Part A: Community calendar
As a class, you are going to make a calendar of special events for the next twelve months. Your task is to write about one event for the class calendar. Follow these instructions to make your contribution.
- Ask your teacher to give you an event to investigate from the list below.
- Research your event. Begin by clicking on the name of the person who will provide some information about the event to help you. You may also like to do some of your own research.
- Open up the calendar event entry page, by clicking on the name of your event.
- Add information to your page. You will need to use the drop down arrows for the date, and click in the different sections to add you text.
- If you wish to save your work use the save button and make sure you write down the code so you can retrieve your work later. When you have finished print out your page.
- Let Dimitri tell you about Australia Day
- Let Meg tell you about ANZAC Day
- Let Chelsea tell you about NAIDOC Week
- Let Minh tell you about Melbourne Cup Day
- Let Tom tell you about Sorry Day
- Let Gloria tell you about Harmony Day
- Let Aisha tell you about Valentine's Day
- Let Mia tell you about the Queen's Birthday
- Let Pablo tell you about Christmas
- Let Jemima tell you about Easter
- Let Chen tell you about Chinese New Year
- Let Ajay tell you about Diwali
- Let Deborah tell you about Hanukkah
- Let Iqbal tell you about Ramadan
- Let Claire tell you about Buddha Day
- Let Anne Louise tell you about the Moon Festival
- Let Pat tell you about St Patrick's Day
- Let Mai tell you about the Doll Festival
- Let Grant tell you about Mother's Day
- Let Arki tell you about Papua New Guinea Independence Day
- Let Harvey tell you about Thanksgiving
- Let Raj tell you about Mahatma Gandhi's Birthday
- Let Ruby tell you about Bastille Day
- Let Francesca tell you about Carnival
- Let Jonah tell you about Waitangi Day
- Let Lexi tell you about South African Freedom Day
- Let Ewan tell you about Guy Fawkes Day
- Let Harriet tell you about Remembrance Day
- Let Tess tell you about International Women's Day
- Let Julian tell you about German Unity Day
- Blank Calendar template
Australia Day is on the 26th of January every year. It's a day for Aussies to celebrate all that is great about this country! On the 26th of January 1788, the ships of the First Fleet landed in Sydney and started a British colony here. I think Australia Day is a day to think about how much has been achieved since then. It is also an important day because lots of awards are given out to Australians who have done good things. People can relax on Australia Day because it is a public holiday. My family always has a BBQ at the beach. We eat, listen to music, have a swim and play cricket with our cousins. The beach is packed on Australia Day, especially when it's sunny. Last year there was even a thong-throwing contest, which was pretty funny. Go Aussie!
When I was little I used to think ANZAC Day was a day for cooking and eating biscuits, but now I know it is a very special day for all Australians. ANZAC stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The ANZAC soldiers were very brave during WWI. They landed on the coast of Turkey at Gallipoli on the 25th of April 1915. It was very dangerous and they fought the enemy forces for eight long months. When the ANZACs left, over 8,000 Australian soldiers had been killed. My great-great-grandfather was one of them. ANZAC day, which occurs on April 25th every year, is a public holiday in Australia. It is about remembering the ANZACs and the other soldiers who have fought for Australia. My family and I get up really early on ANZAC Day, when it is still dark, and go to the dawn service. I enjoy the ceremony – it is really special but also really sad. When I get home I make ANZAC biscuits with my brother.
NAIDOC Week gives me the chance to share my Aboriginal heritage with you. It is held every July, and allows Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to celebrate their history, culture and achievements. Each year there is a different theme and lots of activities right across Australia. It's not just for Indigenous people either; NAIDOC week is for all Australians. NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. The Week came about after many years of Indigenous people asking for a special day to reflect on their cultures. But now we get an entire week! You should join in the celebrations with me – there are art activities, dances, stories and plenty of good tucker for everyone!
