The Sixth of December
Updated: Jan 4
December 6th : Themes for celebration and contemplation
If you are based in Spain then you will be on holiday on December 6th, congratulations!
If you are looking for some themes and points of interest to add to your advent countdown, the Bulldogz Christmas spirit is in full flow and we can provide you with some of the fun, serious and little known points of celebration for each day on this magical countdown.
This is an annual celebration of fake fur, first invented in 1929. Originally made of alpaca wool before the development of synthetic fibres. It is observed on the first Friday of December so shifts around the calendar. Unfortunately, we have been unable to unearth any information about the origins of this celebratory excuse for consumerism and rage at the fur trade.
Another American day of celebration. Proclaimed as a National Day by Congress in 2009 on the anniversary of the worst mining accident in American history in Monogah, West Virginia, when 362 miners died in 1907. The day is promoted as a way to reflect upon and appreciate the sacrifices of people undertaking one of the most dangerous jobs a person can undertake.
The Dig into Mining website has some varied and interesting resources on mining activities for 6th through to 12th grade US syllabus here.
St. Nicholas Day
The 5th/6th are widely considered as the Feast of Saint Nicholas in western Christian cultures whereas Eastern countries observe this feast on 19th December. The customs traditionally associated with this feast day have been shifted on to Christmas Day in general but customs are still observed in a variety of ways in a number of different countries. The original Saint Nick has been traced back to a Greek-born Bishop in the late third century. He rose to prominence amongst the saints as he was the patron of so many groups, especially children, developing the characteristic of the magical gift-bringer. This is credited to two stories from his life.
In the first tale three young girls are saved from a life in prostitution when the Bishop secretly delivered three bags of gold coins to their indebted father to use as their dowries.
The second tale was very well known in the middle ages when Saint Nick entered an inn where the owner had killed three boys and pickled their dismembered corpses in the basement. The saint not only sensed the crime but resurrected the victims as well.
Arranged marriages for gold, child dismemberment...you think you know a guy....
The National Geographic Channel webpage have a very fascinating article on the development of the story of Saint Nicholas and his transformation into Santa Claus over history. The page includes a short video on the story that glosses over the gruesome elements of the earlier stories.
But the best resource for teachers and those of you fascinated about the history of Saint Nick is the St Nicholas center which has an outstanding resource section here
We have also produced a "need to know" article Saint Nicholas here
Spanish Constitution Day
Those of you living in Spain will be aware in the early stages of December, we are gifted two bank holiday dates that more often than not form an epic holiday stretch prior to Christmas. The first of these dates is the 6th of December, which is a national holiday to celebrate the Spanish constitution being confirmed by national referendum on this date in 1978.
The Spanish Constitution is available in English as a pdf document here
Bulldogz provided a written and audio briefing article on the Spanish post Dictatorship consensus here