2nd July (’22): Palio di Siena [Italy]

Trecciolino alla curva di San Martini

The Palio di Siena (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpaːljo di ˈsjɛːna]; known locally simply as Il Palio) is a horse race that is held twice each year, on 2 July and 16 August, in Siena, Italy. Ten horses and riders, bareback and dressed in the appropriate colours, represent ten of the seventeen contrade, or city wards. The Palio held on 2 July is named Palio di Provenzano, in honour of the Madonna of Provenzano, a Marian devotion particular to Siena which developed around an icon from the Terzo Camollia [it] area of the city. The Palio held on 16 August is named Palio dell’Assunta, in honour of the Assumption of Mary.

Sometimes, in case of exceptional events or local or national anniversaries deemed relevant and pertinent ones, the city community may decide for an extraordinary Palio, run between May and September. The last two were on 9 September 2000, to celebrate the city entering the new millennium and on 20 October 2018, in commemoration of the end of the Great War.

The Corteo Storico, a pageant to the sound of the March of the Palio, precedes the race, which attracts visitors and spectators from around the world.

The race itself, in which the jockeys ride bareback, circles the Piazza del Campo, on which a thick layer of earth has been laid. The race is run for three laps of the piazza and usually lasts no more than 90 seconds. It is common for a few of the jockeys to be thrown off their horses while making the treacherous turns in the piazza, and indeed, it is not unusual to see riderless horses finishing the race.

2nd June (’22): Decoration Day [Canada]

Decoration Day is a Canadian holiday that recognizes veterans of Canada’s military. The holiday has mostly been eclipsed by the similar Remembrance Day.

Decoration Day began on 2 June 1890. Originally, the celebration served as a form of protest for veterans of the Battle of Ridgeway who felt that their contributions to the protection of Canada during the Fenian Raids were being overlooked by the government. The veterans placed decorations at the Canadian Volunteers Monument near Queen’s Park in Toronto on the anniversary of the battle. There were thirty thousand participants in 1891, the 25th anniversary of the Battle of Ridgeway, and up to fifty thousand watched the accompanying parade. This became an annual event, taking place on the weekend nearest the original date and accumulating more participants as further conflicts resulted in a larger body of Canadian veterans. Participants included veterans of the Fenian Raids, the North-West Rebellion, the Second Boer War, and the First World War.

The actions of the Fenian veterans resulted in the British creation of service medals recognizing participants in the pre-First World War Canadian conflicts. Canada provided compensation to veterans of the rebellions, but not the Fenian raids; Ontario did provide some recognition at the provincial level. Commemoration of Decoration Day became less prominent in the early 1900s, although it returned to some prominence when the First World War began. A Ridgeway monument was created in 1916 and made a National Historic Battlefield in 1921. In 1931, the Armistice Remembrance Day Act established 11 November (Remembrance Day) as the official day commemorating military service in Canada. However, some recognition of Decoration Day persists.

2nd June (’22): Republic Day [Italy]

Festa della Repubblica (Italian: [ˈfɛsta della reˈpubblika]; English: Republic Day) is the Italian National Day and Republic Day, which is celebrated on 2 June each year, with the main celebration taking place in Rome. The Festa della Repubblica is one of the national symbols of Italy.

The day commemorates the institutional referendum held by universal suffrage in 1946, in which the Italian people were called to the polls to decide on the form of government following the Second World War and the fall of Fascism.

The ceremony of the event, organized in Rome, includes the deposition of a laurel wreath as a tribute to the Italian Unknown Soldier at the Altare della Patria by the President of the Italian Republic and a military parade along Via dei Fori Imperiali in Rome.

It started February

Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.
(Pietro Aretino)

February is the month of love:
everyone hugs
everyone giggles,
everyone kisses,
everyone cuddles
and everyone wins.

