National Fossil Day

National Fossil Day takes place annually on 17 October. It was established in the United States to promote the scientific and educational values of fossils. A fossil is any preserved remains, impression, or trace of any once-living thing from a past geological age. Examples include bones, shells, exoskeletons, stone imprints of animals or microbes, objects preserved in amber, hair, petrified wood, oil, coal, and DNA remnants. The totality of fossils is known as the fossil record. Paleontology is the study of fossils: their age, method of formation, and evolutionary significance. Specimens are usually considered to be fossils if they are over 10,000 years old. The oldest fossils are from around 3.48 billion years old to 4.1 billion years old. The observation in the 19th century that certain fossils were associated with certain rock strata led to the recognition of a geological timescale and the relative ages of different fossils. The development of radiometric dating techniques in the early 20th century allowed scientists to quantitatively measure the absolute ages of rocks and the fossils they host.

There are many processes that lead to fossilization, including permineralization, casts and molds, authigenic mineralization, replacement and recrystallization, adpression, carbonization, and bioimmuration. Fossils vary in size from one micrometer bacteria to dinosaurs and trees, many meters long and weighing many tons. A fossil normally preserves only a portion of the deceased organism, usually that portion that was partially mineralized during life, such as the bones and teeth of vertebrates, or the chitinous or calcareous exoskeletons of invertebrates. Fossils may also consist of the marks left behind by the organism while it was alive, such as animal tracks or feces (coprolites). These types of fossil are called trace fossils or ichnofossils, as opposed to body fossils. Some fossils are biochemical and are called chemofossils or biosignatures.

National Fossil Day was first held on October 13, 2010, during Earth Science Week. The National Park Service and over 270 partners, including museums, institutions, organizations and other groups, joined together to educate the public about the value of fossils. Hundreds of activities were hosted across the United States aimed at improving public understanding of the world’s fossil heritage. The second National Fossil Day was observed on October 12, 2011 with events at museums, parks, universities, and non-profit organizations. National Fossil Day 2012 was celebrated on October 17, 2012 with an opening event held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.. Similar events have been held annually.

Each year a new educational National Fossil Day logo is created and announced in mid-January on the event website, depicting a prehistoric organism. The original National Fossil Day logo in 2010 and featured a fossil titanothere, a prehistoric mammal. In 2011, a marine reptile, the mosasaur, was used. For 2012, the mammoth was used for the annual logo. For 2013, a Paleozoic invertebrate known as the eurypterid was featured. For 2014 a fossil of an aetosaur, a Triassic reptile, was used.For 2015, a large herbivore mammal known as a chalicothere was used. For 2016, the prehistoric saber-toothed cat Smilodon fatalis was used For 2017, a jawless fish known as a heterostracan was used.

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International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction

The International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) takes place annually on 13 October. The aim of International Day for Disaster Reduction is to encourage every citizen and government to take part in building more disaster resilient communities and nation. The International Day for Disaster Reduction was started in 1989, following a call by the United Nations General Assembly for a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction. Held every 13 October, the day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face.

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) was created in December 1999. The successor to the secretariat of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, it was established to ensure the implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. UNISDR is part of the United Nations Secretariat and its functions span the social, economic, environmental as well as humanitarian fields. UNISDR supports the implementation, follow-up and review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction adopted by the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction on 18 March 2015 in Sendai, Japan. The Sendai Framework is a 15-year voluntary, non-binding agreement that maps out a broad, people-centred approach to disaster risk reduction, succeeding the 2005-2015 Hyogo Framework for Action.

UNISDR is led by a United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction (SRSG) and has over 100 staff located in its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, 5 regional offices (Africa: Nairobi, the Americas: Panama City, Arab States: Cairo, Asia-Pacific: Bangkok and Europe: Brussels) and other field presences in Addis Ababa, Almaty, Bonn, Incheon, Kobe, New York-UN Headquarters, Rio de Janeiro and Suva.[3]

UNISDR coordinates international efforts in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and guide, monitor as well as report regularly on the progress of the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, following the Hyogo Framework for Action. It convenes the biennial Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction with leaders and decision makers to advance risk reduction policies and supports the establishment of regional, national and thematic platforms.[4]

UNISDR informs and connects people by providing practical services and tools such as the risk reduction website PreventionWeb, terminology, publications on good practices, country profiles and the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction which is an authoritative biennial analysis of global disaster risks and trends.

