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Holydays: History of Christmas

December 3, 2009

 ©jasanone08 Natividad                                    Version en Español

Christmas is one of the

most important festivals of Christianity, along with Easter and Pentecost, which celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. This feast is celebrated on December 25 by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, and some other Protestant Churches and the Romanian Orthodox Church, and Jan. 7 in other Orthodox churches, as they did not accept the reforms made to the Julian calendar, to spend our current schedule, called the Gregorian. English speakers use the word Christmas, which means “mass of the Christ.” In some Germanic languages, such as German, the holiday is called Weihnachten, which means “night of blessing.” The festivities of Christmas are proposed, as its name suggests, celebrate the nativity (or birth) of Jesus of Nazareth in this world. More about Christmas

Currently, Christmas is a celebration more profane than religious. It’s time for big business and exchanging gifts, meetings and fa©jasanone08 Advientomily dinner’s. In the West celebrated the Rooster’s Mass in churches and cathedrals. In Latin America, rooted in Catholic tradition, especially the celebrated Christmas Eve (December 24) with a family dinner to be prepared for a variety of dishes, desserts and traditional beverages. It is also custom to attend the Rooster’s Mass and holding with fireworks. In Mexico, Christmas Eve is the culmination of a celebration that lasts nine days which is called "las Posadas". They start on December 16 and commemorating the journey of Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter before the birth of Jesus. More about “las Posadas”

 

©jasanone08 Arbol de NavidadTraditional elements of Christmas

v     Christmas Tree: The tradition of adorning the Christmas tree seems that began in Germany and Scandinavia in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, spreading later to other European countries. It’s a conifer tree decorated with color ornaments, bright ribbons, stars, lights…etc.

v     The Christmas Dinner: Consists of a feast at midnight, in honor of the birth of Christ, which took place at that time, so similar to the Jewish feast of Passover. Traditionally we eat turkey, cod and other dishes, depending on the venue or the traditions of the family.

v     Christmas Nativity: Consist of the representation of the birth of Jesus, through a model of Bethlehem and its environs, where the main figures are the stable where Jesus was born, the Holy Family, animals and shepherds, the three wise men and a star with a trail that too often placed at the top of the Christmas tree. More about Christmas Nativity

v     Crown Advent: It is a crown made based branches of cypress or pine tied with a red ribbon in which are placed four candles are usually red which marked the four Sundays of Advent before Christmas Day.

v     The carols: There are songs or songs alluding to the birth of Christ or the Holy Family. Sing and hear carols

v     Flower of Christmas Eve: A flower of Mexican origin for decorative use.

v     The Posadas: These are a series of festivities that recall the route from St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary to reach Bethlehem. These celebrations take place from 16 to Dec. 24 in Mexico and Latin America. More about Las Posadas

v     The Piñatas: It consists of an earthenware pot decorated with picks and chopped paper or cardboard figures decorated with colored paper, both filled with candy, fruit and sometimes toys and confetti, which breaks in each of the days of Posadas.

 

©jasanone08 Flor de Nochebuena Links of  interest

Christmas wishes

Christmas and holiday season

The History of Christmas

Apart from the Christian origins of Christmas, this festival has been mixing its religious character in the tradition of family life©jasanone08 Santa Claus, largely due to the popularity of this celebration and marketing.

It is from the nineteenth century when Christmas starts to take hold with the character it has today, because in this century became popular the habit of exchanging gifts, was created to Santa Claus and Christmas cards. Habits that over time the marketing (especially American) would use Christmas to expand the world by giving a character other than religious, and with topics that have little or nothing to do with the traditional Christmas celebration. Send  free Christmas cards

 

 sources:

"Navidad." Wikipedia, La enciclopedia libre. 9 dic 2008, 19:24 UTC. 10 dic 2008, 01:36 <http://es.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Navidad&oldid=22358410>.

