The Holidays We Celebrate
Among the most ethnically diverse townships in the state and country, Niles Township further distinguishes itself by celebrating that diversity and creating a respectful and welcoming home to all.
Many Niles Township residents come from places all over the world, bringing with them rich traditions and celebrating holidays of great importance to them. We celebrate along with our neighbors, sharing the meaning of holidays observed in Niles Township.
What Is World Environment Day?
World Environment Day every June 5 encourages awareness and action regarding the protection of the environment.
More than 140 countries participate in some sort of public outreach as each year incorporates a theme for businesses, non-government organizations, communities, governments and celebrities advocating environmental causes.
The theme for 2023 is “Beat Plastic Pollution," focusing on various solutions for combatting plastic pollution.
As the month began, numerous actions were being taken by governments, cities, finance, businesses, NGOs, academia, civil society and individuals in events registered throughout the world. (World Environment Day events are registered at https://rb.gy/ehexc8).
The First World Environment Day was in 1974 to call attention to issues such as marine pollution, human overpopulation, global warning, sustainable consumption and crimes against wildlife.
What Is World Food Safety Day
The fifth World Food Safety Day (WFSD) will be celebrated on June 7 this year to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agricultural production, market access, tourism and sustainable development.
According to the World Health Organization, foodborne diseases affect one in 10 people worldwide each year, and food standards help us to ensure what we eat is safe.
About 340 children under 5 years of age die, on average, every day due to preventable foodborne diseases, and 200 diseases are caused by unsafe food, ranging from diarrhea to cancers.
For more information about World Food Safety Day, access https://bit.ly/42uy3nr.
What is Corpus Christi?
Corpus Christi, or The Feast of Corpus Christi ("Fronleichnam" in German) is a Catholic festival celebrated annually the second Thursday after Whitsun. (Whitsun is the seventh Sunday after Easter, and the week that follows that Sunday.)
Corpus Christi is a public holiday in countries such as Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Poland, Portugal, and Trinidad and Tobago. It is not a federal holiday in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Referring to the elements of the Eucharist, also called the Holy Communion, Last Supper or Lord's Supper, Corpus Christi means the Body of Christ. In the Church of England, the day is called “Day of Thanksgiving for the Institution of Holy Communion.”
Roman Catholic Bishops have a duty to be present at their cathedrals on Corpus Christi, which is similar to Lent, Advent, Easter, Pentecost and Christmas.
What Is Flag Day?
The annual June 14 Flag Day marks the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States.
On May 30, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed national Flag Day on this day. According to American legend, in June 1776, George Washington commissioned Betsy Ross, a Philadelphia seamstress, to create a flag for the new nation in anticipation of a declaration of its independence.
For some, the very first flag — designed prior to this and comprising 13 red and white alternating stripes and a Union Jack in the corner — was too similar to the British flag. That’s when the president made it a priority to find a new symbol of freedom for the new-forming country.
There have been 27 official versions of the flag so far; stars have been added to it as states have entered the Union. The current version dates back to July 4, 1960, when Hawaii became the 50th state.
What Is World Blood Donor Day?
Countries around the world mark World Blood Donor Day every June 14 to make people aware of the critical need for safe blood and blood products and to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.
On a larger scale, a blood service that gives patients access to safe blood and blood products in sufficient quantity is a key component of an effective health system. Niles Township teams with the blood agency Vitalant (formerly LifeSource) to provide quarterly blood drives because blood shortage is so critical. Look to sign up for our July blood drive (information coming soon) and help save lives.
The global theme of World Blood Donor Day changes each year in recognition of those who donate their blood for people they don’t know. For 2023, the World Blood Donor Day theme is “Give blood, give plasma, share life, share often.”
The theme was chosen to focus on patients requiring life-long transfusion support and underlines the role every single person can play, by giving the valuable gift of blood or plasma.
What Is Autistic Pride Day?
Autistic Pride Day was first celebrated in 2005 by the organization Aspies For Freedom (AFF) to give people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) one day where they could celebrate their neurodiversity and differences. It has become an event celebrated worldwide.
The event is not run by charities, but by individuals with ASD. Autistic Pride Day is celebrated on June 18 every year and is a day dedicated to individuals with ASD. It celebrates individuals with ASD for the people they are and is recognized by autism organizations worldwide.
Autistic Pride Day is characterized by the rainbow infinity symbol. This symbol signifies the diversity of individuals with ASD and the endless opportunities and differences within the autistic community.
What Is Father’s Day?
Every third Sunday in June, we honor our fathers with gifts (necktie sales reach an all-time high) and family celebrations for Father’s Day.
Long before the day became an official holiday, President Wilson in 1916 honored the day by using telegraph signals to unfurl a flag in Spokane when he pressed a button in Washington, D.C. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge urged state governments to observe Father’s Day.
It was not until 1972 — 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official — that a day honoring fathers became a nationwide holiday in the United States. In the middle of his presidential re-election campaign, Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making it a federal holiday. Today, economists estimate that Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on Father’s Day gifts.
Not every country honors their fathers on the same day. In some countries — especially in Europe and Latin America — fathers are honored on St. Joseph’s Day, a traditional Catholic holiday that falls on March 19. (This year it was celebrated March 20).
What Is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth marks the day when federal troops entered Galveston, Texas in 1865 to make sure that all enslaved people were freed. The date came a full two-and-a-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.
Juneteenth (June 19) has come to honor slavery’s end in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday.
Commemorating African American freedom and emphasizing education and achievement, Juneteenth has been marked on a day, a week, and in some areas even a month with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings.
According to Juneteenth.com, “It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement and for planning the future.” The day is also sometimes called “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day.”
In 1980, Texas became the first state to designate Juneteenth as a holiday, though the recognition is largely symbolic. Since then, 45 other states and the District of Columbia have moved to officially recognize the day. In 2019, New Hampshire became the latest state to declare Juneteenth a state holiday.
Juneteenth became a federal holiday in 2021. But at the state level, governments vary considerably in whether they commemorate it as an official holiday, a day of observance or something in between.
What Is World Refugee Day?
World Refugee Day raises awareness and supports protection for refugees across the globe, advocating for health care, education and sport.
“People who have been forced to flee often struggle to find a doctor when they are sick,” the UN Refugee Agency states about the day, which falls on June 20 every year. “Far from home, they struggle to find schools for their children or even a place for them to run around and play.”
The UN Refugee Agency works together with refugees every day to help them access these services and build better futures. In 2023, World Refugee Day has adopted the simple theme: “Compassion.”
The special day was originally known as Africa Refugee Day. The UN General Assembly in 2000 officially designated it as an international day. World Refugee Day is marked by a variety of events in many countries around the globe in support of refugees. These activities are led by or involve refugees themselves, government officials, host communities, companies, celebrities, school children and the general public, among others.
For more information, access https://bit.ly/3MKCYL1.
What Is World Humanist Day?
World Humanist Day is celebrated every year — usually on June 21. It is an opportunity for Humanists and Humanist organizations to emphasize the positive values of Humanism and to share the global concerns of the Humanist movement.
Humanists describe Humanism as a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism or other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good.
World Humanist Day has been recognized since the 1980s. Humanist groups around the world mark World Humanist Day with a wide variety of activities ranging from activism to parties. World Humanist Day is sometimes recognized with official proclamations or promotional campaigns to educate people about the growth of the secular community and the ethical values of Humanists.
According to Humanists International, the day is a way of spreading awareness of Humanism as a philosophical life stance and means to effect change in the world. It is also seen as a time for Humanists to gather socially and promote the positive values of Humanism.