The “Sendai Seven” campaign was launched in 2016 by UNISDR, this centered on seven targets to reduce disaster mortality, protect people and reduce the number of people affected by disasters. The campaign seeks to create awareness concerning actions taken to reduce mortality around the world. The Sendai Seven Campaign is an opportunity for all, including governments, local governments, community groups, civil society organisations, the private sector, international organisations and the UN family, to promote best practices at the international, regional and national level across all sectors, to reduce disaster risk and disaster losses. UNISDR has four priorities for action set out in the Sendai Framework: understanding disaster risk, strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk, investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience, and enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

The United Nations General Assembly designated 13 October as the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction as part of its proclamation of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. In 2002, in a further resolution, the General Assembly decided to maintain the annual observance to promote a global culture of natural disaster reduction, including prevention, mitigation and preparedness. In 2009, the UN General Assembly decided to designate October 13 as the official date and also changed the name to International Day for Disaster Reduction. The 2017 campaign raised global awareness about effective actions, policies and practices taken to reduce exposure to disaster risk at the community level, which contribute to saving homes and livelihoods. This is a considerable challenge which can be accomplished only through coordination, cooperation and collaboration among many stakeholders.

National Farmers Day

National Farmer’s Day is observed annually in the United States on October 12th as a day for them and to pay tribute to the hard-working farmers throughout American history and to show appreciation Towards them for their contributions to the economy. Records of National Farmer’s Day events exist dating back to the 1800s. However, the exact origins of the day are unclear. It was previously known as Old Farmer’s Day.

Farming is often known as Agriculture. This describes the cultivation of land and breeding of animals and plants to provide food, fiber, medicinal plants and other products to sustain and enhance life. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities. The study of agriculture is known as agricultural science. The history of agriculture dates back thousands of years; people gathered wild grains at least 105,000 years ago and began to plant them around 11,500 years ago before they became domesticated. Pigs, sheep, and cattle were domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Crops originate from at least 11 regions of the world. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture has in the past century come to dominate agricultural output, though about 2 billion people worldwide still depend on subsistence agriculture.

Modern agronomy, plant breeding, agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, and technological developments have sharply increased yields from cultivation, but at the same time have caused widespread ecological and environmental damage. Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry have similarly increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal welfare and environmental damage through contributions to global warming, depletion of aquifers, deforestation, antibiotic resistance, and growth hormones in industrially produced meat. Genetically modified organisms are widely used, although they are banned in several countries.

The major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers, fuels, and raw materials (such as rubber). Classes of foods include cereals (grains), vegetables, fruits, oils, meat, milk, fungi and eggs. Over one-third of the world’s workers are employed in agriculture, second only to the service sector, although the number of agricultural workers in developed countries has decreased significantly over the past several centuries.

There are some cities and towns across the United States that have their own versions of Farmer’s Day, with celebrations and festivals on various dates throughout the year. Many of them are held in September and October. October was chosen for celebrating this National Day as it is near the end of the harvest. Many farmers will be able to take a rest from their hard labor to join in the celebration of this holiday.

World Octopus Day

World octopus day is celebrated annually on 8 October. The purpose of World octopus day is to educate the public concerning these fascinating creatures. The octopus is a soft-bodied, eight-limbed mollusc of the order Octopoda. Around 300 species are recognised, and the order is grouped within the class Cephalopoda with squids, cuttlefish, and nautiloids. Like other cephalopods, the octopus is bilaterally symmetric with two eyes and a beak, with its mouth at the center point of the eight limbs (traditionally called “arms”, sometimes mistakenly called “tentacles”). The soft body can rapidly alter its shape, enabling octopuses to squeeze through small gaps. They trail their eight appendages behind them as they swim. The siphon is used both for respiration and for locomotion, by expelling a jet of water. Octopuses have a complex nervous system and excellent sight, and are among the most intelligent and behaviourally diverse of all invertebrates.

