

December 25, 2012 is Christmas. It is a holiday that honors the birth of Jesus Christ. Christians and non-Christians around the world celebrate Christmas. Streets and homes are filled with beautiful lights and decorated trees. People listen to special Christmas music. Families gather together to eat delicious food and give gifts. Christmas Day has been a federal holiday in the U.S. since 1870. Christmas is one of the major celebrations in the U.S.


New Year’s Eve

December 31, 2012 is New Year’s Eve in many parts of the world. People go to parties with family or friends and wait for the new year to begin with fireworks on midnight, January 1. They talk about the past year and often make a resolution for the new year. A resolution is a promise to change something to make a fresh start. Often people decide to exercise more, lose weight, take a trip, or save money. What will your new year’s resolution be?

Published November 2012

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