After the East Timorese declared independence from Portugal on November 28, 1975, it took over two decades to fulfill the promise of freedom. Their plans were foiled by Indonesia, which carried out its own occupation of its neighbor between 1975 and 1999. Observances for the November 28 anniversary honor the veterans of the independence movement. State leaders and other dignitaries usually participate in a parade, and the president of the country often bestows medals of honor to distinguish individuals who fought for the country’s freedom. Discuss
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Black Friday usually refers either to the infamous Wall Street Panic of September 24, 1869, when Jay Gould and James Fisk tried to corner the gold market, or to September 19, 1873, when stock failures caused the Panic of 1873. But shoppers and retailers in the United States also refer to the day after Thanksgiving as Black Friday because it marks the beginning of the Christmas commercial season and is traditionally a frenetic day of shopping. Discuss
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Thousands of visitors flock to Plymouth, Massachusetts, on Thanksgiving Day to watch the annual procession from Plymouth Rock to the First Parish Church. Each marcher represents one of the men, women, and children who survived the 1620 trip from England aboard the Mayflower to form the settlement known as Plimoth Plantation. The modern-day Plimoth Plantation is a living-history village that recreates Pilgrim life in 1627. Each November, Plimoth offers a variety of programs as well as period dining that features original Thanksgiving Day foods. Discuss
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Estonian folklorists believe that the customs associated with Kadripäev, or St. Catherine’s Day in Estonia, may date back to pre-Christian times. The holiday is strongly associated with women and their traditional activities, such as herding. People dress up in light-colored clothing, symbolizing winter’s snow, and visit their neighbors, singing songs and offering blessings for the family’s animals. In return, householders offer them cloth, wool, or food. An old superstition connected with the day forbade such activities as shearing as a means of protecting the sheep.
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Tegh Bahadur (1621-1675) was the ninth of the Sikh gurus, or spiritual teachers. In November 1675, he went to Delhi to meet with the Indian emperor Aurangzeb, who had him beheaded because he would not convert to Islam. Sikhs everywhere observe his martyrdom with religious processions and pilgrimages at gurdwaras, or houses of worship, with a special devotion to him, and especially at the site of his martyrdom in Delhi at the Gurdwara Sisganj temple.
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