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What's HappeningWhat’s happening in Mar and Apr

March 1, 2016

What’s happening in March

International Women’s Day

March 8 is International Women’s Day. People from different countries celebrate the accomplishments of women. It started in the early 1900s when women protested for better working conditions, equal pay to men, and the right to vote. Now on IWD people can go to events and listen to lectures. In many countries, such as China and Russia, it is a national holiday, and women receive flowers and gifts from men. The theme for 2016 is Pledge for Parity. For more information, visit the International Women’s Day site.

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Spring forward

Spring forward on Sunday, March 13. Daylight Savings Time starts at 2:00 a.m. Move your clock one hour ahead before you go to bed on Sunday.

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March 11 at 2:46 p.m. people around the world will remember with sadness the Great East Japan Earthquake (2011). The magnitude was 9.0. Records report that it was one of the 5 most powerful earthquakes ever in the world. The earthquake triggered tsunami waves that destroyed cities and killed 15, 850 people. It also damaged reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and almost caused a nuclear disaster.

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White Day

March 14 is White Day in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China. It comes one month after Valentine’s Day. In those countries, women give men special chocolate gifts on Feb. 14. On White Day, men give women gifts. The White Day gifts are expected to be more expensive than Valentine’s gifts. A popular gift is white chocolate.

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St. Patrick’s Day

March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day. It is a fun day for the Irish and for people who want to be Irish. People wear green. They also go to parades, dance, and drink green beer. Shamrocks are everywhere. The first St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated in Boston in 1737.

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The Vernal Equinox

March 20 is the first day of spring. It is called the vernal equinox. It is the day when the sun is directly over the equator. On this day the hours for day and night are equal. This is the first day of fall in the Southern Hemisphere.

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Persian New Year

March 20 is Norooz, Persian New Year. It is also the first day of spring. Norooz has been celebrated by nearly 300 million people in Iran and other countries for 3,000 years. Celebrators prepare a Haft-Sin table, a display with seven items. Each begins with the letter “S:” seeb (apple), sabze (sprouting wheat or lentils), serke (vinegar), samanoo (a wheat meal), senjed (berries), sekke (coins), and seer (garlic). People also wear new clothes, dance and sing in the streets, watch parades, and decorate their homes.

People of the BaHa’I faith celebrate Nowruz as one of their nine holy days. It officially ends a 19-day fast for spiritual renewal. People of the BaHa’I faith do not work on Nowruz.

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Easter

Sunday, March 27 is Easter. This important Christian holiday celebrates Jesus’ dying and coming back to life. Flowers fill churches on Easter Day. Many people get up early to go to sunrise services.
Easter also has nonreligious traditions. For example, the Easter bunny brings baskets of candy to children. Children dye eggs and parents hide them. Children hunt for the Easter eggs.
Easter is a time for families and friends to gather. Ham is a traditional Easter food.

 

What’s happening in April

April Fools’ Day

April 1 is April Fools’ Day. It is not a holiday, but people have fun playing tricks on each other.

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Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

April 1-30 is the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, WA. Farmers are happy to show the nearly 1,000,000 visitors their fields of brightly colored tulips and daffodils. Guests can also enjoy the beautiful show gardens. People buy fresh flowers and take photographs. They also ride bikes, go to art shows and street fairs, enjoy barbecued salmon, and taste wine. You can get more information at the festival website.

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Income Tax due

April 15 is the due date for your income tax. If you have a job, the federal government takes a percentage of your earnings. That percentage is based on the amount you earn. Taxpayers can file for an extension if they cannot file their return by April 15.

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Major League Baseball season

April 4 is the beginning of the Major League Baseball season for the Mariners. They will play the Rangers in Texas. On April 8 the Mariners will open against the Oakland Athletics at Safeco field in Seattle. Baseball season lasts six months. Fans are hoping that the Mariners will have a winning season.

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National Library Week

April 10-16 is National Library Week. Every day many kinds of people visit their local library. At the library you can get a library card and check out books, DVDs, newspapers, and magazines. You can use a computer or find a quiet space to study. You can ask a librarian to help you find information. You can take your children there for story time. Many libraries have Talk Times for ESL students or other special programs. The motto for library week is, “Libraries Transform.”

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Passover

Friday, April 22 is the beginning of Passover, an important Jewish holiday. Passover lasts for seven days. It celebrates the Jewish people’s escape from slavery in Egypt. People eat traditional foods including matzo, a flat bread. No sweets are eaten during this time. Passover lasts seven days.

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Earth Day

April 22 is Earth Day. Nearly one billion people around the world in 190 countries will participate in special events to focus on how to honor and care for Mother Earth. The 2016 theme is “Trees for the Earth.” The organizers of Earth Day want people to join their voices together to demand that world leaders plan for a sustainable future. This year they are saying, “Let’s get planting.”

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Arbor Day

April 29 is Arbor Day. It started in 1872 in the U.S. to encourage people to plant more trees. In South Korea, the government plans special events to make people aware of how important trees are. People receive free seedlings to plant. According to an Arbor Day Foundation report, “a mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year.”


Published March 2016

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