Pi Day Fun!
by Jordin Lim
Pi Day, celebrated March 14, is the celebration of mathematical constant 𝝅, due to its numerical date (3.14) representing the first three digits of pi.
Fun fact: Pi Day also happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday
Physicist Larry Shaw, who found Pi Day in 1988, had the first Pi Day celebration at his place of work, the Exploratorium, a San Francisco-based interactive science museum. However, Pi Day was not deemed a national holiday until 2009, after the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation making it one.
Although our Science Academy students are more than well-acquainted with pi, it is still useful to note what it is and its significance in everyday life.
What is pi?
Ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes is most commonly credited to be the first to accurately calculate the approximate value of pi. In mathematics, pi is the constant ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, regardless of its size.
Fun fact: The word “pi” itself is derived from the first letter of the Greek word perimetros, meaning circumference.
What is the significance of pi?
Although you may not find yourself using pi every day, pi is used in many calculations for buildings and construction, engineering, and many other fields. In addition, NASA regularly uses pi to calculate trajectories of spacecraft. Not only that, but pi gives us a reason to feast on pie every March 14, although who really needs a reason to eat pie any day of the year?
Pi Day Festival
On March 17, Science Academy held our infamous Pi Day Festival, which had to be delayed to the new date due to rain on March 14. This festival consisted of many fun activities and carnival games, including ring toss, pie eating contests, and even throwing whipped cream pies at the teachers! (I saw a catapult at this event, and I hope it was used) In addition, there were other booths selling refreshments and giving students their pre-ordered pizzas.
The prizes given out at the carnival games were quite great – many people entered their class after lunch bearing multitudes of stuffed animals – I personally won two lollipops myself.
I hear the Pi Day Festival is a fan favorite among the student body, so I can’t wait to see it again next year!
Middle School Fall Art Contest
By Maleeya Mickelson
The winner of the 2022 Science Academy Middle School Fall Art Contest is Sasha Vitryanyuk for her art submission titled The Beginning of a Cozy, Magical, and Pokemon Fall Season. Sasha won a $25 Amazon gift card after receiving the most votes from the student body.
Additional winners in the art contest include second place winner Dasha Vitryanyuk for her artwork The Beginning of Fall Sprung, and third place winner Hasmik Yedoyan for her submission Pumpkin Still Life. The prize for second place was a fall-themed diamond art painting and sketchbook, while third place won a candy goodie bag.
The following students received honorary mention for their submissions: Alex Lee who drew The Hunter and Rebecca Finklestein who drew Hello My Name is Fall. They each won a bag of candy.
The Fall Art Contest took place from October 14th – November 9th. All of the artwork submitted is currently displayed in the form of a collage in the hallway. During the judging process, ASB narrowed down the entries to 8 pieces. The student body was then able to vote on their favorite artworks via a Google form posted on the Science Academy Student Body Outreach Schoology group.
The Beginning of a Cozy, Magical, and Pokemon Fall Season by Sasha Vitryanyuk
First Place – “This artwork represents the fall season with Pokemon, as many join together and celebrate by sharing their jokes, fruits, chats, and dances. This corresponds to the theme, ‘How do you celebrate fall?’, because I think of the season of fall by hanging out with others, eating together, sharing cultures and facts about each other, and much more! I showed this by adding Pokemon to the artwork, as each of them are chatting, dancing, and eating all together and just having a good time. The setting has many orange, red, brown, and yellow leaves because these are the fall season’s main colors.”
The Beginning of Fall Sprung by Dasha Vitryanyuk
Second Place – “The artwork I made reminded me of how fall changed the weather, the temperature, the colors, and many more fascinating things. This artwork represents how fall changes our atmosphere, when all of the leaves are dried and colored differently. My artwork corresponds to the theme ‘How do we celebrate fall?’ because this piece shows the freedom and peace of walking through a trail of orange, yellow, and red colored trees. Our feelings and attitude of fall describe this piece of art. A person going on a nature walk to see the autumn colored trees is a representation of a festive fall.”
Pumpkin Still Life by Hasmik Yedoyan
Third Place – “My artwork is a picture of a pumpkin made to look imperfect. It corresponds to the theme because pumpkins represent fall, mainly Thanksgiving and Halloween.”
