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National Women's History Month

Hello, you lovely people out there! It's been so long since we last connected, yeah? Been almost a month, right? Apologies, sweets! This time, we'll make up for it big-time and with this article, we'll kick-start it in a grand manner. By the way, did you miss us? Please say yes, because we really did, and so we promise to get you the most exciting anecdotes and blogs on the upcoming events.

Here's how we get started: Well, do you know what's special about this month? Yeah.... It's March and yes, it contains 31 days, what else? Come on, put on your thinking hats and come up with a promising answer. Uh... Did we hear you saying Women's Day? Oh, fab! Exactly, we recently celebrated the International Women's Day and that's the highlight of this month. But did you know what the real significance of this entire month is? Okay, let us tell you. March is all so important because it marks the National Women's History Month! This season is dedicated to celebrating and appreciating the most courageous, powerful and thoroughly badass (we love this word, you see) women of the world.

Women Power

The National Women's History Month is celebrated in several parts of the world; however, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia happen to be the front-runners in celebrating this awesome month-long occasion. 

Women have always been incredible at what they do, and it’s about these celebrations that give us a chance to felicitate their greatness at a considerable measure.

Women's History

As you guys know, we go all out to keep up with our ritual to make you erudite about every other thing. Here as well, we shall dive deep into the subject so that you know everything from its roots. The National Women’s History Month traces its initiation from the first International Women’s Day celebration way back in 1911. 

During that era, women’s history, women’s rights were completely alien topics and no one really knew about it. This continued till the late 1970’s until in 1978 the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration. That was perhaps the starting of a new chapter in acknowledging women and their significance in the society.
 Again in the year 1979, a fifteen-day conference about women's history was held at Sarah Lawrence College from July 13 until July 29, chaired by historian Gerda Lerner. It was co-sponsored by Sarah Lawrence College, the Women's Action Alliance, and the Smithsonian Institution. When its participants learned about the success of the Sonoma County's Women's History Week celebration, they decided to initiate similar celebrations within their own organizations, communities, and school districts. They also agreed to support an effort to secure a National Women's History Week. And that, my little friends, brought us to the great National Women’s History Month. 

Phenomenal Women

In 1980, the then President of the United States of America issued a proclamation that tremendously encouraged the celebration of Women’s History Week. He said,

“From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.
As Dr. Gerda Lerner has noted, “Women’s History is Women’s Right.” – It is an essential and indispensable heritage from which we can draw pride, comfort, courage, and long-range vision.”

I ask my fellow Americans to recognize this heritage with appropriate activities during National Women’s History Week, March 2-8, 1980.
I urge libraries, schools, and community organizations to focus their observances on the leaders who struggled for equality – – Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Tubman, and Alice Paul.

Understanding the true history of our country will help us to comprehend the need for full equality under the law for all our people.
This goal can be achieved by ratifying the 27th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states that “Equality of Rights under the Law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

Celebrating Women

National Women’s History Month honors the extraordinary contributions of women to the history of this great country, America. It observes the exemplary things women did that made our nation the way it is today. We’re sure you’ve looked up to phenomenal women like Maya Angelou, Hillary Clinton, Elle DeGeneres, Mala Yousufzai, Mother Teresa, Margaret Thatcher, and Oprah Winfrey, who’ve changed the way the world looks at women today. And not just them,  it’s time you acknowledge your own mothers, sisters, aunts, grannies and all the other exceptional women in your life who make life all the more pleasing and delightful for you. This month is all about commemorating their greatness and showering them with the love, gratitude and honor they deserve!

Strong Women!

So stand up and get going. Stand up for the women in your life, stand up for every woman you know who’ve been instrumental in shaping you the way you are. It’s important that you grow up to be fine citizens who’d be an asset to the great country – The United States of America! 
We’d like to close this article with a few beautiful lines on womanhood by the great American poetess, human rights activist and feminist, Maya Angelou:

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.”

