Kindergarten Day

Kindergarten Day takes place on 21 April to commemorate the anniversary of the birth of young German teacher Friedrich Wilhelm Frobel who was born 21 April 1782 In Oberweißbach in the Principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt in Thuringia. A cousin of his was the mother of Henriette Schrader-Breymann, and Henriette became a student of his. Fröbel’s father, who died in 1802, was the pastor of the orthodox Lutheran (alt-lutherisch) parish there. The church and Lutheran Christian faith were pillars in Fröbel’s own early education.

Oberweißbach was a wealthy village in the Thuringian Forest and had been known centuries long for its natural herb remedies, tinctures, bitters, soaps and salves. Families had their own inherited areas of the forest where herbs and roots were grown and harvested. Each family prepared, bottled, and produced their individual products which were taken throughout Europe on trade routes passed from father to son, who were affectionately called Buckelapotheker or “Rucksack Pharmacists”. They adorned the church with art acquired from their travels, many pieces of which can still be seen in the renovated structure. The pulpit from which Fröbel heard his father preach is the largest in all Europe and can accommodate a pastor and 12 people, a direct reference to Christ’s apostles.

Shortly after Fröbel’s birth, his mother’s health began to fail. She died when he was nine months old, profoundly influencing his life. In 1792, Fröbel went to live in the small town of Stadt-Ilm with his uncle, a gentle and affectionate man. At the age of 15 Fröbel, who loved nature, became the apprentice to a forester. In 1799, he decided to leave his apprenticeship and study mathematics and botany in Jena. From 1802 to 1805, he worked as a land surveyor. On 11 September 1818, Fröbel wed Wilhelmine Henriette Hoffmeister (b. 1780) in Berlin. The union was childless. Wilhelmine died in 1839, and Fröbel married again in 1851. His second wife was Louise Levin.

Fröbel had an interest in nature and in education He began as an educator in 1805 at the Musterschule (a secondary school) in Frankfurt, where he learned about Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi’s ideas. He later worked with Pestalozzi in Switzerland, where his ideas further developed. From 1806, Fröbel was the live-in teacher for a Frankfurt noble family’s three sons. He lived with the three children from 1808 to 1810 at Pestalozzi’s institute in Yverdon-les-Bains in Switzerland.

In 1811, Fröbel once again went back to school in Göttingen and Berlin, eventually leaving without earning a certificate. He became a teacher at the Plamannsche Schule in Berlin, a boarding school for boys, and at that time also a pedagogical and patriotic centre. During his service in the Lützow Free Corps in 1813 and 1814 – when he was involved in two military campaigns against Napoleon – Fröbel befriended Wilhelm Middendorf, a theologian and fellow pedagogue, and Heinrich Langethal, also a pedagogue. After Waterloo and the Congress of Vienna Fröbel became an assistant at the Museum of Mineralogy under Christian Samuel Weiss during 1814–1816, studying and cataloging mineral crystals and became fascinated with their structure.

In 1816, he was offered a professorship in Stockholm, but he turned it down and instead founded the Allgemeine Deutsche Erziehungsanstalt (German General Education Institute) in Griesheim near Arnstadt in Thuringia. A year later, he moved the school to Keilhau near Rudolstadt. In 1831, work would be continued there by the other cofounders Wilhelm Middendorf and Heinrich Langethal.

Between 1820, and 1823 Fröbel published five Keilhau pamphlets, beginning with An unser deutsches Volk (“To Our German People”). Then In 1826 he published his main written work, Die Menschenerziehung (“The Education of Man”) and founded the weekly publication Die erziehenden Familien (“The Educating Families”). In 1828 and 1829 he pursued plans for a people’s education institute (Volkserziehungsanstalt) in Helba (nowadays a constituent community of Meiningen).

Between 1831 and 1836, Fröbel lived in Switzerland. In 1831 he founded an educational institute in Wartensee (Lucerne). In 1833 he moved this to Willisau, and from 1835 to 1836, he headed the orphanage in Burgdorf (Berne), where he also published the magazine Grundzüge der Menschenerziehung (Features of Human Education). He returned to Germany, dedicated himself almost exclusively to preschool child education and began manufacturing playing materials in Bad Blankenburg. In 1836 he published his work Erneuerung des Lebens erfordert das neue Jahr 1836 (The New Year 1836 Calls For the Renewal of Life). In 1837 he founded a care, playing and activity institute for small children in Bad Blankenburg. From 1838 to 1840 he also published the magazine Ein Sonntagsblatt für Gleichgesinnte (A Sunday Paper for the Like-Minded).