 

Octopuses inhabit various regions of the ocean, including coral reefs, pelagic waters, and the seabed; some live in the intertidal zone and others at abyssal depths. Most species grow fast, mature early and are short-lived. During breeding, the male uses a specially adapted arm to deliver a bundle of sperm directly into the female’s mantle cavity, after which he becomes senescent and dies. The female deposits fertilised eggs in a den and cares for them until they hatch, after which she also dies. Strategies to defend themselves against predators include the expulsion of ink, the use of camouflage and threat displays, their abilities to jet quickly through the water and hide, and even through deceit. All octopuses are venomous, but only the blue-ringed octopuses are known to be deadly to humans.

 

The giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) is often cited as the largest known octopus species. Adults usually weigh around 15 kg (33 lb), with an arm span of up to 4.3 m (14 ft).The largest specimen of this species to be scientifically documented was an animal with a live mass of 71 kg (156.5 lb). Much larger sizes have been claimed for the giant Pacific octopus: one specimen was recorded as 272 kg (600 lb) with an arm span of 9 m (30 ft). A carcass of the seven-arm octopus, Haliphron atlanticus, weighed 61 kg (134 lb) and was estimated to have had a live mass of 75 kg (165 lb) The smallest species is Octopus wolfi, which is around 2.5 cm (1 in) and weighs less than 1 g (0.035 oz)

The octopus is bilaterally symmetrical along its dorso-ventral axis; the head and foot are at one end of an elongated body and function as the anterior (front) of the animal. The head includes the mouth and brain. The foot has evolved into a set of flexible, prehensile appendages, known as “arms”, that surround the mouth and are attached to each other near their base by a webbed structure. The arms can be described based on side and sequence position (such as L1, R1, L2, R2) and divided into four pairs. The two rear appendages are generally used to walk on the sea floor, while the other six are used to forage for food, hence some biologists refer to the animals has having six “arms” and two “legs”. The bulbous and hollow mantle is fused to the back of the head and is known as the visceral hump; it contains most of the vital organs. The mantle cavity has muscular walls and contains the gills Respiration involves drawing water into the mantle cavity through an aperture, passing it through the gills, and expelling it through the siphon which is connected to the exterior. The mouth of an octopus, located underneath the arms, has a sharp hard beak. Octopuses have a closed circulatory system, where the blood remains inside blood vessels. Octopuses have three hearts; a systemic heart that circulates blood round the body and two branchial hearts that pump it through each of the two gills.

The digestive system of the octopus begins with the buccal mass which consists of the mouth, pharynx, radula and salivary glands. The radula is a spiked, tongue-like organ made of chitin. Food is broken down and is forced into the oesophagus by two lateral extensions of the esophageal side walls in addition to the radula. From there it is transferred to the gastrointestinal tract, which is mostly suspended from the roof of the mantle cavity by numerous membranes. The tract consists of a crop, where the food is stored; a stomach, where food is ground down; a caecum where the now sludgy food is sorted into fluids and particles and which plays an important role in absorption; the digestive gland, where liver cells break down and absorb the fluid and become “brown bodies”; and the intestine, where the accumulated waste is turned into faecal ropes by secretions and blown out of the funnel via the rectum.

