Tag Archives: November Holidays

King Tut Day

November 4 is King Tut Day!

King Tut Day commemorates the anniversary of the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. The tomb of the previously unknown young pharaoh was discovered on November 4, 1922 by archaeologist Howard Carter. For more than 3,000 years, the tomb had remained in almost perfect condition and the mummy of King Tut well-preserved in a solid gold coffin. In fact, the ancient Egyptians’ embalming method kept King Tut so well-preserved that scientists were able to successfully test his DNA for the first-ever DNA study of ancient Egyptian royal mummies, the results of which were released in early 2010. Find out what what the study uncovered by clicking here.

Celebrate King Tut Day by learning more about ancient Egypt’s golden boy and the tomb’s discovery.

 

Sources: holidayinsights.com, history.com, wikipedia.org, nationalgeographic.com
Photo Sources: Jerzy Strzelecki (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons
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National Sandwich Day

sandwichNovember 3 is National Sandwich Day! It was picked to be celebrated on this day because November 3 is also the birthday of the eponymous inventor of the sandwich, John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich.

As the story goes, the 18th century nobleman was an avid gambler, who never wanted to leave a game to eat. During a 24-hour gambling event, he commanded his servants to put meat between two slices of bread so he could eat with one hand, and continue to gamble with the other. That is supposedly how the popular lunchtime food was invented.

The actual history of the sandwich is traced back to a Jewish sage named Hillel the Elder who wrapped lamb meat with herbs between two pieces of soft matzah bread during Passover, which was the precursor to the flatbread sandwich. Also, during the Middle Ages, flat usually stale pieces of bread known as “trenchers” were used as plates. These trenchers piled with food were often served to dogs or beggars at the tables of wealthy individuals or were eaten in more modest circumstances. Trenchers were thus the precursors to open-faced sandwiches. The sandwich as we know it grew in popularity during the 19th century in Spain and England when portable and inexpensive meals became essential. When bread started to become a staple food in the United States in the early 20th century, sandwiches began to rise in popularity there as well.

In America, another advanced form of the sandwich, the hamburger, is the second most consumed lunch food by full-time workers, right after fruit. 75% of restaurants that serve sandwiches also serve hamburgers on the menu and hamburgers are the most popular take-out food in the U.S.

If you want to celebrate National Sandwich Day properly, here are 25 classic and gourmet sandwich recipes for you to choose from!

Sources: Wikipedia, Punchbowl, kidzworld.com

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All Souls’ Day

allsoulsdayNovember 2 is All Souls’ Day, also know as Commemoration of All Faithful Departed. It is a day originally dedicated to praying for the deceased who are trapped in Purgatory in an effort to help them move on in the afterlife. It has since evolved into a day for honoring and remembering all those dearly departed.

The day was first celebrated during the Easter season around Pentacost, and was later moved to follow All Saints’ Day which honors all those faithful in heaven on November 1. All Souls’ Day was instituted on November 2 sometime in the tenth century by Abbot Odilo in a monastery in Cluny to pray for those poor souls in Purgatory. It soon became a popular tradition and spread throughout the Christian world. It wasn’t until Medieval times when Europeans began to combine All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day that records of many traditions that have come into existence were recorded. Though All Souls’ Day has primarily become known as a Roman Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox holy day in which formal masses are held, it is still informally celebrated by some Protestants.

Two plenary indulgences are usually attached to All Souls’ Day, and they are visiting a church and visiting a cemetery. The prayer and almsgiving efforts of those observing All Souls’ Day in this way are performed by the living, but the merits of these indulgences are applicable to the souls in Purgatory.

Veneration of dead ancestors has been a custom practiced worldwide through different events like the Chinese Ghost Festival, the Japanese Bon Festival, the Roman Lemuria or the Mexican Day of the Dead. It is believed by some that the origin of All Souls’ Day in European folklore came about through the practice of these customs.

Sugar Skulls are a well-known symbol of Day of the Dead.

Sugar Skulls are a well-known symbol of Day of the Dead.

The Mexican Day of the Dead can be traced back to Aztecs and other pre-Hispanic civilizations, 3000 years ago. Skulls were collected for rituals to represent rebirth and death. Known as “Dia de los Muertos” to Latin communities, Day of the Dead is one of the more prominent All Souls’ Day celebrations in America due to the parades, festivals, and other large gatherings Latin American communities participate in. These festivities are often marked by the elaborate costumes, make-up, and skull face paint known to adorn the celebrators. They also make elaborate decorations and altars or ofrendas at home to honor their lost loved ones. Offerings in the form of flowers (traditionally orange Mexican marigolds), food (shaped or decorated to mimic symbols of death), candles, and other gifts are often placed on altars or graves of the deceased. It is a widely popular belief that on this day, the dead return to earth to visit their families and friends. A door or window is often left open for the dead, and some even leave extra plates at their dinner tables for the deceased.

No matter how you choose to celebrate All Souls’ Day, it is meant to be a celebration and remembrance of the life and death of those we have lost.

Sources: Wikipedia, timeanddate.com, About.com

 

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Stay Home Because You’re Well Day

Happy Stay Home Because You’re Well Day!

November 30 is a day devoted to YOU. Do you feel ok? Better than ok? Are you at 100 percent – physically, mentally and emotionally? If you answered yes to these questions, take the day off! Staying home to relax with a good book, catch up on housework or sleep or do absolutely nothing is so much better than staying at home with a fever and stuffed up nose while burying yourself under a tissue-covered blanket.

