Let’s hear it for Belgium!

And let’s hear it for the new king! What better day for King Albert II to abdicate and his son Philippe to take over than the National Day, especially since July 21st commemorates the day King Leopold I took the constitutional oath as the first king of Belgium, in 1831, less than a year after […]

Let’s hear it for France!

Vive la République! We all know it’s France’s national day today, and we all get pictures of the military parade on Champs Elysées and fireworks in our heads, while we think about the mythical storming of the Bastille and hum”Do You Hear the People Sing?”. Right?

Let’s hear it for the U. S. of A.

“Hey baby, it’s the 4th of July” goes the chorus line of a song by X, an L.A. punk band from the 1980’s. Indeed it is. Also known as Independence Day, July 4th commemorates America’s liberation from that pesky British rule. The original Thirteen Colonies legally split from the Empire two days earlier and on July 4th, 1776 […]

Let’s hear it for Canada!

July 1st is Canada Day, celebrating the anniversary of Canada’s confederation. The Constitution Act of 1867 joined Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Canada province (now Ontario and Quebec) into one country, granting Canada a substantial amount of independence from England. Not until 1982 did Canada become a completely independent country though, and this was also […]

Let’s hear it for Luxembourg!

A bit of a head start, the National Day of Luxembourg being tomorrow, but not really since the big party is tonight. Hence, today is a good day to talk about why and how we celebrate. Which most of you already know anyway, so let’s be brief. Tomorrow, we are celebrating the birthday of Grand […]

Let’s hear it for Portugal!

Portugal Day is officially known as “Day of Portugal, Camões and the Portugese Communities” and it is celebrated annually on 10th June. This day commemorates the death of national icon Luís Vaz de Camões on 10th June 1580. Camões wrote Os Lusíadas, an epic poem celebrating Portuguese history and achievements, mainly through the Portuguese explorations, […]

Let’s hear it for Sweden!

CLEW takes a closer look at national days around the world. How and why are they celebrated? And we throw in a recipe or two from that country for you to try. The first country is Sweden, by Lisa Fuchs. If you ever find yourself visiting Stockholm, the beautiful capital of Sweden, you absolutely must […]

Don’t sit under the spaghetti tree

The Museum of Hoaxes has made a top 100 list of April Fool’s Day hoaxes. This is the top 3, the rest you’ll find here. The Spaghetti Tree (1957) The respected BBC news show Panorama announced that thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, there was a […]

Day of Happiness

Today is the first United Nations International Happiness Day. The 193 member countries have adopted a resolution to prioritize happiness, and they want your contribution. Today is a good day to start. The UN sees a global attitude change: “People are now recognising that ‘progress’ should be about increasing human happiness and wellbeing, not just […]