Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday (shopping)


Black Friday (shopping)


Black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, often regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. In recent years, most major retailers have opened extremely early and offered promotional sales to kick off the holiday shopping season, similar to Boxing Day sales in many Commonwealth Nations. Black Friday is not a federal holiday, but California and some other states observe "The Day After Thanksgiving" as a holiday for state government employees, sometimes in lieu of another federal holiday such as Columbus Day. Many non-retail employees and schools have both Thanksgiving and the day after off, followed by a weekend, thereby increasing the number of potential shoppers. It has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year since 2005, although news reports, which at that time were inaccurate, have described it as the busiest shopping day of the year for a much longer period of time.

The day's name originated in Philadelphia, where it originally was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving.Use of the term started before 1961 and began to see broader use outside Philadelphia around 1975. Later an alternative explanation was made: that retailers traditionally operated at a financial loss ("in the red") from January through November, and "Black Friday" indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit, or "in the black". For large retail chains like Walmart, their net income is positive starting from January 1, and Black Friday can boost their year to date net profit from $14 billion to $19 billion.[citation needed]

For many years, it was common for retailers to open at 6:00 a.m., but in the late 2000s many had crept to 5:00 or even 4:00. This was taken to a new extreme in 2011, when several retailers (including Target, Kohl's, Macy's, Best Buy, and Bealls) opened at midnight for the first time.In 2012, Walmart and several other retailers announced that they would open most of their stores at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day (except in states where opening on Thanksgiving is prohibited due to blue laws, such as Massachusetts where they still opened around midnight), prompting calls for a walkout among some workers. Black Friday shopping is known for attracting aggressive crowds, with annual reports of assaults, shootings, and throngs of people trampling on other shoppers in an attempt to get the best deal on a product before supplies run out.

United States Shopping


The states which have official public holidays for state government employees on "The Day After Thanksgiving" include California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Washington and West Virginia.

The news media have long described the day after Thanksgiving as the busiest shopping day of the year.In earlier years, this was not actually the case. In the period from 1993 through 2001, for example, Black Friday ranked from fifth to tenth on the list of busiest shopping days, with the last Saturday before Christmas usually taking first place. In 2003, however, Black Friday actually was the busiest shopping day of the year, and it has retained that position every year since, with the exception of 2004, when it ranked second (after Saturday, December 18).

Black Friday is popular as a shopping day for a combination of reasons. As the first day after the last major holiday before Christmas it marks the unofficial beginning of the Christmas season. Additionally, many employers give their employees the day off as part of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. In order to take advantage of this, virtually all retailers in the country, big and small, offer various sales. Recent years have seen retailers extend beyond normal hours in order to maintain an edge, or to simply keep up with the competition. Such hours may include opening as early as 12:00 am or remaining open overnight on Thanksgiving Day and beginning sale prices at midnight. In 2010, Toys 'R' Us began their Black Friday sales at 10:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day and further upped the ante by offering free boxes of Crayola crayons and coloring books for as long as supplies lasted. Other retailers, like Sears, Aéropostale, and Kmart, began Black Friday sales early Thanksgiving morning, and ran them through as late as 11:00 pm Friday evening. Forever 21 went in the opposite direction, opening at normal hours on Friday, and running late sales until 2:00 am Saturday morning.Historically, it was common for Black Friday sales to extend throughout the following weekend. However, this practice has largely disappeared in recent years, perhaps because of an effort by retailers to create a greater sense of urgency.

The news media usually give heavy play to reports of Black Friday shopping and their implications for the commercial success of the Christmas shopping season, but the relationship between Black Friday sales and retail sales for the full holiday season is quite weak and may even be negative.

Canada Shopping


The large population centres on Lake Ontario in Canada have always attracted cross-border shopping into the U.S. states, and as Black Friday became more popular in the U.S., Canadians often flocked to the U.S. because of their cheaper prices and a stronger Canadian dollar. After 2001, many were traveling for the deals across the border. Starting in 2008 and 2009, due to the parity of the Canadian dollar compared with the American dollar, several major Canadian retailers ran Black Friday deals as their own to discourage shoppers from leaving Canada.

The year 2012 saw the biggest Black Friday to date in Canada, as Canadian retailers embraced it in an attempt to keep shoppers from travelling across the border.

Before the advent of Black Friday in Canada, the most comparable holiday was Boxing Day in terms of retailer impact and consumerism, but Black Fridays in the U.S. seem to provide deeper or more extreme price cuts than Canadian retailers, even for the same international retailer.

Thanksgiving Day


Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. It became an official Federal holiday in 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens", to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26. As a federal and public holiday in the U.S., Thanksgiving is one of the major holidays of the year. Together with Christmas and New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader holiday season.

The event that Americans commonly call the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621. This feast lasted three days, and it was attended by 90 Native Americans (as accounted by attendee Edward Winslow) and 53 Pilgrims. The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating "thanksgivings"—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought.

