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Opposite Day

opposite-dayJanuary 25 is NOT Opposite Day. Remember not to celebrate and believe everything you hear. Today is not special and it’s just like every other day.

Okay, all jokes aside – Opposite Day DOES have a real date, though its origin is unknown, and it is typically celebrated today. The general rule of thumb behind Opposite Day is that you are supposed to do or say the opposite of what you actually mean, and likewise take everything everyone else says with a grain of salt. ‘No’ means ‘yes,’ ‘left’ means ‘right,’ ‘up’ means ‘down,’ and… you get the picture. Young children are the biggest proponents of this silly holiday, but it can be a welcome excuse for adults to break up the monotony of their daily routines as well. Doing things you wouldn’t usually do and living your life the opposite of your norm could bring about surprising results. Maybe you’ll discover some new hobbies or interests that you used to be opposed to. One can begin to wonder though, since today was declared Opposite Day, is it even really today? Before we confuse you any more, we’ll give you some tips on how to properly celebrate:

  1. Start by inverting your statements to others. In other words, say the opposite of what you mean. It’s in good taste to keep these statements playful and silly – don’t say anything that could potentially offend your friends and family! This is typically best practiced with others who know it is Opposite Day so you can laugh and joke together.
  2. Eat your meals in the opposite order. Who wouldn’t want dessert first?
  3. Walk backwards! Just be sure you’re still watching where you’re going.
  4. Wear clothing that is opposite of the way you normally dress. Explore new fashions that you were too afraid or self-conscious to before!
  5. Take a different route to work, school, or anywhere else you may be traveling. Who knows – maybe you could discover a new scenic way of getting around!
  6. Try taking on a new hobby that varies from any you already have or would typically take on. You could find that something you originally opposed doing may not be that bad after all.
  7. Opposite Day aficionados have been known to start their Opposite Days by saying, “After this phrase is over, it will be officially opposite day.”

Now, don’t go out into the world, and please stick to your normal routine!

Sources: Examiner.com, Geekdays, Wikipedia

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Answer Your Cat’s Question Day

Why Cats Do That Calendar from Calendars.com.

Why Cats Do That Calendar from Calendars.com.

January 22 is Answer Your Cat’s Question Day! Our feline friends can be quite mysterious. Are those meows masking their true feelings? Or are they feeling purrfectly fine, and just want you to know it? Today is meant for us to try and figure out the meaning behind their many different meows, and answer our curious cats’ questions.

As the most popular pet in the world, according to Scientific American, cats have been domesticated companions of humans for about 9,500 years. Because they have been active partners of humans for many centuries, cats are now found in almost every area of the world humans inhabit. Though they have played a pivotal role in human happiness, we still do not fully understand one another. Today was created as a way for us to gain some insight into the minds of our furry friends. Our loyal buddies deserve a day where we make a more conscious effort to figure out and satisfy their wants and needs.

What Cats Teach Us Calendar from Calendars.com.

What Cats Teach Us Calendar from Calendars.com.

Not sure what sort of questions your fuzzy feline may be pondering? We’ve compiled a potential Q&A to prepare you:

  • Cat: Is it really necessary for you to bathe me?
  • Person: I know you bathe yourself regularly, but a few baths a year are good to get rid of any leftover dirt you may have missed. Just be glad you’re not a dog.
  • Cat: Why do you take away my favorite resting spots?
  • Person: Oh, you mean that newspaper or book I was reading? I’ll try and be more conscientious next time.
  • Cat: Why do you get mad when I go to the bathroom somewhere besides that stinky box you gave me?
  • Person: Because it’s gross! But I’ll try harder to make sure your litter box is always clean so that this doesn’t happen.
  • Cat: Why do you keep petting me when I tell you to stop? Do you not know what this swishing tail means?
  • Person: Because you’re soft and adorable! I’ll be more aware of your subtle cat cues in the future though.
  • Cat: Who is this stranger and why won’t they stop trying to pick me up before I’ve even got to know them?
  • Person: They’re my friend and they love cats! I’ll be sure to tell them to leave you alone until you’ve sniffed around and decided if you want to be friend back first, sorry!
  • Cat: If cats have nine lives, which one am I on?

… we’ll let you ponder the answer on that last one!

Sources: Punchbowl, Cat Channel, Petcentric, Wikipedia

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National Hugging Day

two-children-huggingJanuary 21 is National Hugging Day! Today is a day to spread love and happiness by embracing the embrace!

