Creator, Amber Hood, shares a little history about National Puppy day and you get to meet her pup, Chopper!
Tis the season to be thankful here at World of Liberty. As the days get shorter and the weather gets cooler, you can just feel a change of spirit among us. To prepare us for the biggest holiday of the year, November brings us a few days that remind us to be thankful. World of Liberty loves how Veterans Day and Thanksgiving seemingly go hand in hand. Thanks to the soldiers that protect our great country, we can gather with our family and friends to celebrate all of the wonderful things we are so blessed to have in our lives.
We ease into the grateful mood with Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, which is always observed on the 11th day of the 11th month for a very cool reason. At 11 am on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, World War I was officially declared “over.” That was the original intention behind Veterans Day, to honor the dedication and sacrifice of the living soldiers that fought for our freedom in WWI. But then as more wars were fought, legislation changed this legal holiday’s name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day, so that ALL of the soldiers from ALL of the wars are celebrated for their service to our country. In efforts to bring more recognition to this very significant day, World of Liberty would like to help clear up the confusion people have with Veterans Day and Memorial Day. They are often thought of as the same type of day. However, Memorial Day is to remember those that lost their lives fighting for our country, while Veterans Day is to honor the living soldiers among us that have contributed in times of not only war, but also in times of peace. Here’s a great website that offers ideas to show your appreciation for Veterans on this special day of recognition. Our favorites include writing thank you cards to veterans and asking your teacher to honor them by having a veteran come to class for a visit. We don’t need to wait for November to honor our veterans though, World of Liberty encourages you to do it all year long!
Thanksgiving is another great time to show your gratitude. The “first” Thanksgiving took place in 1621 in celebration of a successful corn harvest. Planting corn was a new skill the Native Americans taught the settlers and the bountiful crop called for a harvest festival that took place over 3 days. Three days of Thanksgiving…that sounds like our kind of party! The menu back in these times wasn’t what we have at our Thanksgiving tables today. No mashed potatoes or green bean casseroles or even delicious pumpkin pie, it was only what they were able to harvest that year. So there was definitely lots of corn dishes and most likely lots of fish since they lived on the New England coast. Probably even some lobster. Yum! The menu wasn’t the only thing different from the traditional Thanksgiving we know and love today. In fact, the 2nd Thanksgiving wasn’t even the following year due to a drought. Actually, Thanksgiving wasn’t just a once a year event, it could happen several times throughout the year depending on how many harvests they had. If they didn’t have a harvest at all they would have to fast, which is probably why when they did have a great harvest, they feasted for days. Remember, they didn’t have refrigerators back then to keep perishable items from rotting. So you had to eat up! Feast or famine as they say. Yet, another thing to be thankful for when you gather with your family and friends this year.
As you know, Thanksgiving is an American
holiday, but the idea of a harvest festival to give thanks for the crops and abundance of blessings is a worldwide notion. Tet Trung Thu, the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, is an ancient festival in Vietnam that celebrates the children. The festival was a way for parents to make up for the time they lost with their children while they worked on the crops and produced the harvest. They would have parades for the children to dance and sing in and the kids would carry lanterns of all shapes and sizes such as fish, stars and butterflies. Moon cakes were the treat of choice to be given out during the festivities. You can find these festivals being held across America where the spirit of Vietnamese culture thrives. It might even be something you want to do in your own community. Perhaps this Thanksgiving when you are gathered with your friends and family you can make your own lanterns and parade about singing and dancing. There is so much to celebrate this time of year. Be grateful for this season of plenty and share the goodness with those who need it.
Changing leaves, crisp apples, and pumpkin everything is all around. It’s officially fall… or autumn depending on which you prefer. Fall is the only season with two names, or actually 3 depending on how far back you want to investigate. The original name for this season was “harvest” since the months of the fall season are when the farmers reap all of the crops grown over the summer. “Autumn” is a reference to the autumnal equinox, when the sun shines on the equator for an equal amount of time during the day and night. Then “fall” comes from the idea of the falling leaf which is a typical sign of the season depending on what climate you live in.
Speaking of falling, this month World of Liberty celebrates Columbus Day which honors the discoveries made by the great explorer Christopher Columbus. His brave quest in 1492, upon 3 ships proved that we should not fear falling off the edge of the earth because the world is actually round, not flat. Can you imagine thinking that you would fall off the face of the earth if you sailed too far out into the ocean? Seems silly to us now, but back in 1492 things were a lot different. The whole point of the voyage was to discover the New World. Columbus did find a New World, but it was not India as he originally thought. It was America! Native Americans were the actual founders of America and inhabited the land prior to Christopher’s search. We commemorate October 11th as Columbus Day, also referred to as Discoverer’s Day, in celebration of the discovery and voyage to find the New World and proving the world is round.
United Nations Day also celebrates the world and it’s people on October 24th. Do you feel a theme happening in October? World of Liberty is a big fan of the organization known as the United Nations and their efforts towards world peace and the betterment of humanity ranging from world hunger to the environment and health issues. This year United Nations Day, which is always on the 24th and Make a Difference Day, which is the 4th Saturday of the month, will be one in the same. Make a Difference Day was started back in 1990, and created to encourage people to volunteer in their communities by helping others. So whether it’s helping a neighbor with household chores, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or donating old clothes to the goodwill, get out there and make a difference in your very own community. You can even make it a monthly activity with friends.
Now to reward yourself for making a difference, grab your friends and a pumpkin for Carve a Pumpkin Day which also falls on Halloween, October 31st. The most popular day for pumpkins all over the world. Under the supervision of an adult, carve out a Jack O’ Lantern face of your own design, or trace a pattern onto your orange gourd for a more intricate look, or just go silly with glitter, glue, and markers for the most outlandish porch buddy you can imagine.
In the spirit of traditional Halloween festivities, walk your neighborhood to check out all the other pumpkins while participating in the long time custom of trick or treating. Have you thought of your costume yet? Dressing up is one of the best parts of Halloween. The whole act of wearing a costume stems back thousands of years when the Celtic people believed ghosts roamed the earth on this one night a year. So the townspeople would wear masks and dress up as ghosts and ghouls to fool the spirits. Over time different traditions developed, such as bonfires and parades in which people would beg for treats like pastries and money. Sounds very similar to what we now know as trick or treating right? Well, trick or treating came into existence when Halloween came to America and the immigrants from Europe started their own version of Halloween festivities. As years went by, Halloween lost it’s religious and superstitious overtones and became more about the community and fun. Get your creative juices flowing and craft up a fun costume.
While you’re in the pumpkin spirit don’t forget to check out our 1st app, It’s Raining Pumpkins in Delaware!