History

The traditional representation of where the first Thanksgiving was held in the United States has often been a subject of boosterism and debate, though the debate is often confused by mixing up the ideas of a Thanksgiving holiday celebration and a Thanksgiving religious service. According to author James Baker, this debate is a "tempest in a beanpot".

    Local boosters in Virginia, Florida, and Texas promote their own colonists, who (like many people getting off a boat) gave thanks for setting foot again on dry land.
    —Jeremy Bangs

The first documented thanksgiving services in territory currently belonging to the United States were conducted by Spaniards in the 16th century. Thanksgiving services were routine in what was to become the Commonwealth of Virginia as early as 1607, with the first permanent settlement of Jamestown, Virginia holding a thanksgiving in 1610.

On December 4, 1619, 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Hundred. The group's charter required that the day of arrival be observed yearly as a "day of thanksgiving" to God. On that first day, Captain John Woodlief held the service of thanksgiving. As quoted from the section of the Charter of Berkeley Hundred specifying the thanksgiving service: "We ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God." After the Indian massacre of 1622, the Berkeley Hundred site and other outlying locations were abandoned as the colonists withdrew to Jamestown and other more secure points.

Traditional celebrations

U.S. tradition compares the holiday with a meal held in 1621 by the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims who settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts. It is continued in modern times with the Thanksgiving dinner, traditionally featuring turkey, playing a central role in the celebration of Thanksgiving.

In the United States, certain kinds of food are traditionally served at Thanksgiving meals. Firstly, baked or roasted turkey is usually the featured item on any Thanksgiving feast table (so much so that Thanksgiving is sometimes referred to as "Turkey Day"). Stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet corn, various fall vegetables (mainly various kinds of squashes), and pumpkin pie are commonly associated with Thanksgiving dinner. All of these are actually native to the Americas or were introduced as a new food source to the Europeans when they arrived. Turkey may be an exception. In his book Mayflower, Nathaniel Philbrick suggests that the Pilgrims might already have been familiar with turkey in England, even though the bird is native to the Americas. The Spaniards had brought domesticated turkeys back from Central America in the early 17th century, and the birds soon became popular fare all over Europe, including England, where turkey (as an alternative to the traditional goose) became a "fixture at English Christmases".

Giving thanks

Thanksgiving was founded as a religious observance for all the members of the community to give thanks to God for a common purpose. Historic reasons for community thanksgivings are: the 1541 thanksgiving mass after the expedition of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado safely crossing the high plains of Texas and finding game, and the 1777 thanksgiving after the victory in the Revolutionary War Battle of Saratoga.In his 1789 National Thanksgiving Proclamation, President Washington gave many noble reasons for a national Thanksgiving, including "for the civil and religious liberty", for "useful knowledge", and for God’s "kind care" and "His Providence". After President Washington delivered this message, the "Episcopal Church, of which President Washington was a member, announced that the first Thursday in November would become its regular day for giving thanks". After Washington, the only presidents to express a specifically Christian perspective in their proclamation have been Grover Cleveland in 1896,and William McKinley in 1900.Several other presidents have cited the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Vacation and travel

On Thanksgiving Day, families and friends usually gather for a large meal or dinner. Consequently, the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is one of the busiest travel periods of the year.Thanksgiving is a four-day or five-day weekend vacation for schools and colleges. Most business and government workers (78% in 2007) are given Thanksgiving and the day after as paid holidays.Thanksgiving Eve, the night before Thanksgiving, is one of the busiest nights of the year for bars and clubs (where it is often identified by the derogatory name Blackout Wednesday), as many college students and others return to their hometowns to reunite with friends and family.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

International Men's Day


International Men's Day (IMD) is an annual international event celebrated on 19 November. Inaugurated in 1999 in Trinidad and Tobago, the day and its events find support from a variety of individuals and groups in Australia, the Caribbean, North America, Asia, Europe and Africa.

Speaking on behalf of UNESCO, Director of Women and Culture of Peace Ingeborg Breines said of IMD, "This is an excellent idea and would give some gender balance." She added that UNESCO was looking forward to cooperating with the organizers.

The objectives of celebrating an International Men's Day include focusing on men's and boys' health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models. It is an occasion to highlight discrimination against men and boys and to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular for their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care. The broader and ultimate aim of the event is to promote basic humanitarian values.

International Men's Day is celebrated in over 60 countries, including Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Australia, India, China, United States, Romania, Singapore, Malta, United Kingdom, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Seychelles, Burundi, Hungary, Ireland, Isle of Man, Ghana, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, France, Italy, Pakistan, Cuba, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Grenada and Cayman Islands, on 19 November, and global support for the celebration is broad.