My favorite day to celebrate is Melbourne Cup Day. It is a really fun day. The Melbourne Cup is the name of a horse race that is run every year on the first Tuesday in November. The 3200 metre race takes just over three minutes to run. People say it 'stops the nation' because many Australians stop what they are doing to watch it on TV or listen to it on the radio. The first Melbourne Cup was run in 1861 and now it has become one of the biggest races in the world. In Victoria, Melbourne Cup Day is a public holiday, so everybody gets the day off to celebrate. Can you believe that people get a holiday because of a horse race? My family celebrates every year by having a BBQ with friends. The adults all dress up in smart clothes or silly hats.
Sorry Day is a sad but important day in my house. My Grandma was part of the Stolen Generations – she was taken from her Aboriginal family when she was just two years old. She had to live in a home run by white strangers. And she didnít see her mother again until she was all grown up. On the 26th of May every year, which is Sorry Day, my family and I go and visit Grandma. There are often some events happening to mark Sorry Day, sometimes we join in but sometimes we just spend time with Grandma. Sorry Day has happened every year since 1998, and is all about saying sorry to the Stolen Generations. It isn't a public holiday, but my Mum and Dad think it should be. Grandma says she finds Sorry Day sad because it is a time to remember, but it also makes her happy that the government has said sorry for the way Aboriginal people were treated in the past. She says that helps her look to the future.
I like Harmony Day because we do lots of fun things at school. Harmony Day is on the 21st of March each year. It is all about celebrating diversity in Australia – that means learning about all the religions, customs, dances, languages, music and foods that are special to different Australians. It's amazing what you can learn on Harmony Day! At my school we have an assembly where students wear their traditional clothing and teach us something from their culture. Last year I stood up on stage and did the New Zealand Haka. It was really funny and the whole school joined in. Australia began celebrating Harmony Day in 1999. It is not a public holiday but every year more Australians join the celebration. The 21st of March is also the United Nation's International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. And that means people all over the world try to live in harmony on Harmony Day!
Valentine's Day is all about love! What a great day. Valentine's Day is named after a Christian saint, Valentine, who lived more than 1500 years ago in Ancient Rome. People are not sure exactly who he was or what he did, but he is remembered on the 14th February, which is when we celebrate Valentine's Day every year. It is believed he was a very romantic man. Today, people in many countries celebrate Valentine's Day by giving cards, gifts and flowers to those they love. Every Valentine's Day, my Dad gives Mum some chocolates, and this year I gave my first Valentine's Day card. I drew a big red heart on the front and my friend really liked it. Valentine's Day is not a public holiday, but it is a day of love in many parts of the world!
The Queen's Birthday is always fun because it is a public holiday and Australians get a long weekend. The funny thing is, most Australians celebrate the Queen's Birthday on the second Monday in June, which is not really the Queen's Birthday (she was born on April 21). It's just a tradition that we celebrate the current king or queen's birthday on that day. The Queen's Birthday always reminds me about Australia's past and that we used to be part of Britain. Today, Australia is still is a member of the British Commonwealth and that means Queen Elizabeth is also Queen of Australia. In fact, she is Queen of quite a few countries. I don't know how the Queen celebrates her own birthday, but my family and I celebrate her birthday by watching an AFL game and then sitting around a fire in the evening and toasting marshmallows.
The 25th of December is the most exciting day of the year. It's Christmas Day! My sister and I wake up super early and sneak out to the lounge room to see the pile of presents that Santa has left under the Christmas tree. It is so hard waiting until our parents get up, when we all open our presents. But as Mum always reminds me, Christmas is not just about presents. It is a very important day for me and other Christians because it marks the birthday of Jesus. We have a nativity scene that we set up next to the Christmas tree every year. It shows Jesus after he is born in a barn in Bethlehem. He is surrounded by farm animals and the Three Wise Men with their gifts. Christmas lunch, with my Nan, Pop and Aunty, is also special. We always start by pulling our Christmas crackers, putting on the paper crowns, and reading the silly jokes. Then we give thanks to God for our meal and start eating – roast turkey, potatoes, and lots of gravy. Yum!
