International Day of Nursing

International Day of NursingThe 12th of May is also the anniversary of the birth of FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE who is considered to be the founder of modern nursing. Every year, the INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF NURSES produces a kit known as International Nurses’ Day Kit which contains materials of education for general masses.

Each year this day is celebrated with a new theme, e.g. safe motherhood, environment, services to community, as well as topics related to community medicine too.

With the passage of time and awareness in the public, nowadays nursing is considered to be a noble profession in the third world countries; gone are the days when a nurse hides her profession and prefers to call herself as a midwife. A doctor diagnoses and operates, whereas the rest of the matter has been put to the nurse: regular observations, reading and preparing charts, taking blood pressure, giving medicines and drips, changing bandages are some of her daily routine tasks. This noble profession not only puts a nurse to work as a next to a doctor but to a caretaker of the patient as well.

Nowadays nurses are also working with the poor to eradicate poverty, fighting and helping in creating awareness about AIDS. A professional and a well trained, experienced nursing staff can give the first aid and can save lives of many people who are far away from the hospitals or cannot get the medical attention immediately, especially in casualties.

Hence, the aftermath of the nursing profession is that, it is not a celebration of just the 12th of May but of the thousands of days since the nursing has been originated as a profession, caring, helping and looking after the sick people and thus symbolizes the welfare of the human society.

San Marcos Fair Mexico

San Marcos Fair MexicoThe city of Aguascalientes in Mexico celebrates the San Marcos Fair every year in April. The festival lasts for three weeks, starting from the second week of April till the first week of May.

Originated as a grape harvest celebration in the 1800s, the Fair has evolved into a frenzy of activities. The venue of the fair is the San Marcos Park constructed on the site donated by the church. A beautiful pink stone balustrade was built outside the San Marcos Park in 1842 which has been preserved well by the locals and has retained much of its previous glory.

The main attractions of the festival are cockfights and the Mexican style bullfights. These are followed by concerts held by pop stars. Although gambling is illegal in Mexico, during these three weeks long festival, you can gamble in a casino downtown Aguascalientes. There are also various stalls which sell edibles, toys, and handicrafts. You can even get your fortune told at the fair. Games both for kids and adults also attract many people. No festival is complete without a beauty pageant and the San Marcos Fair is no exception; here too, you will find a fair maiden crowned as the “Queen of the Fair”. Spectacular parades, showcasing the culture of the city, are also a part of this festival. It is also the time to honor the youth and the ceremony for the National Award for Youth Art also takes place during the fair. Other events include a livestock fair and charades, the Mexican rodeo.

The Fair attracts a large number of people from Mexico and abroad.

Chilim Jusht

Chilim JushtThe Chilim Jusht Festival is celebrated by the Kalash people residing in the valleys of Birir, Rumbur and Bumburate. The six day festival is the Kalash way of welcoming the spring season. The beautiful valley of Chitral is at its best during the month of May. The arrival of spring and the weather conditions make the valley an ideal place to visit during the festival that’s why you can see a lot of tourists in Chitral at this time of the year. The Kalash are extremely hospitable people and welcome the visitors with open arms.

The locals begin preparing for the festival by making new clothes, renovating and repairing their houses and buying new utensils to replace the old ones. Singing, dancing and feasting are part of the festival. Milk and honey is distributed among the participants from every house in the village. A mass wedding ceremony is the main feature of the festival. This ceremony is attended by the whole tribe. The festival concludes with the dance performed by the women in their traditional costumes.

While enjoying the gaieties of the festival, you can also check out the local handicrafts and food and participate in the regional sports. Hiking and sightseeing are other things you can do or you can simply lay back and enjoy the abundant beauty around you.

