Festivities of Natural Annual Events: Midway Solstice & Equinox

July 30, 2013 by Categorized: Earth Matters, Earthly Rites, Nature in the News.

 F.N.A.E. articles are written with Ehoah phrases

 Ehoah Phrases

What is Seasonally Occurring

During the transition between the Solstice and Equinox the northern hemisphere is tilting away from the sun. In Borealis the days are getting shorter, seeing the earth’s daily turning view of the sun lower on the southern horizon; for Australis the days are getting longer with the daily turning view of the sun becoming higher along the north horizon; The equator will be seeing the daily turning view of the sun closer to the center of the sky from the north.

Within the Borealis Polus Axis the view of the sun is sinking towards the horizon, and within the Australis polus Axis it is getting brighter.

South of the Borealis Polus Axis it is the beginning of harvest season and it is the warmest time of year.

For the Tropics, this is when the Tropical Rain Belt is at its most northern point in the year. In the Northern half of the Tropics monsoon season has begun where monsoons occur and it is the wettest time of year, getting the majority of their annual rain fall during this time. Hurricanes will also be increasing in frequency in the Atlantic. On the continent of Africa the rains on the Ethiopian and East African mountains would bring the flooding of the Nile to its peak this time of year* Many regions in the Borealis Tropics are beginning to sow their crops as a result of the fertility the floods bring and the much needed rains.

South of the equator it is the coldest time of year and the driest for most regions. Certain regions are having a second harvest or sowing.

GlobalConditions_Borealis-Transequinox

Seasonal Customs

In Borealis, most of the climes are celebrating the beginning of the harvest season. In particular the first grains and fruits of the year.

Various activities around this time of year include: Ceremoniously harvesting the first corn or sheath of grain, a blindfolded individual harvesting the last sheath of grain, going out for berry picking, bringing the various grains harvested as offerings to the local rivers, celebrating the fertility the monsoons bring with floating offerings of in season vegetation, sowing for second harvest, offerings of various sorts are tossed into water bodies to seek blessings from a deity, decorating selves with feathers moulted by birds this time of year for celebrating fledging from home and for attraction in courtship, giving heart shaped pastries from the first harvest of grain and fruit as a courtship offering, Handfastings and weddings, ceremonies of thanks for harvest of grains and fruit, feasting, fire baking bread, wine making, libations of said wine, and rituals to prevent wildfires.

In Australis,various activities in Australis include: well springs are visited, offerings made to spring and spring waters gathered for use as blessings, bonfires, preparing materials to be used for celebrations in the coming year, greeting cards with hidden messages sent to loved ones, having a clue based treasure hunt, crafting gifts for babies yet to arrive in late spring and expecting parents, house cleaning and house warming parties.

BOREALIS

CELEBRATION

GENERAL DATE

SPECIFIC DATE

CALENDAR

REGION OF ORIGIN

CULTURE

Wafaa El-Nil

Early August

August 15th

Egyptian calendar

North Africa

Egyptian

Transequinox

Early August

August 5th/6th

Ehoah Year Wheel – Gavia, Borealis Kalendar

Earth

Saegoah

Lammas/Lughnasadh

Early August

July 30th / 31st, August 1st

Gregorian calendar

Wheel of the Year

North Western Europe

Celtic

Aadi Perukku

Early August

August 2nd/3rd

Tamil Calendar

South Asia

Tamil

Vinalia rustica

Late August

August 19th

Roman Calendar

Southern Europe

Roman

Vulcanalia

Late August

August 23rd

Roman Calendar

Southern Europe

Roman

Opiconsivia

Late August

August 25th

Roman Calendar

Southern Europe

Roman

AUSTRALIS

CELEBRATION

GENERAL DATE

SPECIFIC DATE

CALENDAR

REGION OF ORIGIN

CULTURE

Imbolc

Early August

August 1st / 2nd

Gregorian calendar

Wheel of the Year

North Western Europe

Celtic

Transequilux

Early August

August 5th/6th

Ehoah Year Wheel – Sphenisci, Australis Kalendar

Earth

Saegoah

*In 1970, the High Dam at Aswan was built and the flooding of the Nile stopped down stream. Those farther north no longer have the silt from the flooding to farm on and now bring in fertilizers.

This year has seen monsoons and rains that have been the heaviest since recordings began, breaking many records and causing great infrastructure damage. (search Alberta, Toronto, and India Flood)

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Festivities of Natural Annual Events: Midway Equinox & Solstice

April 29, 2013 by Categorized: Earth Matters, Earthly Rites.

F.N.A.E. articles are written with Ehoah phrases

Ehoah Phrases

 

What is Seasonally Occurring

During the transition between the Equinox & Solstice the earth is angling it’s northern hemisphere toward the sun. In Borealis the days are longer seeing the earth’s daily turning view of the sun higher and higher north; and for Australis the nights are longer with the daily turning view of the sun lower along the north horizon.

Within the Borealis Polus Axis it is 24hrs of daylight and getting milder, and within the Australis polus Axis it is 24hrs of night and getting colder.

South of the Borealis Polus Axis, with the exception of southern and western Europe, spring is finally in full effect with the first flowers of season springing up, planting is done in the gardens and fields, the watercourses and bodies are open, some species of reptiles are migrating, frogs are starting to be heard, birds are displaying and nesting their eggs, hibernating species are coming out, and when the gestation period for many species are nearing its end or the next generation is arriving.

Where the majority of earth’s population is (at and just north of the Borealis Sol Axis – Tropic of Cancer with the addition of Southern & Western Europe) It is early summer, with adult leaves on the trees, insects in hyper pollination mode, frogs in chorus, mammal offspring are steady on their feet, and nests filled with chicks.

For the Tropics, this is when the Tropical Rain Belt is over the equator, moving toward the Borealis Sol Axis. As well as reaching East and Southeast Asia where the rains are in full effect.

 Global Conditions

 

South of the equator it is overall getting darker, colder and the precipitation is lessening.

 

What Are The Seasonal Customs

In Borealis, most of the temperate climes are celebrating the full effects of spring arriving with planting of seeds and seedlings, and getting outside more often for longer periods of time. In the warmer climes planting and seeding are completed, in some regions the first harvest has already been brought in and the second harvest sowed. For both temperate and warmer climes fertility is a common theme with smaller species of wildlife performing mating rituals and the earth is symbolized as being fertile with all the new life about. Humans cue off of these surroundings with fertility type dances (most popularly the maypole), rituals for a good harvest to come, maiden lead opening ceremonies, phallic icons, and secret admirer gifts.

Various activities around this time of year include: celebrating the seasonal flooding of rivers as the “earth’s menstrual cycle”, tree planting parties, outdoor music performances, outdoor cooking/barbecues, foliage costumes, floral parades, branches placed infront of entries of homes and livestock shelters for protection where at the end of the wheat harvest they are removed to use for baking the first bread, bonfires, gifts of spring flowers and sweets (often anonymous), and pilgrimages to sacred wells/springs.

 

In Australis the harvest has come in, feasts are made, and festivities of light are had.

Various activities in Australis include: bonfires, ancestor veneration, planning for eventual death (as to make it a smooth transition for loved ones), death themed decorations, visiting graves/remembering the dead, seed exchanges from harvest, Virid-os (green bones) seasonal character is at festivities challenging taboos, exploring the different nocturnal creatures that will be more present in the darker months ahead, and learning lore of the land.