The Hunter by Alex Lee
Honorary Mention – “I drew a man with a boar’s head for a mask. He is a trophy hunter, and autumn is traditionally the hunting season.”
Hello My Name is Fall by Rebecca Finklestein
Honorary Mention – “It represents the multiple aspects of fall and how I celebrate them. Part of it shows candy, which tells that I celebrate Halloween by enjoying candy. The apples dipped in honey are supposed to show celebrating Rosh Ha’Shannah. The books and globes show how I celebrate the start of school by, obviously, going to school and trying my best to get good grades. And finally, the feathers with “Thanksgiving” written on them show celebrating that holiday. The autumn leaves shows nature celebrating by changing the color of its leaves.”Read More
Evolution of Thanksgiving
by Maleeya Mickelson
Modern day Thanksgiving has evolved significantly since the First Thanksgiving in 1621. From the history of the first feast to Thanksgiving football games and the restaurants families now celebrate in, Americans have put their own stamp on this beloved holiday.
The Story of Thanksgiving
What Americans have come to know as the “First Thanksgiving” is often an oversimplification of events that occurred in 1621 which led up to that feast. Colonists were able to enjoy their bountiful meal because of the Native Americans’ friendship, willingness to help, and experience with survival skills in what is now Massachusetts.
But these Native Americans were not the stereotypical “Indians” some may think of from portraits and cartoon images seen over the years. The Native Americans who took part in the first Thanksgiving were part of the Wampanoag tribe, which still exists today. The Wampanoag had inhabited the land and given thanks for their abundances long before the Europeans arrived. In fact, they did not wear feather headdresses like many images portray and should be acknowledged as an individual tribe with their own diverse cultures and traditions, rather than being lumped together with all tribes under the term “Indians”.
Stereotypical depiction of the “First Thanksgiving”
Before the first Thanksgiving, the Wampanoag negotiated a peace treaty with the colonists to come to each other’s aid. The Wampanoag needed the colonists with their weapons to help defend them against another enemy tribe. In return, the colonists required assistance in learning how to survive by planting native crops, learning to hunt and fish, as well as other ways to successfully live on their new land.
For centuries, the story of this day has only been told through a European’ perspective. Now, with the work of Native Peoples, historians, and educators, more people are learning further details about the story of the “First Thanksgiving”. This changes the way that Native Americans are perceived within history and today’s society by considering the Native Peoples’ rich traditions and cultural diversity.
Although Americans now know Thanksgiving to be on the 4th Thursday of November, the United States had to come a long way to settle on that date.
Surprisingly, the date of the first Thanksgiving was actually some time in mid-October 1621. It wasn’t until 1668 that the date of November 25th was decided on; however, that date only lasted for 5 years. In 1789, George Washington proclaimed Thursday, November 26th as a day of “sincere and humble thanks”.
Later, when President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, the date was set to the last Thursday of November. The date stayed the same until 1941 when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt changed Thanksgiving to the 4th Thursday of November in order to give citizens more days for Christmas shopping to increase retail sales to help the economy right after the Great Depression.
While the majority of US holidays fall on a Monday or a specific calendar date, Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday. Although historians aren’t sure as to why Thanksgiving has been on a Thursday since George Washington first announced the holiday, they believe it had to do with religion. When deciding on the date for the holiday, Thursdays were further from the Sabbath day (Sunday) and since religious talks were usually held on Thursday afternoons, it may have worked better with scheduling.
As the holiday of Thanksgiving has spread nationwide, many new traditions have begun to sprout. Some of these include traveling, parades, and Thanksgiving football games.
Many Americans travel for Thanksgiving, whether it’s to visit family or to go on vacation. In fact, every Thanksgiving, about 4 million Americans are estimated to travel 50 or more miles for Thanksgiving. Research also shows that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving has 37% of travelers departing, making it the single busiest day for travel in the year.
Parades like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City celebrate Thanksgiving every year. This annual parade started in 1924, originally to promote Christmas shopping at this large department store. The parade includes giant balloons of popular characters, various floats, marching bands and famous performers.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Ever since the first football game on Thanksgiving day occurred in 1876, Thanksgiving has been known for football. The game was the Intercollegiate Football Association championship with the football teams from Yale and Princeton playing. This Thanksgiving game and all the rest to follow were so successful that in 1893, the New York Herald declared Thanksgiving the official football holiday.
