Category Archives: Days Of The Year

Happy Valentines Day


 

The history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?

 

The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly–romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.

While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial–which probably occurred around A.D. 270–others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.

Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity and but was outlawed—as it was deemed “un-Christian”–at the end of the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. It was not until much later, however, that the day became definitively associated with love. During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance.

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.) Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.

In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.

Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.) Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.

August 2016 is Peach Month


Peach Month

Ronald Reagan, when President of the United States of America, proclaimed August “Peach Month” and called upon the people of the United States to incorporate this nutritious fruit into their diets, and call upon interested groups to celebrate this month with appropriate programs and activities. Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:05 a.m., June 16, 1982.

The peach (Prunus persica) is a species of Prunus native to China that bears an edible juicy fruit also called a peach.

It is a deciduous tree growing to 5–10 m tall, belonging to the subfamily Prunoideae of the family Rosaceae. It is classified with the almond in the subgenus Amygdalus within the genus Prunus, distinguished from the other subgenera by the corrugated seed shell.

The leaves are lanceolate, 7–15 cm long and 2–3 cm broad. The flowers are produced in early spring before the leaves; they are solitary or paired, 2.5–3 cm diameter, pink, with five petals. The fruit is a drupe, with a single large seed encased in hard wood (called the “stone” or “pit”), yellow or whitish flesh, a delicate aroma, and a skin that is either velvety (peaches) or smooth (nectarines) in different cultivars. The flesh is very delicate and easily bruised in some cultivars, but is fairly firm in some commercial cultivars, especially when green. The seed is red-brown, oval shaped and 1.5-2 cm long. Peaches, along with cherries, plums, and apricots, are stone fruits (drupes).

NATIONAL WATERMELON DAY – August 3rd 2016


National Watermelon Day August 3

NATIONAL WATERMELON DAY

Watermelon is the perfect fruit to enjoy on August 3rd.  It is also National Watermelon Day. Enjoyed by many, it is a favorite at summertime events such as picnics and fairs.  Watermelon is 92% water, which is why it is so refreshing.

Watermelon is a vine-like flowering plant originally from southern Africa. Its fruit, which is also called watermelon, is a special kind referred to by botanists as a pepo, a berry which has a thick rind (exocarp) and fleshy center (mesocarp and endocarp). Pepos are derived from an inferior ovary and are characteristic of the Cucurbitaceae. The watermelon fruit, loosely considered a type of melon – although not in the genus Cucumis – has a smooth exterior rind (usually green with dark green stripes or yellow spots) and a juicy, sweet interior flesh (usually deep red to pink, but sometimes orange, yellow, or white).

The fruit was likely first cultivated for its ability to hold plentiful water in a desert landscape, especially since the wild melon was bitter or tasteless.  Seeds and art found in tombs of Pharaohs are substantial evidence of the watermelon’s value. Cultivation and breeding brought out the better qualities of sweet and tender fruit we enjoy today.

Watermelons can grow enormous, and you will find competitions across the country which award prizes each year for the largest one.  The Guinness Book of World Records states that the heaviest watermelon weighed 262 pounds. To learn more refreshing watermelon facts, check out www.watermelon.org.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Enjoy a slice of Watermelon today and celebrate with the rest of the country! Post on social media using #NationalWatermellonDay.

NATIONAL GRAB SOME NUTS DAY – August 3rd 2016


National Grab Some Nuts Day August 3

NATIONAL GRAB SOME NUTS DAY

There are many “nut” days throughout the year such as National Almond Day, National Pistachio Day, National Pecan Day but August 3rd embraces them. It’s National Grab Some Nuts Day!

These little bountiful nuggets contain wholesome nutrients, have a long shelf life and can be quite portable. They add a nice crunch to snacks and desserts as well as savory meals.  National Grab Some Nuts Day might seem a little squirrelly, but then again it’s the right time of year for it.  Go nuts and grab a few or a lot!

HOW TO OBSERVE

Do not forget to grab a handful of your favourite flavour of nuts today! Post on social media using #NationalGrabSomeNutsDay.

