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What's HappeningWhat’s Happening in Nov and Dec

November 1, 2014

What’s Happening in November

Election Day

November 4, 2014 is Election Day across the Unites States. Election Day is always the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. This year people will vote for all 425 members of the House of Representatives. They will also vote for 33 of the 100 Senate seats. In some states voters will also be electing a new governor. This is s midterm election, so people will not be casting votes for a new U.S. president. People also vote on initiatives. Initiatives can start a new law, change a current law, or stop (repeal) a law. For example, this year Washington voters are considering two new ballot measures to change the laws regarding firearms. In Washington State, nearly everyone votes by post (absentee ballot) and ballots must be postmarked on Election Day.

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The Fall of the Berlin Wall

November 9, 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. After World War II, France, Britain, the Soviet Union and the U.S. divided Berlin into sectors of occupation. On August 31, 1961 the GDR (former East German government) built a wall to separate communist East Berlin from democratic West Berlin. Families and friends were divided by the wall over night. But on November 9, 1989, in a peaceful revolution, thousands of Germans from the Eastern bloc came to the wall and crossed it. Thousands of Germans from the West were there to meet them. One year later East and West Germany were reunified. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, an impressive art display of 8,000 balloons will light the path of the former wall. This “frontier of lights” is “a symbol of hope for a world without walls.” To know more about 25 Year Fall of the Wall the LIGHTGRENZE, click the link.

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Veterans Day

November 11, 2014 is Veterans Day in the U.S. This is the anniversary of the armistice (agreement) that ended World War I. On this day, Americans thank all soldiers both living and dead. They thank veterans (former soldiers). Soldiers protect the country. Soldiers fight for the country. Government offices close on Veterans Day.

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Thanksgiving Day

November 27, 2014 is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. This holiday started long ago. In 1620, a group of Pilgrims left for England from 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.

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Other Fun Holiday Events

 

GreenLake Gobble & Mashed Potato Munch Off Is on November 23. It is a 5 or 10K walk/run. Learn more >>

The Macy’s Day Parade and Star Lighting is on November 28, staring at 9:00 am. See story this month in Northwest News. Learn more >>

Christmas Ships Parade Festival is from November 28-December 23 on Lake Washington and Puget Sound. Learn more >>

The Nutcracker Ballet is from November 28 to December 29. Go this year because it is the last year for this traditional holiday ballet at McCaw Hall at Seattle Center. Learn more >>

Seattle Zoo Lights at Woodland Park Zoo and Tacoma Zoo Lights at Point Defiance Zoo  are open from November 28 to January 4, 2015. People can see thousands of lights in the shapes of animals.

Garden d’Lights at the Bellevue Botanical Garden has over one-half million lights in the shapes of flowers, plants, and animals. This wonderful light display attracts over 100,000 visitors a year. It is open from 4:30 to 9:30 pm November 29 to January 3, 2015. Learn more >>

Santa Train runs throughout the holiday season starting on November 29 and ending on December 20. It travels from North Bend to the Snoqualmie Depot. Check the train schedule before you make plans. Learn more >>

Seattle Marathon is held on November 30 around Seattle Center and usually attracts about 14,000 runners. Learn more >>

Christmas Lighting Festival in Leavenworth is held on full weekends during December starting on December 5. Learn more >>
See the story in this edition of Northwest News, The little town that could.

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What’s happening in December

World AIDS Awareness Day

December 1, 2014 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 organizations.

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Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

December 7, 2014 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 U.S. Flag until sunset.

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Human Rights Day

December 10, 2014 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, click this link.

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The Winter Solstice

December 21, 2014 begins the winter solstice. It is the date that 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 Australis are celebrating the summer solstice and the first day of summer.

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Chanukah (The Festival of Lights)

Sundown on Tuesday, December 16 starts Chanukah and it lasts until December 24. 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 Chanukah, 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.

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Christmas Day

December 25, 2014 is Christmas. It is a holiday that honors the birth of Jesus Christ. Christians and non-Christians around the world celebrate Christmas. street 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 holidays in the U.S.

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New Year’s Eve

December 31, 2014 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 2014

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