Bonne année! Shana Tova! Feliz año nuevo! Felice Anno Nuovo or Buon anno! Happy New Year!


World of Liberty is excited to say hello to 2017 and start January off with a bang! That expression comes from the way several countries ring in the new year. Literally with a bang. The bang of a pan. The bang of a pistol. The bang of a firecracker. Why such
Bangloud noises? Ancient cultures used gunfire and fire power to ward off bad spirits that might hinder their fresh start. It’s thought that the loud noise would scare off the demons or send them on a different route, allowing people to enter the new year free of evil. Gives a whole new meaning to banging pots and pans in the street right? And you just thought it was for fun. You can also try ringing a bell like they do in Italy, beating a drum like they do in Switzerland, or party horns like they do in North America. Whatever you can find to make a loud noise, use it to join in the tradition of centuries ago. Leave the bad behind, and let the goodness and wealth pour in!

Not only do we like to fill the air with noise to celebrate the new year but many countries also have food traditions to help them start the year off right. In Spain,  people eat 12 grapes, one for every stroke of the clock at midnight and for good luck in each month of the new year. Armenia has a special bread that has luck and good wishes kneaded into the dough before it’s baked. Talk about made with love. While in Ireland, they throw the bread at the wall to ward off evil spirits rather than eating it. The PrintSwiss also have a funny food tradition where they drop cream or ice cream on the floor to bring good luck in the new year. Other countries believe in eating round foods like doughnuts to signify coming “full circle” and bring good fortune in the new year. There’s so many ways to begin the new year. All in all, it’s about getting rid of any negativity of the previous year and putting your best foot forward. So make some noise and eat up. Try adopting some fun new traditions this year to spice things up in 2017. 

One day this month that will surely bring a smile to your face is Winnie the Pooh Day. January 18th is the birthday of A. A. Milne, Winnie The Poohthe creator of Winnie the Pooh and his friends, a day in which fans can celebrate their love of Pooh Bear. People all over the world can celebrate this most cuddly of days by putting together a teddy bear picnic and venturing out into a park or nearby woods. A menu of honey, nuts, and fruit would surely settle a rumbly in your tumbly as Pooh might say. Bring your favorite A. A. Milne storybook about the adventures in the 100 Acre Wood and read it with your favorite teddy bear and friends. You can talk about the traits of your favorite characters whether it’s Tigger’s ability to have fun, fun, fun, fun, fun or Eeyore’s constantly disappearing tail. It might even be fun to draw a picture of what your house would look like if you lived in the 100 Acre Wood. Whatever you decide to do remember…34527-Youre-Braver-Than-You-Believe

That Winnie the Pooh was a wise bear.

 

If Winnie the Pooh day didn’t meet your love quota for the month, fear not for Hug Day is here. Mark your calendar for January 21st to get your hug on. Rev. Kevin Zaborney Hug Dayfounded National Hug Day in 1986 in Michigan. He chose this day between Christmas and Valentine’s Day as a time when he felt people might need their spirits lifted. Number one rule on
Hug Day, ask before you hug, as not everyone is so inclined to be touchy feely. That’s exactly why this day was created though, Kevin Zaborney felt that Americans needed an opportunity to show their emotions and not keep it all inside as our society tends to do. Hugs have been scientifically known to reduce stress by increasing the hormone oxytocin in your blood. Hugs also lower the risk of depression as well as lower your blood pressure. There are so many benefits that come with such a simple hug. So embrace this day, pun intended. Go hug your parents, your friends, your teachers, your neighbor, if they are ok with the gesture, and spread that love. 

 

There’s no better way to kick off 2017 than with hugs and Winnie the Pooh. This year already sounds like it’s World of Liberty Logostarting off on the right foot. World of Liberty wishes you the best in achieving all of your goals. Let’s make this world a more loving place filled with happy people. 

 

 

Brrrrrrrrrr! It’s that time of year where it’s frosty outside and toasty inside. There’s cheer in the air and a spirit of sharing at World of Liberty. It seems as though the calendar saved the
best dates for last. We can’t think of a better way to end the year than on a giving note.

Before we get to the biggest holiday of the year, there is another special day that is celebrated across the world. You have all heard of St. Nicholas, right? Well, December 6th is St. Nicholas St NicholasDay, also known as Feast Day. St. Nicholas is a real person from 4th Century Greece known to help the needy by placing coins in their shoes. His name means “bearer of gifts” and there are several stories about him bestowing gifts to children that are well behaved. When the children knew he was coming they would leave carrots for his donkey in their shoes or boots, and St. Nicholas would leave sweets, fruit, nuts, and coins inside of their shoes in return.  Many parts of this worldly tradition are represented in our modern day Christmas celebrations. For instance, this is where the tradition of hanging your stockings originated. This day is meant to remember the kindness and giving nature of Saint Nicholas rather than focus on what you have received, be grateful for what you have been given.

We are very blessed in America, but December 7th reminds us of a day “that will live in infamy.” Can you name the President that spoke those famous words? That would be Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941, in response to the surprise attacks from Japan Pearl Harbor Dayon the naval base at Pearl Harbor inHawaii. Over 350 Japanese fighter planes bombed Pearl Harbor early that morning, upon which America was forced to declare their entrance into World War II. Eight battleships were damaged, 4 sunk, in efforts to expand the Empire of Japan. The USS Arizona was the only battleship unable to be raised and is memorialized forever underwater off the shore of Oahu. You can visit the site of this historic attack and the museum in the USS Missouri. Even though the 7th is not an official federal holiday, we will always remember and honor the thousands of lives lost in the fight that day.