Calls for an International Men's Day have been noted since at least the 1960s when it was reported that "many men have been agitating privately to make 23 Feb International Men's Day, the equivalent of 8 March, which is International Women's Day" In the Soviet Union this was The Red Army and Navy Day since 1922 which was later renamed Defender of the Fatherland Day. The date was informally viewed a male counterpart of Women's Day (8 March) in some territories of the Union, however due to the day's limited focus to historical events some countries of the former union have moved to adopt the more 'male specific' 19 November as International Men's Day, including Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia.

In 1968 American Journalist John P. Harris wrote an editorial in the Salina Journal highlighting a lack of balance in the Soviet system which promoted an International Women's Day for the female workers, without promoting a corresponding day for male workers. Harris stated that while he did not begrudge Soviet women their March day of glory, it was clear that the lack of equality for males exhibited a serious flaw in the Communist system which, "makes much of the equal rights it has given the sexes, but as it turns out, the women are much more equal than the men." Harris stated that while the men toiled along in their grooves doing what their government and womenfolk tell them to do, there was no day when males are recognised for their service, leading Harris to conclude that "This strikes me as unwarranted discrimination and rank injustice." Similar questions about the inequality of observing women's day without a corresponding men's day occurred in media publications from the 1960s through to the 1990s, at which time the first attempts at inaugurating international Men's Day are recorded.

In the early 1990s, organizations in the United States, Australia and Malta held small events in February at the invitation of Professor Thomas Oaster who directed the Missouri Center for Men's Studies at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. Oaster successfully promoted the event in 1993 and 1994, but his following attempt in 1995 was poorly attended and he ceased plans to continue the event in subsequent years. Australians also ceased to observe the event (until they re-established it in 19 November 2003), whilst the Maltese Association for Men's Rights continued as the only country that continued to observe the event each year in February. As the only remaining country still observing the original February date, the Maltese AMR Committee voted in 2009 to shift the date of their observation to 19 November to be in synchrony with all other countries which had begun to celebrate IMD on that date.

While International Men's and Women's Day are considered together as 'gender focussed' events they are not ideological mirror images, as both events highlight issues considered unique to men or to women. The history of IMD is primarily concerned with celebrating issues considered unique to men’s and boys experiences, and the emphasis on positive role models "is deemed necessary in a social context which is often fascinated with images of males behaving badly... In highlighting positive male role models IMD attempts to show that males of all ages respond much more energetically to positive role models than they do to negative stereotyping."

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Costumes






















History of Halloween


History of Halloween

Halloween is a holiday celebrated on the night of October 31.  The word Halloween is a shortening of All Hallows' Evening also known as Hallowe'en or All Hallows' Eve.

Traditional activities include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting "haunted houses" and carving jack-o-lanterns. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. Other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century including Ireland, the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom as well as of Australia and New Zealand.
 
Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced "sah-win"). 
The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. Samhain was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops.

The festival would frequently involve bonfires. It is believed that the fires attracted insects to the area which attracted bats to the area. These are additional attributes of the history of Halloween.

Masks and costumes were worn in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or appease them.

Trick-or-treating, is an activity for children on or around Halloween in which they proceed from house to house in costumes, asking for treats such as confectionery with the question, "Trick or treat?" The "trick" part of "trick or treat" is a threat to play a trick on the homeowner or his property if no treat is given. Trick-or-treating is one of the main traditions of Halloween. It has become socially expected that if one lives in a neighborhood with children one should purchase treats in preparation for trick-or-treaters.

The history of Halloween has evolved.  The activity is popular in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, and due to increased American cultural influence in recent years, imported through exposure to US television and other media, trick-or-treating has started to occur among children in many parts of Europe, and in the Saudi Aramco camps of Dhahran, Akaria compounds and Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia. The most significant growth and resistance is in the United Kingdom, where the police have threatened to prosecute parents who allow their children to carry out the "trick" element. In continental Europe, where the commerce-driven importation of Halloween is seen with more skepticism, numerous destructive or illegal "tricks" and police warnings have further raised suspicion about this game and Halloween in general.

In Ohio, Iowa, and Massachusetts, the night designated for Trick-or-treating is often referred to as Beggars Night.

Part of the history of Halloween  is Halloween costumes. The practice of dressing up in costumes and begging door to door for treats on holidays goes back to the Middle Ages, and includes Christmas wassailing. Trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice of "souling," when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (November 2). It originated in Ireland and Britain, although similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy. Shakespeare mentions the practice in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1593), when Speed accuses his master of "puling [whimpering, whining], like a beggar at Hallowmas."

