Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Our Lady of Aparecida and Children's Day

Today, Wednesday October 12, 2011 is a National Holiday for Brazil which is called "Nossa Senhora Aparecida" or Our Lady of Aparecida day, based in the Roman Catholic faith. Brazil is the largest Roman Catholic country in the world with approximately three-fourths (75%) of its 192 million people observing the faith.

The holiday is a celebration of an event which occurred in October 1717. In anticipation of a visit from a prominent figure, villagers planned a large feast. Three fishermen were tasked with supplying the main course for the feast, during a time/season that was not ideal for catching fish.  The fishermen asked God to help them with their catch after being unable to catch any fish for several hours, until eventually pulling in their nets and discovering they hauled in a statue of the "Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception". Legend has it that after the discovery of the statue, they continued to fish bringing in an abundant catch before returning to the harbor.

In addition to the celebration of the Roman Catholic holiday, Brazil also celebrates Children's Day (Dia das Criancas) on the same day. According to the acclaimed Wikipedia, Children's Day was first proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1954. It was established to encourage all countries to institute a day, firstly to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children and secondly to initiate action to benefit and promote the welfare of the world's children. It was also chosen as the day to celebrate childhood. The day includes gifts given by the parents to their children to show appreciation for them.

To my surprise, this day is also celebrated in the United States, which I do not remember receiving any presents for. I think the first order of business, is for me to collect the previous 29 years worth of presents from my parents.

Mom? Dad? Are you reading this?

TimeIrado takes our show to the Sao Paulo Zoo (Zoologico de Sao Paulo)....

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