In 1840 he coined the word kindergarten for the Play and Activity Institute he had founded in 1837 at Bad Blankenburg for young children, together with Wilhelm Middendorf and Heinrich Langethal. These two men were Fröbel’s most faithful colleagues when his ideas were also transplanted to Keilhau near Rudolstadt. He designed the educational play materials known as Froebel Gifts, or Fröbelgaben, which included geometric building blocks and pattern activity blocks. A book entitled Inventing Kindergarten, by Norman Brosterman, examines the influence of Friedrich Fröbel on Frank Lloyd Wright and modern art.

Friedrich Fröbel’s great insight was to recognise the importance of the activity of the child in learning. He introduced the concept of “free work” (Freiarbeit) into pedagogy and established the “game” as the typical form that life took in childhood, and also the game’s educational worth. Activities in the first kindergarten included singing, dancing, gardening, and self-directed play with the Froebel Gifts. Fröbel intended, with his Mutter- und Koselieder – a songbook that he published – to introduce the young child into the adult world.

These ideas about childhood development and education were introduced to academic and royal circles through the tireless efforts of his greatest proponent, the Baroness (Freiherrin) Bertha Marie von Marenholtz-Bülow. Through her Fröbel made the acquaintance of the Royal House of the Netherlands, various Thuringian dukes and duchesses, including the Romanov wife of the Grand Duke von Sachsen-Weimar. Baroness von Marenholtz-Bülow, Duke von Meiningen and Fröbel gathered donations to support art education for children in honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Goethe. The Duke of Meiningen granted the use of his hunting lodge, called Marienthal (Vale of Mary) in the resort town of Bad Liebenstein for Fröbel to train the first women as Kindergarten teachers (Kindergärtnerinnen).

However the education ministry of the Prussian government banned kindergartens on 7 August 1851 as “atheistic and demagogic” for their alleged “destructive tendencies in the areas of religion and politics”. Nevertheless Fröbel’s idea of the kindergarten had found appeal. The ban may have been a confusion
Between Friedrich and his nephew Karl Fröbel.” Who wrote and published an inflammatory book entitled Weibliche Hochschulen und Kindergärten (“Female Colleges and Kindergartens”), which apparently met with some disapproval. To quote Karl August Varnhagen von Ense, “The stupid minister (Karl Otto) von Raumer has decreed a ban on kindergartens, basing himself on a book by Karl Fröbel.

The sudden ban dismayed Fröbel, who died on 21 June 1852 in Marienthal, now a constituent community of Schweina. Nevertheless this meant that many teachers from Germany, spread their ideas to other countries instead. Fröbel’s student Margarethe Schurz founded the first kindergarten in the United States at Watertown, Wisconsin in 1856; instruction was in the German language, to serve the immigrant community there. She inspired Elizabeth Peabody, who went on to found the first English-language kindergarten in the United States, in Boston in 1860. The German émigré Adolph Douai had also founded a kindergarten in Boston in 1859, but had to close it after only a year. By 1866, however, he was founding others in New York City.

HM Queen Elizabeth II

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was born 21st April 1926. She is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms, and head of the 54-member Commonwealth of Nations. In her specific role as the monarch of the UnitedKingdom, one of her 16 realms, she is also Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Elizabeth was born in London, and educated privately at home. Her father acceded to the throne as George VI in 1936 on the abdication of his brother Edward VIII and She began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, and also served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. On the death of her father in 1952, she became Head of the Commonwealth and queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Her coronation service in 1953 was the first to be televised. Between 1956 and 1992, many territories gained independence or became republics. Today, Elizabeth is Queen of Jamaica,Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. In 1947 she married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, with whom she has four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward. and Her reign of 60 years is the second-longest for a British monarch; only Queen Victoria has reigned longer. Her Silver and Golden Jubilees were celebrated in 1977 and 2002; her Diamond Jubilee was celebrated 2012.