Yet there is no evidence that souling was ever practiced in America, and trick-or-treating may have developed in America independent of any Irish or British antecedent. There is little primary Halloween history documentation of masking or costuming on Halloween in Ireland, the UK, or America before 1900. The earliest known reference to ritual begging on Halloween in English speaking North America occurs in 1911, when a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario, near the border of upstate New York, reported that it was normal for the smaller children to go street guising (see below) on Halloween between 6 and 7 p.m., visiting shops and neighbors to be rewarded with nuts and candies for their rhymes and songs. Another isolated reference appears, place unknown, in 1915, with a third reference in Chicago in 1920. The thousands of Halloween postcards produced between the turn of the 20th century and the 1920s commonly show children but do not depict trick-or-treating. Ruth Edna Kelley, in her 1919 history of the holiday, The Book of Hallowe'en, makes no mention of such a custom in the chapter "Hallowe'en in America." It does not seem to have become a widespread practice until the 1930s, with the earliest known uses in print of the term "trick or treat" appearing in 1934, and the first use in a national publication occurring in 1939. Thus, although a quarter million Scots-Irish immigrated to America between 1717 and 1770, the Irish Potato Famine brought almost a million immigrants in 1845-1849, and British and Irish immigration to America peaked in the 1880s, ritualized begging on Halloween was virtually unknown in America until generations later.

Trick-or-treating spread from the western United States eastward, stalled by sugar rationing that began in April 1942 during World War II and did not end until June 1947.

Early national attention to trick-or-treating was given in October 1947 issues of the children's magazines Jack and Jill and Children's Activities, and by Halloween episodes of the network radio programs The Baby Snooks Show in 1946 and The Jack Benny Show and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet in 1948. The custom had become firmly established in popular culture by 1952, when Walt Disney portrayed it in the cartoon Trick or Treat, Ozzie and Harriet were besieged by trick-or-treaters on an episode of their television show, and UNICEF first conducted a national campaign for children to raise funds for the charity while trick-or-treating.

Jack O'Lantern
Trick-or-treating on the prairie. Although some popular histories of Halloween have characterized trick-or-treating as an adult invention to re-channel Halloween activities away from vandalism, nothing in the historical record supports this theory. To the contrary, adults, as reported in newspapers from the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s, typically saw it as a form of extortion, with reactions ranging from bemused indulgence to anger. Likewise, as portrayed on radio shows, children would have to explain what trick-or-treating was to puzzled adults, and not the other way around. Sometimes even the children protested: for Halloween 1948, members of the Madison Square Boys Club in New York City carried a parade banner that read "American Boys Don't Beg."

Thursday, October 24, 2013

World Development Information Day

The United Nations' (UN) World Development Information Day is annually held on October 24 to draw attention of worldwide public opinion to development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them.

On May 17, 1972, the UN Conference on Trade and Development proposed measures for the information dissemination and the mobilization of public opinion relative to trade and development problems. These became known as resolution 3038 (XXVII), which was passed by the UN General Assembly on December 19, 1972.

This resolution called for introducing World Development Information Day to help draw the attention of people worldwide to development problems. A further aim of the event is to explain to the general public why it is necessary to strengthen international cooperation to find ways to solve these problems. The assembly also decided that the day should coincide with United Nations Day to stress the central role of development in the UN's work. World Development Information Day was first held on October 24, 1973, and has been held on this date each year since then.

In recent years, many events have interpreted the title of the day slightly differently. These have concentrated on the role that modern information technologies, such as Internet and mobile telephones can play in alerting people and finding solutions to problems of trade and development. One of the specific aims of World Development Information Day was to inform and motivate young people and this change may help to further this aim.

World Development Information Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Many events are organized to focus attention on the work that the UN does, particularly with regard to problems of trade and development. Many of these are aimed at journalists working for a range of media, including television, radio, newspapers, magazines and Internet sites. Direct campaigns may also be organized in some areas. These may use advertisements in newspapers and on radio and television as well as posters in public places.

In South Africa, indabas (gatherings of community representatives with expertise in a particular area) are often held. Representatives of local, national and international bodies are invited to share, discuss and consolidate their ideas around a particular development issue of local or national importance.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

World Food Day



World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945. The day is celebrated widely by many other organisations concerned with food security, including the World Food Programme.

Origins

World Food Day (WFD) was established by FAO's Member Countries at the Organization's 20th General Conference in November 1945. The Hungarian Delegation, led by the former Hungarian Minister of Agriculture and Food, Dr. Pál Romány has played an active role at the 20th Session of the FAO Conference and suggested the idea of celebrating the WFD worldwide. It has since been observed every year in more than 150 countries, raising awareness of the issues behind poverty and hunger.

Themes


Since 1981, World Food Day has adopted a different theme each year, in order to highlight areas needed for action and provide a common focus.
Most of the themes revolve around agriculture because only investment in agriculture – together with support for education and health – will turn this situation around. The bulk of that investment will have to come from the private sector, with public investment playing a crucial role, especially in view of its facilitating and stimulating effect on private investment.
In spite of the importance of agriculture as the driving force in the economies of many developing countries, this vital sector is frequently starved of investment. In particular, foreign aid to agriculture has shown marked declines over the past 20 years.

The theme for World Food Day 2013 is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”.

