About This Blog

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!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

January 10th - Binary Day












Friday, January 9, 2009

January 9th - National Apricot Day and National Static Electricity Day

So here's the deal, Blogger was having server problems apparently and that meant I couldn't put a full post in to be saved for a few days in a row, but now I think that problem's been fixed and I'm editing in these proper posts for the days I was forced to miss. I'm really sorry about what happened, but it was out of my control.


For National Apricot Day, I got a can of apricots, tried a bite, discovered I hated their taste and dumped the rest in a blender with some fruit juices (orange, cranberry-raspberry, strawberry-kiwi, and white grape) and made a mix that wasn't too offensive to the taste.

National Static Electricity day was also simple. Though I wasn't able to get the static shock trick to work, the old balloon-to-hair one worked like a charm.


I've decided that from now on, (and eventually retroactively) I'm going to try to find a good recepie online for food-related holidays like this one. It will be edited in later, however, due to my unfortunate problems before, and mega-rush to get back on track.

National Static Electricity Day seems better suited for a museum visit or a grade-school classroom than for regular holiday celebration, but if you want to follow in my footsteps about this next year, the basic static electricity tricks seem simple enough. Another one that I didn't actually try is getting static cling on a sweatshirt.


A theory I postulated when talking with some family recently says that most of these holidays were made up either by people who wanted some random excuse to celebrate and/or grade school teachers for the same reason. These then somehow got posted up on various sites online. Today's holidays fall under that sort of suspicion for me, but no matter, at least they give me a reasonable chance to go through with my challenge.
There are actually a handful of days throughout the year that had absolutely NOTHING for them, however, which required me, for the sake of the self-imposed challenge, to make stuff up. I will inform you folks of those days when we come to them.


I was not able to find one for either holiday, sorry.


Other Holidays and observances on this date include:
-Martyr's Day in Panama
-Black Nazarene feast in the Quiapo district in Manila, Philippines
-Republic Day in Bosnia and Herzevogina
-Catholic feast days for Adrian of Canterbury, Metropolitan Philip II of Moscow, and Theophan the Recluse

Thursday, January 8, 2009

January 8th - Bubble Bath Day, Elvis Presley's Birthday, World Literacy Day


For Bubble Bath Day, I obviously had a bubble bath. To celebrate Elvis Presley's Birthday I watched a film on his 1973 U.S. tour on TCM. World Literacy Day was acknowledged by me encouraging people to read.


Listen to Elvis, read about Elvis, get married or have your vows renewed by an Elvis impersonator, sing "Happy Birthday" in an Elvis-like voice, eat a fried peanut-butter and banana sandwich. Just simply do something Elvis-related for his birthday.

Either encourage reading or help someone learn to read for World Literacy Day and don't forget to read something yourself.

Bubble Bath Day seems to only have one way to be celebrated: by having a bubble bath.


There is also an International Literacy Day in September, so this holiday seems redundant since the other one was actually approved by the U.N. No idea why this one exists, and the internet doesn't offer any help.

No idea about Bubble Bath Day either. Honestly, I'm beginning to think that many of these were just made up by others for this sort of purpose. I had to make up four, myself, just to fill out the year. I'll let you folks know when they pop up.

I'd be amazed if someone out there reading this had no idea about why Elvis is culturally significant, but just in case... Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the architects of rock n roll as well as it's first superstar. He remained insanely popular through his death in the 1970s, and is still one of the most popular musical performers to this day.


Today has two, actually. Pick your own favourite Elvis song for his birthday. The other theme song is for Bubble Bath Day and is "Splish Splash" by Bobby Darrin.


-I much prefer showers to baths.

Other Holidays and observances on this date include:
-Commonwealth Day in the North Mariana Islands
-Postal Day
-National English Toffee Day
-National Clean-Off-Your-Desk Day
-Catholic Feast Days for St. Abo of Tiflis, St. Apollinaris, St. Gudula, St. Lucian of Beauvais, St. Pega, St. Severinus, and St. Thorfinn

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

January 7th - Old Rock Day... and one huge disappointment

Folks, before I get into the regular format of the blog tonight, I have to share some rather significant disappointment with you. I originally planned to celebrate the traditional Japanese tradition of Nanakusa-no-sekku (Festival of Seven Herbs) by making and eating their Seven Herb Rice Porridge as well as following whatever other traditions are in connection with the day for my first significant spreading of foreign cultural tradition via this blog, but I was unable to find a market or restaurant that had the ingredients or dish. I spent about an hour yesterday checking around to try to find a place, but to no avail, so I had to switch to another holiday instead. I really hope that I don't have to go through this sort of disappointment many more times this year. I hope you readers out there will accept my heartfelt apology.


Because I couldn't find information online to clarify whether the 'rock' in Old Rock Day referred to geological rocks or rock music, I did my best to celebrate both. For the geological definition, I went to the Cranbrook Science Museum and looked through their hall of minerals there. For the musical definition, I listened to some old 1950s rock n' roll.


Unless you're a geologist or a science teacher, a museum exhibit and/or old school rock n' roll in the same manner of my celebration is about the best I can think of.


