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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!

Monday, January 5, 2009

January 5th - National Bird Day, George Washington Carver Recognition Day, and Mungday


For National Bird Day I originally planned to visit my aunt's house and her bird Naya, but that didn't end up happening, so instead I just hung a bird feeder outside and listened to some Charlie 'Bird' Parker. In fact, I'm listening to some of his stuff as I type this.

For the Discordian holiday Mungday you're supposed to do some navel-gazing, which I did. I spent a while today wondering about whether pushing for riches and glory in life is really worth it. Everything is left either twisted or forgotten by history, after all. I ended up focusing on myself and this very blog with that line of thought, but ended up deciding that the experiences are their own reward.

I would have loved for the History Channel or Discovery Channel or something to show some sort of program on George Washington Carver or something today. Did they? Nope, of course not. Instead of dropping Gerorge Washington Carver Recognition Day from my schedule of holidays, though, instead I'll just use the Historical/Cultural Significance section of the blog to celebrate his achievements. I also had a peanut butter sandwich for lunch today.


National Bird Day is an easy one. Feed the birds, adopt a bird, if you own a bird go spend some time with it, go birdwatching, listen to some Charlie Parker, read about birds, just do something relating to birds or someone nicknamed 'Bird'.

Mungday is also pretty easy, just do some navel-gazing. For anyone who's not familiar with the term, 'navel-gazing' doesn't refer to literally gazing at your navel or the navel of another person, it actually means to pseudo-philosophically focus and think about a subject.

George Washington Carver Recognition Day would be an easier one if it were recognized by the History Channel and Discovery Channel, but as it is, it's still pretty interesting. If you're a teacher or parent you can teach your kids about him. Reading a book on him would be good, too, or even just eating some peanut butter while thinking about him.


I really don't know why January 5th is National Bird Day, and the official site really doesn't offer any help either, but I guess it doesn't matter that much since there actually is an official site you can go explore.

I did my best to try to understand why Mungday exists, seriously. I tried reading the Discordian stories on the subject, but they're pretty full of odd references and inside jokes, that I was only able to determine a) that it's the main holy day for their season "Chaos" which runs from January 1 to sometime in May (between the 10th and 19th) and has to do with a 'Sacred Chao' that a guy called the 'Apostle Hung Mung' devised for Discordians.

George Washington Carver, as pretty much every American, or anyone interested in history or agriculture in any way, should know was an African American inventor and botanist who revolutionized farming in the American South during the latter half of the 1800s. He is believed to have been born in January 1864, a little over a year before the abolition of slavery in the U.S. His work with the peanut as a commercial crop did a great deal to help improve crop rotation and bring nutrients back to the soil. It also helped the agriculture-based economy of much of the south survive after the boll weevil ruined the cotton harvest in the Reconstruction era. Aside from that and discovering over 100 uses of various sorts for the peanut (including fabric dyes and nitroglycerin), Carver also helped to aid in religious, cultural, and educational reforms in the U.S. Dubbed by some to be the "Black Leonardo da Vinci", he was considered even in his day to be a great genius, and after he died on January 5th, 1943, Congress dubbed the day of his death to be George Washington Carver Recognition Day in his honour.


Since it's National Bird Day, it only seemed right to choose Charlie 'Bird' Parker's classic jazz composition "Yardbird Suite" as today's unofficial theme song.


Other Holidays and observances on this date include:
-Red Hackle Anniversary Day of the Black Watch
-National Whipped Cream Day
-Catholic feast days for St. John Neumann, St. Simoen Stylites, and Pope Telesphorous

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