Food security:

There are an estimated 842 million hungry people on the planet. This means that one in eight people in the world suffer from chronic hunger, not having enough food for an active and healthy life. Plus the number of people on the planet is increasing rapidly. Production of basic staple foods will need to increase by 60 percent to meet the expected growth in demand. 

Nutrition:

Producing more food is important. But it is not enough. Two billion people worldwide lack micronutrients vital for good health. Each one of us requires more than basic staple foods for a balanced and nutritious diet. Our food systems must become more nutrition-driven, with a stronger focus on fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-dense foods. 

Food Systems:

A food system is made up of all the processes that ensure our food arrives from “farm to fork”: how we grow, process, package, transport, store, market, purchase and eat our food. Since every aspect of a food system has an effect on the final availability and accessibility of diverse, nutritious foods, we must constantly strive towards healthier improvements up and down food value chains.  

Sustainability:

By definition, sustainable food systems produce nutritious diets for all people today and protect the capacity of future generations to feed themselves. Yet, today almost 60 percent of the world’s ecosystems are degraded or used unsustainably, in large part because of the environmentally harmful effects of our current food systems. We can do better. By using resources more efficiently at every stage along the food chain, we can increase the amount of healthy food available worldwide. Getting the most food from every drop of water, plot of land, and speck of fertilizer saves resources for the future. We can all play a part in improving our food systems, even in our homes, by making good decisions about what food we buy and eat, and by reducing food waste. 

For More information, visit http://www.worldfooddayusa.org
   

Friday, October 11, 2013

World Egg Day


World Egg Day is celebrated every year on the second Friday in October. On World Egg Day, events are held across the world celebrating the egg.The first World Egg Day was celebrated in 1996 and since then we have seen a variety of wonderful events taking place internationally, with people enjoying and celebrating the wonderful versatility of the egg.

There is so much to celebrate – Eggs have the potential to feed the worldEggs have a vital role to play in feeding people around the world, in both developed and developing countries.  They are an excellent, affordable source of high quality protein, with the potential to feed the world.

The international event that celebrates the egg all around the world.World Egg Day is a unique opportunity to help raise awareness of the benefits of eggs and is celebrated in countries all around the world.

The International Egg Commission has proclaimed the second Friday in October as World Egg Day. Countries throughout the world will be joining in the celebration of the egg. To what does the egg owe this honour? There are at least a dozen good reasons.

Whether you celebrate World Egg Day every year, or this will be your first time, make sure that this year on Friday 11th October, you get cracking and help to make this World Egg Day the biggest and the best ever. To help to get you in the mood, and start making plans, here are some examples of things that have been done in the past

Cook-off to find the region’s or nation’s fastest omelette maker.
Family festivals – festivals have been held around the world, putting on eggciting fun and games for the whole family. Past festivals have included egg drawing competitions, egg throwing challenges, recipe contests and cooking competitions, as well as music and entertainment to bring people of all ages together to enjoy eggs.
Recipe books containing a selection of delicious recipes using eggs.
Shopping Centre cooking demonstrations and cook-offs.
Tasty, nutritional seminars explaining the benefits of eggs.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

World Post Day



World Post Day is celebrated on October 9. This day is the date when the first postal union, the Universal Postal Union (UPU), was started in 1874 in Bern, Switzerland.
Post is one of the oldest ways of communicating. The postal service is part of people’s daily life all over the world. People send or receive letters and parcels through the postal service.
Did you know that China was one of the first countries to have a postal service? Experts disagree about the date, but it is likely that there was a system during the Qin Dynasty (221–207 BC).
In fact, some experts think that there may have been a postal system before then. In the Zhou Dynasty (1122–256 BC), Confucius (551 –479 BC) said: “news of deeds travels faster than the mail.”
Experts believe that the Chinese Postal Service has been in use for the longest amount of time in the world.
Many students collect stamps for a hobby. This, according to UPU, helps young people to learn about the world.
“The quickest way to learn about a country is probably through stamp collecting,” says Anthony Alverno, a UPU official.
Through stamp collecting you can go back in time to hundreds of years ago or go into outer space. You can meet famous people, or learn about places and animals from around the world.
“It does not cost a lot of money and most of all it’s fun,” says Alverno.
World Post Day is celebrated in many ways. Postal services in many countries use this day to have stamp exhibitions and use special stamps.
Did you know the UK Penny Black, featuring Queen Victoria's portrait was issued on 1 May 1840 and it was the world's first official adhesive postage stamp.
The day marks the anniversary of creation of the Universal Postal Union in 1874 in Bern in Switzerland.  Then, in 1969, the Universal Postal Union Congress was held in Japan and they declared October 9th World Post Day.   These days, countries from all around the world celebrate postal systems everywhere!
Nearly 445 billion letters are delivered around the world every year.
In the UK, the peak period for the Royal Mail (the UK postal system) was 2005-2006 when they delivered around 84 million items every day and had around 14,376 Post Offices across the country!
A number of events will be held worldwide to celebrate the day, including workshops on the art of stamp making and information and seminars about stamp collecting.
Often around this special day, postal services issue special commemorative stamps, so all you budding philatelists (that's stamp collectors to you and me!) should keep your eyes peeled on the World Post Day website!
The day is supported by the United Nations (UN), and you can also find out more about the history of the postal service at the site.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

World Space Week


World Space Week

World Space Week' is an annual holiday held from October 4 to October 10. It is observed from 4-10 October in most of the world, in continents including Europe, Russia and Asia. World Space Week is officially defined as "an international celebration of science and technology, and their contribution to the betterment of the human condition."

