You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2009.
Iceland celebrates June 17th as their National Day each year commeorating when, in 1944 the island disolved it’s union with Denmark. In 1918, the Act of Union allowed for a revision of the relationship between the two areas in 1940 and then three years later the union could be disolved. Due to World War II and the country of Denmark being occupied at the time there was no resistance from there to Iceland’s actions but the forces that occupied the country at the time requested that they still wait the three years which they did. King Christian X of Denmark sent a letter congratulating Iceland of forming their republic on June 17th.
June 17th was also chosen for the day as it is the birthday of Jón Sigurðsson, who is credited as being one of the major voices in independence of the region.
Today the country celebrates with parades lead by marching bands and scouts as flag bearers and major figures give speeches. After the official celebrations then parties start with bands playing and people just enjoying themselves.
On June 16th in Dublin is set aside to celebrate James Joyce and his novel Ulysses. The day is filled with people recreating the route the path taken by the main character Leopold Bloom on the same day as the novel takes place. There are also costume contests, Joyce look alike contests and even marathon readings of the novel. The events are sponsored by the James Joyce Center in Dublin.
While certainly the city of Dublin can claim the largest of the celebrations it is not alone. The Rosenback Museum and Library, which manuscript of the novel also has a series of readings and a special exhibition of material of Joyce’s. Also there is a celebration in Szombathely, Hungary the birth place of Bloom’s father in Ulysses.
While a large part of the world celebrates Valentine’s Day, there are some places where the day set aside for love is different. In Brazil the day is known as Dia dos Namorados which means “Day of the Enamored”. In additions to many of the things one would expect for Valentines Day such as chocolates and flowers there are also parades and carnivals. Women without someone are also known to preform certain rituals that are meant to add in them finding a boyfriend or husband. The day following Dia dos Namorados is Saint Anthony’s Day the saint of marriages which is where it is believed this celebration comes from.
Kamehameha Day, June 11th, is the only public holiday in the United States that is in recognition of a monarch. This holiday is in commemoration of King Kamehameha the Great, known for being the first ruler to unit Hawai’i under one kingdom. Kamehameha Day was first recognized when his great grandson Kamehameha the V sent out a royal decree in 1871. It also was one of the first holidays to be recognized by the state when it join the union in 1959.
Some of the events people participate in to mark this day are floral parades, carnivals and hula contests, to name a few. The most important of the actual ceremonies is the draping festivals that happen to the four statues of Kamehameha. Three of these statues are on the islands ofHawai’i and the fourth stand at the United States capital building. All four statues are draped with fresh leis created on the islands. The statue at eh U.S. capital is also accompanied by a hula dance and attained by officials from the government.
Celebrated through out the world in Portuguese populations, June 10th stands as Portugal Day. This day marks the death of one of Portugal’s greatest writers, Luís de Camões. Camões wrote the epic poem which tells of the great Portuguese culture and society. Normally someone like this would be honored on their birthday but no one is sure when Camões’ was born so his death was chosen. He was not just a writer though, he lived a life of adventure, losing an eye while in a fight and even, legend has it, taking the poem itself on an adventure. It is said that when his ship wrecked off the coast of present Vietnam he saved it by swimming to shore with one arm and keeping the other out of the water.
June 8th, 2009 marks the first United Nations sponsored World Ocean Day. In 1992 the government of Canada suggested that there be a day dedicated to the world ocean in 1992 at the earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Finally in 2008 the U.N. passed resolution resolution 63/111.
Today is a day to not only remember and recognize the importants of the worlds oceans as it applies to things like shipping of cargo and how sailors put their lives on the line with the many dangers that face them, weather and pirates, but also it’s influence on the environment. There are so many reasons to celebrate what the oceans do for us; helps to feed us, regulates our climate and even provides us with most of the air we breath.
While I could go on and on about how we could celebrate and why the oceans are important, this has already been done much better than I am able to do at The Ocean Project and I would suggest going and taking a look.
Continuing from yesterday, June 7th is Union Dissolution Day in Norway. This is the date when the union between Norway and Sweden that had existed since 1814 was dissolved in 1905. While not a public holiday June 7th 1905 marks the first time in 586 years that Norway had it’s own King.
An interesting historical footnote is that the King and his cabinet had to leave Norway during World War II on this same date in 1940 due to the country being occupied by Germany. The stayed in London during the war, in exile and returned again on the same date in 1945.
Prior to 1983, the 6th of June was known as flag day in Sweden but since then it has been the National Day of Sweden. The idea for this date to be chosen as a national day dates back to the 1890’s when it was suggested by the founder of the Skansen, Artur Hazelius. He suggested this date because a new constitution was signed on this day in 1809 and King Gustav Vasa was crowned on this day in 1523. In 1916 the idea was adopted to commemorate Sweden receiving it’s own flag back in 1905 when the union with Norway was dissolved.
As you can see it took quite awhile for the date to become the official National Day and many have suggested that it lacks credibility because of this. 2005 marked thebeginning of it being an official public holiday, taking the place of Whit Monday.
Sweden has managed to stay out of all the wars of the modern era and this, some suggest, is the source of the hesitance in the country making a big deal of the National Day. Prior to 1983 many people did not even see any symbols of the day being special other than the flag of Sweden adorning buses. Today, there are still not many celebrations that go on but many businesses are closed allowing people the opportunity to visit family and friends.
To subscribe in iTunes Click Here
Links for Podcast
June 7th Union Dissolutuin Day
June 8th World Ocean Day
June 11 Kamehameha Day
In Denmark June 5th is Constitution Day in recognition of the signing of the 1849 constitution. When it was signed the country became a constitutional monarchy. Unfortunately, I found very little information on the day other than it is not widely celebrated. The only things I found was that due to most businesses closing people were free to visit friends and family.
The wording on all the sites were identical or close to it, so if anyone has any additional information please let me know. The one thing I found interesting is the pictures I ran across seemed to only be fromembassies in Asian countries.