After the NFL was founded in 1920, games have been played on Thanksgiving almost every year. Teams like the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys played a big part in this as the Lions have hosted a game every year on Thanksgiving since 1934 (excluding WWII), while the Cowboys have hosted games most years since 1966.
Similar to football games today, the Pilgrims took part in vaulting, fencing and archery during their Thanksgiving festivities.
Time for the Feast
Although we now think of foods like pumpkin pie and turkey as a staple of Thanksgiving feasts, during the first Thanksgiving, neither of those were present. Foods eaten during the first Thanksgiving were native foods like geese, deer, and squash, which were later replaced with the classic foods many eat for Thanksgiving today like turkey, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie.
Typical modern Thanksgiving dinner
Much of the evolution of Thanksgiving foods has occurred because of the diverse cultures here in the U.S. Instead of eating the stereotypical Thanksgiving dinner, some people eat different meals belonging to their culture, such as tamales, lasagna, and vegan dishes.
Along with the different types of food served, the way food was prepared has also evolved. For example, it has long been common for people to oven roast turkey though deep frying it is now gaining in popularity.
Until the last few decades, people may not even have considered having someone else cook their special Thanksgiving dinner, but today it’s quite common. Instead of serving home-cooked meals, people today may go out to a restaurant with family and friends or get food catered – maybe even order Door Dash. It’s also been common to hold Thanksgiving potlucks recently. With potlucks, each individual cooks less food, decreasing holiday stress; plus, having a potluck is a way for people to eat a more diverse meal. They might taste food brought by others that they wouldn’t have had normally for Thanksgiving.
Although celebrated in different ways, the overall idea of Thanksgiving has always been to come together with others and show gratitude. Over time, different parts of the Thanksgiving celebration have changed as people from new cultures have shared their food and traditions, commercialization of the holiday has occurred, and society has gained a better understanding of respecting the culture and diversity of Native Americans.Read More
Filipino-American Heritage Month
By Jordin Lim
Filipino Heritage Month, spanning from October 1 to October 31, celebrates the heritage and achievements of Filipino Americans. As the second-largest Asian American population in the United States, Filipino Americans have played a significant role in the history, culture, and progression of the United States.
History of Filipino-Americans
October represents Filipino Heritage Month since it marks the important moment when Filipinos first arrived in the continental United States. From 1565 to 1585, Spain ruled the Philippines as a colony. During this time, seafarers would recruit Filipinos on voyages across the Pacific during the Manila galleon trade era. On October 18, 1587, the first-recorded Filipinos arrived aboard a Spanish ship in what is now Morro Bay, California, marking the start of Filipinos’ history in America.
Filipino Contributions to the United States
Filipinos have been a part of American history for many centuries, during which they have made significant contributions to our nation.
- In the early 1920’s, many Filipinos, called manongs, left the Philippines to work in the plantations of Hawaii and California and the fisheries of Washington and Alaska, contributing greatly to the farmworker movement of the U.S.
- During WWII, Filipinos, both in the United States and in the Philippines, fought with and for the United States.
- In the late 60’s and 70’s, many Filipino professionals left their native country to help fill the workforce of the healthcare industry.
- Filipino-Americans have made valuable contributions in the health field, service industry, hospitality, technology, education, government, armed forces and construction, among many other fields.
- Filipino courting
- Harana, Filipino courting, was the traditional form of courtship in the Philippines, in which men wooed a woman of interest by singing underneath her window at night. Suitors would sing their sweetheart romantic songs, usually with a guitar, since its intimate sound complemented the sweet Spanish-influenced songs along with the poetry and lyricism of the Tagalog language.
- Boodle fight
- In Filipino culture, a boodle fight is a traditional way of eating Filipino food with one’s family. A boodle fight is also called a Filipino Kamayan Feast, kamayan translating to “by hand,” describing the method of eating with your hands, which is what you do during a boodle fight, as you a share a meal with family and friends over a banana-leaf filled table filled to the max with many delicious Filipino dishes, such as garlic rice, fried tilapia, mangoes, and salted eggs.
- 4 month Christmas and Parol
- In the Philippines, Christmas isn’t celebrated only in December. As soon as the –ber months begin, Christmas is in season, from September to December. In Filipino houses across the country, parols are usually hung up on the doors of their houses. The parol is a traditional, star-shaped Christmas lantern that represents the star that the three wise men followed.
