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What's Your Special Day?



We all know that January 1st was New Years Day and the beginning of a new year, but did you know it was also “National Hangover Day?” Surely it is easy to realize why that is so, as a few million of us party hearty on December 31st and may just suffer the “following day malady” that goes along with that joyous celebration. It is fortunate that for most of us the 1st is also a national holiday so we are able to suffer from home or at least institute a cure for the problem there.

Did you by chance get the ubiquitous fruitcake for Christmas? This gift, a combination of dried or candied fruits, nuts and spices added to a thick cake mix that after baking may have had various liquors added. It is rare today when the gifted fruitcake is actually eaten as was intended and leaves the recipients wondering what to do with it, although it is heavy enough to meet a number of weight required uses (a doorstop comes to mind). However, those folks could have resolved their problem had they known that January 3rd was “National Toss the Fruitcake Day,” one that has been traced back to 1995 when the first recorded fruitcake toss took place out in a field in Manitou Springs, Colorado. 

If you are a fan of pasta, then January 4th was special to you as it was “National Spaghetti Day.” It was interesting to learn that, contrary to a long-held popular belief, pasta did not originate in Italy but had been available in Arab cultures in the 1200’s and the industrious Chinese were making noodles as far back as 5,000 BC. Marco Polo has incorrectly been credited with bringing pasta to Europe as there are records that show the Europeans had been making and cooking noodles long before Polo even began his travels. It is true, though, that Thomas Jefferson brought pasta back from Naples to this country, but it was the Italian immigrants who were responsible for introducing the finer nuances of Italian cuisine to the United States. And, while “spaghetti” is an Italian word that means string or twine, it is in this country that the speciality dish of spaghetti and meatballs was popularized.

If you found the early National Days in January to be appealing, you will have to wait until they roll around again next year in order to celebrate, however, there are others National Days coming up that you can enjoy soon. For example, in addition to it being the celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday, January 15th is also “National Hat Day.” Back in the Middle Ages, the hat was considered to be a status symbol and even today members of the military usually have insignias on their hats to indicate in which branch of the forces they serve. In early years much of the women’s work was done outdoors so they wore hats for protection from the elements, but in later years style became more important than protection. Anyone who reads the comic strip “Curtis” can appreciate the lengths to which some women will go to find a hat that will help them stand out in a crowd.

Drum roll please: on January 17th get ready to celebrate “Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day!” After having perhaps over-celebrated on New Year’s Eve, many may have resolved to never touch alcohol again – really? It is also not uncommon, especially after the many heavy meals eaten during the holidays, to decide that for this New Year, you will start a weight-loss diet and, of course, will get a new gym membership and resolve to get up early every morning to go there to exercise. How is that working out for you? Well take heart, the 17th is just around the corner and it is all right to ditch all those pesky self-imposed rules that you were probably no longer following anyhow. And, along with that celebration, you can join the celebration on January 19th which is “Rid the World of Fad Diets Day”!

The month of January as a whole seems to be a lot about food, i.e. the 6th was “Eat Beans Day,“ which logically enough was originated by the daughter of a pinto bean farmer; the 10th is “Bittersweet Chocolate Day,” a sweeter, richer form of dark chocolate and the delight of all chocoholics; the 19th is “National Popcorn Day,” when you can rustle up a bowl of the treat and just sit back to enjoy the game or a good movie; the 20th is “National Buttercrunch Day” when you can enjoy candy or ice cream or anything else that is made from buttercrunch, and it is also “National Cheese Lovers Day,” the varieties of which seem to be endless, and which have  been around since as far back as 7,500 BC; the 22nd is “National Blonde Brownie Day,” for those who would forego the dark brown treat and would rather use light brown sugar instead when baking;  the 23rd is “National Pie Day,” created by the American Pie Council to encourage everyone to bake a pie or to eat at least one piece on this day;  the 24th  is “Beer Can Appreciation Day,” which celebrates the day in 1935 when beer was first made available in cans; the 27th is “Chocolate Cake Day” when you are expected to ‘bake your chocolate cake ---and eat it too’ and the 29th is “National Corn Chip Day,” a day to celebrate the 1961 marketing of the Fritos corn chip!

The month of January is also “National Menudo Month,” founded by Juanita’s Food to recognize all the hard work that goes into making menudo and to keep alive the Mexican culinary tradition. January is “National Hot Tea Month,” “National Oatmeal Month,” “National Slow Cooking Month,” “National Soup Month” and National Sunday Supper Month,” a practice which seems now to be fading away. The day was established by the Sunday Supper Movement whose motivation is to see the return of the once a week tradition when the family spends time together enjoying a meal and sharing stories of their past week’s experiences.

So, do you have something you feel strongly enough about that you would like to see it celebrated as a National _______ Day or a National _______ Month? Well, should you be successful in having the requests for either of those accepted, it could bring you, your company or your cause annual recognition. To begin the process you might want to first check with the folks at the National Calendar Day’s website: www.nationaldaycalendar.com to learn if something similar already exists, but if not then you need to submit an application (all submissions are confidential) that identifies the day, week or month and why you feel it (serious or silly) is so important to you and others that it should be celebrated nationally.

Should you luck out and score a special day there will be a press release issued that states the new designation which will be noted annually on Facebook, Twitter and on the National Calendar Day’s website. You will receive a professional 20” x 30” framed certificate proclaiming your National Day, there will be a “media alert” going out talk show hosts, more than 20,000 broadcasters and newspapers, and it will be carried on the National Calendar Day’s daily update. You should be aware, however, that they receive more than 10,000 requests per year but only about 30 per year actually make it, and since there is a major backlog of requests they are currently only considering requests from companies and organizations. Therefore, if you are truly interested in getting a special day named for your idea, you had better be committed to the time and effort that will be required for you to justify your reasons. It would seem that nothing in life is easy –hey, maybe there should be a national day to recognize that too!

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