WHEN DID THE FIRST HUMANS APPEAR ON EARTH?

Eastern Africa home of the first human beings?

WHEN DID THE FIRST HUMANS APPEAR ON EARTH?

The first humans lived on the plains of East Africa about 4-6 million years ago.

LATER SHELTERS

People lived simply under trees and in bushes, while some lived in caves.

 

Later, some used mud and sticks and grass to build shelters.

The first cities were built by Sumerians on the floodplains of the Mesopotamia and along the Indus Valley between what is now parts of Pakistan and India.

The Indus Valley

LARGER CITIES

These were built around Alexandria in Egypt and the ancient Greek city of Ephesus.

After many years, the Romans were able to carry water through pipes and add drainage so that the cities were cleaner.  They also made primitive central heating.

EARLY FARMERS

If we go back 9,000 years, experts tell us that there is evidence of farmers growing barley, millet, wheat and oats.

They would have used digging sticks to plant the seeds.  A longer and sharper tool would have been used to cut the grass.  It was called a scythe.

Scythe

IRAQ AND EGYPT

People living in Mesopotania (modern day Iraq and Egypt invented the plow.  It might have been pulled by humans until they hitched up aniamls such as horses or oxen.

THE DISCOVERY OF FIRE

About one million years ago, early humans discovered fire.  They became healthier as they could cook their meat and avoid germs when meat was left uncooked.  They used the fire for heat and to scare away wild animals.  Later, fire was used to melt metal for spears.

THE INVENTION OF THE WHEEL

The first wheels were used by potters to make vases and pots.

This was about 3,500 BCE in Mesopotamia.   About 3,200 BCE or 300 years later, the wheel was used in a wheelbarrow and in chariot wheels.

FIRE AND TOOL MAKING

Early humans heated up stones and then chipped away at them to make blades and tools that were sharp that could penetrate things.

Archeologists working in South Africa have discovered a cave that shows these skills some 800,000 years ago.   About 100,000 years ago in several countries there are examples of fire being used to make ceramics.

Metal working with fire seems to have taken place 100,000 years ago.  These metals that came from fire heating could be used in the making of spears or for knives that could have been fitted into wood and secured there.

The 9 Year Old Pharaoh known as Tutankhamun or Tut

Tutankhamun or King Tut (as many call him) was born in Egypt and ruled as Pharaoh (King) from around 1332 to 1323 BC or about  3360 years ago.

When Tut was nearly 9 years of age he became a Pharaoh.  He had a teacher so that he would be well educated

A Young Ruler

It is recorded that the young Pharaoh was often immature and had a temper.

It was necessary for powerful men to advise him and help him to grow up to be calm and wise.

Making Changes
When Tutankhamun was 13 years of age, he and his advisors made huge changes in Egypt. When Tut became Pharaoh, Egyptians worshipped a god named ATEN.  Now as Pharaoh, Tut ordered that the new god AMUN replace ATEN. He also stated that he was the new god Amun and as a god he ordered everyone to worship him.

Death of Tut:

Tut’s gold coffin

Pharaoh Tutankhamun died at the age of 18 years.  How he died is uncertain.  In the  year 1922 an English man named Edward Carter found his tomb with the magnificent death mask.  A death mask is done by placing a mould on the dead person’s face.  This image is then painted or in Tut’s case made of gold.

Death mask of Tutankhamun

 

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” Song For You

 

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Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on your troubles
Will be out of sight

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Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the Yuletide gay
From now on your troubles

Will be miles away, oh ooh

 

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Through the years we all will be together
If the fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough, oh
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now, ooh

 

Faithful friends who are dear to us                                                                 Gather near to us, once more, oh

 

Christmas-Angel

Through the years we all will be together
If the fates allow, oh yeah
But ’til then we’ll have to muddle through
Somehow, oh yeah, oh ooh oh
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now

The Little Drummer Boy Lyrics on an Exciting And Varied Site for Kids

Come, they told me
Pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see
Pa rum pum pum pum

Our finest gifts we bring
Pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the kIng
Pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum

So to honor Him
Pa rum pum pum pum
When we come

Little baby
Pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too
Pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring
Pa rum pum pum pum
That’s fit to give our King
Pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum

Shall I play for you
Pa rum pum pum pum
On my drum

Mary nodded
Pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time
Pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him
Pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him
Pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum

Then He smiled at me
Pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum

Holi: Colourful and Fun Hindu Festival

 

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Holi is a fun festival that is celebrated in India and by Indians living in other countries.  It is known as the “Festival of Colors.”