- Olivia Rodrigo
- Olivia Rodrigo, well-known American singer-songwriter and actress, is Filipino-American through her father’s side of the family. Rodrigo has admired her great-grandfather’s immigration to the United States from the Philippines as a teen.
- Bruno Mars
- Bruno Mars, popular American singer, songwriter, and record producer, was born to a Filipino mother and half Puerto Rican, half Ashkenazi Jewish father.
- Jo Koy
- Jo Koy is a Filipino-American comedian, who recently starred in his film Easter Sunday, which shows his life returning home to celebrate Easter with his Filipino family.
Fun Facts about the Philippines
- When in war, the Philippines flips their flag.
- The Philippines is home to Asia’s first basketball league.
- The Philippines is the largest exporter of nurses globally.
- There are 175+ languages in the Philippines, and at least 171 of them are still considered ‘living’ languages.
- The Philippines is home to three of the world’s largest shopping malls: SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, and SM Mall of Asia.
- The Philippines is an island with more volcanoes than towns.
All in all, Filipino-American History Month is truly important. It celebrates the Filipino/Filipino-American community that has contributed so much to this nation, celebrates the diversity of America, and commemorates the achievements of Filipino-Americans. Today, many people in our community celebrate this month to raise awareness of the role Filipino-Americans have had in U.S. history.Read More
Hispanic Heritage Month
By Adrianna Montes and Milan Riley
The annual National Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States began this year on Thursday, September 15, and ended on Saturday, October 15. It celebrates the history, culture, and contributions of American citizens descended from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
This observance originated in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson. It was later expanded into the month we know now in 1988 under President Ronald Reagan. The event was officially enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402. The date of September 15 holds special significance as it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries such as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. About 60 million, or about 18%, of the population of the United States is Hispanic or Latino.
In commemoration and appreciation of those of Hispanic heritage, here are some inspiring stars of Latino and Latina descent:
Cesar Chavez (1927-1993): Cesar Chavez was a Mexican-American labor leader and civil rights activist. He was dedicated to improving the working and living conditions of farm workers through organizing and negotiating contracts with their employers. He is responsible for enacting the first Bill of Rights for agricultural workers.
Shakira: Shakira, also referred to as “The Queen of Latin Music,” is a Colombian singer. She is 45 years old and credited with spreading Latin music to the world and contributing to the gaining popularity of the genre. She also supports UNICEF and helps raise awareness for the world’s most vulnerable children. Some of her famous songs include:
- “Hips Don’t Lie”
- “Waka Waka”
- “Whenever, Wherever”
Fernando Alonso: Fernando Alonso is a 41 year old Spanish Formula 1 driver who retired in 2013 and returned to the sport in 2021. He has won the Driver’s Championship twice and ninth in the Driver’s Championship while on team Alpine.
Sergio Perez: Sergio Perez, also known as Checo Perez, is the first Mexican Formula 1 driver in 30 years. Checo is short for Sergio in the Spanish dialect spoken in Mexico. He drives for Red Bull Racing, the current Constructors Champion. Perez is in third place in the Driver’s Championship.
Lionel Messi: Lionel Messi is an Argentinian soccer player and captain of his team in Ligue 1. He plays for Paris Saint-Germain and is considered one of the best soccer players. He is also involved in charitable efforts aimed at helping vulnerable children through UNICEF.
Cristiano Ronaldo: Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese soccer player who plays forward in Manchester United and is captain of Portugal’s soccer team. He encourages determination and perseverance, which is connected to his childhood since he didn’t grow up with many resources or privileges. Ronaldo models and is an advocate of various causes from AIDS / HIV to slavery and human trafficking.
Lin-Manuel Miranda: Lin-Manuel Miranda is an actor, composer, lyricist and writer with Puerto Rican heritage. He is most known for the Broadway plays, Hamilton and In the Heights. His productions blended modern musical forms with classic musical theater. Miranda includes much diversity in his plays and so he provided an opportunity for people of color to retell the life story of a Founding Father.
