21th September ’22: Independence Day [Malta]

Independence Day (Maltese: Jum l-Indipendenza) is one of the five national holidays in Malta. It celebrates the day the country gained independence from the United Kingdom on 21 September 1964. Throughout its existence, Malta had a long and complex history which resulted in the island being ruled by a plethora of foreign rulers. Such rulers include the likes of the “Phoenicians, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Normans, Sicilians, Swabians, Aragonese, Hospitallers, French, and British”. Malta’s final ruler, Britain, granted Malta self-governance after Malta’s brave resistance to the Axis powers and loyalty to Britain during World War II, which did allow for the movement for independence to grow more in popularity. Malta attained independence from the British Empire and joined the Commonwealth of Nations in 1964 and declared itself a republic a decade later, known as Republic Day.


Malta has been an area of interest, for its strategic location in the Mediterranean Sea, since classical times. The island allowed for great international trade and a militarily strategic location, the island was wonderful for navies to stop and rest and it was a great base for military assaults from the air and the sea. The island’s longest ruler was the Knights of St. John, who controlled the island for 250 years. The Knights lost their control of the island after an invasion by French forces led by Napoleon. Napoleon’s fleet was en route to invade Egypt and beyond, but needed a place to rest beforehand. Malta refused Napoleon’s request to harbour at its islands, but he was not going to let his invasion fail at the fault of the small island-state so he invaded and seized control of the island. While Malta might have been taken through force, the French did not treat them wrongly. France established many reforms that reflected that of the French Revolution, such as ending the remaining feudalistic policies, building and founding many schools, and abolishing slavery. Despite this, the people of Malta saw those policies as excessive for the locals were “largely dominated by [and loyal to] two institutions: the aristocracy and the Church.” The Maltese people revolted against the French in response to the policies enacted by France in the occupation of 1799. The French had also been plundering art and national treasures belonging to Malta and taking them back to France, such as the sword belonging to Grandmaster Jean Parisot de la Vallette. During this time, the French had been at war with the British, hence why Napoleon was headed for British-owned Egypt. So when the Maltese resistance attempted to retake their capital of Valletta and failed, they turned to Britain for help. Britain accepted Malta’s plea for help since France was Britain’s nemesis. With famous Admiral Lord Nelson, British forces blockaded the island and took it in 1800. Britain incorporated Malta into their empire, and in 1869, Malta would become famous for its use as a halfway stop between British Gibraltar and the newly opened Suez Canal. The island would then be built up as a fortress and made into the home the British Mediterranean fleet.

A century later would have the Second World War occur. Being the home of the British fleet in the Mediterranean, the Axis powers would try repeatedly to either destroy or control the island. This devastated Malta, but the island never gave in. Their stern resistance against the Nazis and Fascist Italians was rewarded by the British, who both gave the people of Malta the George Cross and promised to give the Maltese people independence. A small amount of local rule was given in 1947, though it wasn’t until 21 September 1964 that full independence came. Malta became a republic a decade later and British forces finally left the country after the defence treaty expired on 31 March 1979, which is celebrated as “Freedom Day”.

15th September ’22: International Day of Democracy

In 2007 the United Nations General Assembly resolved to observe 15 September as the International Day of Democracy—with the purpose of promoting and upholding the principles of democracy—and invited all member states and organizations to commemorate the day in an appropriate manner that contributes to raising public awareness.

…while democracies share common features, there is no single model of democracy and that democracy does not belong to any country or region… …democracy is a universal value based on the freely-expressed will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems, and their full participation in all aspects of life.


In September 1997 the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) adopted a Universal Declaration on Democracy.[2] That Declaration affirms the principles of democracy, the elements and exercise of democratic government, and the international scope of democracy.

The international conferences on new and restored democracies[3] (ICNRD process) began in 1988 under the initiative of President Corazon C. Aquino of the Philippines after the so-called peaceful “People Power Revolution” overthrew the 20-year dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. Initially an inter-governmental forum, the ICNRD process developed into a tripartite structure with participation of governments, parliaments and civil society. The sixth conference (ICNRD-6) that took place in Doha, Qatar, in 2006 reinforced the tripartite nature of the process and concluded with a declaration and Plan of Action which reaffirmed the fundamental principles and values of democracy.