On December 6, 1999, The United Nations General Assembly declared World Space Week as an annual event celebration to be commemorated between October 4-10. The choice of dates was based on recognition of two important dates in space history: the launch of the first human-made Earth satellite, Sputnik 1, on October 4, 1957; and the signing of the Outer Space Treaty on October 10, 1967.

The World Space Week Association is a non-government, non-profit organization which is supported by national coordinators in over 50 nations. It is led by an all volunteer Board of Directors including Buzz Aldrin, Bill Nye, Tom Hanks and space leaders from around the world. Its goals are to educate people around the world about the benefits that they receive from space, encourage use of space for sustainable economic development, foster enthusiastic education and interest in science and cooperation between nations through space outreach and education.

In 2007, World Space Week was celebrated in 54 countries and in space. A total of 435 events were reported in 244 cities, with attendance of over 377,000 and media audience of over 26,000,000. Events included rocket launches, school activities, exhibits, political events, and special events at planetaria around the world. Under the theme "50 Years in Space", many events of World Space Week 2007 celebrated the 50th anniversary of the space age which began with the launch of Sputnik I on October 4, 1957. In space, Bigelow Aerospace illuminated its Genesis spacecraft with the World Space Week logo and beamed photos that week to Earth.

In 2008, the theme for World Space Week was "Exploring the Universe".In 2009, the theme was "Space for Education". "Mysteries of the Cosmos" was the theme in 2010. In 2012, the central theme was human safety and security through space, promoting awareness of the roles that space satellites play in safeguarding the environment and protecting humans through functions such as Earth observation, navigation, search and rescue operations, and telecommunication. Commemoration of WSW 2012 included media coverage about the historic launch of SpaceShipOne, Sputnik and future goals of the human colonization of worlds beyond Earth. WSW 2012 was celebrated in 65 nations.

World Space Week 2013 is all about what many consider the Next Frontier: the planet Mars. Humanity is quickly conquering this new frontier. Mars Curiosity is the largest rover ever brought to another planet, discovering new features of the Red Planet every day. In 2018 the first people will get a chance to see the planet from up close through Dennis Tito's Inspiration mars fly-by mission, while several organizations are planning the first manned landing mission, some time in the next two decades.

World Space Week 2013 is all about what many consider the Next Frontier: the planet Mars. Humanity is quickly conquering this new frontier. Mars Curiosity is the largest rover ever brought to another planet, discovering new features of the Red Planet every day. In 2018 the first people will get a chance to see the planet from up close through Dennis Tito's Inspiration mars fly-by mission, while several organizations are planning the first manned landing mission, some time in the next two decades.

We hope this theme will inspire our event organizers to reach out to schools, universities, astronomy clubs, community centers, space industry events and wherever we can celebrate space. Please contact your national coordinator to find out how easy it is to create your own event. Please help us tell the world about "Exploring Mars, Discovering Earth"!

Friday, October 4, 2013

World Animal Day


World Animal Day is celebrated each year on October the 4th. It started in Florence, Italy in 1931 at a convention of ecologists.On this day, animal life in all its forms is celebrated, and special events are planned in locations all over the globe. The 4th of October was originally chosen for World Animal Day because it is the feast day of Francis of Assisi, a nature lover and patron saint of animals and the environment. Numerous churches throughout the world observe the Sunday closest to October the 4th with a Blessing of the Animals.

World Animal Day, however, has now gone beyond being the celebration of a Christian saint and is today observed by animal-lovers of all beliefs, nationalities and backgrounds. Animal blessings are held in churches, synagogues, and by independent animal chaplains in parks and fields.Animal rescue shelters hold fundraising events and open days, wildlife groups organize information displays, schools undertake animal-related project work and individuals and groups of friends or co-workers donate to animal charities or pledge to sponsor a shelter animal.

In Argentina it is celebrated on April 29 as a tribute to the death (in 1926) of Dr. Lucas Ignacio Albarracín. Albarracín was, along with Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, one of the founders of the Sociedad Argentina Protectora de Animales (Argentine Society of Protection of Animals) and the proponent of the National Law on Protection of Animals.

For more Information please visit http://www.worldanimalday.org.uk

World Smile Day 2013


The World is Celebrating

Welcome to the World Smile Day 2013.

As is well known by now throughout the world Harvey Ball, a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachusetts created the smiley face in 1963. That image went on to become the most recognizable symbol of good will and good cheer on the planet.