 

BOREALIS

CELEBRATION

GENERAL DATE

SPECIFIC DATE

CALENDAR

REGION OF ORIGIN

CULTURE

Ambubachi Mela

Mid June

when the Brahmaputra river is in spate

Indian national calendar and Older Regional Calendars

South Asia

Indian

May Day, Walpurgis Night, Beltane

 

Early May

April 30th/May 1st or full moon nearest this point

Gregorian calendar

Wheel of the Year

Western Europe

Western Nations, German, Celtic

Translux

Early May

45 days after Equilux/45 days before Lux

Ehoah Year Wheel – Gavia, Borealis Kalendar

Earth

Saegoah

Arbor Day

Mid April

After ground is thawed

Gregorian calendar

North America

North American

 

AUSTRALIS

CELEBRATION

GENERAL DATE

SPECIFIC DATE

CALENDAR

REGION OF ORIGIN

CULTURE

Samhain

Late April

April 30th

Gregorian calendar

Wheel of the Year

North Western Europe

Celtic

Transnox

Early May

45 days after Equinox/45 days before Lux

Ehoah Year Wheel – Sphenisci, Australis Kalendar

Earth

Saegoah

Matariki, “Māori New Year”

late May or early June

first rising of the Pleiades Either celebrating it immediately, or until the rising of the next full moon, or the dawn of the next new moon

Unknown

Polynesia

Māori

 

 

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Festivities of Natural Annual Events: Equal Length of Night & Day

March 19, 2013 by Categorized: Earth Matters, Earthly Rites, Natural Reflections, Nature in the News.

F.N.A.E. articles are written with Ehoah phrases

What is Seasonally Occurring
During the Borealis Equilux (this year on March 20) the equator is facing directly toward the sun, making the sun’s rays hit the two hemispheres equally causing equal lengths of day and night worldwide. At noon along the equatorial line virtually no shadows will be cast. Globally on this day, the point where the horizon crosses the sun’s disk is due east and west. Making it a good time to figure out landmarks that aid in direction throughout the year or building projects that are reliant on the sun’s rays.

Ehoah-Globus_Borealis-Equilux

IMAGE CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons – Modified, Northward Equinox

For Borealis it will be going into longer days seeing the earth’s daily turning view of the sun higher and higher north; and for Australis there will be longer nights with the daily turning view of the sun lower along the north horizon. At the poles, it marks the start of the transition from 24 hours of nighttime to 24 hours of daylight in Borealis, and vice versa in Australis.

Global-Conditions_Borealis-Equilux

IMAGE CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons – Modified, World Average Air Temp. & World Precipitation Levels

 

Where the majority of earth’s population is (at and north of the Borealis Sol Axis – Tropic of Cancer with the addition of Southern & Western Europe) spring is in full effect with new leaves and flowers coming in and wildlife either expecting or just receiving the next generation. Farther North of the Borealis Sol Axis and the other regions of Europe winter is dissipating, either just beginning its thaw or in full flow feeding the watercourses and watertable.

For the Tropics, this is when the Tropical Rain Belt is beginning to reach the equator, moving toward the Borealis Sol Axis

South of the equator it is overall getting darker, colder and the precipitation is lessening.

What are The Seasonal Customs

In Borealis, most of the temperate climes are celebrating the beginnings of spring, where eggs are a common theme. For the warmer climes of Borealis, spring is in full effect with winter as history. Both climes have themes this time of year that celebrate life – particularly new life; and with the longest nights well behind, themes of a new day often symbolized as dawn. Because of these occurrences many regions regard this as a time for new beginnings, thereby it marks the New Year for their respective calendars.

Various celebrations around the time of Equilux include: Accepting the many experiences life holds in its many forms in dishes symbolically flavoured as different emotions; Bonfires and festivities on the full moon nearest Equilux; Decorating and splashing each other with bright colours; Acceptance of raucous and pranking behaviour; Getting outside for extended periods with camping and other outdoor recreational activities; Egg Painting; Growing sprouts and starting harvest vegetation to plant; Courting customs and rituals by young adults to gain better chances at obtaining a spouse; House cleaning and symbolic rituals to shed away the darkness of winter, ‘evil’, or bad luck; as well as enacting rituals for fertile land and good harvest to come.

A growing custom that is well received is putting out loose fiber balls among the trees or other easily found places for birds to use in their nest building. For a festive touch these can be brightly coloured fibers or the loose shape made to look like a bird or other recognizable seasonal shape.

Not much is known of the seasonal festivities of Australis due to it being heavily Christianized – with old traditions being mostly abolished and replaced with Christian festivities done at the same time as done in Borealis even though it is out of season. Depending on the climate of each region it can be assumed that most harvesting is done around this time of year and has potential for light ceremonies and festivals in response to the growing dark. There are some earth based traditions that have taken root in Australis that accommodate for seasonal celebrations. Two of which are referred to in the Australis Chart. If there are any other known seasonal festivities that are in Australis, please comment below so they can be accounted for.

 

BOREALIS

CELEBRATION

GENERAL DATE

SPECIFIC DATE

CALENDAR

REGION OF ORIGIN

CULTURE

Holi

Early February – Late March

Full moon nearest Equilux (may vary depending on calendar used)

Indian national calendar and Older Regional Calendars

South Asia

Indian

Chahārshanbe-Sūri

Early March

Last Tuesday before Equilux

Zoroastrian calendar

Western Asia

Persian

Nowrūz

Late March

Equilux

Zoroastrian calendar, Solar Hijri calendar

Western Asia

Persian

Ostara, Alban Eilir

Late March

Equilux

Gregorian calendar

Wheel of the Year

Western Europe

German

Equilux

Late March

Equilux

Ehoah Year Wheel – Gavia, Borealis Kalendar

Earth

Saegoah

Sham El Nessim

Late March to Early April

First Sunday after full Moon Following Equilux (originally on Equilux)

Gregorian calendar

North Africa

Egyptian

Ugadi, Gudi Padwa, Chaitti, Basoa

Late March to Early April

1st Day of Chaitra – Either Equilux or the first morning after the new moon after Equilux (may vary depending on calendar used)

Indian national calendar and Older Regional Calendars

South Asia

Indian

April Fools, poisson d’avril, prima aprilis, aprilsnar / Sizdah Bedar

Early April

April 1 / 13th day after Nowruz (Equilux)

Gregorian calendar /

Zoroastrian calendar, Solar Hijri calendar

Western Asia

Persian

 

AUSTRALIS

CELEBRATION

GENERAL DATE

SPECIFIC DATE

CALENDAR

REGION OF ORIGIN

CULTURE

Mabon, Alban Elfed

Late March

Equinox

Gregorian calendar

Wheel of the Year

Western Nations

Neopagan

Equinox

Late March

Equinox

Ehoah Year Wheel – Sphenisci, Australis Kalendar

Earth

Saegoah

 

GLOBUS

World Water Day – on March 22

International Day of Forests – on March 21

World Citizen Day – on March 20

For World Citizen Day, there is a related on going petition to the United Nations Ambassadors about achieving a globally recognized world passport #WorldPassport #WorldCitizen

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Festivities of Natural Annual Events: Midway Solstice & Equinox

February 1, 2013 by Categorized: Earth Matters, Earthly Rites, Nature in the News.

For the duration of this article and others by me (Rua Lupa) I’ll refer to the Hemispheres, Solstices, Equinoxes, and Cross Quarters by the Ehoah associated names for two reasons, 1) It is what I am familiar with and 2) It takes a lot less words, so it summarizes nicely.