The octopus (along with cuttlefish) has the highest brain-to-body mass ratios of all invertebrates; it is also greater than that of many vertebrates. It has a highly complex nervous system, only part of which is localised in its brain, which is contained in a cartilaginous capsule.Two-thirds of an octopus’s neurons are found in the nerve cords of its arms, which can perform complex reflex actions. Attached to the brain are two special organs called statocysts (sac-like structures containing a mineralised mass and sensitive hairs), that allow the octopus to sense the orientation of its body. Due to its intelligence, octopuses can also distinguish the polarisation of light. Colour vision appears to vary from species to species,

The skin consists of a thin outer epidermis with mucous cells and sensory cells, and a connective tissue dermis consisting largely of collagen fibres and various cells allowing colour change.  Most of the body is made of soft tissue allowing it to lengthen, contract, and contort itself. The octopus can squeeze through tiny gaps; even the larger species can pass through an opening close to 2.5 cm (1 in) in diameter. Lacking skeletal support, the arms work as muscular hydrostats and contain longitudinal, transverse and circular muscles around a central axial nerve. They can extend and contract, twist to left or right, bend at any place in any direction or be held rigid.

Octopuses also have an excellent sense of touch. They have eight arms and the interior surfaces of the arms are covered with circular, adhesive suckers. The suckers allow the octopus to anchor itself or to manipulate objects.  Each sucker is usually circular and bowl-like and has two distinct parts: an outer shallow cavity called an infundibulum and a central hollow cavity called an acetabulum, both of which are thick muscles covered in a protective chitinous cuticle. When a sucker attaches to a surface, the orifice between the two structures is sealed. The infundibulum provides adhesion while the acetabulum remains free, and muscle contractions allow for attachment and detachment. The octopus’s suction cups are also equipped with chemoreceptors so the octopus can taste what it touches. The arms contain tension sensors so the octopus knows whether its arms are stretched out, but this is not sufficient for the brain to determine the position of the octopus’s body or arms. As a result, the octopus does not possess stereognosis; that is, it does not form a mental image of the overall shape of the object it is handling. It can detect local texture variations, but cannot integrate the information into a larger picture. The neurological autonomy of the arms means the octopus has great difficulty learning about the detailed effects of its motions. It has a poor proprioceptive sense, and it knows what exact motions were made only by observing the arms visually. Despite this Octopus arms do not become tangled or stuck to each other because the sensors recognise octopus skin and prevent self-attachment.

The eyes of the octopus are large and are at the top of the head. They are similar in structure to those of a fish and are enclosed in a cartilaginous capsule fused to the cranium. The cornea is formed from a translucent epidermal layer and the slit-shaped pupil forms a hole in the iris and lies just behind. The lens is suspended behind the pupil and photoreceptive retinal cells cover the back of the eye. The pupil can be adjusted in size and a retinal pigment screens incident light in bright conditions.

Octopuses appear in mythology as sea monsters like the Kraken of Norway and the Akkorokamui of the Ainu, and probably the Gorgon of ancient Greece. A battle with an octopus appears in Victor Hugo’s book Toilers of the Sea, inspiring other works such as Ian Fleming’s Octopussy. Octopuses appear in Japanese erotic art, shunga. They are eaten and considered a delicacy by humans in many parts of the world, especially the Mediterranean and the Asian seas.

World Animal Day

World Animal Day is a global event held annually on 4 October. The purpose of World Animal Day is to educate the public concerning the plight faced by many animals today and to unite the animal protection movement. It has been led and sponsored by UK-based animal welfare charity, Naturewatch Foundation http://www.naturewatch.org since 2003. The mission of World Animal Day, according to the official World Animal Day website is “To raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe. Building the celebration of World Animal Day unites the animal welfare movement, mobilising it into a global force to make the world a better place for all animals. It’s celebrated in different ways in every country, irrespective of nationality, religion, faith or political ideology. Through increased awareness and education we can create a world where animals are always recognised as sentient beings and full regard is always paid to their welfare.”

Animals are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals consume organic material, breathe oxygen, are able to move, reproduce sexually, and grow from a hollow sphere of cells, the blastula, during embryonic development. Over 1.5 million living animal species have been described—of which around 1 million are insects—but it has been estimated there are over 7 million animal species in total. Animals range in length from 8.5 millionths of a metre to 33.6 metres (110 ft) and have complex interactions with each other and their environments, forming intricate food webs. The study of animals is called zoology.