National Hugging Day was created in 1986 by Kevin Zaborney. Zaborney published the holiday idea in Chase’s Calendar of Events, and though he was certain his idea would fail to take hold, it has become a widely popular holiday. So many countries across the world now unofficially celebrate this holiday that many have expressed interest in renaming it “International Hugging Day.” He chose January 21 as the celebration date because it falls between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays and Valentine’s Day, a time which Zaborney thought most people were not in high spirits. ”American society is embarrassed to show feelings in public,” expressed Zabroney, hoping that the holiday would help Americans to be less self-conscious and more emotive. The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Medical School conducted a study in 2003 which proved that French couples touch three times the amount that Americans do.

Not only is hugging a way to greet your loved ones or show affection, but it has also been proven to have some great health benefits. Physical contact between human beings has been proven to benefit both physical and psychological development. Hugging is an excellent way to improve your immune system. A simple embrace between you and someone you care for can help lower your blood pressure and decrease your risk for heart disease. Women who give and receive hugs can decrease the levels of cortisol in their bodies, which is a hormone that is released in response to stress. Higher levels of oxytocin, a stress reducing hormone, has been found in couples who hug for more than 20 seconds. Stress can have harmful physical effects, and a study done by the American Psychosomatic Society has found that even holding hands with a romantic partner for as little as 10 minutes can quell those harmful levels of stress. Higher blood pressure and heart rates have been found in those who do not enjoy regular physical contact.

hugcalendarIt is recommended by doctors that 4-6 hugs per day can help maintain a good physical and emotional well-being. Nick Vujicic holds the record for most hugs given in one day. In 2010, he gave 1,749 hugs to visitors at an expo center in Oregon.

To help you celebrate today, we’ve compiled a list of some of the many different hugs you can give today (or any day):

  • The Full Hug: This hug is the most common hug, in which both parties participate in equal amounts of embracing and affection for one another.
  • The Back to Front Hug: This hug can be given to a loved one even if they are busy doing something else. It is a great way to show someone you will always be there for them because it is given without expecting a reciprocal hug back.
  • The Side Hug: While this hug may seem like it is not as affectionate as other hugs, it is a good way to quickly express gratitude, love, or simply to tell someone “hello” in a more sincere way.
  • The Bear Hug: Considered the strongest of all hugs, this type of hug is usually given in a moment of excitement or when someone wishes to display strong affection for whoever they are hugging.

No matter what your hugging style is, remember to give a squeeze to those special people in your life today!

Sources: Wikipedia, National Hugging Day, Punchbowl 

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Old Rock Day

rocksJanuary 7 is Old Rock Day! This isn’t a day meant to celebrate classic rock ‘n roll music; this day’s meaning is much more literal. Today is meant to actually celebrate those geological formations better known to us as rocks. Old rocks, better known as fossils, are not only interesting to look at, but they have taught us much about life on earth before we were here that we would not have otherwise known.

Though the exact origin of this holiday is unknown, people have been searching for and collecting fossils since the beginning of recorded history. Fossils have allowed us to study organisms of the past due to the rocks and minerals which form them, preserving the outer form of extinct and ancient creatures. The existence of all fossils, discovered and undiscovered, and their place in the sedimentary layer of earth is known as the fossil record. The fossil record is what began the human study of evolution, and it is still used to this day as a source for studying the history of life on Earth. Paleontologists use the fossil record to figure out the way various species have evolved over time.

Old rocks aren’t just limited to fossils, and trying to go on an archaeological dig for them today may not be the easiest way to celebrate. Going into your backyard and digging up any old rock will do! If you know some children who would like to celebrate today, you can help them create their very first pet rock. Let them find a rock they like, and then start crafting! Help them paint on a face, glue on some googly eyes, and then they’ll have a kooky little pet who will never grow old or die, and will always stay exactly where they leave it. If you’re past your pet rock days, you can celebrate by using small stones to make inexpensive jewelry. You can also spice up the landscaping outside your house by starting a rock garden. Collect as many attractive rocks as you can and arrange them in any shape or design you like for a cheap and easy way to make your yard more beautiful.

However you decide to celebrate today, just make sure it totally rocks!

Sources: National Whatever Day, Days of the Year, Altius Directory

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Cuddle Up Day

cuddlykittensBaby, it’s cold outside. Lucky for you that January 6 is Cuddle Up Day! Time to get cozy. The origins of this day for snuggling seem to be unknown, but who cares! The history of this day isn’t important – the only thing that matters is that you take today to sit back, unwind, and get some good old-fashioned cuddling action going.