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Hello, people! Hope you’re doing great in this month of February with festivities galore. Right from Valentine’s Day to Martin Luther King’s Day and from Groundhog Day to Chinese New Year – we had the best of everything this season! But wait, stay put and think, think hard. Is there something special this year? Oh, come on, guys, you people know about everything, right? Yeah? Fabulous! You guys are very well-informed! Yes, indeed, we’re talking about the great Leap Year that marks the addition of one extra day this season – the 29th of February!

Leap Year
 

So we have 366 days this year, instead of the traditional 365. That gives us one day in excess! Imagine, what all you can do if you get 24 hours extra? There can be a whole lot of learning, exploring, understanding, studying and yes, of course, playing and enjoying. 
 

Thirty days hath September, 
April, June, and November; 
All the rest have thirty-one, 
Excepting February alone 
Which hath but twenty-eight, in fine, 
Till leap year gives it twenty-nine
-    Anonymous 

 

Well, we think you must know the reason we anoint the 29th of February with such significance. Okay, now sit straight and read on carefully: Every year the earth completes 365 1/4th day which is apparently a quarter greater than the actual number of 365 days. Therefore, now since you guys are great at math, please tell us how much does a quarter multiplied by 4 equals to? Come on, hurry up! Let’s do the math right here: 1/4 * 4 = 1. Exactly! You’re awesome. We get one day at the end of every 4 years. There you get the answer – Leap Year occurs once every 4 years!

Julius Caesar
 

Here’s another piece of valuable information regarding the month February and the subsequent story of the Leap Year. Legend has it that earliertThe Roman calendar used to carry 355 days with an extra 22-day month every two years until Julius Caesar became emperor in the 1st Century and ordered his Alexandrian astronomer Sosigenes to devise something better.
Sosigenes, being worth his name, decided on a 365-day year with an extra day every four years to incorporate the additional hours, and so February 29th was born.

Now, as you very well know of our tradition of having history and inspiring accounts of folklore and some real life tales, we’ll again travel back in time to discover some lost pearls of legends. Okay, guys, now tell us. Do you know Christopher Columbus? Yeah? Right. He was a great explorer, discoverer and is known to travel across the Atlantic Ocean four times! He is also known to be the one to discover America! Well, that’s huge. 
 

Well, Leap Year has certainly been a lucky one for Mr. Columbus. 
 

Christopher Coumbus

It so once happened that Columbus found himself stranded on an island of Jamaica. The locals were kind and generous and offered their simple food and essentials to the great explorer. But Columbus, holding up his arrogant and snobbish attitude, didn’t accept any of it to the extent that the natives decided never to provide him anything.
 

As they say, what goes around, comes around, Christopher did have to give up his whims and fancies to obtain food from the people. However, the local folks were now smart and didn’t pay any heed to his requests.

Lunar Eclipse
 

This was when the great Columbus devised a plan. He knew that the lunar eclipse was going to occur a little later. Therefore, he proclaimed that if he is not given food, then the moon will get shadowed by God in a way to punish the natives. The people started taking his words seriously when the sun cast a dark shadow on the moon and darkened the entire region. The local population were scared and pleaded Christopher to do something about it. The discoverer stayed put in his ship’s cabin for over an hour when he came back and announced that God was ready to save the moon only if the natives provided him and his naval chiefs with food and water.
 

The panicked pupils served delightful food to Columbus and his entourage, and it saved the day for everyone, as the moon started emerging from the shadow leaving the people in awe of the explorer. 

This was the tale of the great Columbus, who took complete advantage of the Leap Year.

Guess what, in many traditions across the world, Leap Year is known to be a highly successful occasion. Several people believe that anything started on the 29th of

February bring with it a lucky omen as everything is deemed to be successful.

Let’s talk about a few of the traditions related to the celebration of the Leap Year.

Women Propose on this Day:

Yes! We’re sure you watch movies where the entire concept of proposing is done by men, well, mostly. However, according to age-old rituals, women can propose on leap year’s day to optimize their chances to getting hitched to the man of their dreams.