Easter is a day of great importance to me and to Christians all around the world. It celebrates the day that Jesus came back to us, three days after dying on the cross. Like many other Christians, my family goes to church on Easter Sunday for a special service. But Easter is also about eggs, which are a sign of new life. After church we have a hunt for chocolate eggs. My sisters and I run around the house and the garden finding eggs left by the Easter Bunny. Then we divide them up and start eating. I like to save mine so they last for a few weeks but my little sisters just eat theirs right away. Either way, you can never have too many chocolate eggs! Easter is always on a Sunday in late May or April and because of it, the following Monday is a public holiday. It is a special time for many Australian families.
I am going to tell you about a very special event for my family – the Chinese New Year. It is a festival that goes for 15 days and is celebrated by Chinese people all over the world. It begins with the new moon in January or February each year and ends 15 days later when the moon is full. During the festival, my family celebrates with our Chinese relatives and friends. We visit the temple to leave gifts and pray to the gods. We also eat lots of delicious food, like dumplings. You can always see lots of red during the festival because it is the colour of fire, which brings good luck. It is fun for me because children receive 'lucky' money in red envelopes too. My favourite day of the festival is the last day when we have the lantern festival. We go to Chinatown, which is alight with lanterns and watch the dragon dance. Hiding under a long piece of decorated cloth, the dancers move together down the street looking like a giant dragon. It looks so amazing that lots of Australians who aren't Chinese come to watch too!
Let me tell you about Diwali, or the festival of lights. I am a Hindu, and for me and other Hindus around the world this is a very special festival. It celebrates the victory of light over darkness, or good over evil. Diwali begins with the new moon in October or November each year and lasts for five days. My family lives in Australia but we celebrate it in the same way as our relatives in India. Firstly, we light up the house with small lamps called diyas. The lamps help Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, find our home. We also keep some windows open to make sure she can get in to bring my family good luck for the year ahead. The festival is also about eating nice food, giving gifts and spending time with my family. Mum usually lets me miss a day of school as well.
I'm Jewish and for me Hanukkah is a very special time. It is an eight-day festival occurring in November or December every year. It is celebrated by Jews around the world, including in Australia. Hanukkah celebrates a time thousands of years ago when Jewish people re-claimed a temple in Jerusalem that had been taken from them. At the time the Jewish leaders lit a special oil candle that burnt for eight days to make the temple pure. Today, my family lights eight candles over eight days to remember this event. We have a candlestick holder called a Hanukkiyah, and each evening during Hanukkah my family gathers to light the candles. Each night we light an extra candle, until the final day when all eight are lit. Hanukkah is a special family time, but it is also fun. I get a gift each night and we eat lots of yummy food together.
I am a Muslim and Ramadan is a very important time for Muslims, here in Australia and elsewhere. Ramadan lasts for an entire month and during this time I try extra hard to please Allah, or God, and to appreciate what He does for me. Ramadan happens at a different time each year. During Ramadan, Muslims do not eat or drink anything from dawn until sunset. In summer that can mean going hungry and thirsty from about four in the morning until almost nine at night. I'm not old enough to have to fast yet, but sometimes I practise because when I get to high school I will begin fasting, too. It may sound difficult, but Ramadan is actually a nice time for Muslims. We spend lots of time with friends and family and when the sun does go down, we have extra special meals to enjoy.
Hi, have you ever heard about Buddha Day? Buddha lived in ancient India thousands of years ago and began the religion called Buddhism. Today, Buddha's Birthday is celebrated on a different date in April or May each year. People celebrate his birthday all over the world, including in Australia. Mum says it is a time when we should think about Buddha's teachings – that means doing things to help others and to create peace and harmony. I think these are good things to do. My family always celebrates Buddha's Birthday, but last year we went to a festival in town to mark the event. There were all sorts of people there. It was really fun. I washed the baby Buddha, did some meditation, played with my friend, watched some dancing, and bought lots of vegetarian food from the stalls.