“Originally the month of February was 29 days; in the year 8 BC August decided to change the name of the month called Sextilis and to transform it into August, as its name. Augustus, however, unable to admit that his month was a month in the middle of the month of July, called it by the name of Julius Caesar, and added a month in the month that portrays the name of his month in the month of February in Persia, so, its twenty-ninth day. ” Furthermore, in the Roman calendar the month of February was the last month of the year. Indeed, as it is logical that … the month that corrects (with leap years) the solar calendar should be the last.

2° February (’22): CANDLEMAS

Candlemas (also spelled Candlemass), also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ, the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or the Feast of the Holy Encounter, is a Christian holiday commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. It is based upon the account of the presentation of Jesus in Luke 2:22–40. In accordance with Leviticus 12, a woman was to be purified by presenting a lamb as a burnt offering, and either a young pigeon or dove as sin offering, 33 days after a boy’s circumcision. It falls on 2 February, which is traditionally the 40th day (postpartum period) of and the conclusion of the ChristmasEpiphany season. While it is customary for Christians in some countries to remove their Christmas decorations on Twelfth Night (Epiphany Eve), those in other Christian countries historically remove them after Candlemas. On Candlemas, many Christians (especially Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans and Methodists) also bring their candles to their local church, where they are blessed and then used for the rest of the year; for Christians, these blessed candles serve as a symbol of Jesus Christ, who referred to himself as the Light of the World.

2° February (’22): Groundhog Day (USA & CANADA)

Groundhog Day (Pennsylvania German: Grund’sau dåk, Grundsaudaag, Grundsow Dawg, Murmeltiertag; Nova Scotia: Daks Day) is a popular North American tradition observed in the United States and Canada on February 2. It derives from the Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that if a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day and sees its shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat to its den, and winter will go on for six more weeks; if it does not see its shadow because of cloudiness, spring will arrive early.

While the tradition remains popular in the 21st century, studies have found no consistent correlation between a groundhog seeing its shadow and the subsequent arrival time of spring-like weather.

The weather lore was brought from German-speaking areas where the badger (German: Dachs) is the forecasting animal. This appears to be an enhanced version of the lore that clear weather on the Christian festival of Candlemas forebodes a prolonged winter.

The Groundhog Day ceremony held at Punxsutawney in western Pennsylvania, centering on a semi-mythical groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil, has become the most frequently attended ceremony. Grundsow Lodges in Pennsylvania Dutch Country in the southeastern part of the state observe the occasion as well. Other cities in the United States and Canada also have adopted the event.

2° February (’22): World Wetlands Day

World Wetlands Day is an environmentally related celebration which dates back to the year of 1971 when several environmentalists gathered to reaffirm the protection and love for wetlands, which are the small environments of plant life and organisms found within water bodies that bring about ecological health in abundance to not only water bodies but environments as a whole. The World Wetlands Secretary Department is originally from Gland, Switzerland and in accordance to the beginning of World Wetlands Day, the Ramsar convention first attributed this recognition in “the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea”.

World Wetlands Day is celebrated on the second day of February every year, though it was not originally celebrated until 1997. This day serves to recognize the influence and positive production that Wetlands have had on the world and in terms brings communities together for the benefit of Mother Nature. This day, also raises global awareness because wetlands play a significant role not only in people but in the planet. Community protectors and environmental enthusiast all come together on this day to celebrate their love for nature through celebration, which recognizes what wetlands have done for not only us humans, but all sorts of organisms in this world.

Over time, human construction has led to various ecological problems affecting wetlands. Overpopulation and construction has led to a decrease in environmental conservation and in total has brought upon issues to these lands. Many wetlands are being lost and ecologists claim that human should recognize this dilemma before the loss of a natural filter and conserver of the world.

Each year a theme is selected to focus attention and help raise public awareness about the value of wetlands. Countries organize a variety of events to raise awareness such as; lectures, seminars, nature walks, children’s art contests, sampan races, community clean-up days, radio and television interviews, letters to newspapers, to the launch of new wetland policies, new Ramsar Sites and new programs at the national level.

The theme for World Wetlands Day in 2022 is expected to be “Wetlands action for people and nature“.