This Day in History August 3rd


This Day in History

  • 2011 Died: Bubba Smith, American professional football player and actor best known for his role as Moses Hightower in the Police Academy films.
  • 2010 Popular riots started in the city of Karachi, Pakistan following the assassination of Raza Haider, a member of the Parliament of Pakistan.
  • 2008 Died: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russian novelist, historian, teacher and dissident who was awarded the 1970 Nobel Prize in Literature.
  • 2004 The pedestal of the Statue of Liberty reopened after being closed following the September 11 attacks. The statue itself reopened in 2009.
  • 1998 Died: Alfred Schnittke, Soviet and Russian composer considered one of the most influential composers of the mid-20th century.
  • 1995 The Airstan Ilyushin Il-76TD transport aircraft with Russian nationals on board was captured by the Taliban near Kandahar, Afghanistan.
  • 1992 Born: Karlie Kloss, American fashion model who was a Victoria’s Secret Angel. She is regarded as one of the top models of the 2010s.
  • 1979 Died: Bertil Gotthard Ohlin, Swedish economist and politician who was awarded the 1977 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
  • 1979 Born: Evangeline Lilly, Canadian actress and author best known for her roles as Kate Austen on Lost and Tauriel in The Hobbit series.
  • 1966 Died: Lenny Bruce (stage name of Leonard Alfred Schneider), American stand-up comedian, satirist and social critic noted for his obscenity.
  • 1966 Born: Gizz Butt (born Graham Anthony Butt), British musician best known for playing the guitar during the live performances by The Prodigy.
  • 1958 The world’s first operational nuclear-powered submarine USS Nautilus became the first watercraft to reach the geographic North Pole.
  • 1946 Santa Claus Land (now Holiday World & Splashin’) opened in Santa Claus, Indiana. It was the world’s first themed amusement park.
  • 1942 Died: Richard Willstätter, German organic chemist who was awarded the 1915 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his study of plant pigments.
  • 1941 Born: Martha Stewart (née Kostyra), American businesswoman, author and TV personality, the founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.
  • 1929 Died: Emile Berliner, German-born American inventor primarily remembered for the development of the disc record gramophone.
  • 1926 Born: Tony Bennett, American singer of jazz, show tunes and traditional pop standards, painter and philanthropist. He has won 18 Grammy Awards.
  • 1923 Born: Jean Hagen, American actress best known for her role as Lina Lamont in the 1952 musical comedy Singing’ in the Rain.
  • 1904 Born: Clifford Donald Simak, renowned American science fiction and fantasy writer honored with three Hugo Awards and with one Nebula Award.
  • 1903 Macedonian rebels proclaimed the short-lived Kruševo Republic which is seen today as a prelude to the independence of modern Macedonia.
  • 1903 Born: Habib Bourguiba, Tunisian statesman and politician who served as the first President of the Republic of Tunisia from 1957 to 1987.
  • 1879 Died: Joseph Severn, English painter and a personal friend of the famous English poet John Keats. He is noted for his portraits.
  • 1877 Died: William B. Ogden, American businessman who was the first Mayor of Chicago and the first president of the Union Pacific Railroad.
  • 1872 Born: Haakon VII of Norway, King of Norway from 1905 to 1957. He was the first king of Norway after the dissolution of its union with Sweden.
  • 1811 Born: Elisha Otis, American industrialist and inventor who founded the Otis Elevator Company. He invented a safety device for elevators.
  • 1795 The Treaty of Greenville was signed, establishing a boundary between Native American territory and lands open to European settlers.
  • 1778 The opera house La Scala was inaugurated in Milan, Italy. The premiere performance was Antonio Salieri’s Europa riconosciuta.
  • 1721 Died: Grinling Gibbons, Dutch-British sculptor and wood carver known for his work in England, including Saint Paul’s Cathedral.
  • 1601 The Battle of Guruslău was fought during the Long War. The Habsburg Empire won and took Transylvania out from the Ottoman suzerainty.
  • 1492 The first voyage of Christopher Columbus began. He departed with three ships (the Santa María, the Pinta and the Niña) from Palos de la Frontera.