As the years passed Harvey Ball became concerned about the over-commercialization of his symbol, and how its original meaning and intent had become lost in the constant repetition of the marketplace.  Out of that concern came his idea for World Smile Day. He thought that we, all of us, should devote one day each year to smiles and kind acts throughout the world.  The smiley face knows no politics, no geography and no religion.  Harvey’s idea was that for at least one day each year, neither should we.  He declared that the first Friday in October each year would henceforth be World Smile Day. Ever since that first World Smile Day held in 1999, it has continued every year in Smiley's hometown of Worcester, MA and around the world.

After Harvey died in 2001, the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation was created to honor his name and memory.  The Foundation continues as the official sponsor of World Smile Day each year.

This website was created to provide information about  World Smile Day®, Harvey Ball and Smiley.  Browse the archives to learn more about past World Smile Day events, Smiley and his creator - Harvey Ball.  And be sure to join the celebration this year on Friday, October 4th, and "Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile"!

Smile Someone on WSD '13

We continue the tradition of sending hand delivered "You've Been Smiled" Certificates to residents of Worcester, Massachusetts - Smiley's hometown - on World Smile Day 2013.  To join the fun and send a Smile Certificate to friends and loved ones within Worcester, MA city limits, simply complete and submit the form below telling us who you are and to whom we should deliver the Smile Certificate on World Smile Day this year.  The recipient will receive a hand-delivered "You’ve Been Smiled!" certificate. It’s free! But the recipient MUST live within Worcester City limits. Certificates will be delivered by Team Hank Stolz.  Submissions will close at 5pm EST on Thu, Oct 3rd, 2013.

World Smile Day 2013 Ambassadors

Be a World Smile Day Ambassador and let us know what you'll be doing!

Every year we receive emails and letters from people around the world informing us of the events they have organized or how they as individuals planned to observe World Smile Day.  We consider them to be "World Smile Day Ambassadors".  You too can be an Ambassador by making people aware of World Smile Day and its purpose and message.

Organize events to mark the day at school, work, with your organization or as an individual.  Recognize those who perform acts of kindness everyday.  Surprise those in need of a smile.

The possibilities are endless and the theme is simple - "Do an act of kindness.  Help one person smile!"   Please let us and the world know how you will observe the day by leaving a message on our comments board shown below and have  great World Smile day

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

World Tourism Day 2013


Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future

Tourism today is a trillion dollar sector involving the movement of over one billion tourists a year around the world and another five to six billion domestically.


In line with the 2013 United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation, the 2013 theme for World Tourism Day is Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future. As the most widely celebrated global day for tourism, it represents a unique opportunity to raise awareness of tourism’s role in water access and shine a spotlight on the sector’s contribution to a more sustainable water future. 

Tourism has proven to provide environmentally sound solutions, as well as political and financial support, for the conservation and sustainable use of water sources. But more must be done. With a record one billion international tourists travelling in a single year in 2012, now is the time to commit to a more sustainable tourism sector in order to protect our common future.

  This year’s theme highlights tourism’s role in water access and shines a spotlight on the actions currently being taken by the sector in order to contribute to a more sustainable water future, as well as the challenges ahead.

World Tourism Day Celebration(27th September)

In support of United Nation's International year of water co-operation, World Tourism Day 2013 is held under the theme being TOURISM & WATER: PROTECTING OUR COMMON FUTURE. This year theme highlights Tourism's Role in WATER ACCESS and shares the spotlight on the actions currently being taken by the sector in order to continue a more sustainable water future, as well as the challenges ahead, Manipur Tourism forum will be celebrating World Tourism Day on 27th Sep 2013 by organizing various program related to the theme.

As a part of the celebration Manipur Tourism forum will be organizing competition and certain activities at the Loktak Lake surrounding Area 

1. Photography Competition 2. Local Boat Racing 3. Water Adventure Activities ( Non Competition) 

1. Photography Competition:

In connection with the celebration of world Tourism day "Tourism & Water: Protecting our common Future", Manipur Tourism Forum is holding a photography competition with the Theme of world tourism day 2013 "Tourism & Water: Protecting our common Future" 

The Category for the photography completion is "Tourism & Water: Protecting our common Future" Photographs that reflect the beauty of Manipur in relation with water will be considered for the awards. 

