Thursday, November 08, 2007

Pocky Day

As many of you already know, I’m interested in unusual holidays. Recently, I wrote about International Talk-Like-a-Pirate Day. I made some class sheets based on those Blog entries which I used in the week leading up to that day. As a warm-up question to those sheets, I asked, “What’s the most unusual holiday you’ve ever heard of?” One of my students (Hi, Megumi!) suggested November 11th – Pocky Day! The reason November 11th is Pocky Day is pretty clear...
Pocky Day is this Sunday. Don’t forget!
How do you celebrate Pocky Day? Well, that’s easy! Just buy some Pockies & share them with your family & friends!

Did you know that they have Pockies in other countries? Just over 10 years ago, I travelled through Europe with my sister. We took a 3-day bus tour to Pompeii & Amalfi from Rome. (Everybody should visit Pompeii & Amalfi for 3 days!) On the way to Pompeii, the bus stopped at a service station [gas stand] for a break. I felt like a snack – something chocolatey – so I went for a wander through the convenience store. That’s when I found the European version of Pockies…

“The Mikado” is a famous Gilbert & Sullivan musical that is popular in Europe. Maybe that’s why Glico changed the name for the European market.

Internationally, November 11th is Armistice Day (in some countries it’s known as “Poppy Day”), the memorial of the end of World War One (“The War to End All Wars” – Mmmmmm?). An armistice is an agreement to stop fighting. The armistice that ended World War One was signed at 11:00 am, on November the 11th (“the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month"). People usually remember Armistice Day by stopping everything they are doing at exactly 11:00 am, and thinking quietly for 2 minutes about all the people who died in the war.

This Sunday, I guess you can do both. At 11:00 am, stop whatever you’re doing and think about the uselessness of war and the sacrifices made by all of our ancestors in the name of peace. Sometime after that, cheer yourself up again by sharing some Pockies with your family and friends!

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