Saturday, November 24, 2018

December Bizarre And Unique Holidays

Like every month, December has its share of bizarre, whacky, unique, and unusual holidays in addition to the legal ones with no mail delivery, banks closed, etc..  Here are just a few of these bizarre offerings.

1  Eat A Red Apple Day
2  National Fritters Day—perhaps apple fritters, a way of using the left over apples from Eat A Red Apply Day?
3  National Roof over Your Head Day
4  Santa's List Day—hopefully you're on the "Nice" list
5  Bathtub Party Day
Fill the bath tub with warm water, add some bath oil beads, hop in, and soak—soothing and relaxing! Don't let anything disturb the peace, quiet, and serenity of your bath. Turn off your cell phone and play your favorite CDs.
6  Put on your own Shoes Day
7  National Cotton Candy Day
8  National Brownie Day
9  Christmas Card Day
Christmas Card Day honors Sir Henry Cole (1818 - 1874) of England who created the first commercial Christmas Card in 1843. Just a few decades ago, sending Christmas cards through the mail was a holiday must and it continues to be very popular. However, in today's society the cost and time involved to write and send cards has caused many people to stop mailing them. As a result, free ecards have surged in popularity.
10  Human Rights Day
11  National Noodle Ring Day
12  National Ding-a-Ling Day
National Ding-a-Ling Day—a very special day to "Ring your Bell". On this day you need to brace yourself for bizarre and crazy behavior from all of the people you encounter. Even normally refined and quiet people have been known to go a little crazy on this day. Some people say this is a day for wackos, lunatics, and others who are off their rocker. Maybe it's simply a day to cut loose and act a little weird. For the record: Ding-a-Lings and Ding Bats are not quite the same thing.
13  Ice Cream Day
14  International Monkey Day
15  National Lemon Cupcake Day
16  National Chocolate Covered Anything Day
Its a great day to indulge, binge, pig out, and consume your favorite food to excess—chocolate. The timing of this day, during the holiday season, couldn't be better. Today, we get to enjoy our beloved chocolate by covering something—just about anything—in a generous amount of chocolate. Pour, spread, or drizzle chocolate over cakes, cupcakes, pies, pancakes or waffles, nuts, raisins, even ants (yes, some people actually eat chocolate covered ants!). It's up to you to decide what's too extreme and how much is too much. Does anyone really need any added incentive to enjoy chocolate?
17  National Maple Syrup Day
18  Bake Cookies Day
19  Look for an Evergreen Day
20  Go Caroling Day
21  Humbug Day
This is the holiday that allows everyone preparing for Christmas to vent their frustrations. Venting frustration over the stress of Christmas is appropriate for this day, but Humbug Day is much more. It brings out the Scrooge in all of us. Many Scrooges are negative towards Christmas in general, and can put a real damper on your Christmas spirit. Use Bah Humbug Day to release the stress of the holiday season, but avoid becoming a real Christmas Scrooge.
21  Look on the Bright Side Day
22  National Date Nut Bread Day
23  Festivus—for the rest of us
Are you feeling a little left out!? Then experience the joy and the miracle of Festivus. It's non-denominational so everyone can participate. The Festivus slogan is "A Festivus for the rest of us!" And, that means you. Festivus came into being as the direct result of a Jerry Seinfeld television show episode that first aired on December 18, 1997.
24  National Chocolate Day
Hopeful you haven't had your fill of chocolate with National Chocolate Covered Anything Day on December 16th. Why are there two practically identical holidays so close together? The reason doesn't matter. What's important is that a celebration of chocolate exists!
25  Christmas Day
26  Boxing Day
27  National Fruitcake Day
28  Card Playing Day
29  Pepper Pot Day
30  Bacon Day
In addition to December 30th Bacon Day, the Saturday before Labor Day is International Bacon Day. Bacon Day and International Bacon Day celebrates crispy strips of salted pork--bacon! This is a day to thoroughly enjoy bacon at every meal. Snack time, too. It is recommend that you enjoy bacon today in social gatherings. So, go ahead. Have a bacon party!! It appears that Bacon Day in December and International Bacon Day evolved separately. Remember—everything tastes better with bacon!
31  Unlucky Day
Hopefully December 31st is not unlucky for you, although it will be unlucky for some people. It seems fitting that Unlucky Day is the last day of the year. You get the chance to get all the bad things out of the way so next year will be happy, healthy and prosperous.

