Creator, Amber Hood, shares a little history about National Puppy day and you get to meet her pup, Chopper!
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
loud 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 Swiss 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, the 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…
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 founded 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 starting 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.
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.