 

Leap Day Customs & Traditions:

Leap Day, on February 29, has been a day of traditions, folklore, and superstitions ever since Julius Caesar first introduced Leap Years over 2000 years ago.

 

Women Propose to Their Men

Women Proposing To Men

According to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, St Brigid struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every four years.
This is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how Leap day balances the calendar.

 

Gloves Hide Naked Ring Finger

Bachelor's Day

In some regions, leap day has been known as “Bachelors’ Day” for the very same reason. Interesting, isn’t it? “Bachelor’s Day!” On lines with a popular tradition, a man is expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money, if he refuses a marriage proposal from a woman on Leap Day.
 

In many European countries, especially in the upper sections of the society, tradition dictates that any man who doesn’t honor a woman's proposal on February 29 has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves. The intention is that the woman can wear the gloves to hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring. Now, that makes us go, “Äwwww.”
 

St. Oswald’s World

St Oswald;s Day

The St Oswald’s day is celebrated in the memory of the late Archbishop of York, who died on the 29th of February 992. In non-leap years, this day is celebrated on 28th February.
 

Leap Year babies:

abies

The children born on 9th February are considered to be lucky by some while others consider them to be unlucky; However, many folks take the Leap year, especially the leap day to be unfortunate for love and marriages and abstain themselves from the same.
 

So, here we go, folks! This was the extraordinary tale, better epic, about the leap year! Indeed, as we've seen; it holds quite a significant stature in history and in traditions and legends too. We think that this day must help you realize that life is short, and it does give you a complete extra day to make the most ou of it. Then what are we waiting for? Hiking this weekend, anyone
 

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Read Across America Day

Hey, you lovely people! February has indeed been a great month with festivities and celebrations galore. Well, as always, we plan things way in advance, and so we’d like to introduce you to a festival that commemorates the act of being learned and erudite. In fact, if you think deeply, this festival preaches essentially what we like you to do. Guesses? Yay! You guys have mastered the act of being well-informed – I am indeed talking about the Read Across America Day! 

Read Across America Day is a gala event that calls for people to all groups, especially young sweet kids, like you, to come together and participate in Marathon reading. Every year on the 2nd of March - Dr. Seuss' birthday - National Education Association conducts the Read Across America Day to encourage children to read and come out as learned and educated individuals. 

Happy Birthday Dr Seuss

Getting to the root of this Day, we will dive into finding relevant facts that make this event so memorable and gratifying at the same point in time. Historically, the Read Across America Day is celebrated to commemorate the birthday of the beloved Children’s books author Dr. Seuss. He was extraordinarily popular for penning down some of the most well-known books for young readers. In fact, his writings were so famous that by the time of his death in 1991, he had sold over 600 million copies, some of which were being translated into more than 20 languages! Now, that’s huge, isn’t it?


Let us know a little more about this legendary author to understand the reason to his high stature. Dr. Seuss is the pen name of Theodor Seuss Geisel, who was an alumni of Dartmouth College, Oxford University. Starting off his career as a cartoonist and illustrator, Dr. Seuss went on to become a full-time author specializing in Children’s literature. 


Now here is an interesting piece of information about him: Seuss is more so a German name and has a peculiar pronunciation. Unlike most people who had various other ways of calling out his name, he reiterated that his name rhymes with the word ‘voice.’ Therefore, Seuss was pronounced as ‘Zoice.’

Dr Seuss


What makes him so unique; you may ask, and why is he still lauded even after he was born over a century ago. Well, we have an answer for that, a very valid answer, in fact: Dr. Seuss changed the landscape of children's books with his controlled-vocabulary tales (read: simple language) of antic cats (The Cat in the Hat), colorful meals (Green Eggs and Ham), and dozens of other zany or crazy insane tales that took inspiration from austere and non-ornamental facets of our life. One thing we can certainly derive from Dr. Seuss's works - plain and banal things were given their due, and he reiterated the importance of staying happy and finding happiness with the mundaneness of life.