Legend of Ehoah Phrases

Borealis (Northern Hemisphere),

Australis (Southern Hemisphere),

Equilux (‘Equal Light’ – Vernal Equinox)

Translux (‘Transition to Light’ – midway vernal equinox and summer solstice)

Lux (‘Light/Day’ – Summer Solstice),

Transequinox (‘Transition to Equal Dark’ – midway summer solstice and autumnal equinox)

Equinox (‘Equal Dark’ – Autumnal Equinox)

Transnox (‘Transition to Dark’ – midway autumnal equinox and winter solstice)

Nox (‘Dark/Night’ – Winter Solstice)

Transequilux (‘Transition to Equal Light’ – midway winter solstice and vernal equinox)

What is Seasonally Occurring

Right now it is between the solstice and equinox for both hemisphere’s.

For Borealis this is midway Nox and Equilux with noticeably longer days and the coldest time of year nearer the north pole.

In Australis it is midway Lux and Equinox with noticeably longer nights and the hottest time of year nearer the south pole.

 

Where the majority of earth’s population is (at and north of the Tropic of Cancer with the addition of Southern & Western Europe) the first signs of spring are appearing, usually in the forms of early flowers and returning/nesting birds. Farther North of the Tropic of Cancer and the other regions of Europe, it is the last of winter.

 

For the Tropics, this is the point in time when the Tropical Rain Belt shifts from its farthest southern point to moving northward. Thus, for the Australis Tropics, it marks the last of the raining season, and the beginning of a rainy season for the equator, where rainy seasons occur.

Source: Wikicommons, Tropical Rain Belt

 

 

What Are The Seasonal Customs

In Borealis, most of the temperate climes are having winter carnivals, where almost every community organizes wintry themed activities, such as snow sculpting, ice fishing, ice skating and so on before the snow melts in the following months. For the warmer climes of the northern hemisphere, there is more focus on the coming warmth and light of summer, banishing the dark, cleansing (ritually with fire or through diet or with thorough housecleaning) and celebrating the beginning of spring. Many regions celebrate with brilliant colours, a healthy dose of mischievousness and youthful gaiety in the excitement of spring. As the night still comes early for both climes, there are usually fireworks, bonfires and light displays during or marking the beginning or ending of the festivities.

 

 

Northern Hemisphere

CELEBRATION

GENERAL DATE

SPECIFIC DATE

CALENDAR

REGION OF ORIGIN

CULTURE

Patras Carnival Late January

17 January until 7th week before first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the northern hemisphere’s vernal equinox.

Gregorian calendar

Southeast Europe

Greek

Sadeh Late January

50 days before Northward equinox (~March 21)

Zoroastrian calendar

Western Asia

Persian

Tu Bishvat Early February

~296 days after the night of a full moon after the vernal equinox

Hebrew calendar

Western Asia

Hebrew

Imbolc Early February

1-2 February or nearest full moon to this date or first signs of spring

Gregorian calendar

Celtic calendar

Wheel of the Year

North Western Europe

Celtic

Transequilux Early February

45 days after winter solstice /45 Days before the Vernal Equinox (Dusk of Feb 3 – Midday Feb 4)

Ehoah Year Wheel – Gavia, Borealis Kalendar

Earth

Saegoah

Chūnjié – Chinese New Year Early February

When the sun is exactly at the celestial longitude of 315° ending on the 15th day – around February 4 and ends around February 18 (February 19 East Asia time)

Chinese calendar

East Asia

Chinese

Groundhog Day Early February

Feb 2nd

 

Gregorian calendar

Central Europe

Pennsylvania Dutch

Lupercalia Early February

February 13 through 15

Gregorian calendar

Southern Europe

Roman

Maslenitsa Late February

last week before the 7th week before first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the northern hemisphere’s vernal equinox

Ecclesiastical calendar

Eastern Europe

Eastern Slavic

 

Southern Hemisphere

CELEBRATION

GENERAL DATE

SPECIFIC DATE

CALENDAR

REGION OF ORIGIN

CULTURE

Lammas Lughnasadh Early February

February 1st

Gregorian calendar

Celtic calendar

Wheel of the Year

North Western Europe

Celtic

Transequinox Early February

45 days after summer solstice / 45 days before autumnal equinox

(Dawn of Feb 3 – Midnight)

Ehoah Year Wheel – Sphenisci, Australis Kalendar

Earth

Saegoah

 

 

Most of the celebrations described on this time of year reflects the northern hemisphere’s side of things as information on celebrations elsewhere are difficult to come by. Anyone with information on seasonal festivities for the equatorial region and the southern hemisphere please comment below so that these regions become better represented.

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Natural Events & Associated Festivities of the Earth Year: Solstice, Longest Night & Day on Earth

December 3, 2012 by Categorized: Earth Matters, Earthly Rites.

The longest night and day on earth occurs at the same time twice a year (approximately every 183 days). Currently Borealis (the northern hemisphere) will be experiencing the longest night, while Australis (the southern hemisphere) will be experiencing the longest day. In the Gregorian Calendar, that is most used globally, it falls on December 21st this year. The reverse will occur half a year later.

Here is a video that describes in detail how this works:

YouTube Preview Image

 

Below are two examples of calendars that directly express the solar changes on earth:

Borealis Kalendar

Neo-pagan wheel of the year from wikicommons

 

The Borealis celebrations of the longest night include Yule (Germanic), Meán Geimhridh/Midwinter/Alban Arthan (Celtic, Ancient Welsh, Neo-druidism), Nox (Saegoah), Beiwe (Sami people of Fennoscandia), Dongzhi Festival (East Asian Cultural Sphere), Goru (Dogon, Mali), Junkanoo (West Africa, Bahamas, Jamaica, Virginia), Lohri (Punjab, Pakistan & India), Lucia (Scandinavia), Makar Sankranti (Hindu, India and Nepal), Yalda (Persian), Şeva Zistanê (Kurdish), Soyal (Zuni & Hopi, North America), and Ziemassvētki (Latvia, Baltic states, Romuva).

Unfortunately the Australis celebrations of the longest day are difficult to find. One explanation as to why this is is because the majority of the human population resides in Borealis and therefore have more influence in global culture; in addition to historical imperialism that has sequestered or destroyed indigenous celebrations in Australis. Because of this the Borealis celebrations of the longest night are often duplicated in the south, even though the natural event is the opposite. One other explanation of why it is difficult to find Australis celebrations of the longest day is that most of the land masses in Australis are closer to the equator and therefore the majority of the population doesn’t experience the drastic shifts in amount of daylight.

Over time I hope to find and add Australis longest day of the year celebrations to this annual post to balance out the hemispheres.

 

Longest Night on Earth in Borealis

Humans are diurnal creatures – animals that are most active during the day and find it difficult to see in the dark. This inability to see greatly reduces activity as a way to avoid receiving injury from bumping into objects or nocturnal predators. So the dark is understandably something diurnal creatures dislike; hence many human cultures calling things that are deemed negative as ‘dark’.

Looking at customs that revolve around the longest night, many have a sense of apprehension that the days may not return and perform ritual acts as a way to entice the sun to come back, and when it does is greatly celebrated. This is sometimes done over the course of a week or longer as a way to measure and make sure that the days are indeed getting longer again. Hence many Longest Night celebrations and holidays covering a long time span in comparison to other holidays. Other customs with the foresight of previous years, knowing that the days begin to get longer after this point, don’t enact rituals to gain favor and instead just mark it in celebrations for the return of longer days.

