Number one for English language teachers


Information and webquests on American Independence Day, Bastille Day, Canada Day, Feast Day of the Redeemer, Guelaguetza, Obon and Pioneer Day.

July festivals

  • Festivals: Canada Day (1st July)

    Type: Reference material

    As a member of the British Empire (now known as the Commonwealth), in 1868 the Governor General, Lord Monck, called upon the people of Canada to celebrate the first anniversary of the union of the North British-American provinces which became known as Canada. The celebration was first called Dominion Day. The first organized ceremony took place on the 50th anniversary in 1917 - the new parliament buildings were under construction and, with the centre block in place, was dedicated as ...

  • Festivals: Ramadan

    Type: Reference material

    The month of fasting for Muslims. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. In the evening and in the morning before the sun comes up, they eat small meals. During this month, they take extra time for family and spiritual growth.

  • Festivals: American Day of Independence (4th July)

    Type: Reference material

    At the end of the Seven Years' War in 1763 (a conflict mainly about trading rights between Great Britain and France in the North American colonies), Britain's victory had cost them a lot of money. To make up some of this money, the British parliament introduced new taxes in the colonies. The colonies were unhappy, saying they had already contributed to the war by supplying manpower, money and supplies to the British army. They were also unhappy that they had no representation in the ...

  • Festivals: Obon

    Type: Reference material

    It is believed that the spirits of ancestors visit their relatives during the midsummer. Welcoming fires, known as 'mukaebi', or lanterns are lit at the beginning of the festival to guide the spirits to their ancestral homes. Offerings of food and gifts are made in special home altars. It is an important time for families to get together and honour the spirits of family members who came before them. Buddhist priests are sometimes asked to attend homes to say special prayers for the ...

  • Festivals: Bastille Day (14th July)

    Type: Reference material

    During the mid to late 1700s, France was under the rule of a monarchy. The monarch at the time was King Louis XVI, who ruled with his wife, Marie Antoinette. France was governed by the privileged classes - the nobility and clergy - and the lower classes were taxed heavily to pay for foreign wars, court extravagance and the rising national debt. The people of France were very unhappy with the way they were being treated and on the 14th July 1789, a large group of Parisians ...

  • Festivals: Feast Day of the Redeemer: Festa del Redentore

    Type: Reference material

    Dating back to the late 1500s, this is one of the most important and spectacular religious festivals in Venice's calendar. In 1576 a plague killed approximately 50,000 people and a promise was made by the mayor to build a magnificent church - if the plague ended - to thank God for the end of the plague. During the following year, the plague ended and the promise was fulfilled. The church was built on the Venetian island of Giudecca by Andrea Palladio and Da Ponte. After ...

  • Festivals: Guelaguetza (16th July)

    Type: Reference material

    Celebrated in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, this fiesta originates from the Zapotec meaning 'offering' or 'great courtesy'. Individuals within the communities would offer help to one another during big events such as weddings, births and harvest time. Those who received help would then repay the favour - sometimes years later. The date of the fiesta is taken from when the Mexicas conquered the Zapotecs in 1501. The Mexicas worshipped their own gods in July - ...

  • Festivals: Pioneer Day (24th July)

    Type: Reference material

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was founded in New York in 1830 by Joseph Smith, who received the 'word of God' and translated a book inscribed on golden plates into the Book of Mormon. The Church was growing with new members converting, but there were also enemies within the mainstream Christian churches. The Mormons built a new city on the banks of the Mississippi River but continued to be persecuted for a number of different reasons. Joseph Smith was imprisoned many ...

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