“Que es la Navidad?.”Espacio de Memo. 10 dic 2008 http://jasan1spanish.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!49BF390D536D7A69!345.entry

“Vamos! a romper piñata”.Espacio de Memo. 10 dic 2008 http://jasan1spanish.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!49BF390D536D7A69!351.entry

“That it is Christmas?”Jasan’s Life. 10 dic.2008 http://jasan1.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!FCE4363F5CFE3E4C!574.entry

 Versión en Español

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Ten Things to Know About Earth Hour 2009

March 25, 2009

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CommemorativePoster-highrez 1. Earth Hour 2009 takes place on March 28, 2009 at 8:30 pm—local time.
2. The date was set in March because it is close to the Spring Equinox, a period when the most number of countries around the world will experience darkness in the 8 o’clock hour.
3. Earth Hour isn’t about how much energy is saved during one hour. The idea behind Earth Hour is that by working together, each one of us can make a difference on the issue of climate change. By doing something as simple as turning off the lights, we send a visual symbol to the world’s leaders that we are counting on them to work together to find solutions to climate change.
4. Earth Hour is a non-partisan event. When it comes to caring about the future of our planet, we all have a stake as citizens of the world regardless of other political beliefs and affiliations.
5. Earth Hour turns off non-essential lighting only. Lights necessary for public safety will not go out. Earth Hour has been conducted safely and without incident in more than 100 cities around the world.
6. Earth Hour is an inclusive event and everyone is invited to participate. WWF will provide tools online to enable any town, community, school, individual or organization to be part of the event.
7. WWF has designated a limited number of “flagship cities” in the US where it will devote resources to make sure the lights actually do go out. In 2009 those cities include: Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Dallas, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. In addition, WWF will be seeking the support of Washington DC and the federal government.
8. Many US cities will also participate as “supporting cities.” To become an official supporting city, a proclamation or some type of official confirmation that the event is supported by the local governing body of that community must be sent to WWF.
9. More than 750 cities throughout the world have already agreed to participate in Earth Hour 2009.
10. World Wildlife Fund is the organization behind Earth Hour, but many other groups and NGOs are supporting Earth Hour in 2009.

Read more about Earth Hour http://jasan1.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!FCE4363F5CFE3E4C!3440.entry

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International Women’s Day 2009

March 5, 2009

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 leer este articulo en Español
 

iwd_link2 International Women’s Day (8 March) is an occasion marked by women’s groups around the world. This date is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday. When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.

International Women’s Day is the story of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men. In ancient Greece, Lysistrata initiated a sexual strike against men in order to end war; during the French Revolution, Parisian women calling for "liberty, equality, fraternity" marched on Versailles to demand women’s suffrage.

related sites

International Museum of Women

Women Watch

Día Internacional de la Mujer  (spanish)

International Women’s Day 2008: Investing in Women and Girls

The idea of an International Women’s Day first arose at the turn of the century, which in the industrialized world was a period of expansion and turbulence, booming population growth and radical ideologies. Following is a brief chronology of the most important events:

  • 1909  In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman’s Day was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate it on the last Sunday of that month through 1913.
  • 1910 The Socialist International, meeting in Copenhagen, established a Women’s Day, international in character, to honour the movement for women’s rights and to assist in achieving universal suffrage for women. The proposal was greeted with unanimous approval by the conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, which included the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament. No fixed date was selected for the observance.
  • 1911 As a result of the decision taken at Copenhagen the previous year, International Women’s Day was marked for the first time (19 March) in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, where more than one million women and men attended rallies. In addition to the right to vote and to hold public office, they demanded the right to work, to vocational training and to an end to discrimination on the job.

Less than a week later, on 25 March, the tragic Triangle Fire in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working girls, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This event had a significant impact on labour legislation in the United States, and the working conditions leading up to the disaster were invoked during subsequent observances of International Women’s Day.

  • 1913-1914  As part of the peace movement brewing on the eve of World War I, Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. Elsewhere in Europe, on or around 8 March of the following year, women held rallies either to protest the war or to express solidarity with their sisters.
  • 1917 With 2 million Russian soldiers dead in the war, Russian women again chose the last Sunday in February to strike for "bread and peace". Political leaders opposed the timing of the strike, but the women went on anyway. The rest is history: Four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. That historic Sunday fell on 23 February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia, but on 8 March on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere.

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Since those early years, International Women’s Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women’s movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women’s conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point for coordinated efforts to demand women’s rights and participation in the political and economic process. Increasingly, International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of women’s rights.