On a lighter note, let’s talk about the Festival of Lights known as Hanukkah. This 8 day long Jewish celebration can start as early as November depending on the Hebrew calendar for that given Webyear. Each day an additional candle is lit on the 9 branched menorah, representing the 8 days and nights the oil burned on what was supposed to be only a day’s worth of oil. This miracle took place after the successful Maccabean revolt and rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. Truly a miracle to celebrate!  Hanukkah is full of tradition such as reciting three blessings before lighting the candles each night. It is also customary to play a game of dreidel after the candles are lit. Playing dreidel represents the games the Jews would play to disguise the fact that they had gathered to read the Torah which has been outlawed back in 2nd century BC.  The soldiers would think they were gambling rather than learning. Can you imagine having to hide the fact that you were learning? Take the opportunity to find a dreidel of your own and play at home. You might also  want to enjoy foods made in oil such as latkes and doughnuts as they do traditionally. Sounds yummy right? It’s all done to remember the importance of oil all those centuries ago. If you aren’t Jewish yourself, perhaps you can join in the festivities with a friend and experience the wonder that is Hanukkah.

One of the newest holidays in the month of December, full of culture and community, is Kwanzaa. It was first celebrated in 1966 as a specifically African-American holiday that starts on PrintDecember 26th to January 1st. It was created by Maulana Karenga to honor African heritage. Each of the 7 days of the holiday represent a core principle. Unity, Self-Determination, Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith. Every day of Kwanzaa you can discuss what these principles mean in your everyday life and their importance. It’s great culmination of food and gift-giving. World of Liberty thinks Kwanzaa is fantastic addition to creating community and enjoying the abundance this season brings.

That brings us to the biggest holiday of the year, Christmas. December 25th is the day Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. They celebrate by attending church on Christmas Eve and enjoying the retelling of the Christmas Story through the display of a nativity. This was the original reason for Christmas over 2000 years ago. Over the years christmas treetraditions have been added to what we know today as Christmas, which brings us back to St. Nicholas. Remember him? Even though he is celebrated on December 6th in the rest of the world, in America we have celebrate the legend of St. Nick with Santa Clause on the 25th. He is indeed the gift giver as children well know. And just like St. Nicholas, Santa Clause only rewards kids that have been good all year. While St. Nicholas would leave a stick in the shoe of the bad children for their parents to punish them with, Santa Clause is known for leaving a lump of coal to those that are naughty. In the end, it’s all about being kind to one another and being on your best behavior. Instead of focusing on what you will receive this Christmas, try doing something for others. Make an ornament for your best friend. Create a Christmas card for your parents. Go caroling to spread cheer in your neighborhood. There’s so many wonderful ways to celebrate Christmas!

No matter what you believe in, this month is all about celebration with family and friends. So gather together and get festive. Put up a tree and decorate. Light up your home with candles with the help and supervision of an adult of course. December MemeMake your favorite food and cookies. And most importantly, share with those around you. There’s nothing quite like seeing your loved ones smile because of something you did for them. Enjoy the rest of 2015 and let there be peace and joy around you this season.

 

It’s back to school and end of summer time! September

Did you have a good summer? Here at World of Liberty we certainly did! We spent some time in New York visiting Lady Liberty and the World Trade Center, did some camping on the California coast and even traveled all the way to Australia. We’rliberty one hand raisede ready to get back to school and back to the fun of learning!
This past weekend we celebrated Labor Day. We all look forward to Labor Day as the last barbecue day and the unofficial end of summer celebration. Do you know what Labor Day is actually for?

The first Labor Day took place in 1882. A group of workers in New York came together to protest the long hours and unsafe conditions of the factories. After that first Labor Day states all over the country started to host Labor Days in honor of the American worker. Finally, in 1894 Congress passed a law to make the first Monday in September a national holiday.

Labor Day is unique among national holidays. It doesn’t celebrate one person nor does it celebrate the end of a war nor does it commemorate a single event. Labor Day is the only national holiday that celebrates the average American. It celebrates all of us! This is our day to realize that all of the hard work we put in day-to-day has grown this great nation. When we come together we accomplish amazing things.

Never forget2On Friday, September 11th, we hope everyone takes a moment to remember the events we now know as  “9/11.” Many American’s find it hard to relive the tragedy of 9/11/2001, but we feel it’s important to honor those who lost their lives on that fateful day. Not only did American citizens die that day, but citizens from 90 different countries perished as well. We honor the memory of all who died that day, with special thought and prayers to the many heroes who rushed in to save as many as they could, but lost their own lives in their selfless efforts. We will never forget.

Here’s a great video  from Brain Pop. It’s a good one to share with your kids because it talks about why September 11th happened and what it means to us here in America. It also gives some thoughtful questions to talk to your kids about.

Don’t worry, September isn’t all seriousness. On September 18th  we all get to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day! We’ll be heading to Umami to have one of the best cheeseburgers ever.

Are you up for a cheeseburger challenge? Submit your recipe to us for the Best Cheeseburger Ever and include the hashtag #BestCheeseburgerEver. Do you put a special ingredient in your patties? Or is it the condiments that make your cheeseburger perfect? We want to know! Tweet us, email us or Facebook us your thoughts.World of Liberty Logo

Have a wonderful September. We look forward to hearing from you!

Welcome to the World of Liberty website!

Join in the magical adventures of best pals Liberty Lane, Ellie, Georgie and Truman app1as they explore America! Together they travel state by state to discover “country connections” –things America has in common with countries all over the world!

Their magical journeys always include helping new friends, learning historic and geographic facts and inspiring children of all ages to discover more about our world! We welcome you to discover our first storybook adventure app! In “It’s Raining Pumpkins in Delaware,” Liberty and her pals go to Delaware and Sweden by way of a sister city “country connection.”

See you in our first adventure!