Desktop Wallpaper Calendar — June 2021 — Free to Download

June is the sixth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars, the second of four months to have a length of 30 days, and the third of five months to have a length of less than 31 days. June was named either for Juniores, the lower branch of the Roman Senate, or for Juno, wife of the Roman god Jupiter.
Flower: Rose
Birthstone: Pearl

Here are a few of the special days during this month:
5 – World Environment Day
10 – Ascension (Orthodox Christian)
10 – Annular Solar Eclipse, 6:42 am EDT
12 – Loving Day
14 – Flag Day
19 – Juneteenth
20 – Father’s Day
20 – Pentecost (Orthodox Christian)
20 – Summer Solstice, 11:32 pm EDT
20 – World Refugee Day
24 – St. Jean-Baptiste Day (Quebec)

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World Environment Day 2021: Reimagine, Recreate, Restore

“We are a fraction of a second in earth’s lifetime. Yet she is our only lifeline.” — Jordan Sanchez

Since 1974, World Environment Day (WED) has been celebrated every year on June 5, engaging governments, businesses and citizens in an effort to address pressing environmental issues.

WED offers a global platform for inspiring positive change. It pushes for individuals to think about the way they consume; for businesses to develop greener models; for farmers and manufacturers to produce more sustainably; for governments to invest in repairing the environment; for educators to inspire students to take action; and for youth to build a greener future.

WED 2021 is hosted by Pakistan with the theme of “Ecosystem Restoration” under the campaign “Reimagine. Recreate. Restore.” The official hashtags for the Day are #GenerationRestoration and #WorldEnvironmentDay. This year, the Day will also serve as the formal launch of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (UN Decade) 2021-2030.

Led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the UN Decade is a rallying call for the protection and revival of ecosystems all around the world. It’s goal is to build a strong, broad-based global movement to ramp up restoration and put the world on track for a sustainable future, which includes building political momentum for restoration and supporting many thousands of on-the-ground initiatives. As a priority, the UN Decade seeks to build the capacity of marginalized groups that stand to lose most from the continued destruction of ecosystems—such as indigenous peoples, women and youth—to take an active role in restoration. Scores of partner organizations have already come forward in support of the UN Decade.

Thousands from around the world are organizing virtual and physical events, small and large to celebrate WED. Browse through the 2021 official schedule of events hosted by UNEP and Decade Partners, featuring high level speakers, expert panels and other events. Get involved with global virtual gatherings, community clean ups, live social discussions, musical and film screenings, and other opportunities for action.


The United Nations Environment Programme asked Jordan Sanchez, who is studying physics at Harvard University, to produce a poem to mark World Environment Day 2021. The result — a spoken word piece titled “Recreate. Reimagine. Restore!” — is a powerful call to action, reminding listeners that we must stop plundering and start protecting the planet’s resources. It ties into the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a UN initiative to prevent, halt, and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide.


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Desktop Wallpaper Calendar — May 2021 — Free to Download

May is the fifth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and the third month to have 31 days. No other month starts or ends on the same day of the week as May in any given year. May is the only month with this characteristic. May is also the month with the shortest name.
Flower: Lily of the Valley and the common Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), also known as “may blossom”
Birthstone: Emerald

Here are a few of the special days during this month:
1 – Beltane (Pagan/Wiccan)
1 – May Day
2 – Pascha (Orthodox Christian)
3 – Early May Bank Holiday (UK)
5 – Cinco de Mayo (Mexico)
8 – Lailatul Qadr (Islamic)
9 – Mother’s Day
13 – Ascension (Christian)
13 – Eid al-Fitr (Islamic)
17 – Shavuot (Jewish)
21 – Bike to Work Day
22 – Armed Forces Day
23 – Pentecost (Christian)
24 – Victoria Day (Canada)
26 – Vesak (Buddhist)
26 – Full Moon, 7:14 am EDT
28 – Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh (Bahá’í)
31 – Memorial Day
31 – Spring Bank Holiday (UK)

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Bringing in the May

Image from our Fireweed 2021 wall calendar featuring artwork by Anahata Joy. Click for more info.

Many May Day customs involve flowers and green branches. Flowers are woven into wreaths to exchange as gifts between lovers or to hang on doors as decoration. Or flowers are placed in baskets and left on doorsteps for the recipients to find when they arise in the morning.