When Dr. Seuss set out to write The Cat in the Hat, he wanted to write a story that used simple, mostly monosyllabic words that readers could readily comprehend. His use of the patterned, rhyming text has become the foundation for many controlled-vocabulary texts for young readers. 


This was the story of a man who received a lot many posthumous (time to get your dictionaries, sweets) recognitions including the renaming of the University of California, San Diego's University Library Building Geisel Library in honor of Geisel and Audrey (his wife) for the generous contributions that they made to the library and their devotion to improving literacy. Later in the next few years, the Read Across America Day was celebrated in his memory so as to celebrate his outstanding contribution to young children's writings. 


We all know that our country has a rich lineage of some amazing authors, writers, novelists and poets who have left us a goldmine of literary treasure. We think that this Day gives us an opportunity to leave all things behind and instead, give way to hone our reading skills, which is something that will earn us good all through our lives. And the best part – you don’t require to read only those hefty encyclopedias or texts books, you can read just about anything and still help yourself inculcate this habit. 


A knowledgeable person is a gem of their country and with a great heritage like ours, it's only mandatory that we instill good values in our offspring to grow up into healthy, knowledgeable youth who will go ahead and add many more feathers to a nation as great as America.


We, at Best Brains, are driven by an aim to raise lovely kids like you into great beings. Hence, we totally promote and encourage activities for the Read Across America Day because it significantly meets up to our endeavors in making you smarter, sharper, more prosperous and righteous humans. 
So kids, get up and get going, here's your chance to become a model to your friends as you pick up a book epitomizing the essence of good reading and learning! 

Here's wishing and encouraging you all to become a part of this noble deed and be the great future that America deserves!
 

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Groundhog Day

 

Yes, so we're half way through the month of January, and so this gives us the liability to start making plans for the upcoming month - February. Now, do not tell me that we're pretty early, oh come on, being-in-time (and not 'on-time') never really hurt anyone; and most importantly, procrastination is a killer, but not being proactive. So keeping up with that thought, here's our planning for the upcoming event of Groundhog's Day. Oh no, no; we're not talking about the movie. We're talking about the very traditional feast of the same name. In fact, your Billy Murray-and-Andie Mc Dowell-starring super hit flick is based on the events of this very same festival day celebration. And honestly, this Hollywood movie did a great amount of goodwill in spreading and popularizing this tradition of Groundhog Day.

So, why not get some information about Groundhog Day? After all, it pays to be learned and well-informed, right?

Okay, so we begin this erudite journey (Guys, did you notice, how many times I use the word 'erudite' in our Best Brains posts? Well, you do notice? Wow! Seems like you're really memorizing and learning things pretty well through our Best Brains medium. That is wonderful!). So, now first, let’s discuss this – what does Groundhog Day really mean? What is its significance? 

Groundhog Day Celebrations

Groundhog Day, as the name suggests, relates to the common underground-living animal we know of the same name. Every year on the 2nd of February, as per most communities following this tradition, Groundhog Day is celebrated with great pomp and show. At an age, where the weather man is also considered pretty old-fashioned, thanks to the advent of super technology, here we have this lovely feast that celebrates nature in all its simplicity and ethnicity. Yes, that is the true beauty of this day.

 

The Origins:

Historically, Groundhog Day is celebrated to mark a very important tradition. Groundhog Day began around 1887 in Punxsutawney. However, its roots go back hundreds and even thousands of years. The feast has origins in the ancient Celtic festival of Imbolc, which was held on Feb. 1 or 2, halfway between the Winter Solstice (the solstice at midwinter, at the time of the shortest day of the year) and the Spring Equinox (the time when the sun crosses the plane of the earth's equator, making night and day of approximately equal length all over the earth and occurring about March 21). Imbolc was a festival for the coming spring and often featured primitive meteorology in an attempt to predict or control how quickly spring arrived.

The Winter and Spring Solistic and Equnioxes

Originally, Candlemas Day was celebrated as part of the traditional holiday that involved lighting candles and marked the mid-season duration. This age-old ritual belonged to the Christian culture and took place in Europe. With time, Germans brought it to America and now this festival became the Groundhog Day! Seriously folks, the world is really a small place, isn’t it? 

