August 27th National Just Because Day

August 27th is Just Because Day. It was created by Joseph J. Goodwin from Los Gatos, CA in the late 1950’s, just because he could. It’s a great day for doing those things you never seem to get around to, or always wanted to do, but have never done. This year, since it’s a Saturday, you have a good chance of actually getting it done! Nothing is excluded, so long as it’s not illegal.

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You could make your own mini-movie! It doesn’t have to be good, after all you, and your family and friends, are probably the only ones that will ever see it. The funnier the better! You can even launch it to YouTube for others to share. You don’t have to have fancy equipment or even a plot, after all most of the movies don’t have much thought to them anymore anyway!

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You could pay it forward. Buy someone you don’t know breakfast or lunch, leave someone a card just because, or even help a neighbor with a project they have been meaning to get done. You certainly will surprise anyone by going out of your way to do something for them without expecting anything in return.

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You could go into a recording studio and record a song, your own, or one already made into a hit. So long as you don’t try to release it, it doesn’t matter. Who knows, maybe you will create the next big hit, or a new style of music no one has ever thought of before (good luck with that). Again, it doesn’t matter if it’s good or not, it’s just something you don’t normally do, which is the whole point of Just Because Day!

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Or instead of talking today, why not sing everything!?! You certainly will surprise everyone.

It’s all up to you because this is Just Because Day! Be inventive, creative and most of all, have fun doing it! You might not only make your day, but that of everyone you come in contact with.

How to celebrate – Well, I’ve already given you a few things to ponder but here are three more. Go bungee jumping. Splurge on a loved one. Pay a total stranger a compliment.

March 31st National “She’s Funny That Way” Day

Back in Shakespeare’s day if you wanted to be a comedian you had to be a man, even if you dressed like a woman. Boy have things changed!  The first known female stand-up comedian was Moms Mabley, working in vaudeville starting in 1908.  Many have followed, Jane Curtain, Goldie Hawn, Gilda Radner, Phyllis Diller, Whoopie Goldberg, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, the list goes on and on and on.

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Some play roles like the grandmother that suddenly says something totally out of their character, like Betty White.  Some are a little more risqué, like Mae West.  Others use their cuteness to sell their comedy, like Kaley Cuoco.  Make no mistake though, they all have studied their craft and know their jobs well.

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Comedy is not easy.  Timing is everything.  Give the joke away too soon and it’s no longer funny, drag it out too long and its dry and boring.  Some have made their acts so political the only ones who think they are funny are the ones who agree with their point of view.  Some use sex as shock value, people believing only those kinds of thoughts could come from a man.  Some use everyday life, finding the humor in it and passing that on to their audience.  Whichever tickles your funny bone is right for you.9b5

Laughter is good for you, it decreases stress, increases immune cells, increases infection-fighting antibodies, releases endorphins and helps relieve pain.  Even if it kills you… well, at least you died laughing!    So here’s to all the ladies that make us laugh, this is their day!  But really, it’s your day because the world is a much better place because of them.

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The day after Easter – Dyngus Day (Smigus Dyngus)

What is a Dyngus you may ask? Well, I would answer, probably one of the most bizarre holidays celebrated in the world.

Here at Unboxing the Bizarre, this of course, is our kind of holiday!

Guys, have you ever agonized over your pick-up line – well apparently the Polish men did too, so they decided rather than say something stupid, they would just pour a bucket of water on the woman that they admired. Ya, right – I think I would rather have a corny pick-up line than be soaking wet and cold – but hey, that’s just me.

Smigus Dyngus as it is known in Poland, also called Wet Monday, dates back to at least the 14th Century and possibly as far back as before 1000AD.

Now mind you, I know that this is a custom and tradition – but what the heck??? It sounds a little creepy – boys sneaking into girls bedrooms, dousing them with water, then chasing or kidnapping them – bed and all – to dunk in a river or lake. The pretty girls had this horror bestowed on them multiple times in a day. But wait, it doesn’t stop there – they were then swatted on the bottom with pussy willow branches! (you can’t make this stuff up).

But not to despair too much, the girls get their revenge on Wet Tuesday! Kind of makes me think of the image from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney of the women chasing the men with rolling pins or brooms (I have to admit though, if some guy snuck into my room nowadays while I was sleeping, I wouldn’t wait until the next day to get revenge or to chase him out, and believe me,  I would be wielding more than a broom or rolling pin – just sayin’):

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Photo Credit: Parkeology.comDSC_1286
Photo Credit: Daveland.blogspot.com

But I digress – back to Dyngus Day…

If you want to celebrate in a big way – you can attend the Huge Annual Smigus Dyngus celebration in Buffalo, New York (which is now a week long celebration), or in other cities such as Cleveland, Ohio, and South Bend, Indiana.

Or you can stay home and celebrate these non-water soaking ways:

Grab a cold Krupnik with a buddy – Well, normally you could have a Krupnik, but it seems as though there may be a shortage this year so you better hurry to your local pub or liquor store quickly to partake

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Cook and eat some authentic Polish Food – Pierogi Time!!!

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Learn to Dance the Polka Hop!

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March 26th, 2016 National Make Up Your Own Holiday Day

Have you ever wanted to create your own holiday?  Well today is the day to do it, March 26th, is National Make Up Your Own Holiday Day.  It is believed that the Wellness Permission League started the day but no one knows for sure, guess it doesn’t really matter because this is supposed to be your day.

If you want to make this (Insert your name here) Day, go ahead.  Or maybe you could create a day with a little more pizzazz!  Like, I Love My Hammer Day, or Dance With Your Dog Day, or maybe even Have a Flower For Lunch Day!

Of course you’ll need to come up with how you celebrate this day. No one is going to know if you are wrong or right, this is your creation!  What food is best served for this holiday?

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Do you send out cards?

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Do you give gifts?

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It’s your choice because it’s your day!

 

National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day

As you probably already know, chocolate is not natural to Europe.  Christopher Columbus brought back the use of chocolate from his exploration of the Americas in 1502.  Mesoamerican’s had been using the plant to flavor and enhance their foods since 1750 BC.  Aztec and Inca populations were known to drink the substance and use it to coat various fruits and nuts to make them more enjoyable to eat.  So while Columbus did not discover the gold he hoped to find (Though others later did) he did bring back an economic boom to Europe that would surface a century later.

In Europe, they profess that the original Chocolate covered raisin was mentioned in the Germanic speaking regions where they were mentioned in a children’s folktale kleine Schokokugeln. In a Christmas prayer the treat is referred to as, “my little chocolate balls, oh, how nobly you glorify the fruit hanging down.  My vineyard weeps with good cheer at the gift from Heaven”.  Ah, maybe it losses a little in translation.  At least, let’s hope it was raisins they were coating in chocolate. I am a little worried about the term, “hanging fruit”.

While I have a little problem with the dateline, there is no doubt that one of the most popular treats in central Germany is the chocolate covered raisin.  Today it is hard to imagine any real holiday passing without a glass bowl of chocolate covered raisins set out on a table.  It’s hard to imagine a bridge game without chocolate covered raisins.

Today, we coat nearly everything in chocolate.  I’m pretty sure the Inca’s never thought about covering bugs that crawl on the ground with chocolate but it’s fairly common today.  Of course, who looked at a dried up grape and said to themselves, “Oh, I bet that would taste good!”  I don’t know about you but I like my raisins covered up with chocolate so I don’t have to look at them in the natural state.  Under normal circumstances, when I see something all wrinkled up, black or brown in color, and laying on the ground where it fell I’m not going to run over, pick it up and put it in my mouth!  However, I am glad someone did!