I'm a Vietnamese Australian and a special celebration for my family is the Moon Festival. It occurs each year during the full moon in September or early October. The Moon festival is a time for families. My parents take some time off from work to be with me. They tell me lots of stories during the festival, especially one about a fish that wanted to become a dragon and worked hard until it did. Dad thinks the story teaches me to work hard at school. But I'm not sure about that! During the festival I also pray to the gods, make star shaped lanterns to hang up, and eat lots of mooncakes. Mooncakes are like pies with a very sweet filling. Yum!
My name is Pat and I love St Patrick's Day! It is a day for Irish people to celebrate no matter where they live. Here in Australia you can always find lots of people who are happy to be Irish, at least for the day. St Patrick's Day is held on March 17 every year, and has been for over one thousand years. This is the date when St Patrick, an important Irish Christian saint died. My family goes to church on St Patrick's Day and it is also a day to celebrate all things Irish. There is lots of green and lots of shamrocks on St Patrick's Day. A shamrock is a three-leafed clover and it is the symbol of Ireland. It is also a time to eat, drink and celebrate with friends, which my parents are very good at doing!
Although I am Australian, my mother is from Japan and she likes me to celebrate a day that is very special for Japanese girls – the Doll Festival. This festival has been happening in Japan for thousands of years. It is on the 3rd of March every year and leading up to it, Mum puts some very special dolls out on display for me. The dolls are very old and they are all dressed in different Japanese costumes. The most important ones are a prince and a princess. Mum tells me that putting the dolls out will help me to have a happy and healthy life. On the actual day of the festival I put on a kimono, which is a traditional Japanese dress, and my family and I eat some special foods. We have to put the dolls away right after the festival though, because Mum says leaving them out could mean I will not find a husband when I am older.
I always make sure that I remember to make a card for my mum on the second Sunday in May every year. It's a special day for her and thousands of other mothers around the world – it's Mother's Day! Everybody knows how important mothers are and Mother's Day reminds us to appreciate every thing they do. In fact, people have been celebrating mothers for thousands of years. But more recently we began celebrating them on a special day each year. Because it is on a Sunday, Mother's Day is always relaxing. In our house it means bringing Mum breakfast in bed and having a big family lunch. Mum also gets a gift, some cards and lots of love from us kids.
My Mum is Australian but my Dad is from Papua New Guinea. At our house, we always have a celebration on September 16 because this is the day, in 1975, that PNG became an independent nation. The funny thing is, it gained its independence from Australia. Australia helped govern PNG for many years and even today the two countries are very close. Many Australians work in PNG and Australians give lots of money and aid to PNG because most people there are very poor. But for my family, Papua New Guinea Independence Day is the time when Dad gets his friends around to cook up a storm – last year they roasted a whole pig!
I always know I am in for a great feed on the fourth Thursday in November – It's Thanksgiving! I grew up in America and my family always celebrates this important date, even though we live in Australia now. Thanksgiving began many years ago in 1621 when the British settlers to America held a feast to thank God for the food that they had been able to grow. They were joined by the Native Americans, who had always lived there, and the two groups shared their food during the feast. Today, this tradition continues and Americans have a special meal to give thanks for their food, friends, and family. Roast turkey is always on the table served with cranberry sauce. And then we eat my favorite desert – pumpkin pie with lots of cream!
I am Australian, but my family comes from India. For us the 2nd of October every year is a very important day – it's Mahatma Gandhi Day. This day celebrates the birthday of Gandhi who was a great leader in India. He believed in bringing about change without using violence and helped India to become an independent nation. In fact, Gandhi is not only famous in India – people all over the world admire him for his ideas and what he achieved. His birthday is now celebrated around the world because the United Nations has named 2nd of October the International Day of Non-Violence. You might like to celebrate it too!