Have you noticed?  As with the bizarre holidays for each month, there are more holidays dedicated to food than anything else.  For December, this list shows 15 of the days connected to food.  The complete list (multiple holiday celebrations for a specific date) shows even more food holidays.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday season. And Peace On Earth.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Turkey Trivia…Just In Time For Thanksgiving

It's that time of year again…the Thanksgiving season. This year the fourth Thursday in November falls on November 22nd, the day of celebration in the U.S.  Americans cook approximately 45 million turkeys each year for that Thanksgiving dinner.  So, in honor of the holiday, here are a dozen known and not so well known bits of trivia about turkeys.

1)  All turkeys do not taste the same.  The taste has to do with their age.  An older male is preferable to a younger male (the younger tom is stringy).  And the younger female hens are preferable to the older ones.  Hmmm…that older man and younger woman thing again. 

2)  A turkey less than 16 weeks old is called a fryer and a turkey 5 to 7 months of age is known as a roaster.

3)  Turkeys are a type of pheasant and are the only breed of poultry native to the Western Hemisphere.

4)  Wild turkeys are able to fly for short durations attaining speeds up to 55mph.  Domesticated turkeys raised on farms for food are too fat and meaty to achieve flight.

5)  We've all heard that Benjamin Franklin argued in favor of the turkey as the national symbol of America rather than the Bald Eagle (see last week's blog—Eagle Vs. Turkey).

6)  The first turkeys to be domesticated were in Mexico and Central America.

7)  The male turkey makes the gobble sound and the female clucks.

8)  A mature turkey has about 3,500 feathers, which is a lot of plucking before it can be cooked.

9)  The most turkeys produced annually come from Minnesota and North Carolina.

10)  The skin that hangs from a turkey's neck is called a wattle.  The fleshy growth on the base of the beak is the snood.

11)  Each year 90 percent of Americans have turkey for Thanksgiving compared to 50 percent on Christmas.

12)  The most turkey consumed per capita is not eaten by Americans.  Israel holds that honor.

One thing that's marvelous about the Thanksgiving turkey dinner is all the terrific leftovers!  Anyone out there having something other than the traditional turkey for Thanksgiving dinner?

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Eagle Vs. Turkey: America's National Symbol

We all know that the bald eagle is America's National Symbol…a proud and majestic bird.  And turkey is what we serve every year at Thanksgiving dinner…a tasty bird made all the more appetizing when accompanied by dressing, cranberries, mashed potatoes and gravy.

But did you know that if Benjamin Franklin had gotten his way, the turkey would have been our national symbol?

In 1776, right after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress appointed a special committee to select a design for an official national seal.  This committee consisted of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin.  They each had their own ideas, none of which included the bald eagle.  They finally came to agreement on a drawing of a woman holding a shield to represent the states.  However, the design did nothing to inspire the members of Congress.

So Congress consulted a Philadelphia artist named William Barton who created a new design that included a golden eagle.  At the time we were still at war with England and the fierce looking bird was deemed an appropriate symbol…with one small change.  The golden eagle also flew over Europe so the federal lawmakers declared that the bird in the seal had to be an American bald eagle.

On June 20, 1782, they approved the design that we recognize today.

From the start, the eagle had been a controversial choice.  Benjamin Franklin was quite vocal in his objection to the selection of the eagle.  He considered it a bird of "bad moral character."  A year after the Treaty of Paris officially ended the war with Great Britain, Franklin argued that the turkey would have been a more appropriate symbol.  "A much more respected bird and a true native of America."

Unfortunately for Franklin, Congress was not convinced and the bald eagle remained our national symbol.

Whereas both the bald eagle and the turkey are native to America, we can't lay exclusive claim to either species since both traditionally ranged in Canada and Mexico as well as the U.S.

And all of this leads us to one important question.  If the turkey had been chosen as our national symbol, what would we serve as our traditional Thanksgiving dinner?  Somehow roast eagle just doesn't have the same appeal as the turkey.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

November's Bizarre and Unique Holidays

November is a month with a couple of legal holidays in the U.S., specifically Veteran's Day on November 11 and Thanksgiving on November 22 this year (4th Thursday in November)  There are other recognized days such as All Saint's Day (November 1) and All Soul's Day (November 2).  And with a tip of the hat to our British cousins, Guy Fawkes Day (November 5).

The entire month of November is:  Aviation History month, Child Safety Protection month, International Drum month, National Adoption Awareness month, National Epilepsy month, National Model Railroad month, National Novel Writing month, Native American Heritage month, Peanut Butter Lovers month, Real Jewelry month, and National Sleep Comfort month.  There's also Chemistry Week (first week of the month) and Game & Puzzle week (third week of the month).

But that's only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.  November, just like all the other months, is filled with bizarre and unique holidays.  I hope you enjoy these November offerings.