Selena Quintinilla: Selena Quintanilla, also known as the “Queen of Tejano Music,” was a Mexican-American singer and songwriter born in 1981. Sadly, she was killed in 1995. There are movies, shows, and books based on her life and some on how she grew up. Here are some of her most popular songs:
- “Como la Flor”
- “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom”
- “I Could Fall in Love”
- “Dreaming of You”
Rigoberta Menchu: Rigoberta Menchu is a Guatemala Nobel Prize winner. She won the Nobel Prize in 1992 for advocating Indian rights and ethno-cultural reconciliation, not only in Guatemala but in the Western Hemisphere generally. She has also won several international awards and is the youngest Hispanic to ever win a Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 33.
by Elodia Honigstein
The homecoming game is a chance for a school to unify, rally, and boost school spirit while rooting for a common goal in a fun game. Before East Valley and Science Academy’s homecoming game on September 23rd against Esteban Torres High School, many preparations were made to make this game an event to remember. Cars were decorated and cheers were practiced to ensure that the energy was heightened for the game.
During an interview with the cheerleading coach, Jennifer Secaida, she relayed that the cheerleaders had been nervous in the time before the game; however, they were plenty excited by starting time. They had extra practices due to many of the previous girls graduating last year, so that they would be well prepared for exhibiting maximum school spirit. The cheerleaders were a constant boost of Falcon spirit, shouting and interacting with the audience throughout the game and encouraging all to let loose and enjoy themselves.
The East Valley football coach, Luis Zuniga, reported before the game that two of the team’s best players had been injured, requiring many adjustments to be made to their starting line-up. Players were put in unfamiliar positions, and so it was a time of experimentation. He said that the team was very excited about the game and were hopeful of a win.
During the Game
East Valley kicked off to start the game, giving it to Torres for the first snap. Within two minutes, the Torres managed to get a touchdown, gaining 8 points for their team. A couple of plays later, East Valley player #22 was injured and had to be taken out of the game via a wheelchair. The Falcons proceeded to advance quickly and efficiently, winning a touchdown of 6 points; however, soon another player #11 got injured.
After another touchdown by Torres in the second quarter for 6 points, the Falcons manage to rebound with a score of their own, bringing the score to 14-20, with the Torres ahead at the half.
During the halftime parade, various cars drove around the field filled with students who were all inspired by their school and the associated sports. One car was dedicated to the East Valley homecoming candidates, while another featured the Science Academy candidates. There was a car dedicated to the women’s soccer team, along with other clubs and teams here at our school.
In the third quarter, the Torres scored a touchdown, bringing the score to 14-28, with the Falcons losing yet another player, #15. The air was thick with hope and anticipation, and everyone was waiting to see if the Falcons could come back from this deficit. The Torres get another touchdown, but the Falcons turned right around and scored one of their own, making the score 20-34, Torres.
Finally, in the 4th quarter, there was one more injury, to player #1. The game came to an end with a pivotal fumble made by the Falcons, leading to the Torres picking it up and running off with it, gaining another touchdown for the scoreboard. The final score ended up being 20-42, with Torres winning. If the Falcons had not had that fatal fumble, there would have only been a touchdown between the two teams, and the Falcons would have had a chance to come back, just like they did in the first half. However, the Falcons will have other chances to beat the Torres.
During a post-game interview with the East Valley head football coach, Luis Zuniga, he stressed that the Falcons’ main concern moving forward is tackling and keeping healthy. It’s hard when guys get injured, he told his team, and they come up short, but they played with heart and that’s what matters. In the first half, the coach reports that the team felt good, as they were only a touchdown away; however, it was hard for the team when they lost their best players in the second half. He knows they will play the Torres again, and he’s confident that the Falcons will win next time.
by Muaz Reza
Science Academy’s first annual Club Rush occurred from Wednesday, September 14th – Friday, September 16th. Students could browse and sign-up from over 40 different clubs featured in the three days the event took place. Joining a club is a good way for middle and high schoolers to expand upon their extracurricular pursuits or even simply explore a craft or topic that piques their interest. With an assortment of diverse clubs, from those building upon students’ creative pursuits to STEM clubs supplementing and expanding upon material learned from Science Academy’s curriculum, students have a wide selection they can choose from to join.
If you have an idea for a club or want to join a club featuring a topic that does not exist yet, consider starting a club. Introducing your passion to the Science Academy community enables other students to explore new interests or simply to find a group of like-minded individuals who share in your craft. It is also a great addition to anyone’s resume and allows one to meet new people and build new connections.