Following up on the outcome of ICNRD-6, an advisory board set up by the chair of the process, Qatar, decided to promote an International Day of Democracy. Qatar took the lead in drafting the text of a United Nations General Assembly resolution and convened consultations with UN member states. At the suggestion of the IPU, on 15 September (date of the Universal Declaration on Democracy) was chosen as the day when the international community would celebrate each year the International Day of Democracy. The resolution, titled “Support by the United Nations system of efforts of Governments to promote and consolidate new or restored democracies,” was adopted by consensus on 8 November 2007.

3rd september (’22): Feast of San Marino and the foundation of the Republic

The feast of San Marino and the foundation of the Republic of San Marino is a national day of the Republic of San Marino. It is celebrated on 3 September every year and commemorates not only the feast of the patron saint of the Republic, San Marino, but also the anniversary of the foundation of the Republic which, according to tradition, took place on 3 September 301 by the stonemason of Dalmatian origin, San Marino. . The feast is celebrated with a solemn mass celebrated in the basilica of the saint: the relic of San Marino, therefore, is carried in procession, passing through the streets of the town. The program of the festival also includes the reading of the crossbowmen’s announcement, the departure of the crossbow race, after a prayer of the crossbowmen to the patron saint, flag games, parades of the historical parade, a concert by the military band of the Republic of San Marino and games pyrotechnics.

At 2.30 pm the historical procession will start from Porta San Francesco, made up of crossbowmen, ladies, flag-wavers, musicians and figures in splendid medieval costumes; at 3.00 pm at the Basilica del Santo, the blessing of the relic of the saint will take place and the crossbowmen will pray to the patron saint; at 3.30 pm, games of flags, musicians and extras; arrived at the Cava dei Balestrieri, the representatives of the nine Castles of the Republic will compete in the Palio delle Balestre Grandi, the exciting competition where the best San Marino shooters compete, at the end of which the national champion will be proclaimed. This event is also followed by the San Marino State TV and broadcast live, also visible at this link. https://www.sanmarinortv.sm/programmi/web-tv

At 5.00 pm at the Basilica of the Saint, the Holy Mass will be celebrated and the blessing with the relic of the Saint; From 5.15 pm in the districts of the center the parade of the historical parade will take place; At 5.30 pm in Piazza della Libertà the Military Band of the Republic of San Marino will perform under the direction of the Lieutenant, Maestro Stefano Gatta in the traditional and evocative concert in the presence of the Heads of State. At the end of the concert, at 19.00 at Piazzale Lo Stradone the draw of the traditional and rich bingo will be held: 15,000 euros for the prize for the first bingo, 7,500 euros for the second, 2,500 euros for the five. The tomb folders will be on sale in the historic center or at the Titano Theater on the same day from morning until 6 pm. In case of bad weather the extraction of the tomb will be postponed to Sunday 4 September, in the same place and at the same time. At 9.30 pm at the Concordia theater the famous flutist Andrea Griminelli accompanied by Octa jazz Quartet will perform a Tribute to Italian Cinema, performing music by Ennio Morricone and Nino Rota. Admission is a free offer and the experts will be donated to the Attiva-Mente Association. In case of bad weather the show will be held at the Concordia Theater in Borgo Maggiore. At the end the celestial vault will light up with the fireworks that will conclude the celebrations.

https://www.gabrieleromano.org/pages/wiki-pages/wiki-feast-of-San-Marino-and-the-foundation-of-the-Republic.html

24th august (’22): International Strange Music Day

For those who have a tendency to lean toward the unique and bizarre, this is one day that will feed that strange musical soul! International Strange Music Day pulls out all the stops when it comes to going beyond the normal and opening up to a world with new horizons.