It  is celebrated on the full moon during the months of February and March.

Young people smile in Jaipur during Holi Festival
Young people smile in Jaipur during Holi Festival

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Holi got its name as the “Festival of Colors” from Lord Krishna, a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, who liked to play pranks on the village girls by drenching them in water and colours.  Lord Krishna and Lord Vishnu were holy and good people.

How is Holi Celebrated?

People spend the day smearing colored powder all over each other’s faces, throwing colored water at each other, having parties, and dancing under water sprinklers.   Various colors and water are thrown on each other, amidst loud music and drum beating.. Like many other festivals in India, Holi also signifies a victory of good over evil.

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Vesak: A Festival to Honour the Life of the Buddha

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Vesak, or Visakha (pronounced way-sak celebrates a great and holy man who lived in India before Jesus Christ. His name was Saddhartra and he was born a prince. Today, we know him as Buddha. His follows celebrate his birth and his knowledge of things that are holy. Such knowledge is known as Enlightenment. The Buddha achieved this when he decided not to be a prince. He had lived in luxury and had never seen death, hunger or suffering until a day when he walked  out of the palace. This day changed his life.   He put on a simple robe and walked around searching for knowledge. Buddha like many great men and women learned that love is superior to hate and peace is important in the world. He saw that people are unhappy when they keep wanting things. When they get the things, they want new things.

When is Vesak Celebrated?

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The festival of Vesak is celebrated in May when there is a full moon. Most men become monks and they go out every day with a begging bowl. People who give food to them are blessed. Most of the time monks are meditating or chanting.  During Vesak, it is the custom to wear white clothing.

There are women Buddhists and they are called nuns.

Vesak: Thanking the Buddha

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To thank the Buddha for his teachings, people in the festival of Vesak, light candles and oil lamps. They present the monks with flowers and put flowers on statues of the Buddha. The Lotus flower was used by the Buddha in his teachings. It can be found everywhere in this festival.

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Hanukkah: Jewish Celebration of Remembering

Joyous Hanukkah! by Eva Grant.

At last! At last! Hanukkah is here!

The whole house is bursting with holiday cheer.

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Pancakes are sizzling as hard as they can,

Browning delectably crisp in the pan.

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The dreidels can scarcely wait to be spun;

Presents are hidden for Hanukkah fun;

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And there, on the table, polished and bright,

The shining menorah gleams through the night,

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Like the oil lamp in ancient history,

That burned on and on miraculously!

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And each flaming candle proclaims the great story

Of the Maccabean heroes, their deeds and their glory.

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T’was The Night Before Christmas – Aussie Version

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Night  Before Christmas
In Aussie Land


‘Twas  the night before Christmas; there wasn’t a sound.
  Not a  possum was stirring; no-one was around.
We’d left on the table some  tucker and beer,
  Hoping  that Santa Claus soon would be here;

We children were snuggled up  safe in our beds,  While  dreams of pavlova danced ’round in our heads;
And Mum in her nightie,  and Dad in his shorts,
  Had  just settled down to watch TV sports.

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When outside the house a mad  ruckus arose; Loud  squeaking and banging woke us from our doze.  We ran  to the screen door, peeked cautiously out,  Snuck  onto the deck, then let out a shout.

Guess what had woken us up  from our snooze,  But a  rusty old Ute pulled by eight mighty ‘roos.  The  cheerful man driving was giggling with glee,  And we  both knew at once who this plump bloke must be.

