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This blog is a chronicle of my insane personal challenge to celebrate at least one holiday or special day for every single day of 2009. Check back daily for new posts and days to add to next year's calendar!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

January 4th - National Spaghetti Day and Trivia Day


HOW I CELEBRATED

I originally intended to celebrate three holidays today, but due to the time of year and probable condition of the tennis courts, I unfortunately had to pass on Tennis Day.

My original plan with Trivia Day involved playing Trivial Persuit at my mom's house, but I'd forgotten that they don't have it there (silly of me, especially since I'm up there a lot). So, since that plan fell through, I went to my backup of simply talking about lots of trivia all day. How this actually differs from my average day is pretty much negligent at best, but it was specifically intended to count toward the holiday. Whether it counts or not I'll leave for you, the reader, to decide for yourself.

National Spaghetti Day was one that I did manage to properly celebrate, however, so I definitively met the low end of my criteria at least. It was a pretty simple celebration, I boiled some imported Italian noodles that my grandma had purchased at Trader Joe's, added sauce, and ate a bowl. I actually have a pair of pictures for this which are forthcoming in an edit.

HOW OTHERS MIGHT CELEBRATE

Tennis Day would be easy for anyone in a better climate than the Midwest, or anyone who has a membership at a club for indoor court usage. As one would probably assume from the name, it is a day intended for the playing of tennis.

With Trivia Day, the manner in which I celebrated is actually suggested, as is a game of Trivial Persuit, so anyone who wishes to celebrate that doesn't need to do much.

With a part of my heritage being Sicilian, I probably should have done more to celebrate National Spaghetti Day (perhaps making the noodles and sauce in advance for a homemade meal...). But for most people, what I did is enough. If you want to go through the extra effort, however, feel free. It will only add to your satisfaction at the meal.

HISTORICAL/CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

I would really like to know what genius thought of putting TENNIS Day in the middle of WINTER. Seriously. That has got to be one of the worst scheduling errors for a holiday ever!

Likewise I couldn't find any particular reason for Trivia Day and National Spaghetti Day falling on this date, but I thought I should provide some history for each of the three subjects in honour of Trivia Day.

Trivia comes from the Latin words 'tri' meaning 'three' and 'via' meaning 'way'. In Ancient Rome, there would be informational signs at the intersection of three roads or paths, thus the word 'trivia'.

Spaghetti is a traditional Italian dish made originally with long thin noodles as well as cheese and an olive oil-based sauce, and a tomato sauce eventually got added into the mix once the fruit was brought over from the Americas. While many people assume that noodles didn't exist in Europe until after the journeys of Marco Polo to China, that is incorrect. Noodles were actually being made with a barleycorn flour before then, it's only the process of making them from wheat flour that originated with Marco Polo's travels.

Tennis originally developed in France as a form of handball with a net, before being adapted for the use of rackets. Eventually it was further developed in England into the set of rules and the court organization we know for tennis today. The name tennis is derived from the original French word 'tenez' which means "take heed" originally shouted from the server to his opponent. The lawn variation spread in popularity through the British aristocracy before spreading across Europe, then the rest of the world, eventually trickling down to a public level.

UNOFFICIAL THEME SONG

It's unfortunate that I was unable to celebrate Tennis Day as the Cream song "Anyone for Tennis?" would've made a perfect fit, but as it is, I suppose I can have today's theme fit Trivia Day and go with the "Jeopardy" theme composed by Merv Griffin.

FOOTNOTES

Other Holidays and observances for this date include:
-Independance Day for Burma/Myanmar
-Catholic feast day for St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
-Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People
-Sir Isaac Newton's Birthday
-Jakob Grimm's Birthday (of the Brothers Grimm who compiled Grimm's Fairy Tales)
-Louis Braille's Birthday
-Utah Admission Day
-Tom Thumb's Birthday

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