Reportedly, ancient Europeans used hedgehog in their celebrations, but when the Germans brought this festival to Pennsylvania, they switched to groundhog because they thought that it would be the most ‘intelligent’ and ‘sensible’ creature to complete this task. 

 

The Folklore

So what does groundhog really do in this endeavor? Well, honestly, he is the hero of the whole festival. It is so because when the groundhog comes out of his burrow and if he casts his shadow, then he predicts that Spring is delayed by another six weeks; on the flip side, if he finds it cloudy, then he predicts that Spring is around the corner. Therefore, Mr. Phil – the chief groundhog who summons this event – is the major weatherman or weather predictor for the folklore. He is indeed the world’s most famous and sort-after groundhog.

The Groundhog coming out of his burrow

 

The Authenticity of the weather predictions:

Even though Mr. Phil goes all out on Feb 2nd each year to give away his weather predictions, his forecasts have been only 39% accurate. So is this entire pompous celebration revolving around the groundhog’s prognosis (guys, time to reach out for your dictionary) merely a fuss? We cannot really raise eyebrows because the chief officials have a different story to tell. The Groundhog officials claim that the animal’s predictions have always been 100% authentic. Umm… really?

 

The Magic of ‘Elixir of Life’ 

According to insiders, Phil the groundhog is prophesying the outcomes of spring for the past 125 odd years. And he is able to survive each passing year and make his weather forecasts because of the Elixir of Life. This magic potion does its part in bestowing immortality to the groundhog. The official site of Groundhog Day reads, “Phil takes one sip every summer at the Groundhog Picnic.” It further adds that the drink’s magical properties keep him alive for seven more years at a time. Now, that is great, really great! 

Elixir of Life


So, my little buddies, this is the utterly fascinating story behind the annual Groundhog Day celebrations. Do catch up this year if you stay in and around Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Come and celebrate the 130th year of Groundhog Day at Gobbler's Knob, Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016.

Celebration of Groundhog Day

Otherwise, in case you stay far away then make sure to watch the whole action on TV and be part of this magnificent and historic festivity! 

Regardless of anything, it is a celebration of tradition that marries a hell lot of fun! 

Long live Phil, long live Groundhog Day!

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Martin Luther

Hello, all you lovely kids out there, we hope that you're having a fantastic time in January. Those of you who need a little inspiration on the same, do make sure to read the previous article on ways to enjoy the month of January. Well, today, we have something special for you. Yes, we do have something. Now tell us what is something significant coming up in the next few days? No, Valentine Day's is not on our mind, umm… we’re not talking about the Women’s Day too; it’s very far away! So, what do we intend to discuss? Well, today we’re going to speak about a global icon who has been an inspiration to millions, a role model and by far, one of the best speakers in the American History! Yes, you are right, he is Martin Luther King Jr. He is the one man who changed the way America seems, forever; he made such extraordinary reforms that laid foundations to make the great country America, we all know today!


Martin Luther was born in a family of Baptists and clergymen and was raised in a comfortable environment. Of course, he was nowhere very wealthy, but he did so many marvelous things that resonate the fact that money cannot buy everything, or better still, you do not require money to bring about a lasting change. We need to know and understand that great leaders do not live only in the house of the wealthy, but they also breed in the homes of the modest and also the lesser fortunate sections. 


Martin was influenced by Jesus Christ at an early age, and he decided to adopt Christ’s teachings as a way of life. Martin firmly believed in Jesus Christ’s idea of ‘loving your neighbor as yourself.’ He was born in an age where African Americans were in an indigent condition. Those times reverberated the atrocities and sufferings Black Americans faced due to being ‘colored.’ Racial abuse was the social order of the day. 