Anastenaria

AnastenariaThe Anastenaria is another festival with deep pagan roots blended with Christian rituals. The Christian Orthodox festivals revolve around various Christian saints; the Anastenaria Festival is celebrated in some villages of Greece and Bulgaria to honor Saint Constantine and Saint Helen. A popular legend associated with its origin is that once the church caught fire with the saints trapped in it. Some brave locals on hearing the cries for help of the saints, rushed into the burning building to rescue the reverend saints. The blazing fire did not harm the locals and from that day onwards, a festival is held in which the devotees walk on burning coals.

Anastenaria is celebrated in May and dancing, music, animal sacrifice and walking on fire are the main rituals of the festival. The participants gather in a special building or a room called Konaki where the icons of the saints are placed along with other objects considered sacred. The festival commences with dancing; some devotees get so involved in the dancing that it seems as if they are in a trance. On the 21st of May, the participants march towards a holy well to be blessed by the holy water. Next ritual is the animal sacrifice; the meat is later distributed among the villagers. Then a bed of burning coals is prepared and devotees dance around it. Some of them even run barefoot on the hot coals carrying the icons. The festival lasts for three days and ends with a private fire walking ritual.

The Procession of the Snake Catchers

The Procession of the Snake CatchersOne hundred and seventy km from Rome lays the ancient city of Cocullo. In medieval times, it is said that the residents of Cocullo were protected against toothaches and snake-bites by San Domenico. To pay homage to this reverend saint, every year on the first Thursday of May, the people of Cocullo celebrate Festa Dei Serpari or the Festival of the Snakes Catchers. The day starts with a special service in the church. After the service, a procession is taken out. The participants carry the effigy of San Domenico which is draped with live snakes. The snakes are captured days before the festival and are defanged a day before the festival. The snakes slither down the statue and if they drape themselves around the head and neck of the statue then it is seen as a sign of good luck. Snakes around the shoulder or arms are considered bad omen. Later the snakes are released in the fields outside the city.

The ciambelli is the traditional food of the festival. It is bread shaped like a snake biting its own tail. This weird shape is due to the fact that in older days, the snakes were killed and cooked at the end of the festival.

International Sun Day

International Sun Day

Sunday or Sun day? Got confused? Well it sure is International Sun Day which is nothing like mythical religious event dating back to Greek time. It is a specialized event to have a conversation on relationship between Sun and the Earth. 

The 3rd of May is known as the International Sun Day, a day in which the scientists from NASA briefly go through the research about the relation between the Sun and the Earth and their coordination. It is sponsored and organized by NASA. This forum is also meant to educate and create awareness about the changing temperatures and weather conditions on earth with respect to the heat of the sun and approached also the March, Equinox; equinox means, as per the Longman dictionary, either of the two times in the year – March 21 and September 22 – when all places in the world have the day and the night of equal lengths. This symposium also looks into other celestial events as solar eclipses, the transit of Venus, and the role of electromagnetic force in every day’s life, hence helping in predicting the future movements of the sun and the weather in the space.

Did you enjoy reading about International Sun Day? Do keep this event in your mind next time and be part of the amazing chemistry that exists between the warm Sun and unpredictable Earth.

The International Labor Day

The International Labor DayThe International Labor Day also called May Day is celebrated to honor the struggle of the working class who protested against the unfair treatment meted out towards them.

In the late nineteenth century, the Labor Unions in the USA passed a resolution demanding the working hours to be restricted to 8 hours. The laborers were forced to work ten, twelve or even fourteen hours a day and the demand for shorter working hours gained momentum. The workers went on a strike and held rallies. To counter act this movement, the government used violence and the police opened fire on the strikers killing four and wounding several. A rally was held the next day by the strikers to condemn the incidence however someone from the rally threw a bomb at the police contingent which resulted in the death of one policeman and caused injuries to many. The police responded by opening fire causing more casualties.

The International Labor DayThe sacrifices and struggles of the workers later bore fruit and the workers all over the world not only got their desired 8 hours working day but 1st May was also declared a public holiday to signify its importance. Ironically, Labor Day is not celebrated in the USA on 1st May.

May Day is celebrated by holding rallies and speeches and paying homage to those who strives for better working conditions.

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