Some of the most common features of this time of year are decorating with lights to lessen the surrounding dark; evergreens to surround yourself with more life; bonfires for light, warmth and as a center place for hosting outdoor events; feasting the last of the summer stock, and sharing seasonal songs and stories through the night. In the far north jingle bells are a common sight; stemming from when people rode sleighs down the night roads and having difficulty seeing ahead had run pedestrians over. To prevent these collisions from occurring, sleigh bells became heavily mandated so that people on the night roads can hear when someone is coming and step aside in advance. In modern times this has become unnecessary, leaving the once required jingle bells as festive decorations we now associate with the winter season.

 

Additional Festive/Seasonal Options

TREE

There is a lot of debate on how to go about decorating with an indoor tree, most commonly along the lines of Fake vs Real. There are two options outside of the Fake vs Real dilemma: Bringing in a mature seedling as your tree to decorate that you can plant in spring; Having a Nox Tree – a tree outside that is festively decorated with foodstuffs for your wild neighbours for the Eve of the longest night.

 

LANTERNS

Ice lanterns are gaining popularity and are a fun activity. All you need is two buckets, one small and one big that fit into one another but allow a thick wall of air around it, water and a freezer/cold outside. Fill the big bucket with enough water that the little bucket can be placed so that the tops are level and the bottom touches the water. Freeze the big bucket by itself, then place the little bucket in and fill with rest of the way with water and freeze. Pop it out and put it out on display with a candle. With practice you can place items in the ice for further decorations.

Red Glass lanterns as your only source of outdoor light (or red lights in general). This option may sound strange but it adds a fabulous effect in that you have light with no light pollution, which means you can have a better view of the stars. Just imagine if this was a common form of decoration everywhere – suburban and urban environments would finally be able to have a clear view of the night sky.

 

MIRRORS

Mirrors can help repel a lot of the dark in your home if strategically placed. Corner mirrors that fit into the ceiling corners does wonders for this. But if that is not feasible, using the glass on your photo frames as mirrors behind your candle light in high places, like the standing fridge, can double the amount of light in your home.

 

NOCTURNAL CREATURES

This is a good time of year for those living in Borealis to learn more about the creatures of the night in your neighbourhood. Who are they? What are they like? What can you do to be a good neighbour? A fun option is to dress up like your favorite nocturnal creature armed with fun facts about who you are representing. Toss in a game of predator tag and you’re set.

 

SHADOWS

What better time of year to play with shadows. You can have games on who can make the best hand shadow, or best of a specific shape of shadow i.e. dog. And you can go further with that and make it a story telling experience. You can make silhouette cutouts and a light screen for family performances; or a guess who this is shadow game where there is a light behind a sheet in front of a doorway and a team is behind the sheet, with one member casting a shadow that they’ve disfigured to with stuffed shirts, hats, faux facial hair etc. to try to have the guessing team guess wrong. What you can do with shadows can easily go beyond these small suggestions.

 

There are other sorts of games and activities mentioned on the Nox page of the official Ehoah website that you might want to try out for this time of year. Kid games of Touch and Sound Hide and Seek, Head Lights Tag etc, to Adult games of Blow Pipe and Light, Night are potential family favorites.

 

What do you do to celebrate this longest night/day of the year where you are?

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Earth and Nature Holidays – April 2012

March 31, 2012 by Categorized: Nature in the News.

All over the world, people are celebrating and honoring earth, nature and environmental awareness and education in their communities. Here are just a few national and international “green holidays” to liven up your month.

~

International Year of Sustainable Energy (2012)

  • The United Nations General Assembly declared 2012 the International Year of Sustainable Energy in order to “increase awareness of the importance of addressing energy issues, including modern energy services for all, access to affordable energy, energy efficiency and the sustainability of energy sources and use, for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, sustainable development and the protection of the global climate, and to promote action at the local, national, regional and international level” to work towards ensuring energy access for all and to protect the environment through the sustainable use of traditional energy resources, cleaner technologies and newer energy sources. You can learn more about this project and related events on their website.

~

Keep America Beautiful Month

  • “In 1953 a group of individuals formed an organization called ‘Keep America Beautiful‘ aimed at reducing the amount of littering on public lands, highways and waterways, encouraging Americans to take pride in America. It is the nation’s largest volunteer based community action and education group. Since its conception, it really has grown in leaps and bounds with campaigns and promotions such as:
    - ‘Close the Loop, Buy Recycled’ U.S. EPA partnership
    - Web-based educational tools, including Clean Sweep U.S.A
    - ‘Back By Popular Neglect’ PSA campaign

    “Each April is Keep America Beautiful month drawing attention to the campaigns and research done by Keep America Beautiful and their three primary areas of focus: litter reduction, waste minimization, and beautification.” (from ecofriendlydaily.com)

National Garden Month

  • “Every April communities, organizations, and individuals nationwide celebrate gardening during National Garden Month. Gardeners know, and research confirms, that nurturing plants is good for us: attitudes toward health and nutrition improve, kids perform better at school, and community spirit grows. Join the celebration and help to make America a greener, healthier, more livable place!” (from the official website)

~

International Holidays

  • April 7World Health Day
    “Every year, World Health Day is celebrated on 7 April to mark the anniversary of the founding of WHO in 1948. Each year a theme is selected for World Health Day that highlights a priority area of concern for WHO. The topic of World Health Day in 2012 is Ageing and health with the theme “Good health adds life to years”. The focus is how good health throughout life can help older men and women lead full and productive lives and be a resource for their families and communities. Ageing concerns each and every one of us – whether young or old, male or female, rich or poor – no matter where we live.” (from the official website)
  • April 12Yuri’s Night
    “Yuri’s Night is an international celebration held on April 12 every year to commemorate space exploration milestones. The event is named for the first human to launch into space, Yuri Gagarin, who flew the Vostok 1 spaceship on April 12, 1961. In 2004, people celebrated Yuri’s Night in 34 countries in over 75 individual events. Locations have included Los Angeles, Stockholm, Antarctica, the San Francisco Bay Area, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, and the International Space Station. The goal of Yuri’s Night is to increase public interest in space exploration and to inspire a new generation of explorers. Driven by space-inspired artistic expression and culminating in a worldwide network of annual celebrations and educational events, Yuri’s Night creates a global community of young people committed to shaping the future of space exploration while developing responsible leaders and innovators with a global perspective. These global events are a showcase for elements of culture that embrace space including music, dance, fashion, and art.” (from Wikipedia)
  • April 15 – 21World Creativity and Innovation Week
    “World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21 is a celebration of our ability to get new ideas, use imagination and make new decisions to make the world a better place and to make your place in the world better too. Do what you can, do what you like. There’s only one rule: do no harm.” (from the official website)
  • April 15 – 21International Dark Sky Week
    “International Dark-Sky Week (IDSW), held during the week of the new moon in April, is a week during which people worldwide turn out their lights in order to observe the beauty of the night sky without light pollution. This event was founded in 2003 by Jennifer Barlow of Midlothian, Virginia, and its popularity and participation increases every year.” (from Wikipedia)
  • April 18World Heritage Day
    “World Heritage is the shared wealth of humankind. Protecting and preserving this valuable asset demands the collective efforts of the international community. This special day offers an opportunity to raise the public’s awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage and the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it, as well as draw attention to its vulnerability.” (from the official website)
  • April 22Mother Earth Day

    “The proclamation of 22 April as International Mother Earth Day is an acknowledgement that the Earth and its ecosystems provide its inhabitants with life and sustenance. It also recognizes a collective responsibility, as called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration, to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity. International Mother Earth Day provides an opportunity to raise public awareness around the world to the challenges regarding the well-being of the planet and all the life it supports.” (from the official website)

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National Holidays Around the World

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Did I miss one? Leave a note (and a link, if you have one!) in the comments letting us know what “green” holidays you’re celebrating this month!