Address to People

Undoubtedly, it takes an immense amount of perseverance to lead out a war against injustice especially if you’re the weak class, but Martin Luther did that triumphing over all the negatives that surrounded him. He was sent to prison several times, was beaten up, threatened to death and was treated downright inhumanly, but he never lost hope and went on battling because he knew that he was right! 


But his greatness doesn’t end just there. He detested (time to get your dictionaries out, sweets) violence and injustice, and so gave up violent means to achieve justice. To bring out references from history, Martin Luther’s Civil Rights revolution happened just a little after the Second World War’s massacre. And needless to say, World War-II did see a lot of mass destruction. King having had vowed never to take up brutal or cruel ways to accomplish his noble goals. Therefore, he went on Civil Rights movements using non-violence and civil disobedience acts based on core Christian beliefs.


And rightfully, he did succeed! He succeeded in freeing a nation where misfortunate classes of the society were handcuffed with the humiliating practice of slavery. He managed to teach a nation the values of nonviolence, including unconditional love, tolerance, forgiveness and reconciliation, something that are so desperately-needed to unify the country of America. Little friends, Martin Luther King, was only in his 30s when he led revolutions and battled against all odds to become an international force to reckon. The worldwide leader is said to derive the teachings of non-violence and peace by the great Indian freedom fighter and Father of Indian Nation, Mahatma Gandhi (Did anyone of you watch the movie Gandhi? Yes, exactly, it’s his story). Mahatma Gandhi was a man of simple principles and morals and that enlightened King (as Martin Luther King is fondly addressed) and he sincerely embraced those virtues.


In the year 1951, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for his outstanding work that changed the face of an entire country. In fact, he was essentially lauded for his non-violent means to turn his far-fetched dreams into a reality. His speech, ‘I saw a Dream’ is one of the most iconic speeches ever in the modern history of man.
 

Martin Luther

Now, let’s come to discussing a day that celebrates the greatness of this thorough extraordinaire! This day is significant because it commemorates the splendid contribution of the greatest champions of justice, peace and reconciliation. We call it the Martin Luther King’s Day; it is used as a special way to honor the birth anniversary of this exemplary frontrunner. 


The Martin Luther King’s Day is not just for the African Americans, but it is for People, the people who constitute you, me and everyone around us; it’s a day to celebrate humaneness; it is a day to celebrate equality and insuppressible love for your people, and humanity, in general. King was born in America, but each year, nearly 100 different countries celebrate this international hero’s birthday with great pomp and show. These things only give ample support to the fact that Martin Luther King was a man of impeccable character, possessing an intrepid sense of attitude.


There is so much to learn from King that it might take over a lifetime to even come close to half of his immaculate personal attributes. But yes, we can try, we can always try and become the best versions of ourselves. Martin’s incredibly eventful life reiterates that we do not need to be born in an over-the-top rich family or be blessed with flawless beauty. But what we need is a character and inner strength. Many people on this planet fail to accomplish their goals because they lack perseverance and will power. They may hold great ideas of change and prosperity, but they remain unsuccessful because they fear to raise their voice against the evil and most importantly, they fear to dream saying that dreams don’t come true. In Martin Luther King’s excellent speech on Human Equality and his wish to see America as colorblind to people’s complexion resonates how simple means in life can achieve extraordinary things! 

Martin Luther's priceless excerpts from his great Speech


We urge all of you to stand and take an initiative to be part of the change and yes, be aware of the fact that Change starts with YOU! Thus, dream, think, stand up, run, work hard and no one, yes, practically no one, could ever possibly stop you from reaching the presumed unobtainable! God has blessed each one of us with an indefinite amount of talent and strength. If there’s any right time to achieve your ambitions, then it’s now, it’s here. Just go out folks, you’re about to unleash the astonishing power in you! 

On this very special day, we at Best Brains, go all out to educate people about the iron-will of a mere man, who set out to change the history of a country and make it one of the biggest democracies across the entire globe! 


We’d render a couple of lines to this very noble soul and say: In your selfless services we lay our salutations, no one can ever possibly defy that you will always be one of the best sources of inspiration and human expressions! 
 

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