The Role of the United Nations

UNiTE_logo_250x153

United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign to End Violence Against Women

visit the official site

Few cause s promoted by the United Nations have generated more intense and widespread support than the campaign to promote and protect the equal rights of women. The Charter of the United Nations, signed in San Francisco in 1945, was the first international agreement to proclaim gender equality as a fundamental human right. Since then, the Organization has helped create a historic legacy of internationally agreed strategies, standards, programs and goals to advance the status of women worldwide.

Over the years, United Nations action for the advancement of women has taken four clear directions: promotion of legal measures; mobilization of public opinion and international action; training and research, including the compilation of gender desegregated statistics; and direct assistance to disadvantaged groups. Today a central organizing principle of the work of the United Nations is that no enduring solution to society’s most threatening social, economic and political problems can be found without the full participation, and the full empowerment, of the world’s women.

sources:

"International Women’s Day." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 4 Mar 2009, 21:54 UTC. 5 Mar 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=International_Women%27s_Day&oldid=275020736>.

“International Women’s Day.”Women http://www.un.org/ecosocdev/geninfo/women/womday97.htm

 “Día Internacional de la Mujer 2009.”Espacio de Memo  http://jasan1spanish.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!49BF390D536D7A69!2908.trak

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Día Internacional de la Mujer 2009

March 5, 2009

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logo El Día Internacional de la Mujer (8 de marzo) es una fecha que celebran los grupos femeninos en todo el mundo. Esa fecha se conmemora también en las Naciones Unidas y es fiesta nacional en muchos países. Cuando las mujeres de todos los continentes, a menudo separadas por fronteras nacionales y diferencias étnicas, lingüísticas, culturales, económicas y políticas, se unen para celebrar su Día, pueden contemplar una tradición de no menos de 90 años de lucha en pro de la igualdad, la justicia, la paz y el desarrollo.

sitios relacionados

International women’s day (ingles)

Día Internacional de la Mujer

Día Internacional de la Mujer 2009: "Mujeres y hombres unidos para poner fin a la violencia contra las mujeres y las niñas" 

El Día Internacional de la Mujer se refiere a las mujeres corrientes como artífices de la historia y hunde sus raíces en la lucha plurisecular de la mujer por participar en la sociedad en pie de igualdad con el hombre. En la antigua Grecia, Lisístrata empezó una huelga sexual contra los hombres para poner fin a la guerra; en la Revolución Francesa, las parisienses que pedían "libertad, igualdad y fraternidad" marcharon hacia Versalles para exigir el sufragio femenino

La idea de un día internacional de la mujer surgió al final del siglo XIX, que fue, en el mundo industrializado, un período de expansión y turbulencia, crecimiento fulgurante de la población e ideologías radicales .

Se ofrece a continuación una breve cronología de los acontecimientos más destacados:

  • 1909 De conformidad con una declaración del Partido Socialista de los Estados Unidos de América el día 28 de febrero se celebró en todos los Estados Unidos el primer Día Nacional de la Mujer, que éstas siguieron celebrando el último domingo de febrero hasta 1913.
  • 1910 La Internacional Socialista, reunida en Copenhague, proclamó el Día de la Mujer, de carácter internacional como homenaje al movimiento en favor de los derechos de la mujer y para ayudar a conseguir el sufragio femenino universal. La propuesta fue aprobada unánimemente por la conferencia de más de 100 mujeres procedentes de 17 países, entre ellas las tres primeras mujeres elegidas para el parlamento finés. No se estableció una fecha fija para la celebración.
  • 1911 Como consecuencia de la decisión adoptada en Copenhague el año anterior, el Día Internacional de la Mujer se celebró por primera vez (el 19 de marzo) en Alemania,Austria, Dinamarca y Suiza, con mítines a los que asistieron más de 1 millón de mujeres y hombres. Además del derecho de voto y de ocupar cargos públicos, exigieron el derecho al trabajo, a la formación profesional y a la no discriminación laboral. Menos de una semana después, el 25 de marzo, más de 140 jóvenes trabajadoras, la mayoría inmigrantes italianas y judías, murieron en el trágico incendio de la fábrica Triangle en la ciudad de Nueva York. Este suceso tuvo grandes repercusiones en la legislación laboral de los Estados Unidos,y en las celebraciones posteriores del Día Internacional de la Mujer se hizo referencia a las condiciones laborales que condujeron al desastre.
  • 1913-1914 En el marco de los movimientos en pro de la paz que surgieron en vísperas de la primera guerra mundial, las mujeres rusas celebraron su primer Día Internacional de la Mujer el último domingo de febrero de 1913. En el resto de Europa, las mujeres celebraron mítines en torno al 8 de marzo del año siguiente para protestar por la guerra o para solidarizarse con las demás mujeres.
  • 1917 Como reacción ante los 2 millones de soldados rusos muertos en la guerra, las mujeres rusas escogieron de nuevo el último domingo de febrero para declararse en huelga en demanda de "pan y paz". Los dirigentes políticos criticaron la oportunidad de la huelga, pero las mujeres la hicieron de todos modos. El resto es historia: cuatro días después el Zar se vio obligado a abdicar y el gobierno provisional concedió a las mujeres el derecho de voto. Ese histórico domingo fue el 23 de febrero, según el calendario juliano utilizado entonces en Rusia,o el 8 de marzo, según el calendario gregoriano utilizado en otros países.