Bonjour! Let me tell you about a very special day that my family celebrates – Bastille Day. Even though we live in Australia now, my family used to live in France and the 14th of July is an important date for all French people. It was the date, in 1789, that a prison in Paris called the Bastille, was taken over by the working people, who were unhappy with the King. They set the prisoners free because they did not think the King treated people fairly. The taking of the Bastille was the start of many changes and France soon became a republic – which meant the King was no longer the ruler. Today, Bastille Day reminds French people of the importance of being fair and free. For me it also means eating French food, especially crepes for breakfast. Yum!
Let me tell you about the Brazilian festival, Carnival. This is a huge festival that begins 46 days before Easter and lasts for several days. In Brazil, there are street parades with dancing, costumes and giant floats. Everybody has time off work to help celebrate. They take to the streets to eat, dance and laugh with friends and with strangers. It is not like that here in Australia, but Carnival still marks a special time for many Christians. Prior to Easter many Christians, including me, take extra care with their prayers. My family celebrates Carnival by going to church and by cooking Brazilian food to share with our Australian friends. We have an Australian Carnival!
Have you ever heard of Waitangi Day? It's a big day for New Zealanders because it celebrates the day New Zealand became a nation. The Treaty of Waitangi was signed on the 6th of February in 1840. On that day New Zealand became a nation and part of the British Empire. The treaty was also signed by the Maori people of New Zealand and gave them rights over their land. Although I live in Australia now, my family still likes to celebrate Waitangi day and there are always lots of other New Zealanders who are happy to join in. If the weather is good we all head to the beach in the afternoon and have a picnic.
Freedom Day is a very special day for my family and the people of South Africa. It celebrates the fact that South Africa no longer treats black and white people differently. On 27 April 1994, South Africans elected a new government that said it would treat everybody the same. Before that black people had less rights than white people. When Nelson Mandela, a black man, was elected President many South Africans felt they had been set free from an unfair system. And that is why Freedom Day is celebrated every year on the same day as when the election was held. My family lives in Australia now, but we still celebrate Freedom Day. It reminds us how important it is to treat people fairly and with respect, whatever the colour of their skin.
Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated in England on the 5th of November every year. In 1605, Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill the King. Luckily, his plot was discovered, Fawkes was arrested and the King was saved. To celebrate the capture of Fawkes bonfires are still lit across Britain on the evening of Guy Fawkes Day. People gather in parks and enjoy the warmth of the fire. People also make 'guys' – a stuffed man – and throw them on the bonfire. I'm not sure that I like burning 'guys', but I like bonfire night.– My mum is from England, so we have a little bonfire in our Australian backyard and ask the neighbors around too.
Do you remember what happens each year at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month? We take time to remember the Australian soldiers who died in wars – it's Remembrance Day. Remembrance Day is on the 11th of November every year, as it was on this day in 1918 that World War One ended. It is not a public holiday in Australia but most people, whether they are at school or work, stop what they are doing at 11am for one minute. They stand quietly and take time to remember the sacrifice that so many people have made, not just during World War One but during all the wars. My dad always buys me a red poppy to wear, which is a symbol of Remembrance Day. The poppy reminds me all day, not just at 11am, to reflect, be thankful and honour those who died.
International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8th each year in many countries across the world, including Australia. It is a day to recognise the amazing things that women have done and are still doing to make the world a better place. It's a day when special breakfasts and events are held and lots of women wear purple, including my mum. International Women's Day has been celebrated in some places for over 100 years, but it became an official internationally recognised day in 1977. It is a public holiday in some countries, but not in Australia. Maybe it should be though since half the people who live here are female!
I'm Australian but my parents came here from Germany before I was born. For them and other Germans, the 3rd of October each year is a very memorable day – it's Unity Day. It marks the day in 1990 when Germany officially reunited as one nation. Before that Germany had been divided in two. East Germany was on one side and West Germany was on the other and people were not allowed to cross from one side to the other. Some families were split apart by the border and could not visit one another. People even died trying to cross the border that was guarded by soldiers. German unity was a wonderful thing for all Germans.