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Sami Flag

Sami Flag

This is my first podcast with an interview. Laura the Event Coordinator for Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney PA. She was a great person to interview for my first time, very informative and pleasant. Also on this episode I was helped by a new co host, Gai, as my regular one was a bit busy and wish to think him for his help

If you would like to listen to the podcast you can subscribe in iTunes by clicking on the link to the left that says Subscribe in iTunes or searching in iTunes for HolidayAWeek or you can listen to it on line by clicking here.

These are the links that were used for this show:

Groundhog Day
Official Punxsutawney Site:



The Sámi National Day
Official Norway Site:


I have had a little bit of a problem with coming up with anything for the last couple days but I am excited to report that I have my first interview with someone actually involved with a celebration. So you can look forward to hearing that on the podcast with any luck on Saturday, January 31.

While I was unable to find much information on how International Holocaust Remembrance Day is actually observed I felt it was important to post.

In 2005 the United Nations designated 27th of January as a day to remember those of the Holocaust, to ensure that this tragedy would never be forgotten nor anything like it be repeated.  It is supposed to be marked by all member states as a day to remind and teach their population of the event that transpired within the concentration camps.  At both the United Nations headquarters and of course the Holocaust Museums ceremonies and events take place.  Teachers are encouraged to bring the topic up within their classrooms as well.  The 27th of January was chosen because the largest of the concentration camps, Auschwitz, was liberated on this day by the Soviet Army in 1945.  Of the at least 1.3 million people to have been sent to Auschwitz, only 7,000 where liberated on this day, with 1.1 million having been killed and the rest taken else where.

While I wish that I could report a happy holiday for each day of the year something can not be forgotten, this I believe is one of them.  While we, as the human race, I think have come a long way, genocide still remains.  This is the very essence of why I do this blog and my podcast, the more we know about one another the less likely we will stand for this kind of treatment.  We are all humans and we share this world together, a common heritage in our distant past ties us to one another.  If we know and maybe understand just a little more about those who live next to us or pass us on the street or live in another country how can we not treat them as people, worthy of our respect.

So remember today those who have died, let their suffering not be in vein.




United States Holocaust Museum:

lion_dance_costumeGong hei fat choi! This is one of the greetings that you may hear today as it is the first day of the Chinese New Year. Many think it means “Happy New Year” but actually it means “Congratulation and be prosperous”.

The Chinese New Year is actually a 15 day long festival and the most important celebration in the Chinese culture. Being around 2,000 years old, the festival is one of the oldest and longest running festivals in the world. As with most days that are recognized that are this old it is based on the lunar calendar, which does not coincided with the present western calender. The festival, also known as the Spring Festival, begins on the new moon and concludes on the first full moon.

The festivals roots lay in a legend where a Chinese farmer was attacked by a dragon during this time of year named Nien, which is also the Chinese word for year. It was discovered that the dragon could be scared with loud noises and the color red. Because of this it is good luck to set off firecrackers and the color red is considered a very lucky color, many of the clothes people will wear incorporate it.

There are many traditions and customs that are followed on both the first day and then through out the festival. The giving of red envolopes seems to be one of the most important of these. It is given from older people to children and unwed young adults and contains money. Sometimes the money may be in the form of chocolate coins, but what ever type of money it may be it will never add up to four as the word for four and the word for death are very similar. Another tradition is that one does not sweep during the first day of the new year as it will sweep away good luck, tied to this same thinking is that you should not wash your hair on the first day as it to will wash away luck, though this is gone out of fashion with modern thinking on bathing. At midnight between the last day and the first day every door and window should be opened to let the bad luck out so you can start the year off fresh with good luck.

I will not be going through each and everyday as I made the mistake of witting this a little late I did want to point out that the second day is the birthday of all dogs. Being a dog owner I thought this was very cool, though was unable to find why this day was chosen or why dogs are the only animal to really be recognized during the festival.

The last day of the festival is the Lantern Festival, which I plan to go into much more detail on that day.

So have a Happy New Year!

History Channel:

The new podcast is available to the left or you can hover over the the link here and a window should pop up where you can listen as well or even better subscribe in iTunes which is also available to the left.

Here are the links we used during this episode.

Chinese New Year


Holocaust Remembrance Day

Republic Day, India

Jefferson’s library

The island of Pitcairn celebrates January 23, the day the survivors of the Bounty mutiny landed to set up a life for themselves.  The day is celebrated with a reenactment of the landing with model boats and then the people will walk the path that was followed by the original people.  The Bounty Day is also celebrated on Norfolk Island but on the day the Pitcairners landed there due to not being able to make a sustainable life on the original island, this is done on June 8th.



Flag of Quebec

Flag of Quebec

I found little information on the Quebec Flag Day and what little I hound indicated that it is not celebrated very much. I have to assume that January 21st was picked because it was the first day that the new/current flag was flown above the parliament building shortly after it was adopted in 1947.

Wiki: Flag of Quebec

Official Quebec site:

For today’s post I am going to only write a few words, mainly due my belief that this should not be a United States centric blog. I do feel that it is important to say a few words as the inauguration of the President of the United States marks the continuation of the longest running democratically and peaceful handing of power from one leader to another the world has seen.

Originally the inauguration was March 4th and in 1933 changed to the present date, though it is not an official holiday. The most important aspect of the ceremony is the swearing in of the new president, which has been done almost exclusively by the Chief Justice of the United States.

I am sure there are very few people in the world who do not know that the new president will be taking office today, many will see the ceramony itself or at least parts of it, so will not go into detail.

The podcast is available to the right and here are the links we mentioned in the show.  It is a little rough as I messed up her audio but I think this is the best show I have done so for.  Thanks again for the help Jamie!
Jan 12 Coming of Age Day

Jan 13 St. Knut’s Day

Jan 14 Sankranthi 15 Pongal

Jan 15 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Traditional,_Jr._Day

Jan 16 National Religious Freedom Day

Jan 19 Poe Toaster

Jan 23 Bounty Day

Makar Sankranti is a harvest festival in the Indian sub continent area.  It is celebrated in many different ways due to the cultural and religious differences in the region.  To some it is a religous time when the days are getting longer, others see it as the time to reflect on the years harvest as well as for traditions that should bring good luck for the coming year.  The feastival is said to be over a 1,000 years old and some evidence points to it being more like 2,000 years.  From what I have found most people celebrate for four days with each day having a different theme.




Editor’s note: I apologies for the short post, I am working on trying to get my podcast up and running so, fingers crossed the new improved show will be up later this week.


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January 2009
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