ASB will be hosting Club Festival next semester to reintroduce clubs to the Science Academy community and to showcase new clubs for the semester. It will showcase the milestones and achievements of clubs from the past semester and reestablishes interest in clubs. ASB will take the critique and feedback from Club Rush and apply them to Club Festival to create a festive and accessible atmosphere to celebrate our clubs.Read More
Fall Movie Night
by Jordin Lim
Movie Night, which occurred Friday, September 30th, was a great event for the entire school to enjoy. ASB sold snacks and sodas, including chips and candies. Students could bring blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, etc. to make sure they were comfy for this fun event.
Before the movie, Ratatouille, started, music videos of popular songs were displayed on the inflatable movie screen to entertain the students. Everyone had a great time, whether they were running around or simply joking with their friends.
The time came when the movie began, and everyone was very excited. The field quieted down as the opening scenes of the movie, about a Parisian rat named Remi who loves to cook, played and although many students had previously seen it, it was wonderful to relive favorite scenes and moments in the company of friends.
It was honestly a very enjoyable movie. There were many parts where the entire field would burst out laughing and wouldn’t stop until a few minutes later.
This scene got the night’s biggest laugh!
All in all, Movie Night was a great experience where students were able to sit back after a long week and enjoy themselves as they hung out and joked around with their peers.Read More
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
by Milan Riley
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a popular play written by William Shakespeare, a playwright during the age of the English Renaissance. Historians estimate that this particular play was first written between 1594 and 1596. It was originally published in 1600 and once more in 1619, despite being primarily meant to be performed in a theater rather than read. The play was further included in the First Folio, a collection of Shakespeare’s plays, released in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death, in honor of the great playwright. The collection was the first to group his plays into three categories: comedies, which often included humorous characters and happy endings; histories, which were usually based on real historical people and events; and tragedies, which most likely ended with the sad death of a hero. It is believed that A Midsummer Night’s Dream, considered a comedy, was first performed on January 1, 1605, at an aristocratic wedding with Queen Elizabeth I in attendance.
Portrait of Shakespeare
Many philologists, people who study literature, infer that A Midsummer Night’s Dream was influenced by other stories such as Edmund Spenser’s “Epithalamion,” Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Chaucer’s “The Knight’s Tale,” Greek legends about Theseus and Hippolyta, and also the German poem “Der Busant.” This combination of inspirations and Shakespeare’s own creativity combined to become the comedy that readers know today.
Similar to other comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream has a “fool” character, named Nick Bottom, who provides comic relief throughout the play. He is commonly remembered for his transformation into a donkey at the hands of Puck, the mischievous fairy. Other main characters include Hermia and Lysander, two lovers who do not have Hermia’s father’s blessing. This drama also involves Demetrius, the man Hermia’s father would rather she marry, and Helena, Hermia’s best friend who loves Demetrius. Throughout the play, Puck’s use of a flower that makes a person love whoever they first see causes even more drama amongst this tangled “love square”.
8th Grade Field Trip
On September 22, 2022, the 8th graders at the Science Academy STEM Magnet were fortunate enough to see this play performed in person at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum. This theater is an outdoor, open-air stage in the mountains of Topanga Canyon. The performance included interactive sections, choreography, and singing. In addition, the students were able to experience the theater’s workshops beforehand, trying our hand at such skills as as juggling, dancing, stage-fighting, and more.
The Theatricum BotanicumRead More
by Milan Riley and Jordin Lim
Mother’s Day is a celebration in honor of mothers, motherly figures, or those with whom we have maternal bonds, in addition to honoring the influence of mothers on society. It is celebrated on different days in over 40 countries, but most commonly in March or May. For the United States, it is scheduled on the second Sunday in May, which this year is Sunday, May 8, 2022.
The History of Mother’s Day
Celebrations of mothers occurred long ago by the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of their mother goddesses. The Phrygians and those in ancient India also had festivals celebrating their goddesses. A more modern event that most likely inspired the making of Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday.”
Mothering Sunday occurred on Sunday, March 27 this year. This tradition dates back to the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe, which had Mothering Sunday fall on the fourth Sunday in Lent. The time was to allow the faithful to return home to their “mother church” for a special service. This celebration helped inspire the idea of Mother’s Day and even merged with it in some areas around the 1930s and 1940s.