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Earth and Nature Holidays – March 2012

March 2, 2012 by Categorized: Nature in the News.

All over the world, people are celebrating and honoring earth, nature and environmental awareness and education in their communities. Here are just a few national and international “green holidays” to liven up your month.

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International Year of Sustainable Energy (2012)

  • The United Nations General Assembly declared 2012 the International Year of Sustainable Energy in order to “increase awareness of the importance of addressing energy issues, including modern energy services for all, access to affordable energy, energy efficiency and the sustainability of energy sources and use, for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, sustainable development and the protection of the global climate, and to promote action at the local, national, regional and international level” to work towards ensuring energy access for all and to protect the environment through the sustainable use of traditional energy resources, cleaner technologies and newer energy sources. You can learn more about this project and related events on their website.

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International Holidays

  • March 14International Day of Action for Rivers
    “March 14 is the International Day of Action For Rivers and Against Dams. Every year hundreds of people around the world lift their voices to celebrate the world’s rivers and the thousands of people who struggle to protect them. The International Day of Action For Rivers is a day to celebrate victories such as dam removal and river restoration. It is a day to take to the streets, demonstrate and demand improvements in the policies and practices of decision makers. It is a day to educate one another about the threats facing our rivers, and learn about better water and energy solutions. Above all, it is a day to unite – by acting together, we demonstrate that these issues are not merely local, but global in scope.” (from the official website)
  • March 20Vernal / Autumnal Equinox
    Religious and spiritual traditions all over the world celebrate the autumnal/vernal equinox as a holy day in the cycles of the seasons.
  • March 22World Water Day
    “International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day. Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater. On this page, we present a brief overview of the different themes that have been the focus of World Water Day celebrations.” (from the official website)
  • Mrch 23World Meteorological Day
    “The United Nations’ (UN) World Meteorological Day is annually held on or around March 23 to remember the World Meteorological Organization’s establishment on that date in 1950. World Meteorological Day often features various events such as conferences, symposia and exhibitions for meteorological professionals, community leaders and the general public. Some events aim to attract media attention to raise meteorology’s profile. Many countries issue postage stamps or special postage stamp cancellation marks to celebrate World Meteorological Day. These stamps often reflect the event’s theme or mark a country’s meteorology achievements.” (learn more here)
  • March 31, 8:30 – 9:30 PMEarth Hour
    “Hundreds of millions of people, businesses and governments around the world unite each year to support the largest environmental event in history – Earth Hour.

    More than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2011 alone, sending a powerful message for action on climate change. It also ushered in a new era with members going Beyond the Hour to commit to lasting action for the planet. Without a doubt, it’s shown how great things can be achieved when people come together for a common cause.” (from the official website)

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National Holidays Around the World

  • March 1Baba Marta (Bulgaria)
  • March 1International Day of the Seal (USA)
  • March 1National Pig Day (USA)
  • March 1Mărţişor (Romania)
  • March 1St. David’s Day (Wales, International)
  • March 3Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival) (Japan)
  • March 4 – 10Sea Week (Australia)
  • March 5National Tree Planting Day (Iran)
  • March 11 – 17National Groundwater Awareness Week (USA)
  • March 12Arbor Day (China, Taiwan)
  • March 14Dita e Verës (Summer Festival) (Albania)
  • March 17St. Patrick’s Day (Ireland, International)
  • March 17 – 23National Water Week (Nepal)
  • March 19Tree Hugging Day (USA)
  • March 20World Frog Day (USA)
  • March 21Nowruz (Persian New Year)
  • March 21International Day of Tree Planting (Belgium)
  • March 21National Tree Planting Day (Lesotho)
  • March 21Festival of Trees (Netherlands)
  • March 21Arbor Day (Portugal)
  • March 22North American Wildlife Celebration (USA)
  • March 24National Tree Planting Day (Uganda)

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Did I miss one? Leave a note (and a link, if you have one!) in the comments letting us know what “green” holidays you’re celebrating this month!

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Earth and Nature Holidays – January 2012

January 1, 2012 by Categorized: Nature in the News.

All over the world, people are celebrating and honoring earth, nature and environmental awareness and education in their communities. Here are just a few national and international “green holidays” to liven up your month.

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International Year of Sustainable Energy (2012)

  • The United Nations General Assembly declared 2012 the International Year of Sustainable Energy in order to “increase awareness of the importance of addressing energy issues, including modern energy services for all, access to affordable energy, energy efficiency and the sustainability of energy sources and use, for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, sustainable development and the protection of the global climate, and to promote action at the local, national, regional and international level” to work towards ensuring energy access for all and to protect the environment through the sustainable use of traditional energy resources, cleaner technologies and newer energy sources. You can learn more about this project and related events on their website.

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International Holidays

  • January 1New Year’s Day
    Many cultures celebrate the end of the old year and the beginning of the new around the time of the winter solstice, with festivities around the world focusing especially on the final day of the internationally accepted civil calendar.

    New Year’s Eve also corresponds to the annual date of the zenith of Sirius, the brightest visible star that can be seen from earth. Sirius reaches its highest point in the sky around mid-night (half way between sunrise and sunset) on the eve of the new year.

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National Holidays Around the World

  • January 1National Tree Planting Day (Tanzania)
  • January 2Ancestry Day/Forefather’s Day (Haiti)
  • January 2 – 4Cassé Gâteau (“Breaking the Cakes”) (Vodou)
  • January 10Save the Eagles Day (US)
  • January 14Makar Sankranti (Hinduism)
  • January 25Pusiaužiemis / Kirmeline (“Day of the Serpents”) (Lithuania)

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Did I miss one? Leave a note (and a link, if you have one!) in the comments letting us know what “green” holidays you’re celebrating this month!

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Earth and Nature Holidays – December 2011

December 1, 2011 by Categorized: Nature in the News.

All over the world, people are celebrating and honoring earth, nature and environmental awareness and education in their communities. Here are just a few national and international “green holidays” to liven up your month.

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International Year of Forests (2011)

  • The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 the International Year of Forests to raise awareness around issues of conservation, protection and sustainable management and development of forests all over the world. You can learn more about this project and related events on their website.
  • Highlighted as part of 2011 International Year of Forests, the UNEP also organizes the “Plant for the Planet” Billion Tree Campaign.

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International Holidays

  • December 5International Volunteer Day
    The United Nations celebrates the thousands of volunteers working across the globe to help foster sustainable human development, many of whom are involved in environmentalism and conservation.