ver videos relacionados

Desde esos primeros años, el Día Internacional de la Mujer ha adquirido una nueva dimensión mundial para las mujeres de los países desarrollados y en desarrollo. El creciente movimiento internacional de la mujer, reforzado por las Naciones Unidas mediante cuatro conferencias mundiales sobre la mujer, ha contribuido a que la conmemoración sea un punto de convergencia de las actividades coordinadas en favor de los derechos de la mujer y su participación en la vida política y económica. El Día Internacional de la Mujer es cada vez más una ocasión para reflexionar sobre los avances conseguidos, exigir cambios y celebrar los actos de valor y decisión de mujeres comunes que han desempeñado una función extraordinaria en la historia de los derechos de la mujer.

La función de las Naciones Unidas

Unidos para poner fin a la violencia contra las mujeres

Unidos para poner fin a la violencia contra las mujeres:
Campaña del Secretario General de las Naciones Unidas

visita el sitio oficial

Pocas causas promovidas por las Naciones Unidas han concitado un apoyo más intenso y extendido que la campaña para fomentar y proteger la igualdad de derechos de la mujer. La Carta de las Naciones Unidas, firmada en San Francisco en 1945, fue el primer acuerdo internacional que proclamó que la igualdad de los sexos era un derecho humano fundamental. Desde entonces, la Organización ha contribuido a crear un legado histórico de estrategias, normas, programas y objetivos concertados internacionalmente para mejorar la condición de la mujer en todo el mundo.

En todos estos años las Naciones Unidas han actuado en cuatro direcciones concretas para mejorar la condición de la mujer: fomento de las medidas legales; movilización de la opinión pública y medidas

     

Tema 2009
"Mujeres y hombres unidos para poner fin a la violencia contra las mujeres y las niñas"
 
                                               

leer sobre temas de otros años

internacionales; capacitación e investigación, incluida la reunión de datos estadísticos desglosados por sexo; y ayuda directa a los grupos desfavorecidos. Actualmente, uno de los principios rectores esenciales de la labor de las Naciones Unidas es que no puede hallarse una solución duradera a los problemas sociales, económicos y políticos más acuciantes de la sociedad sin la cabal participación y plena habilitación de las mujeres del mundo.

Fuentes: “Día Internacional de la Mujer: Invertir en las mujeres y en las niñas” http://www.un.org/spanish/events/women/iwd/2005/history.html

“División de asuntos de género” http://www.eclac.cl/cgi-bin/getprod.asp?xml=/mujer/noticias/paginas/1/34591/P34591.xml&xsl=/mujer/tpl/p1f.xsl&base=/mujer/tpl/top-bottom.xsl

“Unidos para poner fin a la violencia contra las mujeres: Campaña del Secretario General de las Naciones Unidas” http://www.un.org/spanish/women/endviolence/index.shtml

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Carnival time Mardi Gras or "Fat Tuesday"