Holidays Calendar for August 3, 2016


Freedom Day in Equatorial Guinea

One of the public holidays of Equatorial Guinea falls on August 3. This is Freedom Day, that is also known as Armed Forces Day. It’s annually celebrated on the anniversary of military revolt in 1979.

Anniversary of the Killing of Pidjiguiti in Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau annually observes the public holiday of Anniversary of the Killing of Pidjiguiti on August 3. This memorial day commemorates the victims of the Pidjiguiti massacre in 1959.

Independence Day in Niger

Niger annually celebratesIndependence Day on August 3. This public holiday marks the day, when Niger gained independence from France in 1960.

Flag Day in Venezuela

Many countries around the world celebrate Flag Day on a date, that is specific for every nation. For instance, Venezuela observes this holiday on August 3.

Arbor Day in Niger

Niger is one of many countries facing environmental problems and soil erosion. Planting trees helps stop desertification, that is why Arbor Dayis celebrated in Niger. The trees planting events are annually organized on August 3.

National Watermelon Day

August 3 is National Watermelon Day. This is the perfect occasion to go on a picnic or throw a pool party and indulge yourself with sweet and tasty summer fruit.

This Day in History August 2nd


This Day in History

  • 2005 Air France Flight 358 en route from Paris, France, to Toronto, Canada, crashed at Pearson Airport in Toronto. All passengers and the crew survived.
  • 1998 Beginning of the Second Congo War (sometimes referred to as the African World War or the Great African War). The war ended in July 2003, when the Transitional Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo took power.
  • 1990 Iraq launched the invasion to Kuwait by bombing is capital, Kuwait City, thus beginning the Gulf War. The war ended in February 1991.
  • 1985 Delta Air Lines Flight 191 en route from Florida to Los Angeles, USA, crashed at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. 136 of 152 passengers and 11 members of crew died.
  • 1980 The Central Station at Bologna, Italy, was attacked by a terrorist. The terrorist detonated a bomb, killing 85 people and wounding more than 200.
  • 1978 Died: Antony Noghès, French businessman, best known as a founder of the Monaco Grand Prix, one of the most important and prestigious automobile races in the world.
  • 1977 Born: Edward Furlong, American actor and singer, who rose to prominence after performance in Terminator 2: Judgment day (as John Connor). He also starred in American Heart, A Home of Our Own, American History X.
  • 1976 Died: Fritz Lang, Austrian-American director, producer, and screenwriter, most famous for films that include the groundbreaking Metropolis and M, that he had made before he moved to the United States.
  • 1973 Died: Jean-Pierre Melville, French actor, director, producer, and screenwriter, a prominent person of the French Resistance during World War II. Produced in 2008 documentary Code Name Melville reveals the importance of Jean-Pierre Melville’s personal experience in the French Resistance.
  • 1951 Born: Joe Lynn Turner, American singer-songwriter and guitarist, known for works with numerous hard rock bands, Rainbow, Fandango, Deep Purple, Mother’s Army, Hughes Turner Project. Currently he is the vocalist for Rated X group.
  • 1947 A British South American Airways Avro Lancastrian airliner crashed into a mountain during a flight from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Santiago, Chile. The wreckage would not be found for over 50 years.
  • 1941 Born: Jules A. Hoffmann, Luxembourg-born French biologist and academic. In 2010 he shared Nobel Prize with American immunologist and geneticist Bruce Beutler for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity.
  • 1939 Albert Einstein and Leó Szilárd wrote a letter to President of the USA Franklin D. Roosevelt, urging him to begin the Manhattan Project to develop a nuclear weapon.
  • 1934 Died: Paul von Hindenburg, German field marshal and politician, the 2nd President of Germany. After his death presidency in Germany was abolished and Adolf Hitler became Führer of the state.
