Tag Archives: January Holidays

International Hot and Spicy Food Day

OR-3-10-1710January 16 is International Hot and Spicy Food Day! Today is a red-hot day on the holiday calendar. It celebrates all foods that make your tongue burn, make your eyes water, and maybe even cause little beads of sweat to form on your forehead. Whether you’re a fan of super spicy salsa, confoundingly hot curry,  or jambalaya jam-packed with fiery flavor, today is best served with a side of heat.

Archaeologists have proven that humans have been using hot spices in recipes for over 6,000 years. Christopher Columbus discovered chili peppers in 1493 after he “discovered” America. The chemical in chili peppers that makes them hot is called capsaicin. The capsaicin oil is measured and diluted to determine the amount of “heat” in peppers and give it a place on the Scoville scale. Currently, the pepper which is highest on the Scoville scale, and thus the hottest, is called the Carolina Reaper, which is 300 times hotter than the average jalapeño pepper. People who have a palette capable of handling this kind of heat on a regular basis are known as “pyro-gourmaniacs.”

PrintHot spices are used the world over to give food that flavorful kick. Not only are spicy foods tasty, but they can also be beneficial to your health due to their medicinal and antimicrobial properties. Chiles, onions, garlic, oregeno, and allspice are known to kill bacteria and make food safer to consume.

Even if you’re not the type of person who likes to put your taste buds into a state of shock, you can still enjoy today by adding a touch of heat to whatever you’re eating. If the heat may become too much for you to handle, make sure to keep a glass of milk or some yogurt handy. While drinking tons of water is usually people’s immediate reaction to foods that are too spicy, doing this will only cause the spicy oils to be dispersed around your mouth because the oil in chili peppers will not mix with the water like milk will.

Whether you’re ready to go all-out on spicy foods today or just enjoy a small amount of spiciness on the side, make sure to add some heat to your meals today!

Sources: Punchbowl, Foodimentary, Days of the Year

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National Hat Day

hatsJanuary 15 is National Hat Day! Is your head feeling a little cold? Are you having a bad hair day? Or do you just want to add an extra something to top of your outfit? There is no better day than today to accessorize your head!

The first recorded incidence of humans wearing hats can be traced back to 3200 B.C. to an ancient tomb in Thebes, where a man is depicted wearing a straw hat. Hats were originally conceived as wearable items to protect people from the elements – glaring sunlight, rain, and snow – and soon after evolved into being used as a symbol of status. Certain groups of people were singled out by the specific headwear they wore. Hats for women especially began to get more elaborate in the Middle Ages. Though some women still wore simple scarves on their heads, women of higher status and nobility wore hennin, which were elaborate cone-shaped hats.

The 18th century brought with it the occupation and term “milliner.” The name came from the city of Milan, where the highest quality of hats were being produced at the time. Millinery was often an occupation held by women, who not only created normal everyday hats, but bonnets which included decorative trim to accessorize the outfit of the wearer. It was at this point, and moving into the early 19th century, that hats began to be worn as fashion statements. Bonnets became larger and more decorative, adding flowers, lace, and other trimmings. Other hats of various shapes and sizes including those with large brims and flat crowns began to appear as well. As flapper style and shorter hair became popular with women in the 1920s, hats began to take on a more snug shape which hugged the head. As society evolved, the hat evolved along with it, taking on more elaborate shapes and styles.

Isabella Blow wearing an elaborate hat designed by Philip Treacy.

Isabella Blow wearing an elaborate hat designed by Philip Treacy.

Starting in the 1980s and moving on into the 21st century, some hats have been exaggerated to a flamboyant state for the sole purpose of the wearer to be noticed. Some celebrities who have adopted this way of wearing hats are Isabella Blow and Lady Gaga, who both commissioned hats by one of the world’s most famous milleners, Philip Treacy. Treacy has also been commissioned to design hats for several of the world’s most famous designers and the royal family of Great Britain. Many other well-known milliners have been based in Britain including Sharp & Davis and David Shilling. Stetson, a famous North American cowboy-hat maker was commissioned to make hats for Canadian Mounties and the Texas Rangers.

