For the week of Mar. 29, 2015
Respect for Ancestors Day (Thanh Mimh): Vietnam. This is similar to the holiday in all other Asian cultures for paying respects to oneis ancestors by visiting and decorating their graves.
Sean Oi Casey (1880- 1964): Irish. Playwright. OiCasey is best known for his tragicomic dramas set in the poor neighborhoods of Dublin during the Irish uprising against the British and the subsequent civil war.
Cesar Chavez (1927-1993): Mexican American. Labor leader and activist. A migrant farm worker who became a nationally respected voice for social justice, Chavez spent his life combating the poverty and discrimination suffered by Mexicans and Mexican Americans, particularly agricultural laborers. In 1962 he began organizing farm workers into a union that three years later joined with a Filipino union in a strike against California grape growers for better wages and more humane working conditions. (The two groups later merged as the United Farm Worker) Table grape producers helped out for five years while Chevez focused national attention on the plight of farm workers. A national consumer boycott helped bring the strike to a successful conclusion in 1970.
Jack Johnson (1878-1946): African American. Prize fighter. Johnson was the worldis first Black heavyweight champion, holding the title from 1908 to 1915.
Octavio Paz (1931-1998): Mexican. Writer. Octavio Paz was Mexicois leading poet and essayist and one of the worldis leading figures in literature. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Literature in 1990 and praised for iimpassioned writing with wide horizons, characterized by sensuous intelligence and humanistic integrity.i He was widely known for his essay iThe Labyrinth of Solitudei and his epic poem i Sunstone.i In addition to his writing, Octavio Paz had a distinguished diplomatic career, serving as Mexicois consul and ambassador to such countries as France, Japan, and India.
Ramanavami (Birthday of Rama): Hindu. The story of Rama, one of the incarnations of the god Vishnu, is told in the Ramayana, which along with the Mahabharata is one of the great epic poems of Hinduism. Rama is celebrated in literature, music and art throughout India and Southeast Asia. This holiday is observed with sanctity and fasting. Temples are decorated and parts of the Ramayana are recited at home.
Founderis Day: Vietnam. This holiday commemorates the founding of the Vietnamese nation by King Hung Vuong around 1000 B.C.E
National Day: Senegal. This day commemorates Senegalis gaining full independence from France in 1960.
Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) :African American. Educator. Organizer and first director of the Normal and Industrial Institute for Negroes at Tuskegee, Alabama (later Tuskegee Institute), Washington became the nationis foremost advocate of education for African Americans. His cautious and conciliatory approach to race relations was criticized by W.E.B. DuBois and other leaders who urged more active efforts to achieve civil and political rights for Black Americans.
Respect for Ancestors Day (Chiing-ming): China This is also called Cold Food Day. It is the only traditional Chinese holiday celebrated according to the solar calendar. This is a day for paying homage to oneis ancestors by visiting graves and leaving flowers and food.