When it comes to the ‘strange’ part, this can mean either unfamiliar or bizarre – or both! The choice is entirely personal and up to the individual. In either case, International Strange Music Day is meant to expand the ear toward new sounds.

History of International Strange Music Day
International Strange Music Day was created by Patrick Grant, who was a New York City musician and composer at the time. The premise of the day is simple: to get people to play and listen to types of music they have never experienced before.

Patrick Grant believed that broadening people’s musical spectrums can also change the way that society looks at other aspects of life – his mantra is ‘listening without prejudice’.

Honestly, Strange Music Day also started out as a way for Grant to promote his new album, “Fields Amaze” in 1997. He picked August 24 because it was his girlfriend’s dad’s birthday, who had been a sort of artistic mentor to him.

By 2002, the day had been growing and picked up by various artists and venues. When he discovered the day had made its way to Europe, he decided to add the “International” portion to the name.

This growing movement now is attached to concerts, hosts a record label and gains strong support from summer schools, where it is appreciated as a great way to stimulate young minds.

The year 2012 brought added inspiration when Patrick Grant challenged the musicians of New York to participate in an International Strange Music Day Performance Soiree. Various strange bands and musicians such as Jolly Ramey, The Dreamscape Floppies, Da Groove Commanders, Micro-tons o’ Fun, and many more.

Since that time, other events have been hosted in honor of the day in New York as well as other towns and cities all over the United States. Other places in the world have been known to get in on the fun as well, including the University of London.

How to Celebrate International Strange Music Day
For those who are musical as well as those who don’t consider themselves to be, this day is for anyone! Whether listening or playing, celebrating International Music Day offers a myriad of opportunities to enjoy music and open up minds to new ideas. Try out these ways to celebrate, or come up with other unique ideas:

Listen to Strange Music Online
For those whose taste in music is already a bit on the edge, this is the perfect day to celebrate by listening to something even more out of the ordinary. Whether it’s a strange artist, a strange genre or a song with strange words, try out these ideas to get started on a playlist that will be inspirational for International Strange Music Day:

The Sound of Burning Chairs (2016) by Tilted Axes. One of Patrick Grant’s own projects, this group brings to public spaces the music of especially composed electric guitars. Sound Strange? It is!
International Freak (2018) by The Egyptian Lover. Part of the LA dance and rap music movement of the early ‘80s, this band features front man Gregory Broussard.
Rock N Roll McDonalds (1995) by Wesley Willis. This underground singer songwriter from the late eighties and early nineties gained a unique cult following, he also fronted his own punk rock band called the Wesley Willis Fiasco.


Create Some Strange Music
Ever wanted to combine a tight Wonder Woman costume, a frozen turkey drumstick and an inflatable wildebeest into a percussion concert? International Strange Music Day gives everyone the perfect excuse to do just that! What you do with these items once the music stops, of course, is something more personal…

https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/international-strange-music-day/

International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief

International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief is a United Nations-sponsored annual awareness day that takes place on 22 August as part of the UN’s efforts to support Human Rights Related to Freedom of Religion or Belief. It was first introduced in 2019.

Freedom of religion or belief, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of association are interdependent, interrelated and mutually reinforcing. They are enshrined in articles 18, 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Upholding these rights plays an important role in the fight against all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief.

The open, constructive and respectful debate of ideas, as well as interreligious, interfaith and intercultural dialogue, at the local, national, regional and international levels, can play a positive role in combating religious hatred, incitement and violence.

Furthermore, the exercise of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and full respect for the freedom to seek, receive and impart information can play a positive role in strengthening democracy and combating religious intolerance.

Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief
There are continuing acts of intolerance and violence based on religion or belief against individuals, including against persons belonging to religious communities and religious minorities around the world, and the number and intensity of such incidents, which are often of a criminal nature and may have international characteristics, are increasing.

That is why the General Assembly adopted the resolution A/RES/73/296, titled “International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief” strongly condemning continuing violence and acts of terrorism targeting individuals, including persons belonging to religious minorities, on the basis of or in the name of religion or belief.