February 24, 2009

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Mardi Gras (French for "Fat Tuesday") is the day before Ash Wednesday, and is

Carnaval Rio de Janeiro, Brasil 2008

also called "Shrove Tuesday" or "Pancake Day". Mardi Gras is the final day of Carnival, though the term is often used incorrectly to describe the days and weeks preceding Fat Tuesday. Carnival begins 12 days after Christmas, or Twelfth Night, on January 6 and ends on Mardi Gras, which always falls exactly 47 days before Easter. Perhaps the cities most famous for their Mardi Gras celebrations include New Orleans, Louisiana; Venice, Italy; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Many other places have important Mardi Gras celebrations as well. Carnival is an important celebration in most of Europe, except in the United Kingdom where pancakes are the tradition, and also in many parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.   see related photos

In the United States, Mardi Gras draws millions of fun-seekers to New Orleans every year. Mardi Gras has been celebrated in New Orleans on a grand scale, with masked balls and colorful parades, since French settlers arrived in the early 1700s. Hidden behind masks, people behaved so raucously that for decades in the early 19th century masks were deemed illegal in that party-loving city. learn more about Mardi Gras

History        see related post

When Christianity arrived in Rome, the dignitaries of the early Church decided it would be more prudent to incorporate certain aspects of such rituals into the new faith rather than attempt to abolish them altogether. This granted a Christian interpretation to the ancient custom and the Carnival became a time of abandon and merriment which preceded the Lenten period (a symbolic Christian pertinence of 40 days commencing on Ash Wednesday and ending at Easter). During this time, there would be feasting which lasted several days and participants would indulge in voluntary madness by donning masks, clothing themselves in the likeness of spectres and generally giving themselves up to Bacchus and Venus. All aspects of pleasure were considered to be allowable during the Carnival celebration and today’s modern festivities are thought by some to be more reminiscent of the Roman Saturnalia rather than Lupercalia, or be linked to even earlier Pagan festivals.

From Rome, the celebration spread to other European countries. In medieval times, a similar-type festivity to that of the present day Mardi Gras was given by monarchs and lords prior to Lent in order to ceremoniously conscript new knights into service and hold feasts in their honor. The landed gentry would also ride through the countryside rewarding peasants with cakes (thought by some to be the origin of the King Cake), coins (perhaps the origin of present day gifts of Mardi Gras doubloons) and other trinkets. In Germany, there still remains a Carnival similar to that of the one held in New Orleans. Known as Fasching, the celebrations begin on Twelfth Night and continue until Shrove Tuesday. To a lesser degree, this festivity is still celebrated in France and Spain. A Carn ival season was also celebrated in England until the Nineteenth Century, originating as a type of "renewal" festival that incorporated fertility motifs and ball games which frequently turned into riots between opposing villages, follo© jasanone Carnival Time at New Orleans celebrating Fat Tusday (mardi gras)360x480 wed by feasts of pancakes and the imbibing of alcohol. The preparing and consumption of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday (also known as "Pancake Day" or "Pancake Tuesday" and occurring annually between February 2 and March 9, depending upon the date of Easter) is a still a tradition in the United Kingdom, where pancake tossing and pancake races (during which a pancake must be tossed a certain number of times) are still popular. One of the most famous of such competitions, which takes place in Olney, Buckinghamshire, is said to date from 1445. It is a race for women only and for those who have lived in the Parish for at least three months. An apron and head-covering are requisite. The course is 415 yards and the pancake must be tossed at least three times during the race. The winner receives a kiss from the Ringer of the Pancake Bell and a prayer book from the local vicar. "Shrove" is derived from the Old English word "shrive," which means to "confess all sins."