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Now, I’m telling  the truth it’s all dinki-di,  Those  eight kangaroos fairly soared through the sky.
Santa leaned out the  window to pull at the reins,
  And  encouraged the ‘roos, by calling their names.

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‘Now, Kylie! Now,  Kirsty! Now, Shazza and Shane!  On  Kipper! On, Skipper! On, Bazza and Wayne!  Park up  on that water tank. Grab a quick drink,  I’ll  scoot down the gum tree. Be back in a wink!’

So up to the tank  those eight kangaroos flew,  With  the Ute full of toys, and Santa Claus too.  He slid  down the gum tree and jumped to the ground,  Then in  through the window he sprang with a bound.

He had bright sunburned  cheeks and a milky white beard.  A jolly  old joker was how he appeared.  He wore  red stubby shorts and old thongs on his feet,  And a  hat of deep crimson as shade from the heat.

His eyes – bright as  opals – Oh! How they twinkled!  And,  like a goanna, his skin was quite wrinkled!  His  shirt was stretched over a round bulging belly  Which  shook when he moved, like a plate full of jelly.

A fat stack of  prezzies he flung from his back,  And he  looked like a swaggie unfastening his pack.  He  spoke not a word, but bent down on one knee,  To  position our goodies beneath the Yule tree.

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Surfboard and  footy-ball shapes for us two.  And for  Dad, tongs to use on the new barbeque.  A  mysterious package he left for our Mum,  Then he  turned and he winked and he held up his thumb;

He strolled out on  deck and his ‘roos came on cue;  Flung  his sack in the back and prepared to shoot through.  He  bellowed out loud as they swooped past the gates- MERRY  CHRISTMAS to all,  and goodonya,  MATES!’Unknown-11

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas or Just a Great Day

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Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on your troubles
Will be out of sight, yeah

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Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the Yuletide gay
From now on your troubles

Will be miles away, oh ooh

 

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Through the years we all will be together
If the fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough, oh
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now, ooh

Faithful friends who are dear to us

Gather near to us, once more, oh

 

Christmas-Angel

 

Through the years we all will be together
If the fates allow, oh yeah
But ’til then we’ll have to muddle through
Somehow, oh yeah, oh ooh oh
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now


Merry Christmas, everyone,
from Santa

Brooms, Spiders & Roller Skates – Christmas Customs

 

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Like most legends and customs, they are not necessarily celebrated in every part of a country.  For example, in Norway there is the legend that on Christmas Eve, witches and evil spirits enter homes looking for brooms to ride open. To stop these evil witches from causing trouble, kids hide the brooms.  In some cases, a man  (or woman) takes a shotgun outside and fires it into the air.  The idea is to scare bad witches and spirits away so that Christmas can be celebrated in peace and love.

 

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In Ukraine, Christmas trees are often decorated with spider webs or an ornament which is hidden deep inside the pine tree.  Whoever finds the ornament or web may receive a special gift accompanied by good luck for the coming year.  There is a nice story or folk tale about a poor widowed mother  who could not afford decorations for her family’s Christmas tree. One Christmas morning she awoke to find a spider had beautifully decorated the tree with its web.  (A spider is also associated with the spirit and strength of women).

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In Caracas, Venezuela, there is a tradition to attend morning Mass starting on December 16th and ending either on Christmas Eve Mass (Dec 24th) or Christmas Day Mass (Dec. 25th).  This is not unusual for a Catholic country, but the manner in which Mass attendance is done is unusual and great!  Everyone gets to the church on roller skates or roller-blades.

The streets are blocked off to vehicular traffic until 8 am and children, the night before, tie one end of a piece of string to their big toes and hang the other end out the window. As roller skaters go by the next morning, they give a tug to all the strings hanging out the windows.

However you celebrate Christmas, may you have love, peace, joy and good health this season.  And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, may you also have the same good wishes.    Pauline.