November 29th Square Dance Day

Well dust off your boots and cowboy hats, today is Square Dance Day. Oddly, this dance was begun in England, or Scotland , and brought over to America. We consider it an American Dance but it’s not. Now we did add a “caller” because it was a little complicated to remember all those steps, but even with the caller you’ve got to be a pretty quick study because the calls are so fast once you’ve digested them, the next are already up. So “Dosey Do” and “Swing Your Partner” cause it’s time to get down and boogie!

How to celebrate – Learn how to Square Dance. Become a Square Dance “Caller”. It’s great exercise, get up and dance!

November 8th Shakespeare Authorship Mystery Day

November 8th Shakespeare Authorship Mystery Day

Well, it’s time to ask that age old question is Shakespeare really who we have been taught he was or was he someone else? Not that it really matters today but it is kind of interesting. The only Shakespeare historians have found was a grain dealer from Stratford who would have had no real desire to write, nor probably the ability either. If he wasn’t the real Shakespeare maybe Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford was, or perhaps Mary Sidney or even Christopher Marlow, among others. They all had reasons for writing in secret so… who knows.

How to celebrate – Do your own research into who Shakespeare really was. Try to convince the world you were Shakespeare in a former life. Read Shakespeare’s plays.

April 18th National Animal Crackers Day

April 18th National Animal Crackers Day

Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my… oh and Elephants too. These were the most common early on animal crackers. Animal crackers have been a child favorite snack since the 1800’s when they were produced and exported from the UK. Eventually they began to be produced in the US as well and in 1902 they featured  the Barnum’s and Bailey’s Circus Wagon as a container with circus animals making up the majority of the critters inside. They even became popular for children’s Bingo chips at one point. Today Nabisco makes the Animal Crackers we all know and love. Of course, there are numerous animals now and the circus wagon has become a thing of the past. There are new and different flavors to try along with the shapes but they still remain one of children’s favorite snacks of all times.

How to celebrate – Buy some Animal Crackers. Learn how to make your own animal crackers. Try playing Animal Crackers Bingo!

April 8th Draw A Bird Day

April 8th Draw A Bird Day

DAB Day has been around since the 1940’s in the UK. Why, well… I guess because it could be since I found no other particular reason for it. Perhaps with the war in Europe raging it gave people something to do, or maybe it gave an air of freedom or maybe it broke the tension of the bombardment.  Or maybe it’s not as obvious as we think since a woman in the UK was often called a bird. Which makes us all wonder why, only slightly more than why we celebrate Draw A Bird Day at all.

How to celebrate – Draw a bird. Visit the UK. Join the Audubon Society.

February 10th Umbrella Day

What a useful tool, the umbrella. It keeps you dry when its raining… or at least most of you, and cool in the the sunshine when its hot. It makes a fashion statement, although it might not be the statement you want to make. You can use it as a sword, though I would not suggest it, a pointer and in a pinch, as something to scratch your back. I am not sure who invented the first umbrella, probably someone in England were it always rains or perhaps in China or Japan where avoiding the sun was a priority. It doesn’t really matter, what does matter is that when we need one in the car, it’s in the house and when we need it in the house, it’s in the car.

How to celebrate – Get an umbrella today! Make sure you have located your umbrella in the same location you are in. Find an umbrella that says something about you.

November 5th Guy Fawkes Day=Gunpowder Day

Guy Fawkes was the most recognized figure of the protests in England in 1600’s. In the battle between Protestants and Catholics in England, Guy Fawkes’ plan was to blow up the British Houses of Parliament with royalty attending, by stashing a large amount of gunpowder in the basement of the building the government officials were to meet in. The plot was discovered and Guy Fawkes was captured last minute before setting the gunpowder off, November 5th, 1605. Since then, the Guy Fawkes mask has come to represent protests against government (and religious causes).

How to celebrate – Be thankful for your religious and other freedoms. Read about Guy Fawkes.

March 17th St. Gertrude of Nivelles Day

March 17th St. Gertrude of Nivelles Day

St. Gertrude is the Patron Saint of the township of Nivelles in the UK and also better known as the Patron Saint of Cats. She never really was made a Saint but we’ll pretend she was one. She protects the traveler, recent dead and the mentally ill. She represents hospitality, primarily for the traveler, but I guess for the dead and mentally ill as well. She is often depicted in drawings and statues as being surrounded by rats.

How to celebrate – Visit Nivelles. Pray to St. Gertrude. Greet everyone visiting you today as though you are St. Gertrude. Adopt a cat.

December 15th International Tea Day

With the holidays coming on and the demand on our time and energy, maybe it’s time to settle in for a comfort break on International Tea Day. Mainly celebrated in Asia, there is a movement to take it international through the UN. It has been celebrated since 2005 officially, but tea has always been the drink of preference, it seems like since time began in places like India, Myanmar and their neighbors. There are hundreds of flavors so there is something for everyone. Join those who celebrate their favorite drink, cold or hot, all over the world today.

How to celebrate – Have a cup of tea! Visit India. Remember the Boston Tea Party.

January 19th National Tin Can Day

Can you imagine the world without tin cans? I’ll bet you think they have been around forever, I did, but it was not until the early 1800’s that the idea was even thought about. Now England is given credit for creating the tin can but it was French born Philipee Henri de Girard that actually invented the tin can.

The idea of canning food came from Nicholas Appertin, another Frenchman, in 1809. I am assuming both men were in the UK at the time, or maybe their work was being funded through someone from the UK. Hard to tell now. The first patent, though, did go to Englishman Peter Durand in 1810.

The United States soon followed Europe, or maybe not that soon, in 1825 when Ezra Daggett and Thomas Kinsett claimed the American patent on the tin can. Since  then, the tin can has been advanced in it’s quality and safety. The original cans were sealing with lead that surely led to lead poisoning.

In fact, I had a distant relative that began serving the British troops in South Africa with meat canned by companies in the UK. He poisoned thousands of troops, many of whom died. He quickly moved to the US and I actually have some of his furniture in my home. I am sure, at least I hope, that he did not do it on purpose.

The first can opener was invented in 1858 by Ezra Warner which makes me wonder… did they just not open the can before that!?! That could explain how the soldiers in South Africa got poisoned if they were served meat that had been sealed in lead for 33 years!

How to celebrate – Admire the advanced manufacturing of the tin can. Count how many tin cans you have in your home. Learn how to can your own food.

December 26th Boxing Day

Most people do not understand or even comprehend what Boxing Day is, that is unless they live in Australia, England, Canada, New Zealand or any f the former British commonwealths. That’s because it is primarily a British holiday… but maybe one the rest of us should share as well.

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Boxing Day started somewhere in the Middle Ages when local merchants would “box” up food and fruit to give to their servants as a reward for their service over the year. It was also a time to give thanks for the bounty one had received and to share some of that with those in need.

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It even included friendly games between those who held a station in life and those who did not. There is no written record of who won but I would hope the royalty and wealthy let the less fortunate win for a change.

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So as we receive our fair share, and over, of Christmas gifts maybe we should “box” up those items we no longer need or use and give them to those less fortunate that ourselves. Even if we don’t feel charitable we can look at it as getting rid of the clutter in our homes!

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It is what Jesus would have done after-all. So if you are celebrating his birth over Christmas, why not give as He would have afterwards.

How to celebrate – Celebrate Boxing Day. Box up those items you no longer use or want. Have left-overs for your Boxing Day meal.