November 1:
All Saint's Day

November 2:
All Soul's Day
Book Lovers Day—this is celebrated either August 9th or the first Saturday in November.  Book Lovers Day, as the name implies, encourages us to find a place to relax with a good book.  Not only is reading a great hobby, it's an important one.  Reading is educational, informative, and relaxing.
Deviled Egg Day
Look For Circles Day

November 3:
Housewife's Day
Sandwich Day

November 4:
King Tut Day—this celebrates the date of the discovery of King Tutankhamen's Tomb on November 4, 1922, in Egypt's Valley of Kings.  King Tut became King of Egypt in 1333 B.C. at the age of 9 and ruled until 1324 B.C. when he died at age 19.  The cause of his death is uncertain with murder and innocent accident being the two main theories.

November 5:
Gunpowder Day
Guy Fawkes Day (goes hand-in-hand with Gunpowder Day)

November 6:
Election Day—mid term elections for both federal and state. Many heated election races this year.
Marooned Without A Compass Day—do you often find yourself going around in circles?  Do you feel hopelessly lost?  Which direction will your life take?  Being marooned without a compass for a day could be a good thing.  Our busy lifestyles seldom leave us time to relax.  We can enjoy being marooned…until tomorrow.
Saxophone Day

November 7:
Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day

November 8:
Cook Something Bold Day
Dunce Day

November 9:
Chaos Never Dies Day—this day recognizes the turmoil in everyday life.  Just when your hectic surroundings seem to calm down at work and home, along comes something to disrupt your life.  Disorder is everywhere.  This holiday is designed for you.  Pick one thing that is really disrupting your life and change it for the good.

November 10:
Forget-Me-Not Day

November 11:
Veteran's Day

November 12:
Chicken Soup For The Soul Day
Young Readers Day

November 13:
National Indian Pudding Day
Sadie Hawkins Day—originated from a 1930s comic strip, Al Capp's Lil Abner.  In the strip, the mayor of Dogpatch desperately wants to marry off his ugly daughter, so he creates the Sadie Hawkins Day race where all the single men are given a short head start then all the single women chase them.  If a girl catches a man, then he has to marry her.  The Sadie Hawkins Day celebration basically ended 40 years later when Al Capp died and the comic strip was discontinued, however it can occasionally still be seen celebrated on some college campuses.
World Kindness Day—the day encourages us to be kind to others, helping to create a nicer, better world.  The holiday is intended to build a kinder and more compassionate world.  Kindness rubs off on others and generates even more kindness.

November 14:
Operating Room Nurse Day

November 15:
Clean Your Refrigerator Day
America Recycles Day
National Philanthropy Day

November 16:
Button Day
Have A Party With Your Bear Day—is your teddy bear a real party animal?  Hopefully so because today is the day you get to party.  Invite all your teddy bears and your friends and have them invite their teddy bears for a fun day.

November 17:
Electronic Greeting Card Day
Homemade Bread Day
Take A Hike Day
World Peace Day—encourages us to be kind to others and teach others to be peaceful.  The creator of this holiday believes world peace starts with individuals and if we all do our part to promote peach we can make war and strife obsolete.

November 18:
Occult Day—this is a mysterious day, something outside the realm of the normal and natural world.  Lots of words can be used to describe the occult…concealed, secret, hidden, mysterious, unnatural.  Astrology and alchemy also could belong.  Many secret groups are occult.  Celebrate this day by not sitting back and waiting for something to happen.  Have fun with it.

November 19:
Have A Bad Day Day

November 20:
Absurdity Day—is…well…absurd!  Some days are illogical and senseless which is exactly the definition of Absurdity Day.  Celebrate this day in an absurd manner, have fun with it.
Beautiful Day
Universal Children's Day

November 21:
False Confession Day
Great American Smokeout
World Hello Day

November 22:
Go For A Ride Day

November 23:
Eat A Cranberry Day
National Cashew Day
National Adoption Day
Black Friday—shopping day

November 24:
Evolution Day—Today is the anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's book, On the Origin of Species, in 1859. His controversial theory turned the world upside down in its thinking of how we came to be.

November 25:
National Parfait Day

November 26:
Shopping Reminder Day

November 27:
Pins And Needles Day

November 28:
Make Your Own Head Day
Red Planet Day—honors the fourth planet from the sun…Mars.  On this day, take a few minutes to look up into the sky and gaze at our celestial neighbor.  This day commemorates the launch of the Spacecraft Mariner 4 on November 28, 1964.

November 29:
Buy Nothing Day
Square Dance Day
You're Welcome Day

November 30:
Stay At Home Because You Are Well Day—this is the day to stay home from work because you feel well, taking an unofficial day off to enjoy yourself. Warning…doing this might get you in trouble, possibly even costing you your job.

So…there you have it.  The bizarre and unique holidays of November.  Pick the ones you like, or celebrate all of them!