It is generally accepted that Mardi Gras came to America in 1699 with the French explorer, Sieur d’Iberville. The festival had been celebrated as a major holiday in Paris since the middle Ages. Iberville sailed into the Gulf of Mexico and, from there, launched an expedition along the Mississippi River. By March 3, 1699, Iberville had set up a camp on the West Bank of the River…about 60 miles south of the present day City of New Orleans in the State of Louisiana. Since that day was the very one on which Mardi Gras was being celebrated in France, Iberville named the site Point du Mardi Gras in honor of the festival. According to some sources, however, the Mardi Gras of New Orleans began in 1827 when a group of students who had recently returned from school in Paris donned strange costumes and danced their way through the streets. The students had first experienced this revelry while taking part in celebrations they had witnessed in Paris. In this version, it is said that the inhabitants of New Orleans were swiftly captured by the enthusiasm of the youths and quickly followed suit. Other sources maintain that the Mardi Gras celebration originated with the arrival of early French settlers to the State of Louisiana. Nevertheless, it is known that from 1827 to 1833, the New Orleans’ Mardi Gras celebrations became more elaborate, culminating in an annual Mardi Gras Ball. Although the exact date of the first revelries cannot be determined, the Carnival was well-established by the middle of the Nineteenth Century when the Mystick Krewe of Comus presented its 1857 Torchlight Parade with a theme taken from "Paradise Lost" written by John Milton

The traditional colors of Mardi Gras are purple (symbolic of justice), green (symbolic of faith) and gold (symbolic of power). The accepted story behind the original selection of these colors originates from 1872 when the Grand Duke Alexis Romanoff of Russia visitedMardigrasdflag New Orleans. It is said that the Grand Duke came to the city in pursuit of an actress named Lydia Thompson. During his stay, he was given the honor of selecting the official Mardi Gras colors by the Krewe of Rex…thus, did these colors also become the colors of the House of Romanoff. The 1892 Rex Parade theme (" Symbolism of Colors") first gave meaning to the representation of the official Mardi Gras colors. Interestingly, the colors of Mardi Gras influenced the choice of school colors for the Lousiana arch-rival colleges, Louisiana State University and Tulane University. Whe LSU was deciding on its colors, the stores in New Orleans had stocked-up on fabrics of purple, green and gold for the upcoming Mardi Gras Season. LSU, opting for purple and gold, bought a large quantity of the available cloth. Tulane purchased much of the only remaining color…green (Tulane’s colors are green and white).

Rio de Janeiro

Mangueira samba school parades in Rio de Janeiro.The Carnaval is an annual  celebration in Brazil held 40 days before Easter and marks the beginning of Lent. Rio de Janeiro has many Carnaval choices, including the famous Escolas de Samba (Samba schools) parades in the sambódromo exhibition centre and the popular ‘blocos de carnaval’, which parade in almost every corner of the city. The most famous parades are the Cordão do Bola Preta with traditional carnaval parades in the centre of the city, the Suvaco do Cristo parades in the Botanic Garden, Carmelitas parades in the hills of Santa Teresa, the Simpatia é Quase Amor is one of the most popular parades in Ipanema, and the Banda de Ipanema which attracts a wide range of revelers, including families and a wide spectrum of the gay population (notably spectacular drag queens).  read more about Carnival at Rio de Janeiro

Mexico

In Mexico, there are big Carnival celebrations every year in Mazatlán, which has "The third largest Mardi Gras in the world", and Veracruz, which that include the election of a queen and street parades. There is also a week-long Carnival or Mardi Gras celebration in Mérida, Yucatán.

sources:”Mardi Gras or "Fat Tuesday" Jasan’s Life. 23 Feb 2009,18:53 UTC FEB 2009  http://jasan1.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!FCE4363F5CFE3E4C!690.entry

"Mardi Gras in the United States." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 23 Feb 2009, 19:39 UTC. 24 Feb 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mardi_Gras_in_the_United_States&oldid=272783945>.

"Mardi Gras." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 24 Feb 2009, 00:59 UTC. 24 Feb 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mardi_Gras&oldid=272853021>.

"Carnival." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 24 Feb 2009, 02:46 UTC. 24 Feb 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Carnival&oldid=272874212>.

 

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Earth Hour 2009 You can make the difference!