Elizabeth was the first child of Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI), and his wife, Elizabeth. Her father was the second son of King George V and Queen Mary, and her mother was the youngest daughter of Scottish aristocrat Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. Elizabeth’s only sibling was Princess Margaret, born in 1930. As a granddaughter of the monarch in the male line, Elizabeth’s full style at birth was Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth of York. She was third in the line of succession to the throne, behind her uncle, Edward, Prince of Wales, and her father. In 1936, when her grandfather, George V, died and her uncle Edward succeeded, she became second in line to the throne after her father. Later that year, Edward abdicated after his proposed marriage to divorced socialite Wallis Simpson provoked a constitutional crisis. Elizabeth’s father became king, and she became heiress presumptive, with the style Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth. In 1943, at the age of 16, Elizabeth undertook her first solo public appearance on a visit to the Grenadier Guards, of which she had been appointed Colonel-in-Chief the previous year. As she approached her 18th birthday, the law was changed so that she could act as one of five Counsellors of State in the event of her father’s incapacity or absence abroad,

At the end of World war II in Europe, on Victory in Europe Day, Elizabeth and her sister mingled anonymously with the celebratory crowds in the streets of London. She later said in a rare interview, “we asked my parents if we could go out and see for ourselves. I remember we were terrified of being recognised … I remember lines of unknown people linking arms and walking down Whitehall, all of us just swept along on a tide of happiness and relief.”Two years later, the princess made her first overseas tour, when she accompanied her parents through southern Africa. During the tour, in a broadcast to the British Commonwealth on her 21st birthday, she pledged: “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”

Elizabeth met her future husband, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, in 1934 and 1937. After another meeting at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in July 1939, Elizabeth – though only 13 years old – fell in love with Philip, and they began to exchange letters.They married on 20 November 1947 at Westminster Abbey. They are second cousins once removed through King Christian IX of Denmark and third cousins through Queen Victoria. Before the marriage, Philip renounced his Greek and Danish titles, converted from Greek Orthodoxy to Anglicanism, and adopted the style Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, taking the surname of his mother’s British family. Just before the wedding, he was created Duke of Edinburgh and granted the style of His Royal Highness. Elizabeth gave birth to her first child, Prince Charles, on 14 November 1948, A second child, Princess Anne, was born in 1950, Princes Andrew was born in in 1959 and Edward in 1963.

Durind 1952 her Father King George VI’s health unfortunately declined, and Elizabeth was soon frequently standing in for him at public events. In October of that year, she toured Canada, and visited President Truman in Washington, D.C. And on the trip, her private secretary, Martin Charteris, carried a draft accession declaration for use if the King died while she was on tour. In early 1952, Elizabeth and Philip set out for a tour of Australia and New Zealand by way of Kenya. On 6 February 1952, they had just returned to their Kenyan home, Sagana Lodge, after a night spent at Treetops Hotel, when word arrived of the death of Elizabeth’s father. Philip broke the news to the new queen. Martin Charteris asked her to choose a regal name; she chose to remain Elizabeth, “of course”. She was proclaimed queen throughout her realms, and the royal party hastily returned to the United Kingdom. She and the Duke of Edinburgh moved into Buckingham Palace.With Elizabeth’s accession it seemed likely that the royal house would bear her husband’s name. Lord Mountbatten thought it would be the House of Mountbatten, as Elizabeth would typically have taken Philip’s last name on marriage; however Elizabeth’s grandmother Queen Mary and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill favoured the retention of the House of Windsor, and so Windsor it remained.

Despite the death of Queen Mary ten weeks before, the coronation went ahead on 2 June 1953. Before she died, Mary had asked that the coronation not be delayed. The ceremony in Westminster Abbey, except the anointing and communion, was televised for the first time, and the coverage was instrumental in boosting the medium’s popularity; the number of television licences in the United Kingdom doubled to 3 million. Elizabeth’s pregnancies with Princes Andrew and Edward in 1959 and 1963, respectively, mark the only times she has not performed the State Opening of the British parliament during her reign. In addition to performing traditional ceremonies, she also instituted new practices such as the Royal Walkabout.

Her first royal walkabout, meeting ordinary members of the public, took place during a tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1970. In 1977, Elizabeth marked the Silver Jubilee of her accession. Many street parties and other events were held to mark the occasion (I used to have a commemorative mug) Many of which coincided with the Queens Associated National and Commonwealth tours and These celebrations re-affirmed the Queen’s ongoing popularity She again undertook an extensive tour of her realms, which began in Jamaica in February, As in 1977, there were many street parties and commemorative events, and monuments bult to honour the occasion. A million people attended each day of the three-day main Jubilee celebration in London, and the enthusiasm shown by the public for Elizabeth again re-affirmed her ongoing popularity.