    “IVD [International Volunteer Day] offers an opportunity for volunteer organizations and individual volunteers to make visible their contributions – at local, national and international levels – to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Over the years, rallies, parades, community volunteering projects, environmental awareness, free medical care and advocacy campaigns have all featured prominently on IVD. Apart from mobilising thousands of volunteers every year, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme works closely with partners and governments to establish national volunteer programmes to create structures that foster and sustain local volunteerism in countries. Through the Online Volunteering service volunteers can take action for sustainable human development by supporting the activities of development organizations over the Internet. Every day thousands of people are volunteering, online or on-site, contributing to peace and development and working to achieve the MDGs.” (from the official website)

  • December 10Human Rights Day
    As the #Occupy movement has spread world-wide, environmentalists and protesters alike see the relationship between protecting the environment and upholding basic human rights. Celebrate 63 years since the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    “This year, millions of people decided the time had come to claim their rights. They took to the streets and demanded change. Many found their voices using the internet and instant messaging to inform, inspire and mobilize supporters to seek their basic human rights. Social media helped activists organize peaceful protest movements in cities across the globe – from Tunis to Madrid, from Cairo to New York – at times in the face of violent repression. Human rights belong equally to each of us and bind us together as a global community with the same ideals and values. As a global community we all share a day in common: Human Rights Day on 10 December, when we remember the creation 63 years ago of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” (from the official website)

  • December 11International Mountain Day
    “International Mountain Day is an opportunity to create awareness about the importance of mountains to life, to highlight the opportunities and constraints in mountain development and to build partnerships that will bring positive change to the world’s mountains and highlands. This year’s International Mountain Day theme will focus on Mountains and Forests. It aims to raise awareness about the relevance of mountain forests and the role they play within a Green Economy as well as in climate change adaptation measures. Healthy mountain forests are crucial to the ecological health of the world. They protect watersheds that supply freshwater to more than half the world’s people. They also are the home of untold wildlife, provide food and fodder for mountain people and are important sources of timber and non-wood products. Yet in many parts of the world mountain forests are under threat as never before and deforestation in tropical mountain forests continues at an astounding rate. Protecting these forests and making sure they are carefully managed is an important step towards sustainable mountain development.” (from the official website)
  • December 20 – 25Winter Solstice / Summer Solstice
    Religious and spiritual traditions all over the world celebrate the winter/summer solstice as a holy day in the cycles of the seasons. Many holidays, such as Christmas and Hanukkah, are heavily influenced by the seasonal tides and have given rise to local customs such as Las Posadas and the Night of the Radishes in Mexico and Guatemala, and Junkanoo in the Bahamas.
  • December 31New Year’s Eve
    Many cultures celebrate the end of the old year and the beginning of the new around the time of the winter solstice, with festivities around the world focusing especially on the final day of the internationally accepted civil calendar.

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Green Holidays Around the World

  • December 3World Conservation Day (Autralia)
  • December 4Kamolo Day (Thanksgiving) (Marshall Islands)
  • December 6Farmers’ Day (Ghana)
  • December 8Blessing of the Waters Day (or, Beaches Day) (Uruguay)
  • December 10Ganga-Bois (Haiti)
  • December 12 – 14Agou-Arroyo (“Feeding the Sea”) (Haiti)
  • December 31Hogmanay (Scotland)
  • December 31Ōmisoka (Japan/Shinto)

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Did I miss one? Leave a note (and a link, if you have one!) in the comments letting us know what “green” holidays you’re celebrating this month!

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Earth and Nature Holidays – October 2011

October 4, 2011 by Categorized: Nature in the News.

All over the world, people are celebrating and honoring earth, nature and environmental awareness and education in their communities. Here are just a few national and international “green holidays” to liven up your month.

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International Year of Forests (2011)

  • The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 the International Year of Forests to raise awareness around issues of conservation, protection and sustainable management and development of forests all over the world. You can learn more about this project and related events on their website.
  • Highlighted as part of 2011 International Year of Forests, the UNEP also organizes the “Plant for the Planet” Billion Tree Campaign.

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Energy Awareness Month

  • “The 2011 Energy Awareness Month theme is Turn Words into Action; Turn Action into Results. Wise energy attitudes, behaviors, and organizational decisions ensure results. Take time to review your daily routine to conserve energy, empower others to take action, and join together to save energy and money. Participate in site-specific energy action programs, expand existing activities, and align efforts with your agency’s Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan (SSPP). Now is the time to act with urgency to achieve a clean and secure energy economy and save taxpayer dollars. Turn awareness into action. Turn intent into investment. Turn opportunities into outcomes.” (from the official website)

World Vegetarian Awareness Month

  • “Make a difference this October by informing others about the benefits of vegetarianism. You will be helping to create a better world because vegetarian diets have proven health benefits, save animals’ lives and help to preserve the Earth. It’s easy to get involved. Display our free, colorful, informative poster in your community. You can post it at a local store, office, coffee shop, library, school or other suitable location. Use it as a great way to start a discussion about the benefits of vegetarianism with the people in your life.” (from the official website)

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International Holidays

  • October 1World Vegetarian Day
    “World Vegetarian Day was established as an annual celebration to promote the joy, compassion and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism. The day was originated by the North American Vegetarian Society in 1977 and endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union in 1978. October 1st is the official date, however if necessary, individuals may schedule their event on a nearby date instead.” (from the official website)
  • October 2World Farm Animals Day
    “World Farm Animals Day takes place on October 2nd, which honors the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, an outspoken advocate of non-violence towards animals. WFAD observances are hosted by volunteers in communities in all 50 U.S. states and 2 dozen other countries. Participants include animal advocacy groups and individual activists- anyone and everyone who cares about animals is encouraged to join us in this global outcry. In addition to promoting a vegan lifestyle, the 2010 observance will reveal the ways that animal agribusiness manipulates the government, institutions, and a well-meaning public in order to sell more cruel products.” (from the official website)
  • October 3World Habitat Day
    “The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day. This year, World Habitat Day will be celebrated on 3 October 2011 and the Global Celebration will be hosted by the Government of Mexico. The idea is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities and the basic right of all, to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat. The United Nations chose the theme Cities and Climate Change was chosen because climate change is fast becoming the preeminent development challenge of the 21st century. Indeed, no-one today can really foresee the predicament in which a town or city will find itself in 10, 20 or 30 years time. In this new urban era with most of humanity now living in towns and cities, we must bear in mind that the greatest impacts of disasters resulting from climate change begin and end in cities. Cities too have a great influence on climate change.” (from the official website)
  • October 4World Animal Day
    “World Animal Day was started in 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Florence as a way of highlighting the plight of endangered species. Since then it has grown to encompass all kinds of animal life and is widely celebrated in countries throughout the world. October 4 was chosen as World Animal Day as it is the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. It is intended as a day of celebration for anyone in the world who cares about animals. It is not restricted to any one nationality, creed, religion, political belief or ideology.” (from the official website)
  • October 15International Day of Rural Women
    “The first International Day of Rural Women was observed on 15 October 2008. This new international day, established by the General Assembly in its resolution 62/136 of 18 December 2007, recognizes ‘the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.’ At the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 it was suggested that 15 October be celebrated as ‘World Rural Women’s Day,’ on the the eve of World Food Day, in order to highlight the role played by rural women in food production and food security. ‘World Rural Women’s Day’ has been celebrated, primarily by civil society, across the world for over a decade.” (from the official website)
  • October 16Blog Action Day
    “Blog Action Day is an annual event that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day. Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion around an important issue that impacts us all. For 2011, our Blog Action Day coincides with World Food Day, so our topic of discussion for this year will be food. We use food to mark times of celebration and sorrow. Lack of access to food causes devastating famines, whilst too much is causing a generation of new health problems. It can cost the world, or be too cheap for farmers to make a living. Food is important to our culture, identity and daily sustenance and the team at Blog Action invite you to join us to talk about food.” (from the official website)
  • October 16World Food Day
    “Price swings, upswings in particular, represent a major threat to food security in developing countries. Hardest-hit are the poor. According to the World Bank, in 2010-2011 rising food costs pushed nearly 70 million people into extreme poverty. FOOD PRICES – FROM CRISIS TO STABILITY has been chosen as this year’s World Food Day theme to shed some light on this trend and what can be done to mitigate its impact on the most vulnerable. On World Food Day 2011, let us look seriously at what causes swings in food prices, and do what needs to be done to reduce their impact on the weakest members of global society.” (from the official website)
  • October 17International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
    “The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty has been observed every year since 1993, when the General Assembly, by resolution 47/196, designated this day to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries, particularly in developing countries – a need that has become a development priority. 17 October presents an opportunity to acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty, a chance for them to make their concerns heard, and a moment to recognize that poor people are the first ones to fight against poverty. Participation of the poor themselves has been at the center of the Day’s celebration since its very beginning. The commemoration of 17 October also reflects the willingness of people living in poverty to use their expertise to contribute to the eradication of poverty. The theme of the observance this year is ‘From Poverty to Decent Work: Bridging the Gap’.” (from the official website)
  • October 27World Paper Free Day
    “Paper is a costly crutch and one that may be handicapping your office more than helping. Research shows that we will have close to 10x more information in 2011 compared to 2006, which means that organizations with paper based processes and archiving will drown in paper. Going paperless will therefore not only help the environment, but make an organization more efficient with easier and simultaneous access to valuable information from across the organization. Last year over 57,000 people participated in the first World Paper Free Day. Grow this group and bring your office into the 21st century without the paper trail.” (from the official website)

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National Holidays Around the World

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Did I miss one? Leave a note (and a link, if you have one!) in the comments letting us know what “green” holidays you’re celebrating this month!