  • 1932 Born: Lamar Hunt, American sportsman and businessman. He promoted soccer, basketball, tennis, ice hockey and American football in the USA and became the principal founder of the American Football League and World Championship Tennis.
  • 1932 Born: Peter O’Toole, British-Irish actor of stage and film. He rose to fame playing T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia (the role brought him an Academy Award nomination). He is also known for roles in films Goodbye, Mr. Chips, The Lion in Winter, Becket, The Stunt Man, My Favorite Year.
  • 1923 Died: Warren G. Harding, American journalist and politician, 29th President of the United States, who served in office from March, 1921 till his death. His presidency featured many scandals, earning him bottom-tier ranking from historians.
  • 1923 Born: Shimon Peres, Polish-born Israeli politician, the 9th President of Israel, serving in office from 2007 till retirement in 2014. His political work was awarded with Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 for the peace talks that he participated in as Israeli Foreign Minister, producing the Oslo Accords.
  • 1922 Died: Alexander Graham Bell, Scottish-Canadian engineer, inventor and innovator. His best known invention is telephone, that he patented in 1876.
  • 1922 A powerful and disastrous typhoon hit Shantou, Republic of China. More than 50,000 people were killed, making it one of the deadliest known typhoons in history.
  • 1921 Died: Enrico Caruso, Italian tenor. He sang to great acclaim in major opera houses of Europe and the USA. From 1902 to 1920 he made 290 commercially released recordings, that are still available today as digital downloads.
  • 1905 Born: Myrna Loy, American actress and singer. She rose to fame after playing the role of Nora Charles in The Thin Man (1934). Although she’s never been nominated for a competitive Academy Award, she received an Honorary Academy Award in recognition of her extraordinary qualities in screen and off.
  • 1892 Born: Jack Warner, Canadian-born American production manager and producer, one of the co-founders of Warner Bros. in 1903. After foundation of company he became its president and driving force.
  • 1870 The world’s first underground tube railway, Tower Subway, opened in London. The tunnel was closed in 1898 and todays it’s used for water mains.
  • 1834 Born: Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, French sculptor, best known for designing the Statue of Liberty, that is situated in New York.
  • 1820 Born: John Tyndall, Irish-English physicist and mountaineer, who is widely known for his study of diamagnetism. He also made discoveries concerning realms of infrared radiation and properties of air.
  • 1810 Died: Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier, French inventor. Together with his brother Joseph-Michel he invented hot air balloon. They also succeeded in launching the first manned ascent, carrying Étienne into the sky.
  • 1788 Died: Thomas Gainsborough, English landscape and portrait painter, noted for his technique and speed, that he applied paint. His most famous works are Portrait of Mrs. Graham, Mary and Margaret: The Painter’s Daughters, The Morning Walk, and Cottage Girl with Dog and Pitcher.
  • 1644 Died: Bernardo Strozzi, Italian painter of Baroque era. He is known for many paintings, that were influenced by Franciscan teachings. His best known works are Saint Christopher, The Piper, Saint Lawrence distributing Alms.
  • 1610 Henry Hudson sailed present-day Hudson Bay, thinking he had made it through the Northwest Passage and reached the Pacific Ocean.

Holidays Calendar for August 2, 2016


Our Lady of the Angels Day in Costa Rica

Our Lady of the Angels Day is a public holiday in Costa Rica celebrated on August 2. It is the feast day of Virgen de los Angeles (the Virgin of the Angels or Our Lady of the Angels), the patron saint of Costa Rica.

Republic Day (Ilinden) in Macedonia

August 2 is a major public and religious holiday in the Republic of Macedonia. It is known as Republic Day or Ilinden(the feast of Saint Elija). The holiday commemorates two important events in the country’s history.

Carnival Tuesday in Antigua and Barbuda

Carnival Tuesday is one of the public holiday in Antigua and Barbuda. This is the second day of the traditional Carnival and, as well as August Monday, it’s one of the most important holidays on the islands.