In Ireland, Beltane is the only safe day for wearing Irish lilacs. In France, the flower of May Day is the lily of the valley. Any wish made while wearing it comes true. The marsh-marigold or kingcup is called the herb of Beltane and is strewn against evil in the Isle of Man. Rosemary is another Beltane herb.

In England, there was a tradition of carrying about May garlands. At Horncastle in Lincolnshire, young boys carried May gads: peeled willow wands were wreathed with cowslips. In other parts of England, the garlands are small wooden crosses covered with flowers and greenery. But the hoop-garland is the most common: made from a framework of intersecting hoops so that the final effect is of a flower-covered globe. Sometimes a May Doll (sometimes said to represent Flora) is placed within or upon it. In Italy, the Bride of May carries the maggio, a green branch garlanded with ribbons, fresh fruits and lemons.

Sometimes flowers were given as messages: plum for the glum, elder for the surly, thorns for the prickly, and pear for the popular. In Lancashire, the flowers rhymed with their qualities. Any kind of thorn meant scorn (except for whitethorn or May), while holly was folly, briar for liars, rowan for affection and a plum in bloom rhymed with “married soon.” According to Porter, in Cambridgeshire, boys gave the popular girls sloe blossoms, while “the girl of loose manners had a blackthorn planted by hers’ the slattern had an elder tree planted by hers; and the scold had a bunch of nettles tied to the latch of her cottage door.” According to Hole, lime (which rhymes with prime) was a compliment and so was pear which rhymed with fair. The rowan (or quicken) since it rhymes with chicken was a sign of affection. But briar, holly and plum stood for liar, folly and glum while the alder (pronounced “owler” in some districts) rhymed with “scowler.” Other plants you did not want to receive included nettles, thistles, sloes, crab-tree branches and elders. Obviously there are some contradictions in this list, and some unkindness as well.

I find it interesting that the three plants most often associated with May Day: Sweet Woodruff, Lily of the Valley, and Hawthorn, all are connected in folklore with the heart. Summer is the time when Chinese medicine places the emphasis on strengthening the heart and the circulatory system. It also seems appropriate for the time of the year when we are focused on relationships and coupling.

References:
Field, Carol, Celebrating Italy, William Morrow 1990
Hole, Christina, A Dictionary of British Folk Customs, Granada Publishing 1976
Hutton, Ronald, The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain, Oxford University Press 1997
Porter, Enid, Cambridgeshire Customs & Folklore, 1969, quoted in Hutton


Waverly FitzgeraldWaverly Fitzgerald was a writer, teacher, and calendar priestess who studied the lore of holidays and the secrets of time for decades. She shared her research and her thoughts on her Living in Season website and in her book, Slow Time. Waverly passed away in December 2019 and is remembered for being kind, talented, and generous—especially in the aid she provided to many writers, both aspiring and well-established, with her wellspring of knowledge.

 

 


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Desktop Wallpaper Calendar — April 2021 — Free to Download

April is the fourth month of the year in the Gregorian calendar, the fifth in the early Julian calendar, and the first month to have the length of 30 days. April is also National Poetry Month.
Flower: Daisy or Sweet Pea
Birthstone: Diamond

Here are a few of the special days during this month:
1 – April Fools’ Day
2 – Good Friday (Christian)
4 – Easter (Christian)
5 – Easter Monday (AUS, CA, UK)
8 – Yom HaShoah (Jewish)
13 – Ramadan Begins (Islamic)
22 – Earth Day
25 – ANZAC Day (AUS, NZ)
25 – Palm Sunday (Orthodox Christian)
26 – Full Moon, 11:31 pm EDT
27 – Freedom Day (South Africa)
27 – Hanuman Jayanti (Hindu)
30 – Arbor Day

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Earth Day 2021: Restore Our Earth

You realize that on that little blue-and-white thing, there is everything that means anything to you — all history, music, poetry, art, death, birth, and love — all of it on that little spot out there that you can cover with your thumb.
— Rusty Schweickart, NASA Astronaut

Every year on April 22, Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. Here is an excerpt about the history of this event from the Earth Day website:

Senator Gaylord Nelson, a junior senator from Wisconsin, had long been concerned about the deteriorating environment in the United States. Then in January 1969, he and many others witnessed the ravages of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, Senator Nelson wanted to infuse the energy of student anti-war protests with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a teach-in on college campuses to the national media, and persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair. They recruited Denis Hayes, a young activist, to organize the campus teach-ins and they choose April 22, a weekday falling between Spring Break and Final Exams, to maximize the greatest student participation. The event was called Earth Week.