Wearing hats has become a tradition and official “rule” at some events including horse racing events like the British Royal Ascot and the Kentucky Derby. There are also general “rules” that exist for hat-wearing men in certain circumstances. For instance, it became a common courtesy among some groups to tip your hat when meeting a lady or elder person. It is also considered disrespectful to wear hats during funerals or when the National Anthem is played.

Celebrate today by wearing your favorite hat (or hats) throughout the day. If you don’t own a hat, today would be a great day to make your first hat purchase. Happy National Hat Day!

Sources: Wikipedia, World’s Special Days, KTBS.com

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Make Your Dream Come True Day

dream1January 13 is Make Your Dream Come True Day! Along with the new year comes a new batch of resolutions, goals, wishes, and dreams we set out for ourselves. Today is a day dedicated to putting in motion whatever you need to in order to make your life dreams come true.

Dreams will forever stay your dreams unless you take some sort of action to make them become reality. Are you following the career path you want to be? Do you want to travel more? Perhaps you would like to move somewhere new? Is there something you have always wanted to do, but have never gotten around to it? Seize the day! Get yourself into gear, and push forward into the new year, fulfilling your desires and making yourself truly happy.

dream2To celebrate today and start following the path you believe you are meant for, we’ve compiled a list to get you started:

  • Create a dream list or board. Your dreams will begin to feel more real and achievable if you get them out of your head and physically put them down on paper. If you have something visual to remind you of your dreams every day, they are more likely to come true.
  • Make a plan. Outline the path you need to take in order to reach your goals. Plan out steps. Break everything down and put together a timeline. If you figure out what steps you need to take in order to reach your dreams, getting there will be a lot easier!
  • Don’t be pessimistic. If you have a dream, you can attain it. Don’t let negativity creep into your thoughts. Share your dreams with people who will support you, and keep clear of naysayers who may have you second guessing yourself and your goals.
  • Find a mentor. It is likely that there is someone in the world who has or had dreams similar to yours. Look up to them and take their advice for attaining what you want out of life. We advise you to not completely follow in their footsteps though, make your dream your own, and find your own way of getting there using tips from those you admire.
  • Inspire others. Everyone has dreams, and by following yours, you can inspire others to do the same. Supporting others, and having them support you, will give you (and them) the energy and empowerment to follow your heart.

Whatever your dreams are, they are reachable as long as you believe in yourself and push yourself to make them happen!

Sources: Work Smart. Live Smart., Bubblews, World’s Special Days

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Hot Toddy Day

hot toddyJanuary 11 is Hot Toddy Day! Not familiar with hot toddies? They’re a hot alcoholic beverage typically containing honey, lemon, hot water, and whatever spirit you’d like! The most commonly used are whiskey, brandy, and dark rum.

The hot toddy is thought to have originated in Scotland sometime in the 18th century. It makes perfect sense that this warm delicious drink was invented in a country who experiences cold and damp weather throughout most of the year. Historians speculate that the recipe came about to mask the taste of Scotch whiskey to make it easier to drink. Women in the 18th century apparently weren’t very fond of the smokey, peat flavor of Scotch. The word “toddy” is thought to have come from “Todd’s Well” or Todian Spring, Edinburgh’s main water source.

Not only are hot toddies great for warming you up on a cold winter day, but they have become a popular remedy for cold and flu symptoms as well.

We’ve put together a list of hot toddy recipes for you to make in celebration of today!

Sources: Punchbowl, Grocery Headquarters

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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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National Spaghetti Day

esq-spaghetti-sauce-0412-lgJanuary 4 is National Spaghetti Day! Spaghetti is a long, thin, cylindrical form of pasta, usually topped with tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese, and often with vegetables or meat added to it.