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Earth and Nature Holidays – September 2011

September 1, 2011 by Categorized: Nature in the News.

All over the world, people are celebrating and honoring earth, nature and environmental awareness and education in their communities. Here are just a few national and international “green holidays” to liven up your month.

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International Year of Forests (2011)

  • The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 the International Year of Forests to raise awareness around issues of conservation, protection and sustainable management and development of forests all over the world. You can learn more about this project and related events on their website.
  • Highlighted as part of 2011 International Year of Forests, the UNEP also organizes the “Plant for the Planet” Billion Tree Campaign.

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National Honey Month

  • “Americans consume nearly 1.5 pounds of honey per person annually – mixing it into sweet and savory recipes, adding spoonfuls to tea and other beverages, and drizzling it over biscuits, toast and muffins. Consumers can choose from hundreds of honey varieties, each with a special flavor characteristic. These varietal or “mono-floral” honeys result from the bees gathering nectar from flowers of only one type of plant. Honeys may range from clover and eucalyptus to orange blossom, buckwheat and sage. Generally, lighter colored honeys are milder in flavor, while darker honeys are usually more robust. Local beekeepers are a great source for single varietal honeys, selling their products at farmer’s markets and specialty stores. Visit the honey locator at www.honeylocator.com to find a floral source specific to your area. Explore honey’s versatility, benefits and deliciousness, and have a sweet National Honey Month!” (from the National Honey Board website)

Organic Harvest Month

  • “In 1992, the Organic Trade Association implemented ‘Organic Harvest Month’, a widespread promotion of organic food and agriculture through regional and local events. The objective of Organic Harvest Month is to highlight organic agriculture and the growing organic products industry. September is also an ideal time for consumers and retailers to celebrate the bounty of the organic harvest. Events and celebrations of all shapes and sizes take place across North America, in parks, schools, stores, farmers’ markets and at restaurants. Events in the past have included Gastronomic Walking Tours, Organic Country Fairs, organic-themed barn dances, special displays and tastings at supermarkets and special pull-out sections in local newspapers.” (from the Organic Trade Association website)

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International Holidays

  • September 16 – 18Clean Up the World Weekend
    “The campaign’s flagship event is Clean Up the World Weekend, held on the 3rd weekend in September each year. In addition to uniting millions in global environmental action, Clean Up the World Weekend serves as a celebration of participants’ year round activities. By promoting their achievements internationally, Clean Up the World focuses public attention on global community concerns for the environment and how each individual can make a positive contribution to a cleaner and healthier world.” (from the official website)
  • September 16International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer
    “In 1994, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 16 September the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, commemorating the date of the signing, in 1987, of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (resolution 49/114). States were invited to devote the Day to promote activities in accordance with the objectives of the Protocol and its amendments. The ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects the Earth from the harmful portion of the rays of the sun, thus helping preserve life on the planet.” (from the official website)
  • September 17International Coastal Cleanup Day
    “Over the past twenty-five years, Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup has become the world’s largest volunteer effort for ocean health. Nearly nine million volunteers from 152 countries and locations have cleaned 145 million pounds of trash from the shores of lakes, streams, rivers, and the ocean on just one day each year. They have recorded every item found, giving us a clear picture of the manufactured items impacting the health of humans, wildlife, and economies. As our 2011 report demonstrates, the body of data from the International Coastal Cleanup has inspired action to rid the ocean of harmful trash. During the amazing signature event each September, hundreds of thousands of volunteers from countries all over the world spend a day picking up everything from cigarette butts and food wrappers to lost fishing nets and major appliances. Because trash travels to the ocean by way of storm drains and waterways, they don’t just work along ocean beaches; these dedicated folks slog through mud and sand along lakes, streams, and rivers, too, often working far inland.” (from the official website)
  • September 18World Water Monitoring Day
    “World Water Monitoring Day is an international education and outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies. In 2010, over 200,000 people in 85 countries monitored their local waterways. Celebrate with us on September 18, or host your World Water Monitoring Day anytime from March 22 until December 31!” (from the official website)
  • September 21International Day of Peace/Peace One Day
    “In September 1999 I [Jeremy Gilley] founded the film project Peace One Day to document my efforts to create an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence with a fixed calendar date. In 2001, Peace One Day achieved its primary objective. United Nations General Assembly resolution (A/Res/55/282) was unanimously adopted by UN member states, formally establishing an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence on the UN International Day of Peace, fixed in the global calendar on 21st September. With the day in place, Peace One Day’s aim now is to institutionalise Peace Day across the world so it becomes self-sustaining. Not only has Peace Day been proved as a catalyst for broad-ranging civil society action by individuals and groups in every country of the world, but also for life-saving activities. As a key driver towards the institutionalisation of Peace Day, Peace One Day is calling for and working towards a day of ceasefire and non-violence on Peace Day 21 September 2012 – a Global Truce. We hope this will be the largest reduction in global violence in recorded history, both domestically and internationally.” (from a letter from Jeremy Gilley, on the official website)
  • September 22 – 23Autumnal / Vernal Equinox
    Religious and spiritual traditions all over the world celebrate the autumnal/vernal equinox as a holy day in the cycles of the seasons.
  • September 22World Car-Free Day
    “Every September 22, people from around the world get together in the streets, intersections, and neighbourhood blocks to remind the world that we don’t have to accept our car-dominated society. But we do not want just one day of celebration and then a return to “normal” life. When people get out of their cars, they should stay out of their cars. It is up to us, it is up to our cities, and our governments to help create permanent change to benefit pedestrians, cyclists, and other people who do not drive cars. Let World Carfree Day be a showcase for just how our cities might look like, feel like, and sound like without cars…365 days a year.” (from the official website)
  • September 24Moving Planet: A Day to Move Beyond Fossil Fuels
    “The goal is to get moving beyond fossil fuels—both symbolically by pouring into the streets in the thousands on foot, bicycle and other means of sustainable movement, and politically by bringing powerful demands to our leaders that day to move beyond fossil fuels to a 350ppm world. Mobilizing for individual and community solutions will continue to be important—but one of the main goals for Moving Planet is to demand government action, especially in places where governments are stalling on climate action despite the overwhelming urgency of the science.” (from the official website)

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National Holidays Around the World

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Did I miss one? Leave a note (and a link, if you have one!) in the comments letting us know what “green” holidays you’re celebrating this month!

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Earth and Nature Holidays – August 2011

August 5, 2011 by Categorized: Nature in the News.

