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GLOBAL DAYS IN SEPTEMBER 2015

SEPTEMBER 8TH - INTERNATIONAL LITERACY DAY

This was started by UNESCO in 1965 to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies.

This year marks the 50th anniversary  and UNESCO is celebrating “Reading the Past, Writing the Future”. International Literacy Day 2016 celebrates and honours the past five decades of efforts and progress made to increase literacy rates around the world. It also addresses current challenges and looks to innovative solutions to further boost literacy in the future.

SEPTEMBER 7TH - PARALYMPIC GAMES BEGIN

This will be the 15th Summer Paralympic Games, a multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities. It will be held in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil from 7th to 18th September. It is the first time a Latin American and South American city has hosted the games, and because it is in the Southern hemisphere, the Summer Paralympics are being held in winter! You can find out more about the games by visiting the website.

The official mascot of the games is Tom (named after a Brazilian musician) who represents Brazilian flora and is "always growing and overcoming obstacles". What obstacles are you determined to overcome this year?

SEPTEMBER 13TH - ROALD DAHL DAY

September is Roald Dahl's birth month, and each year people celebrate with a wonderful array of events centred around his birthday on 13th September - the official Roald Dahl Day.

Wherever you are in the world, there are lots of ways you can get involved in the fun, from Puffin's Virtually Live interactive webcast to the Dahlicious Dress Up Day. Click here to find out more.

SEPTEMBER 16TH – INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE PRESERVATION OF THE OZONE LAYER

The ozone layer is a deep layer in the stratosphere, encircling the Earth, that has large amounts of ozone in it. The layer shields the entire Earth from much of the harmful ultraviolet radiation that comes from the sun. Certain chemicals we produce can find their way up into the stratosphere where they destroy some of the ozone.

An international agreement, called the Montreal Protocol, was signed to reduce the manufacture of these chemicals. This day commemorates the signing of the treaty.

There is still a hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica (depicted in blue in the diagram) but the good news is that the hole is gradually shrinking.

SEPTEMBER 19TH – INTERNATIONAL TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY

Avast there, landlubbers. Don’t be forgetting that ye all has to talk like a swashbuckling buccaneer as much as ye possibly can today. Anyone not using the proper pirate lingo will find themselves in Davy Jones’ locker… or at least will be made to swab the decks, splice the mainbrace or do some other fearsome piratical task.

So get parleying like a pirate – and don’t forget to shiver yer timbers while yer at it!

SEPTEMBER 21ST – INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE

The International Day of Peace ("Peace Day") provides an opportunity for individuals, organisations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date. It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. The Day’s theme for 2016 is “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.” Click here to find out more.

SEPTEMBER 21ST - WORLD GRATITUDE DAY

The United Nations Meditation Group created World Gratitude Day to express appreciation for the great things that individuals and groups do. The group presents an award to someone who has done something outstanding in the spirit of Globalism.

The group suggests that we all find something to be grateful for, and remember that feeling. Even on a small scale, we can express gratitude and appreciation to people in our lives who have done things to help us. It could be something as simple as saying thank you to someone, or sending a card. Making time in our lives for positive reflection, gratitude and appreciation can also make us happier, more contended people.

SEPTEMBER 22ND - WORLD CARFREE DAY

Every year, people from around the world get together to remind the world that we don't have to accept our car-dominated society. It is up to us, our towns and our governments to help create permanent change to benefit pedestrians, cyclists, and other people who do not drive cars. As the climate heats up, World Carfree Day is the perfect time to take the heat off the planet, and urge city planners and politicians to give priority to cycling, walking and public transport, instead of cars. Click here to find out more.

SEPTEMBER 22ND - AUTUMN EQUINOX

Today is the first day of autumn!

There are two equinoxes each year, in March and September, when the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night is equal. This year UK the autumn equinox will occur at 2.21pm.

On the other side of the world, in the Southern Hemisphere, it is the spring or vernal equinox.

SEPTEMBER 26TH - EUROPEAN DAY OF LANGUAGES

Europe is rich in languages - there are over 200 of them, and many more spoken by citizens whose family origin is from other continents. The aim of this day is to increase intercultural understanding, to promote the cultural diversity of Europe and to encourage lifelong language learning in and out of school.

People young and old are encouraged to take up a language or take special pride in their existing language skills. You are never too old to learn something new and to enjoy the opportunities it opens up. Even if you only know a few words of a language, for example on holiday, it enables you to make new friends and contacts.

Click here to listen to people saying hello in lots of different languages (click on the small blue 'Hello' on the left of the page). How many do you recognise? There are lots of other activities on the website too.

SEPTEMBER 29TH - MICHAELMAS

Michaelmas, or the feast of Saint Michael and All Angels is a day in the Christian calendar associated with the beginning of autumn and the shortening of days. St. Michael is one of the principal angelic warriors, protector against the dark of the night and the Archangel who fought against Satan and his evil angels.

Click here to find out about St. Michael and some Michaelmas traditions.