In 2002, Elizabeth marked her Golden Jubilee as queen. Sadly though both Her sister Princess Margaret and mother died in February and March 2002. On 20 March 2008 the Queen also attended the first Maundy service held outside of England and Wales -t the Church of Ireland St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, at the invitation of Irish President Mary McAleese, in May 2011 the Queen made the first state visit to the Republic of Ireland by a British monarch. Elizabeth addressed the United Nations for a second time in 2010, again in her capacity as queen of all her realms and Head of the Commonwealth. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon introduced her as “an anchor for ourage”. During her visit to New York, which followed a tour of Canada, she officially opened a memorial garden n remembrance of the British victims who pershed durng the September 11th attacks on The World Trade Centre.

The Queen visited Australia again in October 2011, her 16th visit since 1954. In 2012 HM Queen Elizabeth celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, marking 60 years as Queen. She is the longest-lived and second-longest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, and the second-longest-serving current head of state (after King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand). She does not intend to abdicate, though the proportion of public duties performed by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall or Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge may increase as Elizabeth reduces her commitments. She also opened the 2012 Summer Olympics on 27 July 2012 and the Paralympics on 29 August in London.

During her life Queen Elizabeth has held many titles and has witnessed the ongoing transformation of the British Empire into the Commonwealth of Nations. She became the first reigning monarch of Australia and New Zealand to visit those nations. During the tour, crowds were immense; three-quarters of the population of Australia were estimated to have seen the Queen. Since then and Throughout her reign, Elizabeth has undertaken state visits to foreign countries, and tours of Commonwealth ones. She is the most widely travelled head of state in history. She has also received many honours and awards from around the world during her reign, and has held honorary military positions throughout the Commonwealth.

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday is a Christian feast and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary on Good Friday as described in the New Testament. Easter is preceded by Palm Sunday, when Jesus rode into Jerusalem and Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. The last week of Lent is called Holy Week, and it contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday, commemorating Maundy and the Last Supper, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus and Holy Saturday. Easter is followed by a fifty-day period called Eastertide or the Easter Season, ending with Pentecost Sunday. The festival is referred to in English by a variety of different names including Easter Day, Easter Sunday, Resurrection Day and Resurrection Sunday.

Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. The First Council of Nicaea established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the northern hemisphere’s vernal equinox. Ecclesiastically, the equinox is reckoned to be on 21 March (even though the equinox occurs, astronomically speaking, on 20 March in most years), and the “Full Moon” is not necessarily the astronomically correct date. The date of Easter therefore varies between 22 March and 25 April. Eastern Christianity bases its calculations on the Julian calendar whose 21 March corresponds, during the 21st century, to 3 April in the Gregorian calendar, in which the celebration of Easter therefore varies between 4 April and 8 May.

Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. In many languages, the words for “Easter” and “Passover” are etymologically related or homonymous. Easter customs vary across the Christian world, but attending sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church and decorating Easter eggs, a symbol of the empty tomb, are common motifs. Additional customs include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, Easter parades and many other Easter releated events. These are observed by both Christians and non-Christians.

Passover

Passover (or Pesach) is an important Biblically-derived Jewish festival and is the first of Judaism’s Three Pilgrimage Festivals (שלוש רגלים), the other two being Shavuot (“Pentecost”) and Sukkot (“Tabernacles”).The Jewish people celebrate Passover as a commemoration of their liberation over 3,300 years ago by God from slavery in ancient Egypt that was ruled by the Pharaohs, and their birth as a nation under the leadership of Moses. It commemorates the story of the Exodus as described in the Hebrew Bible especially in the Book of Exodus, in which the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt.

Passover commences on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Nisan and lasts for either seven days (in Israel) or eight days (in other Jewish Communities). In Judaism, a “day” commences from dusk to dusk, thus the first day of Passover only begins after dusk of the 14th of Nisan and ends at dusk of the 15th day of the month of Nisan. The rituals unique to the Passover celebrations commence with the Passover Seder when the 15th of Nisan has begun. In the Northern Hemisphere Passover takes place in spring as the Torah prescribes it “in the month of spring”(בחדש האביב Exodus 23:15). It is one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays.