The word “cuddle” was first recorded in 1520, though we’re fairly certain that the action of cuddling has existed forever, even in the animal kingdom. Cuddling is technically defined as tenderly hugging or closely embracing someone, but even if you don’t have a special cuddle buddy to nestle up next to, you can still enjoy this day. If you’ve got a pet, you can snuggle up with them! Animals enjoy being close and comfy just as much as we do. Even if you don’t have a animal counterpart, you can get cozy by yourself in your favorite chair, on the couch, or in your bed. Spoon with a soft stuffed animal friend (come on, we know you’ve got one – we do too). Stay warm under the covers with a good book, and perhaps some hot chocolate or other comforting beverage or food? Pop in a movie you love and let yourself melt into relaxation. Forget all your responsibilities and stresses and plump up that pillow. You deserve it.

However you decide to cuddle, just make sure you’re comfortable and your mind is at ease. Happy Cuddle Up Day!

Sources: Holiday Insights, Days of the Year, World’s Special Days

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Festival of Sleep

sleepingbeautiesJanuary 3 is known as the Festival of Sleep! Though this unofficial holiday’s origins are unknown, we all know how to celebrate it. Unlike other holidays that typically revolve around some sort of active celebration, today is all about doing nothing but resting. The holidays are over, and it’s time to get over the exhaustion they’ve left you with and get some much needed shut eye. Put on those comfy pajamas, cuddle up under the covers, and don’t worry about setting that alarm clock.

Though it seems a bit ironic, sleeping is an important part of living. Your brain and body need to shut off from the world for a while to retain longevity. While you sleep, your body repairs damaged cells, improves your concentration skills, and aides memory formation. Severe lack of sleep can have several negative effects on your health like increase in development of infections, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Getting the proper amount of sleep will help you to be more alert, reduce your risk of depression, and may even prevent cancer! In the time you spend sleeping, your brain sorts and stores information, solves problems, and replaces chemicals your body needs.

481_NAPSMissing out on sleep is sure to make anyone grumpy, but too much lost sleep can cause much worse side effects like hallucination. In severe cases, your body will stop taking direction from your brain altogether. Humans can live longer without food than they can without sleep!

Whether you’ve been traveling and need to get rid of that jet lag or need to rest up before you head back to school or work, there is no better day than today to catch up on those Z’s! A word from the wise though – if you’re already back at your job or in the classroom, you had better wait to get recharged until your next day off. We wouldn’t want you to wake up to an angry boss or teacher!

Happy Festival of Zzzzzzzz…

Sources: Holiday Insights, Sleep Compass, Wiki How

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Festival of Enormous Changes at the Last Minute

December 30, the day before the last day of the year, is known as the Festival of Enormous Changes at the Last Minute.

The new year is approaching fast. Are you worried you didn’t accomplish what you wanted to this year? Do you want to make your resolutions for next year before it’s too late? Today is a day dedicated to making those big changes before the year comes to an end! Spend the day reflecting on the past year(s) and making those positive life changes a reality.

Is there anything you resolved to do in the past year that you didn’t quite get to? You’ve got two days until the new year – do your best to make it happen! If two days isn’t enough time to take the leap and make those big changes in your life you’ve been meaning to, then spend the next two days planning out your resolutions for next year. Don’t wait until midnight on New Year’s Eve to decide on those important changes that will make you feel better about the life you’re living. If you’re pondering what you can resolve to do in the New Year, but are coming up blank, we’ve got a few ideas to get your resolution juices flowing:

  • Get healthy. Whether this means eating healthier, exercising, or doing anything else that will make you a healthier person, this is your year!
  • Get inspired. Go on adventures, challenge yourself, create! Do whatever you can to inspire yourself and those around you!
  • Go green. Show some love to the environment you live in!
  • Get organized. Get rid of those stacks of paper on your desk, make a schedule, and clean up that messy life you’ve been living!
  • Learn a new language. Expand those linguistic skills and make another language less foreign to you!
  • Laugh more. Tell a joke, watch a funny movie, and spend more time with those who bring a smile to your face!

Since today is a “festival,” it makes sense to let your friends and family know about the importance of today. Celebrate together by all coming up with New Year’s resolutions or accomplishing what you haven’t before the year is over!

Sources: Zany Holidays, Giftypedia

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National Flashlight Day

Flashlight-Tag-GameDecember 21 is National Flashlight Day! Today also happens to be the Winter Solstice which is the longest night of the year. Though we are not sure if these two days coincide on purpose, you won’t be left in the dark!