Medieval origins of Mothering Sunday
Now that we know the background for the idea, how did it actually arise? Ann Jarvis was a social activist and community organizer during the American Civil War era. Sadly, she died on May 9, 1905, but was not forgotten. One of her goals was to establish a holiday honoring mothers. Anna Jarvis, her daughter, accomplished this for her when she led the movement for the commemoration. Anna founded Mother’s Day when she held a memorial service for her late mother on May 12, 1907, in her church in Grafton, West Virginia. The celebration spread until, within five years, almost every state in the U.S. was observing the day. Finally, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson made it a national holiday.
However, some might be surprised to hear that Anna Jarvis actually tried to abolish the holiday that she herself started. Ms. Jarvis believed the event had become too commercialized. However, because the holiday is still celebrated today, she did not succeed in stopping Mother’s Day because too many people enjoy devoting a special day in honor of their mothers.
How Mother’s Day is Celebrated Around the World
United States: Tokens of Affections
In many U.S. households, Mother’s Day is celebrated with tokens of affection such as breakfast in bed, a bouquet of flowers, and homemade cards. Mother’s Day in the U.S. is also celebrated by giving mothers a day off from household chores or work.
India: 10-Day Festival
Each October, Hindus celebrate Durga Puja, a 10-day festival that honors the goddess of mothers, Durga.
Durga, the goddess of mothers
The puja is performed in homes and in public, the latter featuring a temporary stage and pandals, or structural decorations. The celebration is thought to date back back to the sixteenth century, considered to be both a religious ceremony and a time for family reunions. According to Hindu scriptures, the festival marks goddess Durga’s victory over the shape-shifting asura (power-seeking spiritual beings in Indic religions), Mahishasura. Therefore, the celebration embodies the victory of good over evil, whilst being a festival celebrating the goddess Durga as the motherly power behind all life and creation
Japan: The Right Flowers
After World War II, Mother’s Day in Japan became a way to comfort mothers who had lost sons due to the war. Carnations will be presented around this holiday, symbolizing the sweetness and endurance of motherhood in Japanese culture. Children would give red carnations if their mother was alive, but would display white carnations if their mother had passed away. Japanese Mother’s Day gifts include kanji (calligraphy art) prints, lacquer jewelry boxes, kokeshi dolls, and food (consisting of oyakodon, chawanmushi, and tamagoyaki).
Ethiopia: Singing, Dancing, and Cooking
At the end of the rainy season in the fall, the 3-day feast of the Antrosht festival is dedicated to mothers. As the weather clears, family members come together to their homes for a large meal and celebration, preparing “hash,” the traditional recipe of the country. Traditionally, daughters bring vegetables and cheese while sons bring the meat. With these ingredients, hash is prepared, with singing and performing dances that tell stories of family heroes.
The Antrosht Festival
Denmark: Mors Dag
The first Mother’s Day in Denmark was celebrated on Sunday the 12th of May, 1929. The idea of Mother’s Day came from America, brought to Denmark by Christian Svenningsen. The original intention of this celebration was to collect money for war widows and mothers who had lost their sons during World War I. Mors Dag (as Mother’s Day is called in Denmark) is all about flowers, as it has become a tradition to buy your mother a bouquet of flowers. Some invite their mothers out for lunch or dinner. For children that still live at home, it is tradition that the child prepares the breakfast and serves the breakfast together with a homemade card and flower.
A bouquet of flowers
Philippines: Great Respect
In the Philippines, children and fathers spend the whole day pampering their mothers and showing off their love to them. Mother’s Day in the Philippines is considered a token of showing gratitude to the immeasurable sacrifices mothers make for their families. Children in the country denote their mother by “ilaw ng tahanan”, meaning the light of the house. Mother’s Day is extraordinarily respected, and is therefore celebrated throughout the country with utmost zeal. The people in the Philippines don’t only celebrate their mothers, but for their grandmothers, cousins, aunts, and every other female member in the family. Children make cards for their mothers, while some arrange breakfast in bed for their mothers. Husbands also give gifts to their wives, or take their wives to a trip or a day of relaxation. The day begins with hearing Mass in the morning, thereafter presenting to the moms with a delicious lunch at one of their favorite restaurants.
“Thank you Mom” in FilipinoRead More