Aston Magna Music Festival

Held since the 1970s, this festival brings music of the Baroque period and beyond to today’s audiences using historically accurate instruments and performance practices. The mission of this annual event in the Berkshires of Massachusetts is “to enrich the appreciation of music of the past and the understanding of the cultural, political, and social contexts in which it was composed and experienced.” For five consecutive weekends, a 21st-century audience can enjoy a musical experience closely resembling that of an earlier era. Discuss
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William Tell Play

The legendary Swiss hero William Tell symbolized the struggle for individual and political freedom. When he defied the Austrian authorities, he was forced to shoot an apple off his son’s head in order to gain his freedom. The story of his test as a marksman has passed into folklore, and German dramatist J. C. Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805) wrote a play about Tell in 1804. Set in the environs of Altdorf, the legendary site of the apple-shooting incident, Schiller’s play has been performed at an open-air theater in Interlaken, Switzerland, since 1912. Discuss
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Somalia Independence Day

Somalia became an independent, unified country on July 1, 1960. In colonial times, Somalia was divided up between Britain and Italy. The northern part of the region was British Somaliland, and other areas belonged to Italy. On July 1, 1960, both areas were united as the Republic of Somalia. Since a government overthrow in 1991, however, the country has disintegrated into the Republic of Somaliland and the Republic of Puntland, neither of which is recognized by what is left of the Republic of Somalia, represented by the transitional national government established in October 2000. Discuss
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Guatemala Army Day

Guatemala’s Liberal Revolution, which called for the end of the dictatorship of Vicente Cerna, culminated with a revolt in Guatemala City on June 30, 1871. Originally known as Revolution Day, the anniversary of the revolt became Día del Ejército (Army Day), an official holiday recognizing the service of the armed forces. It has been marked over the years by annual parades, usually in Guatemala City. In 2007, protests against the parade spawned violence in the streets, and the ongoing resistance compelled the government to cancel the official parade the following year.
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Sts. Peter and Paul Day

It is said that St. Peter and St. Paul were both martyred on June 29, and for this reason their names have been linked in various observances around the world. In Peru, the Día de San Pedro y San Pablo is celebrated in fishing villages because St. Peter is the patron saint of fishermen. Processions of decorated boats carrying an image of the saint are common, and sometimes a special floating altar is set up, with decorations made out of shells and seaweed. Discuss
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