In the narrative of the Exodus, the Bible tells that God helped the Children of Israel escape slavery in Egypt by inflicting ten plagues upon the ancient Egyptians before the Pharaoh would release his Israelite slaves; the tenth and worst of the plagues was the death of the Egyptian first-born. The Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord knew to pass over the first-born in these homes, hence the name of the holiday. There is some debate over where the term is actually derived from. When the Pharaoh freed the Israelites, it is said that they left in such a hurry that they could not wait for bread dough to rise (leaven). In commemoration, for the duration of Passover no leavened bread is eaten, for which reason it is called “The Festival of the Unleavened Bread” and Matzo (flat unleavened bread) is used as a symbol of the holiday. Historically, together with Shavuot (“Pentecost”) and Sukkot (“Tabernacles”), Passover is one of the three pilgrimage festivals (Shalosh Regalim) during which the entire population of the kingdom of Judah made a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. Samaritans still make this pilgrimage to Mount Gerizim, but only men participate in public worship.


International and National days and holidays happening April 20

  • Lima Bean Respect Day
  • Chinese Language Day
  • National Look Alike Day
  • National Pineapple Upside-down Cake Day

Sabbatum Sanctum

Holy Saturday (Latin: Sabbatum Sanctum), the Saturday of Holy Week, is also known as Great Sabbath, Black Saturday, Easter Eve, “Joyous Saturday” or “the Saturday of Light” among Coptic Christians. It is the day after Good Friday and the day before Easter and the last day of Holy Week in which Christians prepare for Easter. It commemorates the day that Jesus Christ’s body lay in the tomb and the Harrowing of Hell. Holy Saturday is sometimes referred to as Easter Saturday. Some authorities consider that usage incorrect, holding that the term is only correctly applied to the Saturday in Easter Week. However, using the term “Easter Saturday” to refer to the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is used in legislation in the Australian states of New South Wales and Queensland,and is in common use in Australia, including by government agencies. On this day, the Blessed Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Sorrows is assigned the title Our Lady of Solitude, referring to her solace and grief at the death of her son Jesus.

In the Roman Catholic Church, the chancel remains stripped completely bare (following the Mass on Maundy Thursday) while the administration of the sacraments is severely limited. Holy Communion, except for the Good Friday service, is given only as Viaticum to the dying. Baptism, Penance, and Anointing of the Sick may be administered because they, like Viaticum, are helpful to ensuring salvation for the dying. All Masses are severely limited. No Mass at all appears in the normal liturgy for this day, although Mass can be said on Good Friday and on Holy Saturday for an extremely grave or solemn situation with a dispensation from the Vatican or the local bishop. Many of the churches of the Anglican Communion as well as Lutheran, Methodist, and some other Churches observe most of the same; however, their altars may be covered in black instead of being stripped.

In some Anglican churches, including the Episcopal Church in the United States, provision is made for a simple Liturgy of the Word on this day, with readings commemorating the burial of Christ. Daily Offices are still observed. In the Moravian churches in North America, the day is known as Great Sabbath. The Anglican Book of Common Prayer uses Easter Eve to designate the day. Liturgically speaking, Holy Saturday lasts until 6pm or dusk, after which the Easter Vigil is celebrated, marking the official start of the Easter season. The rubrics state that the Easter Vigil must take place in the night; it must begin after nightfall and end before dawn. The service may start with a fire and the lighting of the new Paschal candle. In Roman Catholic and some Anglican observance, the Mass is the first Mass since that of Maundy Thursday, and during it, the “Gloria” — which has been absent during Lent — is used as the statues and icons, covered with purple veils during Passiontide, are dramatically unveiled. Some Anglican churches prefer to celebrate Easter and the lighting of the new Paschal candle at dawn on Easter Day. Baptisms may take place in this service and Baptism vows are often renewed.

In Eastern Orthodoxy this day, is known as Holy and Great Saturday or The Great Sabbath since it is on this day that Christ “rested” physically in the tomb. But it is also believed that it was on this day he performed in spirit the Harrowing of Hades and raised up to Paradise those who had been held captive there. In the Coptic, Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Churches, this day is known as Joyous Saturday. Matins of Holy and Great Saturday takes the form of a funeral service for Christ. The entire service takes place around the Epitaphios, an icon in the form of a cloth embroidered with the image of Christ prepared for burial. The first part of the service consists of chanting Psalm 118, as usual at both Saturday matins and at funerals, but interspersed with hymns (enkomia or lamentations) between the verses. The predominant theme of the service is not so much one of mourning, but of watchful expectation.

