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GLOBAL DAYS IN JANUARY 2017

1ST JANUARY - NEW YEAR'S DAY

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wish you all a very happy New Year. Do you do anything special to celebrate? Some people might stay up to drink each other's health, sing 'Auld Lang Syne' or let off fireworks at midnight. But what do people in other countries do? Click here to find out more.

1ST JANUARY - WORLD DAY OF PEACE

The World Day of Peace is a feast day in the Roman Catholic Church dedicated to peace. It has often been a time when the Pope makes declarations about social issues such as human rights, economic development, international diplomacy, peace in the Holy Land, globalisation, or terrorism. You can read Pope Francis' World Day of Peace message here.

1ST JANUARY - GLOBAL FAMILY DAY

Formerly One Day of Peace and Sharing, Global Family Day is an international day of peace and sharing that is celebrated by citizens around the world. It is a day where individuals and families come together to share food with friends and the needy, make personal pledges to promote non-violence, and spread a message of peace and sharing by ringing a bell or beating a drum in hopes of making society and the world a safer place to live.

5TH JANUARY - TWELFTH NIGHT

The evening of 5th January, the eve of Epiphany, is known as Twelfth Night in England, and has its own traditions, including the taking down of our Christmas decorations. Click here to find out more.

6TH JANUARY - EPIPHANY

This commemorates the time when the Magi visited the infant Jesus. Do you know what Epiphany means, or how people celebrate it in different parts of the world? Click here to find out more.

15TH JANUARY - WORLD RELIGION DAY

The aim of World Religion Day, held on the third Sunday in January every year, is to promote inter-faith understanding and harmony. Through a variety of events held around the globe, followers of every religion are encouraged to acknowledge the similarities that different faiths have.

16TH JANUARY - MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY

This is celebrated on the third Monday in January, near the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King was a minister who tried to make sure that black people received the same rights as white people. Click here to find out more.

25TH JANUARY - BURNS NIGHT

Scots around the world celebrate Robert Burns' birthday with a Burns Night Supper. Robert Burns wrote poems and songs portraying Scottish culture and he has become a national institution. Click here to find out more.

26TH JANUARY - AUSTRALIA DAY

Australia Day commemorates the first settlement at Port Jackson (now Sydney Harbour) in 1788. Captain Arthur Phillip led the First Fleet of 11 ships from Great Britain and established the first penal colony in Australia - the Colony of New South Wales.

It's a national holiday and a day of pride for many Australians. Boat races such as the ferry race and the tall ships race are held in Sydney Harbour. Citizenship ceremonies are a big part of the day and the Australian of the Year award is made.

Activity Village has lots of Australian themed activities. Click here to visit the website.

27TH JANUARY - INTERNATIONAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY

On this day each year, we remember the Holocaust that affected millions of Jewish people (and people of other religious and racial groups) during WW2. It is hoped that through remembering these events, people will remember the Holocaust and prevent genocide.

28TH JANUARY - CHINESE NEW YEAR

Today is the beginning of the Chinese New Year. This year is the year of the rooster. The Chinese believe the animal ruling the year in which a person is born influences their personality. People born in the year of the rooster are thought to be hard working, although they can be a little melodramatic at times. Do you know what animal you are? To find out more, click here and visit our Chinese New Year pages.

28TH JANUARY TO 4TH FEBRUARY - NATIONAL STORYTELLING WEEK

Storytelling is the oldest art form in the world: we think in story form, make sense of our world in narrative – from something we’ve seen, through last night’s television, to what family and folk stories we remember and retell.  Performance storytelling can be a powerful experience, both entertaining and moving. Story is also the traditional medium of communication from generation to generation, a tool for education and therapy.

This week was chosen to celebrate storytelling week because it is not too close to Christmas and coincides with Candlemas, which falls on the 2nd of February. Part of the rituals for this old church festival includes a blessing on the throat, a prime tool in the store of nearly all storytellers of every belief and culture.

29TH JANUARY - WORLD LEPROSY DAY

World Leprosy Day takes place on the last Sunday in January, a date chosen to coincide with the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's death. The aim is to raise awareness of a disease that many people believe is extinct.

The Leprosy Mission strives to bring justice and dignity to people affected by leprosy, and finding them the medical care they so desperately need. Click here to visit the website and find out more about this needlessly crippling disease.