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Rhythm A Day Blog for March 26, 2020: Martyr's Day, Mali

Posted by Wolf Murphy on

Rhythm A Day Blog for March 26, 2020: Martyr's Day, Mali

Martyr's Day, Mali Today is a public holiday in the Republic of Mali known as Martyrs' Day or, alternatively Democracy Day. It commemorates the 1991 coup that set the stage for multiparty democracy in the country. Mali proclaimed its independence in 1960 and Modibo Keïta was the first president. In 1968, he was kicked out in a bloodless coup orchestrated by a group of young military officers. One of them, Moussa Traoré, became the new president of Mali. A new constitution declaring Mali as a one-party state in 1974. Traoré's political party, the Democratic Union of the Malian People, was created to validate the military junta, but was the only legal...

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Rhythm A Day Blog for March 25, 2020: Passing of Turlough O'Carolan

Posted by Wolf Murphy on

Rhythm A Day Blog for March 25, 2020: Passing of Turlough O'Carolan

Passing of Turlough O'Carolan Lady Morgan's tribute to blind harpist O'Carolan, in St. Patrick's Cathedral (Boomur/CC BY-SA) Turlough O'Carolan, born in 1670 in Nobber, County Meath, was a blind Irish harper, composer and singer, considered by many to be Ireland's National Composer. As the memorial above states, many also consider him to be the last of the real Irish Bards. He was blinded by smallpox at the age of eighteen. His father's employer had provided education for the boy, who showed talent for poetry, so she apprenticed him to a good harper. At 21 he was given a horse and a guide and travelled Ireland to compose songs, mostly for...

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Rhythm A Day Blog for March 24, 2020: Ghode Jatra, Nepal

Posted by Wolf Murphy on

Rhythm A Day Blog for March 24, 2020: Ghode Jatra, Nepal

Ghode Jatra, Nepal And here we have another festival based on awesome mythology! Ghode Jatra translates as horse parade and takes place at Tundikhel, in Kathmandu. Legend has it that there was a demon named Tundi who had terrorized people for a long time until one day he was slain. The people celebrated by riding horses over his body. He is still held to be a threat to the city, however, and it is believed that the racket of the horses' hooves during the festival keeps the demon's sprit at bay. The louder and faster the horses run, the faster the demon's spirit will submit; thus the horse...

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Rhythm A Day Blog for March 23, 2020: Premiere of Handel's "Messiah"

Posted by Wolf Murphy on

Rhythm A Day Blog for March 23, 2020: Premiere of Handel's "Messiah"

Premiere of Handel's "Messiah" In 1743 on March 23rd, George Frideric Handel's oratorio "Messiah" premiered in London. It has become one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music. The libretto was by Charles Jennens, whose intention was not to focus on the life and teachings of Jesus, but rather to celebrate the "Mystery of Godliness." Appropriately, Hallelujah etymologically comes from the Hebrew, meaning Praise Ye the Lord. Portrait of George Frederic Handel composing next to a harpsichordPhilip Mercier/Public Domain) Jennens used extracts from the Authorized (King James) Version of the Bible, and from the Psalms included in the 1662 Book of Common...

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Rhythm A Day Blog for March 22, 2020: Emancipation Day, Puerto Rico

Posted by Wolf Murphy on

Rhythm A Day Blog for March 22, 2020: Emancipation Day, Puerto Rico

Día de la Abolición de Esclavitud(Emancipation Day), Puerto Rico Puerto Rico celebrates Emancipation Day on March 22. Slavery was abolished in Puerto Rico in 1873 while the island was still a Spanish colony. Puerto Rico had a particularly ugly experience of slavery. In 1560, the small island began branding slaves on the forehead with a stamp so they couldn't be kidnapped (stolen). This cruelty continued until 1784. It wasn'y until 1818 that children of slaves could have their freedom bought as long as they were baptized. In 1866 Puerto Ricans brought petitions to Parliament to stop slavery; seven years later, in 1873, slavery was...

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