Most living animal species are in the Bilateria, a clade whose members have a bilaterally symmetric body plan. The Bilateria include the protostomes—in which many groups of invertebrates are found, such as nematodes, arthropods, and molluscs—and the deuterostomes, containing the echinoderms and chordates (including the vertebrates). Life forms interpreted as early animals were present in the Ediacaran biota of the late Precambrian. Many modern animal phyla became clearly established in the fossil record as marine species during the Cambrian explosion which began around 542 million years ago. 6,331 groups of genes common to all living animals have been identified; these may have arisen from a single common ancestor that lived 650 million years ago.

Aristotle divided animals into those with blood and those without. Carl Linnaeus created the first hierarchical biological classification for animals in 1758 with his Systema Naturae, which Jean-Baptiste Lamarck expanded into 14 phyla by 1809. In 1874, Ernst Haeckel divided the animal kingdom into the multicellular Metazoa (now synonymous with Animalia) and the Protozoa, single-celled organisms no longer considered animals. In modern times, the biological classification of animals relies on advanced techniques, such as molecular phylogenetics, which are effective at demonstrating the evolutionary relationships between animal taxanomy. Humans make use of many other animal species for food, including meat, milk, and eggs; for materials, such as leather and wool; as pets; and as working animals for power and transport. Dogs have been used in hunting, while many terrestrial and aquatic animals are hunted for sport. Non-human animals have appeared in art from the earliest times and are featured in mythology and religion.

World Animal Day was originated by Heinrich Zimmermann, the German writer and publisher of the magazine Mensch und Hund/Man and Dog. He organized the first World Animal Day on 24 March 1925 at the Sport Palace in Berlin, Germany. Over 5,000 people attended this first event. The event was originally scheduled for 4 October, to align with the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of ecology, however the venue was not available on that day. The event was moved to 4 October for the first time in 1929. Initially he found a following only in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Czechoslovakia. Every year Zimmermann worked tirelessly on the promotion of World Animal Day. Finally, in May 1931 at a congress of the International Animal Protection Congress in Florence Italy, his proposal to make 4 October World Animal Day universal, was unanimously accepted and adopted as a resolution. World Animal Day was also mentioned in 1931 at the convention of ecologists in Florence, Italy who wished to highlight the plight of endangered species.

Harvest Festival

A harvest festival is an annual celebration that occurs around the time of the main harvest of a given region. In Britain Harvest festival is traditionally held on the Sunday near or of the Harvest Moon. This is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox (22 or 23 September). Harvest festivals typically feature feasting, both family and public, with foods that are drawn from crops that come to maturity around the time of the festival. Ample food and freedom from the necessity to work in the fields are two central features of harvest festivals: eating, merriment, contests, music and romance are common features of harvest festivals around the world.

In Britain, thanks have been given for successful harvests since pagan times. The celebrations on this day usually include singing hymns, praying, and decorating churches with baskets of fruit and food in the festival known as Harvest Festival, Harvest Home, Harvest Thanksgiving or Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving. In British and English-Caribbean churches, chapels and schools, and some Canadian churches, people bring in produce from the garden, the allotment or farm. The food is often distributed among the poor and senior citizens of the local community, or used to raise funds for the church, or charity. Harvest is from the Old English word hærfest, meaning “autumn”. It then came to refer to the season for reaping and gathering grain and other grown products. The full moon nearest the autumnal equinox is called the harvest moon. Therefore, coinciding with ancient tradition, harvest festivals are traditionally held on or near the Sunday of the harvest moon.
An early harvest festival used to be celebrated at the beginning of the harvest season on 1 August and was called Lammas, meaning ‘loaf Mass’. The Latin prayer to hallow the bread is given in the Durham Ritual. Farmers made loaves of bread from the fresh wheat crop. These were given to the local church as the Communion bread during a special service thanking God for the harvest.