All over the world, people are celebrating and honoring earth, nature and environmental awareness and education in their communities. Here are just a few national and international “green holidays” to liven up your month.

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International Year of Forests (2011)

  • The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 the International Year of Forests to raise awareness around issues of conservation, protection and sustainable management and development of forests all over the world. You can learn more about this project and related events on their website.
  • Highlighted as part of 2011 International Year of Forests, the UNEP also organizes the “Plant for the Planet” Billion Tree Campaign.

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International Holidays

  • August 1Lammas/Lughnasadh
    During the month of August and the late summer season, religious and spiritual traditions the world over celebrate sacred festivals of ripening and harvest. In modern Pagan traditions, the most widely known in the northern hemisphere are the Wiccan festival of Lammas, the Celtic/Druidic festival of Lughnasadh, and the Norse holiday of Freyfaxi, all of which fall on August 1. Among the indigenous peoples of North America, the Green Corn Ceremony marks the ripening of the corn harvest with dancing, feasting, fasting and other religious observances. (In the southern hemisphere, many modern Pagans celebrate Imbolc on the same date.)
  • August 9International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples
    “The focus of this year’s International Day will be Indigenous designs: celebrating stories and cultures, crafting our own future. This theme highlights the need for preservation and revitalization of indigenous cultures, including their art and intellectual property. It can also be used to showcase indigenous artists and cooperatives or businesses who are taking inspiration from indigenous peoples’ customs and the indigenous communities who may have participated or benefited from this.” (from the official website)
  • August 20International Homeless Animals’ Day
    “Organizations around the world come together on the third Saturday of August to raise awareness about the pet overpopulation epidemic. International Homeless Animals’ Day activities often include candlelight vigils, adopt-a-thons, microchip clinics, blessings of the animals, and heartfelt speeches given by council members, local veterinarians, humane officers and shelter personnel. Other activities include slideshows, rallies, dog walks, open houses, award ceremonies, live music, raffles, and games. To read about previous International Homeless Animals’ Day events, please visit our Newsletters page on our website.” (from the official website)
  • August 20 – 27World Water Week
    “From 20 to 27 of August, 2011, the World Water Week will take place in Stockholm, Sweden under the overarching theme “Water in an Urbanising World”. The World Water Week in Stockholm, organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute, is the leading annual global meeting place for capacity-building, partnership-building and follow-up on the implementation of international processes and programmes in water and development.” (from the official website)

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National Holidays Around the World

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Did I miss one? Leave a note (and a link, if you have one!) in the comments letting us know what “green” holidays you’re celebrating this month!

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Earth and Nature Holidays – July 2011

July 2, 2011 by Categorized: Nature in the News.

All over the world, people are celebrating and honoring earth, nature and environmental awareness and education in their communities. Here are just a few national and international “green holidays” to liven up your month.

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International Year of Forests (2011)

  • The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 the International Year of Forests to raise awareness around issues of conservation, protection and sustainable management and development of forests all over the world. You can learn more about this project and related events on their website.
  • Highlighted as part of 2011 International Year of Forests, the UNEP also organizes the “Plant for the Planet” Billion Tree Campaign.

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July Belongs to Berries Month

  • The month of July is a time to celebrate the exquisite, juicy flavors of berries of all kinds — blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, mulberries, you name it! Take some time this month to appreciate the nutritional and culinary benefits of berries. Add them to salad for a splash of color, eat them fresh (or frozen) for a sweet snack, or bake them into a pie for an amazing summer treat. Seek out local and organic sources of berries and get to know which berries grow in your bioregion.

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International Holidays

  • July 11World Population Day
    “World Population Day is an annual event, observed on July 11, which seeks to raise awareness of global population issues. The event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989. It was inspired by the public interest in Five Billion Day on July 11, 1987, approximately the date on which the world’s population reached five billion people.” (from the Wikipedia page)
  • July 18Mandela Day
    Though Nelson Mandela is best known for his social justice work, Mandela Day is celebrated around the world as a call to action embodying justice and kindness of all kinds, and has grown to include conservation and environmental efforts as well as education and community service. “Mandela Day on July 18 is an annual international day adopted by the United Nations. It is more than a celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy; it is a global movement to take his life’s work into a new century and change our world for the better. Mandela Day asks us all to embrace Madiba’s values and honour his legacy through an act of kindness. Who knows, it might leave you inspired enough to make every day a Mandela Day!” (from the official website)

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National Holidays Around the World

  • July 1David Bower Day (USA)
  • July 7Tanabata – Star Festival (Japan)
  • July 14National Tree Day (Mexico)
  • July 16World Snake Day (US)
  • July 19Marine Day (Japan)
  • July 22National Tree Planting Day (Central African Republic)
  • July 24 – 30Coral Reef Awareness Week (USA)
  • July 25Hurricane Supplication Day (Virgin Islands)
  • July 31National Tree Day (Australia)

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Did I miss one? Leave a note (and a link, if you have one!) in the comments letting us know what “green” holidays you’re celebrating this month!

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Earth and Nature Holidays – June 2011

June 5, 2011 by Categorized: Nature in the News.

All over the world, people are celebrating and honoring earth, nature and environmental awareness and education in their communities. Here are just a few national and international “green holidays” to liven up your month.

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International Year of Forests (2011)

  • The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 the International Year of Forests to raise awareness around issues of conservation, protection and sustainable management and development of forests all over the world. You can learn more about this project and related events on their website.
  • Highlighted as part of 2011 International Year of Forests, the UNEP also organizes the “Plant for the Planet” Billion Tree Campaign.

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Great Outdoors Month

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International Holidays

  • June 5World Environment Day
    “World Environment Day (WED) is an annual event that is aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action. WED activities take place all year round but climax on 5 June every year, involving everyone from everywhere.” (from the official website)
  • June 8World Oceans Day
    On World Oceans Day people around the planet celebrate and honor the body of water which links us all, for what it provides humans and what it represents. “World Oceans Day provides an opportunity to get directly involved in protecting our future, through a new mindset and personal and community action and involvement – beach cleanups, educational programs, art contests, film festivals, sustainable seafood events, and other planned activities help to raise consciousness of how our lives depend on the oceans.” (from the Wikipedia page) This year’s theme is: Youth
  • June 15Global Wind Day
    “Global Wind Day is a worldwide event that occurs annually on 15 June. It is a day for discovering wind, its power and the possibilities it holds to change our world. It is also a day for discovery of the work that has already begun by pioneers around the world. In more than 75 countries around the world, wind farms are in operation, generating energy from a clean and renewable source.” (from the official website)
  • June 17World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
    “There is a close relationship between livelihood, ecosystem wellbeing and soils that are rich in biodiversity. Healthy soils produce life, and yet soil health depends a lot on how individuals use their land. What we do to our soils determines the quality and quantity of the food we eat and how our ecosystems serve us. Our increasing ecological interdependence also means enhancing soils anywhere enhances life everywhere. Where well tended, soil biodiversity will be a resource for use by future generations, and for services that are yet to be discovered.” (from the official website)
  • June 20International Ride to Work Day
    A day when people all over the world are encouraged to ride their motorcycles or scooters to work to demonstrate the social and environmental value of small, low-fuel vehicles and to challenge cultural stereotypes about motorcyclists.
  • June 21Summer Solstice / Winter Solstice
    Religious and spiritual traditions all over the world celebrate the summer/winter solstice as a holy day in the cycles of the seasons.

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National Holidays Around the World

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Did I miss one? Leave a note (and a link, if you have one!) in the comments letting us know what “green” holidays you’re celebrating this month!

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