“The more we come out and do good to others, the more our hearts will be purified, and God will be in them.” - Swami Vivekananda
Lemon blossom, Citrus limonia, is this day’s birthday flower. The blossom is symbolic of love’s constancy and is commonly included in bridal bouquets in Mediterranean countries. In the language of flowers, the lemon blossom conveys the sentiment: “Fidelity in love”. Lemon blossom is grown extensively in the Mediterranean countries for perfumery uses.
Some famous birthdays celebrated today:
Jean Baptiste van Helmont, chemist and scientist (1580);
Charles Perrault, French fairy tale writer (1628);
Edmund Burke, Irish politician (1729);
Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, Swiss teacher and reformer (1746);
John Singer Sargent, artist (1856);
Swami Vivekananda, philosopher (1863);
Jack (John Griffith) London, writer (1876);
Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, composer (1876);
Hermann Wilhelm Göring, Gestapo founder (1893);
Paul Hermann Müller, Nobel laureate (1948) chemist (1899);
Louise Rainer, actress (1910);
P.W. Botha, South African prime minister (1916);
Anthony Andrews, actor (1948);
Des O’Connor, comedian and singer (1932);
Long John Baldry, singer (1941);
Joe Frazier, pugilist (1947);
Howard Stern, radio personality (1954);
Kirstie Alley, actress (1955).
In India, it is National Youth Day today, which coincides with the birthday of Swami Vivekananda. In 1984, the Government of India declared and decided to observe the birthday of Swami Vivekananda as a National Youth Day every year from 1985 onwards. To quote from the Government of India's communication: “It was felt that the philosophy of Swamiji and the ideals for which he lived and worked could be a great source of inspiration for the Indian Youth.”
Youth Day in India is observed at schools and colleges, with processions, speeches, recitations, music, youth conventions, seminars, Yogasanas, presentations, competitions in essay-writing, recitations and sports on 12th January every year. Swami Vivekananda's lectures and writings, deriving their inspiration from Indian spiritual tradition and the broad outlook of his Master Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, are the source of inspiration and have motivated numerous youth organisations, study circles and service projects involving youths.
Today Zanzibar Revolution Day is celebrated throughout Tanzania, and it has been designated a public holiday in Tanzania. This holiday celebrates the local African revolutionaries overthrowing the Sultan of Zanzibar and the predominately Arab government ending the two centuries of Arab rule on the island. If you want to experience the celebration of this Tanzania holiday it is best to visit Zanzibar to see the parade and festivities there!
Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari (1876-1948) was born in Venice, son of a German father and an Italian mother. He studied in Munich and taught music for many years in Venice. He won his reputation as writer of comic operas. His best known works are Il Segreto di Susanna (1909) and I Gioelli della Madonna (1911). He wrote 10 other operas, two oratorios and some chamber music.
Here is the lovely intermezzo from the opera I Gioelli della Madonna (Jewels of the Madonna - 1911)