By the sixteenth century a number of customs seem to have been firmly established around the gathering of the final harvest. They include the reapers accompanying a fully laden cart; a tradition of shouting “Hooky, hooky”; and one of the foremost reapers dressing extravagantly, acting as ‘lord’ of the harvest and asking for money from the onlookers. A play by Thomas Nashe, Summer’s Last Will and Testament, contains a scene which demonstrates several of these features. There is a character personifying harvest who comes on stage attended by men dressed as reapers; he refers to himself as their “master” and ends the scene by begging the audience for a “largesse”. Early English settlers took the idea of harvest thanksgiving to North America. The most famous one is the harvest Thanksgiving held by the Pilgrims in 1621.

Nowadays the festival is held at the end of harvest, which varies in different parts of Britain. Sometimes neighbouring churches will set the Harvest Festival on different Sundays so that people can attend each other’s thanksgivings. Until the 20th century most farmers celebrated the end of the harvest with a big meal called the harvest supper, to which all who had helped in the harvest were invited. It was sometimes known as a “Mell-supper”, after the last patch of corn or wheat standing in the fields which was known as the “Mell” or “Neck”. Cutting it signified the end of the work of harvest and the beginning of the feast. There seems to have been a feeling that it was bad luck to be the person to cut the last stand of corn. The farmer and his workers would race against the harvesters on other farms to be first to complete the harvest, shouting to announce they had finished. In some counties the last stand of corn would be cut by the workers throwing their sickles at it until it was all down, in others the reapers would take it in turns to be blindfolded and sweep a scythe to and fro until all of the Mell was cut down.

Some churches and villages still have a Harvest Supper. The modern British tradition of celebrating Harvest Festival in churches began in 1843, when the Reverend Robert Hawker invited parishioners to a special thanksgiving service at his church at Morwenstow in Cornwall. Victorian hymns such as We plough the fields and scatter, Come, ye thankful people, come and All things bright and beautiful but also Dutch and German harvest hymns in translation helped popularise his idea of harvest festival, and spread the annual custom of decorating churches with home-grown produce for the Harvest Festival service. On 8 September 1854 the Revd Dr William Beal, Rector of Brooke, Norfolk, held a Harvest Festival aimed at ending what he saw as disgraceful scenes at the end of harvest, and went on to promote ‘harvest homes’ in other Norfolk villages. Another early adopter of the custom as an organised part of the Church of England calendar was Rev Piers Claughton at Elton, Huntingdonshire in or about 1854

As British people have come to rely less heavily on home-grown produce, there has been a shift in emphasis in many Harvest Festival celebrations. Increasingly, churches have linked Harvest with an awareness of and concern for people in the developing world for whom growing crops of sufficient quality and quantity remains a struggle. Development and Relief organisations often produce resources for use in churches at harvest time which promote their own concerns for those in need across the globe.

In the early days, there were ceremonies and rituals at the beginning as well as at the end of the harvest. Their origins can be traced to “the animistic belief in the corn, grain spirit or corn mother.” Some farmers believed that a spirit resided in the last sheaf of grain to be harvested. To chase out the spirit, they beat the grain to the ground. Elsewhere they wove some blades of the cereal into a “corn dolly” that they kept safe for “luck” until seed-sowing the following year. Then they ploughed the ears of grain back into the soil in hopes that this would bless the new crop.A corn dolly was also made from the last sheaf of corn harvested. The corn dolly often had a place of honour at the banquet table, and was kept until the following spring.

In Cornwall, the ceremony of Crying The Neck was practiced. Today it is still re-enacted annually by The Old Cornwall Society.The horse, bringing the last cart load, was decorated with garlands of flowers and colourful ribbons. Then A magnificent Harvest feast was held at the farmer’s house and games played to celebrate the end of the harvest. Harvest is also celebrated by many other people. It is widely looked at in schools, and focused on in a few churches, especially country churches where the people are more closely tied to the land. Urban churches are less likely to celebrate the harvest, since they are not close to the land and many consider celebrating the harvest a carryover from paganism. Harvest is associated with fruit and vegetables that are gathered yearly to provide food to last people through the winter, for which they give thanks. The Harvest Festival is held to celebrate that the hard work of the harvest is over for another year.