Though the origin of spaghetti is debatable, the first recorded incidence of boiled noodles being prepared was in the Jerusalem Talmud, suggesting that Arabs created the food in the 5th century. Spaghetti noodles in the form we know them today have been traced back to Sicily in the 12th century when Sicilians first created the long string-like pasta. The word spaghetti comes from the Italian word spaghetto and it literally translates to “little strings.” Pasta popularity spread throughout the rest of Italy in 19th century when pasta factories began to open up across the country, allowing for mass production. Spaghetti was first served in the United States in the late 19th century, appearing on menus as Spaghetti Italienne, a dish likely served with a mild tomato sauce and simple spices and vegetables like clove, bay leaves, and garlic. Soon after its introduction to the United States, canned versions of the dish were produced along with spaghetti kits, making it easy to prepare and readily available to everyone. This simplification of this already simple meal has made it a staple dish in American diets.

"Touched by His Noodly Appendage," a parody of Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam, is an iconic image of the Flying Spaghetti Monster by Arne Niklas Jansson.

“Touched by His Noodly Appendage,” a parody of Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam, is an iconic image of the Flying Spaghetti Monster by Arne Niklas Jansson.

Spaghetti has become such a significant meal, that many pop culture references have been made about the pasta dish. Famous Italian actress Sophia Loren was once quoted attributing her success to the dish saying, “Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti.” In March 2010, the Guinness World Record for world’s largest serving of spaghetti was made at Buca Di Beppo’s Garden Grove in California when they filled a swimming pool with 13,780 pounds of spaghetti. Spaghetti was also a part of one of the biggest April Fool’s pranks ever pulled when the BBC convinced many of their viewers that spaghetti noodles grew on trees. Also, lest we forget about the Flying Spaghetti Monster? This guy’s got an entire religious movement centered around him.

Looking for the perfect recipe to celebrate today with? We’ve got you covered:

Sources: Wikipedia, Punchbowl, Seamless

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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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Cream Puff Day

cream puffJanuary 2 is Cream Puff Day! Cream puffs are small puffy pastry desserts filled with cream. Though the origin of cream puffs are not specifically known, they are thought to have originated in France in the 1500s, and were first found on American menus in the 1800s.

The dough used to make cream puffs is called pâte à choux, and it is made differently than other dough. Instead of being made in a mixer, pâte à choux is made by adding flour to boiled water and butter. It is then cooked at a high temperature until you get hollow balls of dough. Another popular dessert made using pâte à choux is beignets. Unlike beignets however, cream puffs are baked rather than fried. After the puffed balls of dough are taken out of the oven, they are cut in half to let steam that has collected inside out. If the puffs are not cut, they will deflate when cooling. The filling is then sandwiched between the two puffed halves. Cream puffs are often filled with whipped cream, pastry cream, and sometimes even ice cream! Some enjoy their cream puffs with nothing on top, while others prefer to top them with powdered sugar, chocolate, caramel, or whatever delightful sweet topping comes to mind.

Though it is up for debate, it is thought that cream puffs got their start in France in the 1540s when the pastry chef of Catherine de Medici first created the puffed treats for Medici’s husband, Henry II of France. The dessert first appeared on American menus in 1851.

We’ve gathered up some tasty cream puffs recipes for you to try out today in celebration of this delicious dessert’s day:

Happy Cream Puff Day!

Sources: Punchbowl, CNN’s Eatocracy, Examiner.com, National Day Calendar

 

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Inspire Your Heart with Art Day

January 31 is Inspire Your Heart with Art Day!

Inspire Your Heart with Art Day is a celebration of creativity which focuses on the effect that art can have on one’s heart. To observe the occasion, go visit a museum or an art gallery, or make some art on your own.

If you’re going to celebrate by checking out some professional art, pay attention to the artist’s technique and ask yourself how each particular piece makes you feel. If you’d rather create your own art, get together with some friends in a judgment-free zone where everyone is comfortable expressing themselves creatively.

Check out some of our amazing art calendars!

Sources: Holiday Insights, Bendo13

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