Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Week Twenty-One: Your National Holiday

This week marks national holidays for two major countries: Canada, which celebrates Canada Day normally on July 1st, but officially on the 2nd, since the First falls on a Sunday; and the United States, which celebrates Independence Day on July 4th. Here are some prompts for letting your descendants know how you celebrate your national holiday:

*What was tradition in your childhood family for celebrating your national holiday? Did you dress in a national costume or in your national colors? Did you display your national flag? Was your national holiday a one-day celebration, or longer?

*Were there any programs on the radio or television that you listened to/watched as part of this observance? Was there a church or other religious ceremony you attended?

*Were there neighborhood or community events in which you participated? Did they include games, dancing, feasting, fireworks, or music? Was the national anthem sung or played? Was it a festive or somber affair? Were there celebrities, local government officials, or national leaders in attendance?

*Did you have an indoor feast, or a picnic or barbecue outside? What foods were traditionally served?

*How did your childhood celebrations differ from the way you celebrate as an adult? How are they the same?

*What does it mean to you to be a/an ____________ (insert your nationality here)? Do you consider yourself patriotic? What freedoms or privileges do you most cherish? If you are an immigrant, you may wish to write about your immigration experience (when, where and why), how life in your new country compares with your old, and your feelings about your motherland and adopted country.

Here are some great websites to educate you further, or to use to enhance your online journal:
  • Fourth of July Celebrations Database
  • Celebrate Canada!
  • A list of National Holidays
  • To find more online information about your specific national holiday, enter the name of your country and "national holiday" in quotation marks at Google.
  • 3D Flags has animated national flags you can download and use on your website or blog. They have three sizes and three background colors to choose from. They also have U.S. state flags.
  • If your national colors are red and white, or red, white, and blue, there are some backgrounds and graphics on my pixel graphics site here, which you can use free-of-charge.
  • Sites to download free midi (audio) files of your national anthem can be found here and here, while lyrics can be found here.
My journal about my childhood celebrations can be found here.

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