To be honest, I'm feeling really unenthused about this whole thing right now, so I'll edit this into something better later. Sorry.


Going with the assumption that the holiday is in reference to music, I'd have to say that Chuck Berry's "Maybelline", considered by many to be the first true rock n' roll song, would have to be it. If it's actually geological, I'd actually probably just skip today for the theme song thing.


This is the first holiday that I've celebrated that I kinda hate. I like old rock n' roll, but the lack of clarity on what the holiday is actually about and the disappointment regarding the Festival of Seven Herbs made me far from enthused about today. Quite the opposite in fact.

Other Holidays and observances on this date include:
-Distaff Day
-Tricolour Day (Italy's Flag Day)
-Christmas in Eastern Orthodox Catholicism and in the Julian Calendar
-Catholic feast days for St. Canute Lavard, St. Charles of Sezze, St. Lucian of Antioch, St. Raymond of Penafort, Bl. Windukind (Duke of Saxony)
-Feast Day of St. John the Baptist in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and his Synaxis in Copic Christianity

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

January 6th - Epiphany, Cuddle-Up Day, Sherlock Holmes' Birthday, and National Shortbread Day


Since I am not religious, and as such not a part of the Christian faith, Epiphany was a hard one for me to find a way to celebrate. No local Churches appeared to have services today, so I couldn't attend one as a guest, nor do I have a Nativity set to place the kingly figures into. The only thing I could ultimately think of to do that would be fitting was to read in the Bible about the kings/wise men's journey to the baby Jesus's manger-crib, and listen to the song "We Three Kings" which chronicles their journey.

Sherlock Holmes' Birthday was significantly easier, especially considering the fact that I have an omnibus hardcover called "The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes" containing 38 short stories and the complete "Hound of the Baskervilles". I simply read a few short stories out of the book and figured that was good.

National Shortbread Day was easiest of all the ones I've managed to celebrate so far today, I ate a couple shortbread cookies.

Cuddle-Up Day may or may not be celebrated by me, depending on whether I can find a willing person to cuddle up with when I head up to this local coffee shop I frequent. It's called Trixie's and it's on Gratiot just south of Hayes in Roseville Michigan, it's on the southbound side of the road. If you live in the area or come through, stop in and buy something.
EDIT: At about 10:30 P.M. I was able to celebrate with a friendly cuddle from a girl I know.


If you're a practicing Christian, or live in a country where Epiphany (known by other names including 'Little Christmas', 'Theophany' and 'Three Kings Day') is nationally celebrated, following your regular traditions should be easy enough, but if you're not a practicing Christian, it's not one that really needs to be observed, so I feel an explanation is unnecessary for this one.

Sherlock Holmes' Birthday was already pretty much explained above, but reading any of the stories, watching any of the movies, any television series based on him, any old radio serial, any video game... basically any way you can celebrate the character works. Many of the original stories have lapsed into public domain, and have been collected here.

National Shortbread Day can be as easy as eating a couple shortbread cookies like I did, but it'd probably fit in with the spirit of the day better to actually bake some shortbread or shortbread cookies before eating them.

Cuddle-Up Day is self-explanitory: if you have a significant other go cuddle up with them and enjoy yourselves.


Epiphany is simply the day that the kings/wise men arrived at the manger where the baby Jesus was being cared for. Whether it would actually fall on this date or not in proper historical records is a matter of debate as many historians argue that Jesus's birth should be celebrated in the Spring to more properly coincide with the Bethlehem Census that Joseph and Mary were travelling to be counted for, but the Church disagrees, claiming that it was December 25th that he was born, and that the wise men appeared on the 12th day afterward.

Sherlock Holmes is one of the most popular and well-known literary characters in existence. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's own writings may have only appeared from 1890-1927 (covering a period of 1878-1907 with a definitive final case occurring in 1914) but has had countless fan-stories from novice and professional authors alike as well as hundreds of movies, radio serials, video games, television episodes, etc. adapted from and/or inspired by the original adventures. January 6th was chosen as it is canonically the character's birth date.

I do not know the significance or reason for Cuddle-Up Day or National Shortbread day being this date.


While I usually select an unofficial song to act as a theme for one of the holidays ocurring on a particular date, Epiphany has an official theme song of sorts in "We Three Kings".


-There are no Catholic feast observances for saints on this date due to Epiphany.

Other Holidays and observances on this date include:
-Phi Day
-Befana Day in Italy
-Zvaigznes Day was celebrated in Ancient Latvia
-Armenian Christmas
-Haile Selassie's Birthday celebrated by Rastafarians
-Bean Day
-New Mexico Admission Day
-Apple Tree Day

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

Hey, everybody! Go listen to some Jonathan Coulton!

Independent musician and nerd-rock's poet laureate Jonathan Coulton gave me permission to link to my blog from his site, so I thought that I'd do a special "about the blog" post to thank him for that. I can't say I'm a longtime fan of his, in fact, I've really only known about him for about six months, but I am definitely a fan. I don't know if this blog has drawn any regular readers aside from my friends yet, but anyone who sees this post should definitely go over to his site and check out (or better yet, buy) some of his music.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

January 4th - National Spaghetti Day and Trivia Day


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.


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.


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.


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.


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