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Day of Airborne Forces

On August 2, some former Soviet Republics celebrate Day of Airborne Forces. Such a date was chosen to commemorate the first parachute jump of the Soviet Airborne Troops that took place on August 2, 1930 in the Moscow Military District.

Day of Azerbaijani Cinema

Day of Azerbaijani Cinema is celebrated in August 2. This holiday was established by President Heydar Aliyev in 2000. The date of August 2 was chosen to commemorate the first public film screening in Azerbaijan that took place in 1898.

National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

National Ice Cream Sandwich Day is celebrated every year on August 2. An ice cream sandwich is indeed a perfect treat for a hot August day.

National Night Out in the USA

National Night Out is a special event that is held in the USA every year on the first Tuesday in August. This event was started in 1984 in order to make communities safer.

August 2016 is Romance Awareness Month


Romance Awareness Month

When people hear the word “romance” they tend to run for the hills. Being romantic can be difficult for some, and for others perhaps they have too much expectations as to what “romance” really means. It doesn’t have to be about extravagant gifts or expensive meals, flowers or chocolate. In fact, the most simple things can foster a healthy relationship. Why not try one of these simple thing habits to get the romance flowing.

1. Go to bed at the same time
2. Cultivate common interests
3. Walk hand in hand or side by side
4. Make trust and forgiveness a default mode
5. Focus more on what your partner does right vs. what they do wrong
6. Hug each other after you see each other after work
7. Say “I love you” or “Have a Good Day” every morning
8. Say “Good Night” every night, regardless how you feel
9. Do a “weather” check during the day (Check in with each other)
10. Be proud to be seen with your partner

But the list doesn’t stop there, what would you do to be romantic to your significant other?

 

 

World Lung Cancer Day August 1st 2016


World Lung Cancer Day

Lung cancer continues to be one of the most common cancers worldwide, claiming more lives yearly than breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined. It is estimated that lung cancer accounts for nearly one in five cancer deaths globally. In 2012, there were 1.8 million newly diagnosed cases of lung cancer alone. The American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), alongside members of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) commemorates, celebrates and supports those impacted by lung cancer. FIRS joins the grassroots efforts of the lung cancer community to raise awareness about lung cancer and its global impact, creating an educational movement of understanding lung cancer risks as well as early treatment around the world.

The History of World Lung Cancer Day
Lung cancer was a rare disease in early 20th century but its incidence has gradually increased with increased smoking and it has become the most common type of cancer in the world. The lung cancers accounts for 12.8% of cancer cases and 17.8% of mortalities of cancer worldwide. Lung cancer is a preventable disease. The factors that play a role in cancer development include tobacco products, industrial products (uranium, radiation, asbestos) air pollution, and nutritional deficiencies. Recent studies have demonstrated that the critical factor increasing the risk of lung cancer is the long-term respiration of carcinogenic materials.

Epidemiologic case-control studies by 1950s proved that smoking was strongly correlated with lung cancer. The first findings that smoking was a cause of lung cancer were published in 1962. Smoking is responsible for developing lung cancer by 94%. The risk of lung cancer is 24-36 times higher in smokers than in non-smokers. The risk is 3.5% in passive smoking. Age to start smoking, period of smoking, number of cigarettes smoked, and type of tobacco and cigarette have influence on the risk of developing lung cancer.

The IASLC World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) is the world’s largest meeting dedicated to lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies. More than 7,000 delegates come from more than 100 countries to discuss the latest developments in thoracic malignancy research. Attendees include surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pulmonologists, radiologists, pathologists, epidemiologists, basic research scientists, nurses and allied health professionals and patients.

How to Celebrate World Lung Cancer Day
It is important that IASLC members help communicate the vast threat lung cancer poses around the world. They need the public and the media to understand that new research, diagnosis and treatment breakthroughs in the last 10 years have brought new hope to patients and their families. To help spread the message about lung cancer, the IASLC created a series of fact sheets focusing on different regions around the globe and have translated them into several different languages. You could look up some of these and inform friends and family about the risks and factors contributing to them.

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