The Member States reaffirmed their unequivocal condemnation of all acts, methods and practices of terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, wherever and by whomsoever committed, regardless of their motivation, and reiterated that terrorism and violent extremism as and when conducive to terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group.

The General Assembly decided to designate 22 August as the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief.

The Day comes right after the International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, 21 August.

Background
The General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/73/296, designated 22 August as the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief recognizing the importance of providing victims of acts of violence based on religion or belief and members of their families with appropriate support and assistance in accordance with applicable law.

It strongly deplored all acts of violence against persons on the basis of their religion or belief, as well as any such acts directed against their homes, businesses, properties, schools, cultural centres or places of worship, as well as all attacks on and in religious places, sites and shrines that are in violation of international law.

A previous resolution establishing the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism (A/RES/72/165) also recognized that working together to enhance the implementation of existing legal regimes that protect individuals against discrimination and hate crimes, increasing interreligious, interfaith and intercultural efforts and expanding human rights education are important first steps in combating incidents of intolerance, discrimination and violence against individuals on the basis of religion or belief.

By proclaiming an International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief, the General Assembly recalled that States have the primary responsibility to promote and protect human rights, including the human rights of persons belonging to religious minorities, including their right to exercise their religion or belief freely.

https://www.un.org/en/observances/religious-based-violence-victims-day

20th July (’22): International Chess Day

International Chess Day is celebrated annually on 20 July, the day the International Chess Federation (FIDE) was founded, in 1924.

The idea to celebrate this day as the international chess day was proposed by UNESCO, and it has been celebrated as such since 1966, after it was established by FIDE. FIDE, which has 181 chess federations as its members, organizes chess events and competitions around the world on this day. As recently as 2013, the international chess day was celebrated in 178 countries, according to FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. On 12 December, 2019, the UN General Assembly unanimously approved a resolution recognizing the day.

The day is celebrated by many of the 605 million regular chess players around the world. A 2012 Yougov poll showed that “a surprisingly stable 70% of the adult population has played chess at some point during their lives”. This number holds at approximately the same level in countries as diverse as the US, UK, Germany, Russia, and India.

15th July (’22): World Youth Skills Day

In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared 15 July as World Youth Skills Day, to celebrate the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship. Since then, World Youth Skills Day has provided a unique opportunity for dialogue between young people, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, firms, employers’ and workers’ organizations, policy-makers and development partners.

World Youth Skills Day 2022 takes place amid concerted efforts towards socio-economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that are interconnected with challenges such as climate change, conflict, persisting poverty, rising inequality, rapid technological change, demographic transition and others.

Young women and girls, young persons with disabilities, youth from poorer households, rural communities, indigenous peoples, and minority groups, as well as those who suffer the consequences of violent conflict and political instability, continue to be excluded due to a combination of factors. In addition, the crisis has accelerated several transitions the world of work was already undergoing, which add layers of uncertainty regarding the skills and competencies that will be in demand after the pandemic is overcome.

The United Nations and its agencies, such as UNESCO-UNEVOC, are well placed to help address these challenges by reducing access barriers to the world of work, ensuring that skills gained are recognized and certified, and offering skills development opportunities for out-of-school youth and those not in employment, education or training (NEET). During this Decade of Action for the 2030 Agenda, the full engagement of young people in global processes is vital to generate positive change and innovation.

14th July (’22): Bastille Day – French national holiday

Bastille Day is the common name given in English-speaking countries to the national day of France, which is celebrated on 14 July each year. In French, it is formally called Fête nationale française (French: [fɛt nasjɔnal]; “French National Celebration”), and legally le 14 juillet (French: [lə katɔʁz(ə) ʒɥijɛ]; “the 14th of July”).

The French National Day is the anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, a major event of the French Revolution, as well as the Fête de la Fédération that celebrated the unity of the French people on 14 July 1790. Celebrations are held throughout France. One that has been reported as “the oldest and largest military parade in Europe” is held on 14 July on the Champs-Élysées in Paris in front of the President of the Republic, along with other French officials and foreign guests.