Submission Process for the competition:
Submit your Entry through Email at manipurtourismforum (at) gmail (dot) com 
A Morph/copy of Photo with size [pixel: 1200*800 or more]
- And - 
A hard copy print of 12" X 8 " at the Reception counter of THE CLASSIC HOTEL
Also submit the following details with the copy of the photo in its original format [as take through the camera] with the following details 1. Name:
2. Age:
3. Address:
4. Phone No:
5. Contact Email:
6. Short Description of the Photograph
7. Brief Profile of Photographer:

Criteria:
1: Participant will only submit one Photo
2: Photo must have not been published in any form of Media 
3: Photo must relate with Manipur in reference with water only
4: Participant must submit raw photo not less a pixel of 1200 * 800
5: Photo must not be manipulated with any software in any form/process, only resizing of the Photo is allowed

Last Date of submission: 26th Sep 2013 till 4.00 PM 

Expert panel will be the Judge for the competition; the result will be announced in Local Newspaper.
Copyright Policy of the Photo: A participant agrees that the photo submitted for the competition can be utilised by The Manipur tourism forum for promotion activity of Manipur tourism Forum. The participant agrees that Manipur tourism forum have the Right to use the Photo or reproduce the photo in any form of media for its promotional activity.

2. Local Boat Racing: 

For Local Boat racing competition Please contact the Office of Bishnupur District Canoeing and Kayaking Association
Application form can be collected from the office of The "Bishnupur District Canoeing and Kayaking Association". 
There competition will of two types:-
1. Local Boat Racing (Individual)
2. Local Boat Racing (Group)
The application can entry for both categories.
The last date for entry is 25th Sep 2013 

3. Water Adventure Activities (Non Competition) 

Manipur Tourism Forum in association of MMTA wills also organizing a one day Water Adventure activities camp. Individual and groups will have the opportunity to experience water adventure activities like water Skiing, water Zorbing, Air Boat etc. 
Manipur Tourism Forum request individual and organization to take part in the celebration at Loktak Lake, Moirang on 27th September 2013. Time: 9.00 PM 

World Maritime Day


World Maritime Day 2013

World maritime day 2013 theme is "Sustainable Development: IMO’s contribution beyond Rio+20" and 2012 theme is "IMO: One hundred years after the Titanic".

Every year the International Maritime Organization (IMO) observes World Maritime Day. The exact date is left for individual governments to decide but is normally celebrated during the last week of September. The day is considered to focus emphasize on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the marine environment and to devote on a particular aspect of IMO's work.

World Maritime Day and its Goal

World Maritime Day 2013 has been celebrated on Thursday, 24 September at the IMO's headquarters in London, England. The US Parallel Event was held on October 16-18, n New York City in the same year. Different other ports throughout the US conducted simultaneous events in their respective locations. The goal of World Maritime Day is to attract public, private, and government bodies to the many environmental concernswithin the maritime community to reduce the effects of climate change worldwide.

How People Celebrate World Maritime Day?

World Maritime Day emphasize on the significance of safe shipping, marine environment and maritime security along with a particular aspect of IMO's work. The day also flashes a special message from the IMO’s secretary-general, which is consolidated by a discussion paper on the selected subject in explanatory manner.

World Maritime Day is celebrated in various countries around the world, including Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. Many maritime organizations and institutions conduct special activities and events to celebrate this special day. These activities and events vary from luncheons to symposiums, including school lessons that focus on the day. Some classes also organize a trip to a maritime museum so that students may know the significance of the maritime industry in shipping world history as well as its significance in world trade.

Background of World Maritime Day

It has been considered by the people that international regulations that are followed by many countries worldwide, could improve marine safety, hence many treaties have been signed and adopted since the 19th century. Various countries endorsed for a permanent international body to be floated to advocate maritime safety more effectively but it was not until the UN was established that these concepts were realized. An international conference in Geneva in the year 1948 established the IMO, a specialized UN agency that promotes and manages a huge regulatory framework for shipping.

The IMO’s earlier name was the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) but it got a facelift in 1982 and was renamed to IMO. The IMO emphasizes on areas such as safety,environmental concerns, technical co-operation, legal matters, maritime security and the proficiency ofshipping.

World Maritime Day was first observed on March 17, 1978 to represent the date of the IMO Convention’s entry into force in the year 1958. At that time, there were 21 member states in the organization. Now it has reached a count of 167 member states and three associate members. This membership includes all the countries of the world with a concern in maritime affairs, along with those engaged in the shipping industry and coastal states with a concern to protect their maritime environment.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Virgin Mary's Birthday



The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary was celebrated at least by the sixth century, when St. Romanos the Melodist, an Eastern Christian who composed many of the hymns used in the Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox liturgies, composed a hymn for the feast. The feast spread to Rome in the seventh century, but it was a couple more centuries before it was celebrated throughout the West.

The source for the story of the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Protoevangelium of James, an apocryphal gospel written about A.D. 150. From it, we learn the names of Mary's parents, Joachim and Anna, as well as the tradition that the couple was childless until an angel appeared to Anna and told her that she would conceive. (Many of the same details appear also in the later apocryphal Gospel of the Nativity of Mary.)

The traditional date of the feast, September 8, falls exactly nine months after the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Perhaps because of its close proximity to the feast of the Assumption of Mary, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is not celebrated today with the same solemnity as the Immaculate Conception. It is, nonetheless, a very important feast, because it prepares the way for the birth of Christ.