Flashlights first became a tool for exploring the darkness at the end of the 19th century. The first dry cell batteries were invented in 1896, which allowed electronic devices to become portable because they used an electrolyte paste instead of liquid, preventing spillage. David Misell, an English inventor who worked for the American Electrical Novelty and Manufacturing Company, obtained a patent for the first flashlight in 1899.

Misell created an “electric device” which consisted of “D” batteries arranged front to back inside a paper tube with a light bulb and brass reflector attached at the end. Some of the devices created by Misell were given to the New York City Police Department and were met with approval from officers. Because of the zinc carbon batteries used in these early devices, they could not provide a steady current and needed to “rest” periodically to continue working. The lights thus could only be used for short intervals, hence the name “flashlight.”

We’ve come up with a couple of ways you can celebrate National Flashlight Day:

  • Make shadow puppets on the wall.
  • Play a rousing game of flashlight tag.
  • Plan a nighttime scavenger hunt.
  • Stay up reading a book under the covers.

Today is also the perfect day to make sure your family knows where your flashlights are in the case of a power outtage or other situation which may cause you to need your trusty flashlight to find your way. Be sure to test all your flashlights and make sure the batteries are all working.

Happy Flashlight Day!

Sources: Giftypedia, Holiday Insights, National Whatever Day

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Square Dance Day

squaredanceNovember 29 is Square Dance Day, so grab your partner and get ready to dosey doe! Square dancing usually involves four couples, or eight dancers, who all face each other in a square shape, with one couple forming each side of the square.

Square dancing originated in Europe in the 17th century, and was brought to the United States by Irish, Scottish, and English settlers. Square dancing has evolved into many different forms over the years, some including more dancers and a “caller” to call out cues and steps to dancers. One thing all square dances have in common is that they are all lively and energetic dances, and square dancing has been linked by medical studies to having many health benefits. A half hour of spirited square dancing can burn 200 to 400 calories.

This spirited dance is still largely popular in the Western and Southern United States, and gained recognition with its association with the romanticized version of the American cowboy. Lloyd Shaw began heavily promoting the Traditional Western Square Dance in the 1930s by gathering traditional dance steps from callers all over the country so the dance could be standardized, preserved, and taught to anyone willing to learn. Since the 1970s, the International Association of Square Dance Callers has promoted this standardization, making it easy for anyone to learn the traditional dances. The Square Dance has been named the official state dance of 19 states in the United States.

If you would like to learn how to square dance at home, check out this video!

Sources: Wikipedia, Enfield Patch, Holiday Insights

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Go For a Ride Day

hotairballoonNovember 22 is Go For a Ride Day! As we approach the start of the holiday season, Go For a Ride Day provides  us with a chance to relax before the stress and pandemonium of the holidays seep into our souls.

We’re not exactly sure why this day was designated as Go For a Ride Day, but there are a few historical events that took place on this day that could have led to the creation of this unofficial holiday. On November 22, 1904, Mathias Pfatischer of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania received a U.S. patent for the first direct current, interpole, electric motor. On November 22, 1927, Carl J.E. Eliason of Saynor, Wisconsin patented the snowmobile. On November 22, 1977, regular passenger service between New York and Europe on the supersonic Concorde began on a trial basis.

We realize that you “go for a ride” every time you get on or into your everyday transportation. However, the point of Go For a Ride Day is to go for a ride for the sake of going for a ride. Don’t worry about destinations or schedules. Enjoy the scenery. Discover places you’ve never been to or seen before, whether a park, a coffee house or the other side of town.

A ride is even more relaxing when someone else is doing the work. If possible, find someone else to take over the steering, pushing, pulling or pedaling so that all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the ride. Don’t limit yourself to a car, city bus or bicycle, though these types of transportation are completely acceptable for today’s celebrations. Today could be a day to branch out and go for a ride in a new in different way. Why not take a peaceful ride in a horse-drawn carriage? Or how about racing around some go-carts with friends? Get a bird’s eye view of the world from the basket of a hot air balloon or grab a mechanical bull by the horns! Today is a day where even the strangest forms of transportation are acceptable. If you would rather stick with more normal forms of transportation and you feel like taking a longer trip, hop on a train or take off in a plane. If it’s snowy where you are, sled down the steepest hill or if you’re near a body of water, go for a boat ride. Wherever you are, take advantage of the scenery and explore the outdoor world.

We advise to not worry about where you’re going today – just enjoy the journey!

Sources: Holiday Insights, Examiner, Yahoo

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