February 6, 2009

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Eath Hour logo Earth Hour is an annual international event created by WWF (The World Wide Fund for Nature/World Wildlife Fund), held on the last Saturday of March, that asks households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change. It was pioneered by WWF Australia and the Sydney Morning Herald in 2007, and achieved worldwide participation in 2008.   read more about Earth Hour

In 2009 Earth Hour aims to reach 1 billion people in 1,000 cities.  see full list of the cities

 

MEDIA RELEASE – EARTH HOUR 2009 SET TO SWITCH OFF THE GLOBE

February 5, 2009: With eight weeks still to go before800px-Sydney_Earth_Hour_2 people around the world switch off their lights for Earth Hour, the public awareness raising campaign on climate change is showing signs of being the greatest voluntary action the world has ever witnessed.
The lights out initiative, which began in Sydney in 2007 as a one-city environmental campaign, has evolved into a grassroots action that has captured the attention of the citizens of the world. In 2008, 371 cities across 35 countries turned their lights out in a united call for action on climate change.
Now, with almost two months still 800px-Colosseum_Earth_Hourremaining before Earth Hour 2009, that number has already been eclipsed, with 377 cities across 74 countries now committed to turning off their lights for one hour at 8.30pm on 28 March.
WWF Director General, Mr James Leape, said he is optimistic about the campaign’s potential to drive key decision making on the issue of climate change.
“With hundreds more cities expected to sign up to switch off in the coming months, Earth Hour 2009 is setting the platform for an unprecedented global mandate for action on climate change,” he said. The list of cities confirming their participation in Earth Hour 2009 includes 37 national capitals and some of the great cities of the world, including London, Beijing, Rome, Moscow, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore, Athens, Buenos Aires, Toronto, Sydney, Mexico City, Istanbul, Copenhagen, Manila, Las Vegas, Brussels, Cape Town and Helsinki.

 

Video official Earth Hour 2009 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjWD8pbK5t8

 see Earth Hour video 2008

Along with the great metropolises of the world, Earth Hour 2009 will also see the lights go out on some of the most recognised landmarks on the planet, including Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Table Mountain in Cape Town, Merlion in Singapore, Sydney Opera House, CN Tower in Toronto, Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and the world’s tallest constructed building Taipei 101.
A host of high profile ambassadors across the world have also lent their support to the campaign, most notably Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett. Shepard Fairey, the artist who created the iconic imagery for Barack Obama in the recent US Presidential Election, has agreed to create artwork for the Earth Hour campaign.
Earth Hour Executive Director, Mr Andy Ridley, said the 2009 campaign is an opportunity for the people of the world to cast their vote on this important global issue.
“Earth Hour by its very nature is the essence of grassroots action. This is the opportunity for individuals from all corners of the globe to unite in a single voice and demand action on climate change,” said Mr Ridley.
2009 is a critical year for action on climate change, with the world’s leaders due to meet at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December to sign a new deal to supersede the Kyoto Protocol. 

sources:"Earth Hour." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 5 Feb 2009, 23:17 UTC. 6 Feb 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Earth_Hour&oldid=268793113>.

“Earth Hour Official site”http://www.earthhour.org/

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-PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

January 22, 2009

 

 

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 Versión en Español

Official portrait of President-elect Barack Obama on Jan. 13, 2009.

(Photo by Pete Souza)

Barack H. Obama is the 44th President of the United States.

His story is the American story — values from the heartland, a middle-class upbringing in a strong family, hard work and education as the means of getting ahead, and the conviction that a life so blessed should be lived in service to others.

With a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas, President Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. He was raised with help from his grandfather, who served in Patton’s army, and his grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle management at a bank.

After working his way through college with the help of scholarships and student loans, President Obama moved to Chicago, where he worked with a group of churches to help rebuild communities devastated by the closure of local steel plants.

He went on to attend law school, where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. Upon graduation, he returned to Chicago to help lead a voter registration drive, teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago, and remain active in his community.

President Obama’s years of public service are based around his unwavering belief in the ability to unite people around a politics of purpose. In the Illinois State Senate, he passed the first major ethics reform in 25 years, cut taxes for working families, and expanded health care for children and their parents. As a United States Senator, he reached across the aisle to pass groundbreaking lobbying reform, lock up the world’s most dangerous weapons, and bring transparency to government by putting federal spending online.

He was elected the 44th President of the United States on November 4, 2008, and sworn in on January 20, 2009. He and his wife, Michelle, are the proud parents of two daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7

Fuente: “Presidente Barack Obama” the White House president Barak Obama 22 Jan 2009 http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/president_obama/

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