Recognizing its potential to inspire all Americans, Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land and the effort soon broadened to include a wide range of organizations, faith groups, and others. They changed the name to Earth Day, which immediately sparked national media attention, and caught on across the country. Earth Day inspired 20 million Americans — at the time, 10% of the total population of the United States — to take to the streets, parks and auditoriums to demonstrate against the impacts of 150 years of industrial development which had left a growing legacy of serious human health impacts. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment and there were massive coast-to-coast rallies in cities, towns, and communities.

As 1990 approached, a group of environmental leaders approached Denis Hayes to once again organize another major campaign for the planet. This time, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. Earth Day 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. It also prompted President Bill Clinton to award Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the highest honor given to civilians in the United States — for his role as Earth Day founder.

Today, Earth Day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of action to change human behavior and create global, national and local policy changes.

The theme for 2021 is Restore Our Earth. Visit the Earth Day website to learn more about how to be involved.


Image information:
Blue Marble Earth Montage (Jan. 30, 2012) — Behold one of the more detailed images of Earth created yet. This image was created from photographs taken by the Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument on board the Suomi NPP satellite. The satellite is named after Verner Suomi, commonly deemed the father of satellite meteorology. Photo credit: NASA


Original broadcast of CBS News Special Report with Walter Cronkite about the first Earth Day, 1970.


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Desktop Wallpaper Calendar — March 2021 — Free to Download

March is the third month of the year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. It is the second of seven months to have a length of 31 days. In the Northern Hemisphere, the meteorological beginning of spring occurs on the first day of March. The March equinox on the 20th marks the astronomical beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.
Flower: Daffodil
Birthstone: Bloodstone

Here are a few of the special days during this month:
8 – International Women’s Day
11 – Maha Shivaratri (Hindu)
14 – Daylight Saving Time Begins
14 – Mother’s Day (UK)
14 – Pi Day
15 – Great Lent (Orthodox Christian)
17 – St. Patrick’s Day
20 – Naw-Ruz (Bahá’í & Persian New Year)
20 – Ostara (Pagan/Wiccan)
20 – Spring Equinox
28 – British Summer Time Begins (UK)
28 – Palm Sunday (Christian)
28 – Passover Begins (Jewish)
28 – Full Moon, 2:48 pm EDT
29 – Holi (Hindu)

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Celebrate Pi

Photo from Pillsbury.

We love celebrating special days during each month of the year. It’s even better to celebrate by sharing pie!

Pi Day is an annual celebration of the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 (3/14 in the month/day format) since 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits of π. In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day. UNESCO’s 40th General Conference decided Pi Day as the International Day of Mathematics in November 2019.

Math Solutions offers more intriguing information:

Pi Day is when mathematicians and math lovers around the world celebrate pi, often approximated to 3.14, which is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.

The circle is often the first shape many learn in childhood, and can be observed in nature in pinecones, apples, oranges, the cornea in our eyes…the circle is everywhere!

The first calculation of pi was done by Archimedes of Syracuse (287-212), an ancient Greek mathematician and astronomer. He calculated the area of a circle with the use of the Pythagorean Theorem.

Pi has been used by different cultures throughout history. The ancient Babylonians and Egyptians used approximations for pi when calculating the area of a circle. Zu Chongzhi (429–501), a Chinese mathematician, created his own ratio that approximated pi in much the same way Archimedes did. Georges-Louis Leclerc (1707-1788), a French mathematician, showed that Pi could be calculated with probability.

Since its discovery, pi has been used every day. Engineering, construction, GPS, simulation, radio, TV, telephones, power generation, motors…all of this is possible thanks to the magic of pi! Some historians even debate whether pi was used when the ancient Pyramids of Giza were constructed because the structures are nearly perfect geometrically.

If you want to make pie to celebrate pi, here are 100 recipes from Taste of Home. Yum!

And here’s a fun video about pi from TEDEd:


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