In the United States, In North America, Canada and the US each have their own Thanksgiving celebrations in October and November. During which many churches bring in food from the garden or farm in order to celebrate the harvest. The festival is set for a specific day and has become a national holiday known as Thanksgiving which falls on the fourth Thursday in November in the US and second Monday Of October, in Canada. It has also become a national secular holiday with religious origins, but in Britain it is both a Church festival giving thanks to God for the harvest and a more secular festival remembered in schools.

Harvest festivals in Asia include the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節), one of the most widely spread harvest festivals in the world. In Iran Mehrgan was celebrated in an extravagant style at Persepolis. Not only was it the time for harvest, but it was also the time when the taxes were collected. Visitors from different parts of the Persian Empire brought gifts for the king all contributing to a lively festival. In India, Makar Sankranti, Thai Pongal, Uttarayana, Lohri, and Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu in January, Holi in February–March, Vaisakhi in April and Onam in August–September are a few important harvest festivals.

Sir Peter Scott CH CBE DSC and bar MID FRS FZS

British naturalist ornithologist, conservationist, painter, naval officer sportsman. and explorer Sir Peter Scott CH, CBE, DSC and Bar, MID, FRS, FZS was born in London 14th September 1909 , The only child of Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott and sculptor Kathleen Bruce and was only two years old when his father died. Robert Scott, in a last letter to his wife, advised her to “make the boy interested in natural history if you can; it is better than games.” and his godfather was J. M. Barrie, creator of Peter Pan. He was educated at Oundle School and Trinity College, Cambridge, initially reading Natural Sciences but graduating in the History of Art in 1931. Like his mother, he displayed a strong artistic talent and had his first exhibition in London in 1933. His wealthy background allowed him to follow his interests in art, wildlife and many sports, including sailing and ice skating. He represented Great Britain and Northern Ireland at sailing in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, winning a bronze medal in the O-Jolle class dinghy.

During World War II, Scott served in the Royal Navy, emulating his father. He served first in destroyers in the North Atlantic but later moved to commanding the First (and only) Squadron of Steam Gun Boats against German E-boats in the English Channel. He is also partly credited with designing ‘shadow camouflage’, which disguised the look of ship superstructure. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for bravery. In 1948, he founded the organisation with which he was ever afterwards closely associated, the Severn Wildfowl Trust (now the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust) with its headquarters at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire. In the years that followed, he led ornithological expeditions worldwide, and became a television personality, popularising the study of wildfowl and wetlands. His BBC natural history series, Look, ran from 1955 to 1981 and made him a household name. He wrote and illustrated several books on the subject, including his autobiography, The Eye of the Wind (1961). In the 1950s, he also appeared regularly on BBC radio’s Children’s Hour, in the series, “Nature Parliament”. Scott was also one of the founders of the World Wide Fund for Nature (formerly called the World Wildlife Fund), and designed its panda logo. His pioneering work in conservation also contributed greatly to the shift in policy of the International Whaling Commission and signing of the Antarctic Treaty, the latter inspired by his visit to his father’s base on Ross Island in Antarctica. Scott was a long-time Vice-President of the British Naturalists’ Association, In June 2004, Scott and Sir David Attenborough were jointly profiled in the second of a three part BBC Two series, The Way We Went Wild, about television wildlife presenters and were described as being largely responsible for the way that the British and much of the world views wildlife.Scott’s life was also the subject of a BBC Four documentary called “Peter Scott – A Passion for Nature” produced in 2006

During his life he won many awards, In 1943, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) “for skill and gallantry in action with enemy light forces”, and was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 1942 King’s Birthday Honours. He was promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1953 Coronation Honours. In the 1987 Queen’s Birthday Honours, he was appointed to the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH) “for services to conservation”. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in 1973 for his contribution to the conservation of wild animals. He had been a founder of the World Wildlife Fund, a founder of several wetlands bird sanctuaries in Britain, and an influence on international conservation. He received the WWF Gold Medal and the J. Paul Getty Prize for his work. Peter Scott Sadly passed away on 29 August 1989 however he leaves behind an impressive legacy and made a a valuable and enduring contribution to nature and wildlife.