In 1789, tensions rose in France between reformist and conservative factions as the country struggled to resolve an economic crisis. In May, the Estates General legislative assembly was revived, but members of the Third Estate broke ranks, declaring themselves to be the National Assembly of the country, and on 20 June, vowed to write a constitution for the kingdom.

On 11 July Jacques Necker, the Finance Minister of Louis XVI, who was sympathetic to the Third Estate, was dismissed by the king, provoking an angry reaction among Parisians. Crowds formed, fearful of an attack by the royal army or by foreign regiments of mercenaries in the king’s service, and seeking to arm the general populace. Early on 14 July one crowd besieged the Hôtel des Invalides for firearms, muskets, and cannons, stored in its cellars. That same day, another crowd stormed the Bastille, a fortress-prison in Paris that had historically held people jailed on the basis of lettres de cachet (literally “signet letters”), arbitrary royal indictments that could not be appealed and did not indicate the reason for the imprisonment, and was believed to hold a cache of ammunition and gunpowder. As it happened, at the time of the attack, the Bastille held only seven inmates, none of great political significance.

The crowd was eventually reinforced by mutinous Régiment des Gardes Françaises (“French Guards”), whose usual role was to protect public buildings. They proved a fair match for the fort’s defenders, and Governor de Launay, the commander of the Bastille, capitulated and opened the gates to avoid a mutual massacre. According to the official documents, about 200 attackers and just one defender died before the capitulation. However, possibly because of a misunderstanding, fighting resumed. In this second round of fighting, de Launay and seven other defenders were killed, as was Jacques de Flesselles, the prévôt des marchands (“provost of the merchants”), the elected head of the city’s guilds, who under the feudal monarchy also had the competences of a present-day mayor.

Shortly after the storming of the Bastille, late in the evening of 4 August, after a very stormy session of the Assemblée constituante, feudalism was abolished. On 26 August, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen) was proclaimed.

11th July (’22): World Population Day

World Population Day is an annual event, celebrated on July 11 each year, that seeks to raise awareness of the problems of the global population. The event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Program in 1989. It was inspired by the public interest in Five Billion Day on July 11, 1987, the approximate date when the world’s population reached five billion people. World Population Day aims to raise people’s awareness of various population-related issues, such as the importance of family planning, gender equality, poverty, maternal health and human rights.

The day was suggested by Dr. K.C. Zachariah when the population reached five billion when she worked as Sr. Demographer at the World Bank. While the interest of the press and general awareness in the world population only increases in increments of entire billions of people, the world population increases annually by approximately 100 million every 14 months. The world population reached 7,400,000,000 on February 6, 2016; the world population reached 7,500,000,000 around 4:21 pm on April 24, 2017. The world population reached 7,700,000,000 in 2019.

In November, UNFPA, together with the governments of Kenya and Denmark, will convene a high-level conference in Nairobi to accelerate efforts to achieve these unmet goals. On World Population Day, supporters around the world are calling on leaders, policy makers, grassroots organizers, institutions and others to help make reproductive health and rights a reality for all.

7th July (’22): World Chocolate Day

World Chocolate Day, sometimes referred to as International Chocolate Day, or just Chocolate Day, is an annual celebration of chocolate, occurring globally on July 7, which some suggest to be the anniversary of the introduction of chocolate to Europe in 1550. The observance of World Chocolate Day dates back to 2009.

Other Chocolate Day celebrations exist, such as National Chocolate Day in the United States on 28 October. The U.S. National Confectioners Association lists 13 September as International Chocolate Day, coinciding with the birth date of Milton S. Hershey (September 13, 1857). Ghana, the second largest producer of cocoa, celebrates Chocolate Day on February 14. In Latvia, World Chocolate Day is celebrated on July 11.

The U.S. National Confectioners Association lists four primary chocolate holidays on their calendar (Chocolate Day (July 7), two National Chocolate Days (October 28 and December 28), and International Chocolate Day (September 13)), in addition to variants such as National Milk Chocolate Day, National White Chocolate Day, and National Cocoa Day.