Behind the Headlines
Explore our world, one headline at a time.
World Book Editors break down the news in our Behind the Headlines feature allowing for a deeper understanding of the complex events that shape our world today. Behind the Headlines articles are carefully crafted presenting the latest national and world news, science discoveries, current events and other top stories and are simplified for young readers.
Yesterday, on March 12, people in the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius celebrated National Day on the country’s “Golden Jubilee”—its 50th anniversary of independence. March 12 also marks the day Mauritius became a republic in 1992 (it was previously a constitutional monarchy).
Today, February 13, people in Ivrea, Italy, wrapped up the Battaglia delle Arance (Battle of the Oranges), the traditional end of the city’s Carnival celebrations and the nation’s largest fruit fight. Ivrea is a town near Turin in the Piemonte (Piedmont) region of northwestern Italy.
Yesterday, January 30, people in Lerwick, Scotland, celebrated an annual Viking festival known as Up Helly Aa. Up Helly Aa is a variant of the Scottish Gaelic word Uphaliday, meaning end of holiday. Traditionally, the festival marks the end of the Yuletide (Christmas season), and its origins go back to the days of Viking rule in the Shetland Islands, the northernmost part of the United Kingdom.
Tomorrow, January 26, is Republic Day, a national holiday in India. Republic Day marks the occasion when the Constitution of India became the nation’s governing document on Jan. 26, 1950.
Today, October 4, people in Asia and other places celebrate a holiday known as the Moon Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival. The holiday is one of three major festivals on the Chinese calendar.
Today, September 15, marks the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month (Mes de la Herencia Hispana) in the United States. To celebrate the month, World Book begins by highlighting the life and achievements of writer Juan Felipe Herrera.
This week in Brisbane, a city in Australia’s northeastern state of Queensland, many thousands of people are crowding into the Queensland Ekka, an event officially known as the Royal Queensland Show.
Did you know that Americans eat an estimated 150 million hot dogs over the 4th of July holiday? In the United States, July is National Hot Dog Month.
Yesterday, June 19, was Juneteenth, a festival held in many African American and other communities to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. The name of the festival refers to the date, June 19—the day the last slaves were freed in the southern state of Texas in 1865.
June is the sixth month of the year, a month that welcomes summer, weddings, and LGBT Pride. June is known for barbecues, baseball, and blossoming flowers. The month includes Independence Day in the Philippines, Father’s Day, Juneteenth, and Midsummer’s Day. In the United States, June is also National Caribbean American Heritage Month. The month recognizes the contributions of Caribbean Americans and celebrates their diverse heritage, languages, and cultures.
Today, May 5, is Cinco de Mayo, a holiday celebrated in Mexico and in many communities throughout the United States. Cinco de Mayo is Spanish for Fifth of May. Many people know that Cinco de Mayo commemorates the victory of a Mexican army over a French army at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. But few people know much about the battle itself, which took place near Puebla, a city in central Mexico, during a French invasion of Mexico.
This week, the Spanish city of Valencia hosts one the world’s more unique holiday celebrations: las Fallas (or les Falles). In Valencia, a falla is a type of torch, and for the festival, artistic monuments (also called fallas) are built and ceremoniously burned in the streets. The fire festival of las Fallas celebrates the coming of spring, lasting several days before culminating on the feast day of San José (Saint Joseph), March 19.
Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), and in honor of Women’s History Month, we look at this global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. In recent years, the day has also become a call to action for accelerating gender parity. IWD is celebrated around the world with arts performances, conferences, marches, rallies, talks, and networking events.
Today, January 26, Australia celebrates Australia Day, an annual national holiday honoring the country’s past, present, and future. The date commemorates the day in 1788 that Arthur Phillip raised a British flag at Sydney Cove.
Halloween trick-or-treaters in the forested Pine Barrens region of New Jersey should be watchful tonight. A beast known as the Jersey Devil is said to roam the area. This monster is commonly described as a creature somewhat resembling a small horse or goat with clawed hooves, batlike wings, fangs, red glowing eyes, and a forked tail.
Tonight, October 25, the Major League Baseball (MLB) World Series begins in Cleveland, Ohio. The World Series determines the MLB champion each autumn, but the teams involved in this year’s series make it a little extra special.
About the photo: Representatives signed Argentina’s declaration of independence at the Congress of Tucumán on July 9, 1816. Credit: © Everett/Shutterstock Tomorrow, July 9, Argentines will celebrate...
About the photo: When the North Pole has its greatest slant toward the sun, left, summer begins in the Northern Hemisphere and winter begins in the Southern Hemisphere. Credit: WORLD BOOK map Have...