Everyone needs a day off every now and then (not just when we’re sick), and most of us deserve it. So take advantage and call in “well!” Yes, that’s right: the catch of this brilliant holiday is that you can’t call in with a fake illness. Be honest with your employer and let them know that you’re staying home because you’re well.

Caution: You might not want to celebrate this holiday if you don’t think it will go over well with the bosses. We understand that it’s probably not worth the impending unemployment.

Note: Stay Home Because You’re Well Day is copyrighted by Wellcat.

Sources: wellcat.com, holidayinsights.com, theultimateholidaysite.com
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Square Dance Day

Happy Square Dance Day!

November 29 is the perfect day to grab a partner and head out for a night of square dancing! So maybe it seems a little silly, possibly outdated, but square dancing is a fun way to get some exercise and meet new people, since it involves switching partners, as announced by the square dance caller.

Click here to learn a few square dance steps before you hit the dance floor!

Sources: holidayinsights.com, theultimateholidaysite.com
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Red Planet Day

Red Planet Day celebrates Mars, aka the Red Planet!

Named after the Roman god of war, Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and our neighboring planet. Though this terrestrial planet has a cold, desert environment and an atmosphere that is too thin for any prolonged existence of water on its surface, Mars features seasons, weather, polar ice caps, volcanoes, and canyons – just like Earth.

Red Planet Day is celebrated on November 28 to commemorate the launch of the Spacecraft Mariner 4, launched on November 28, 1964. The Mariner 4 performed the first successful flyby of Mars and got close enough to Mars to capture photographs of the planet’s surface.

Celebrate Red Planet Day by learning more about Mars or watching some Red Planet-inspired films. You can also celebrate by speculating over the undisclosed findings discovered in a pinch of Martian soil gathered by the current Mars rover, Curiosity. Part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Mission, Curiosity (the most advanced rover yet) was launched to find out if Mars was once – or still is – an environment suitable for supporting life.

…the Mars Science Laboratory will collect Martian soil and rock samples and analyze them for organic compounds and environmental conditions that could have supported microbial life now or in the past. [...] The record of the planet’s climate and geology is essentially ‘written in the rocks and soil’ — in their formation, structure, and chemical composition.”

- mars.jpl.nasa.gov/programmissions/missions/present/msl/

Learn more about Curiosity’s mission at NASA’s website.

Sources: Holiday Insights, Wikipedia, Mars Exploration Program, Solar System Exploration, The New York Times

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Jimi Hendrix’s Birthday

November 27, 2012 is Jimi Hendrix’s 70th birthday!

An American musician, singer, and songwriter, Hendrix (Nov. 27, 1942 – Sept. 18 1970) was an innovative and, some say, the greatest electric guitarist in the history of popular music and one of the most important and influential musicians of the 20th century.

Jimi Hendrix surmounted racial and cultural barriers in America and Great Britain at a time when youth culture, pop music, and society were radically changing. One of the most innovative musicians of the 20th century, Hendrix continues to influence an ever-increasing number of musicians, artists, and fans in the 21st century.”

- Jacob McMurray, Senior Curator for the EMP Museum in Seattle

To commemorate Hendrix’s 70th birthday, the EMP Museum opened the “Hear My Train A Comin’: Hendrix Hits London” exhibit on November 17. The exhibit focuses on Hendrix’s rise to fame in the UK while in London from September 1966 to June 1967 when he returned home to become an international sensation after performing at the Monterey Pop Festival in California. Get a sneak peak at some of the items on exhibit at the Huffington Post’s coverage of the Hendrix exhibit.

If you live in Seattle or are planning a trip there soon, check out the exhibit in celebration of Jimi’s birthday! You can also celebrate by listening to your favorite Hendrix music or dressing up in Hendrix fashion.

Sources: Wikipedia, Hennemusic.com, Ultimateclassicrock.com

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Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday, a term coined by Shop.org, is the Monday following Thanksgiving. Think of it as the online version of Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, when retailers mark the beginning of the holiday shopping season with sales, clearances and special promotions. On Cyber Monday, online retailers kick off the online holiday shopping season with special promotions.

So if you want to beat the Black Friday crowds, wait a couple more days for Cyber Monday and finish all your Christmas shopping right at home!

Happy shopping!

 

Sources: shop.org, retail.about.com
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Ruby Shoots Oswald

On this day in 1963, Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who had been arrested for assassinating President John F. Kennedy two days before.

Ruby shot Oswald when he was being transferred to another jail. Because journalists, TV news reporters, and photographers were on the scene to report on the transfer, the shooting was broadcast on live television and witness by millions of viewers.

Though some people suspected that the two had actually been working together to assassinate Kennedy, the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, appointed by President Lyndon Johnson found no evidence that Ruby and Oswald were involved in such a conspiracy.

 

Sources: Wikipedia, America’s Story, The Library of Congress

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You’re Welcome Day

Happy You’re Welcome Day!

You’re Welcome Day is celebrated each year on the day after Thanksgiving, which makes sense, considering Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks. According to holidayinsights.com, You’re Welcome Day promotes good manners and encourages us to say the phrase “you’re welcome” when someone thanks us…because apparently the concept of “you’re welcome” is lost on society today, according to Salon.com columnist Matt Zoller Seitz. Read his struggle with accepting “No problem” as a replacement for “you’re welcome” here.

Use You’re Welcome Day to re-appreciate the importance of the phrase “you’re welcome.”  You could also conduct this little social experiment: take any opportunity you can to tell people “thank you” and see how they respond (and how polite or impolite society is today).

 

Sources: holidayinsights.com
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