On Saturday, a vesperal Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great is celebrated, called the First Resurrection Service (Greek: Ἡ Πρώτη Ἀνάστασις), named so because chronologically it was composed earlier than the Pascal Canon by St John Damascene, rather than because it occurs earlier. This is the longest Divine Liturgy of the entire year and the latest. After the Little Entrance there are 15 Old Testament readings which recall the history of salvation. In the Russian tradition, just before the Gospel reading (Matthew 28:1–20) the hangings, altar cloths and vestments are changed from dark to bright and the deacon performs a censing of the church. In the Greek tradition, the clergy strew laurel leaves and flower petals all over the church to symbolize the shattered gates and broken chains of hell and Jesus’ victory over death. While the liturgical atmosphere changes from sorrow to joy at this service, the faithful continue to fast and the Paschal greeting, “Christ is risen!”, is not exchanged until after midnight during the Paschal Vigil since this service represents the proclamation of Jesus’ victory over death to those in Hades, but the Resurrection has not yet been announced to those on earth which takes place during the Paschal Vigil.

Great Lent was originally the period of catechesis for new converts in order to prepare them for baptism and chrismation and when there are converts received, that occurs during the Old testament readings during the vesperal divine liturgy. Before the midnight service, the faithful gather in church for the reading of the Acts of the Apostles in its entirety. Preceding midnight the Paschal Vigil begins with the Midnight Office, during which the Canon of Holy Saturday is repeated, toward the end of which the epitaphios is removed from the center of the church and placed on the altar table where it remains until the Ascension. Then, all of the candles and lights in the church are extinguished, and all wait in darkness and silence for the proclamation of the Resurrection of Christ.

International and National Holidays and Events happening 19 April

  • Bicycle Day
  • John Parker Day
  • National Garlic Day
  • National Hanging Out Day
  • Oklahoma City Bombing Remembrance

Bicycle Day

Bicycle Day commemorates the date of April 19, 1943. On this date Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann I intentionally ingested 0.25 milligrams (250 micrograms) of The psychedelic drug (or entheogen) lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in order to determine the properties of LSD. Hofmann had first synthesized LSD on November 16, 1938 in the Sandoz (now Novartis) laboratories in Basel, Switzerland.

However it wasn’t until 19 April 1943 that he discovered the psychedelic properties of LSD When. Less than an hour after taking it Hofmann experienced sudden and intense changes in perception. He asked his laboratory assistant to escort him home and, as use of motor vehicles was prohibited because of wartime restrictions, they had to make the journey on a bicycle. On the way, Hofmann’s condition rapidly deteriorated as he struggled with feelings of anxiety, alternating in his beliefs that the next-door neighbor was a malevolent witch, that he was going insane, and that the LSD had poisoned him. When the house doctor arrived, however, he could detect no physical abnormalities, save for a pair of incredibly dilated pupils. Hofmann was reassured, and soon his terror began to give way to a sense of good fortune and enjoyment, as he later wrote…

“…Little by little I could begin to enjoy the unprecedented colors and plays of shapes that persisted behind my closed eyes. Kaleidoscopic, fantastic images surged in on me, alternating, variegated, opening and then closing themselves in circles and spirals, exploding in colored fountains, rearranging and hybridizing themselves in constant flux …”

This bicycle ride home, convinced Hofmann that he had indeed made a significant discovery: a psychoactive substance with extraordinary potency, capable of causing significant shifts of consciousness in incredibly low doses. Hofmann foresaw the drug as a powerful psychiatric tool; because of its intense and introspective nature, he couldn’t imagine anyone using it recreationally.

The celebration of Bicycle Day originated in DeKalb, Illinois, in 1985, when Thomas B. Roberts, then a Professor at Northern Illinois University, invented the name “Bicycle Day” when he founded the first Bicycle Day celebration at his home. Several years later, he sent an announcement made by one of his students to friends and Internet lists, thus propagating the idea and the celebration. Bicycle Day is increasingly observed in psychedelic communities as a day to celebrate the discovery of LSD.


JOHN PARKER DAY

John Parker Day commemorates the date of 19 April 1775 when Captain John Parker of the Lexington MA militia gathered his band of farmers and townsfolk on the Lexington Common to confront British regulars under Colonel Francis Smith, who are marching to Concord, about six-and-a-half miles further up the road, to search for weapons and supplies rumored to be hidden there. No one knows who fired the first shot, but eight of Parker’s militiamen are killed, and ten wounded. No British soldiers are hit by militia shots. Later that day, Parker lead his men to ambush the British as they returned from Concord, and they were also engaged during the British Siege of Boston. Five months after “the shot heard round the world,” John Parker dies of consumption.