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Time to celebrate

All around the world, people have different ways of remembering what is important to them

Purim (Israel)

When: 23 and 24 March 2016

Why: Purim is a Jewish festival that represents the salvation of the Jewish people by Queen Esther, who spoke on behalf of the Jews with King Achashverosh (pronounced a-chash-vey-rosh) to stop them from being killed by an evil man called Haman.

Day (Ireland)

When: 17 March

Why: This Christian celebration is in honour of the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, who is said to have introduced Christianity there. According to stories, he was kidnapped by pirates who took him to Ireland where he spent six years as a slave before escaping. Lots of people in South Africa celebrate St. Patrick’s (or St. Paddy’s) Day too! It’s always a lot of fun.

Makar Sankranti (India and Nepal)

When: 15 January 2016

Why: This Hindu festival marks the movement of the sun into the Capricorn zodiac sign (Makara) and symbolises the end of the long winter.

N’cwala (Zambia)

When: 25 February 2016

Why: The Ngoni people of the Eastern Province in Zambia celebrate the first harvest of the year with big feasts and lots of dancing at the N’cwala festival.

Chinese New Year (China)

When: 8 February 2016

Why: Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival and it’s a day for celebrating the start of new life. 

Day of the Dead (Mexico)

When: 31 October

Why: It’s a time when people remember those who have died. It seems sad, but it’s actually a joyful time of celebration. 

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