Saturday, September 21, 2013

Holidays for September 21st 2013

International Coastal Cleanup Day


Have you heard of the International Coastal Cleanup? It happens every year in September and is the largest global volunteer day in service to our lakes, oceans, and rivers. Each year, approximately 600,000 people worldwide dedicate time to cleaning up their local waterways. The catch is that they record every single piece of trash collected! The results are then sent to the Ocean Conservancy and published into an annual report to give us an idea of exactly what is floating around in our oceans (hint: the most prevalent item is small, plastic, and brown and white in color).

Last year, over 10 million pounds of trash were collected. Items ranged from lottery tickets to tires to toothbrushes. What will be found this year?

The 2013 International Coastal Cleanup Day is Saturday, September 21, although cleanups that happen throughout the month will count towards the trash totals. Soundkeeper is coordinating cleanups around the Sound and invites you to join us!

Want to add your own cleanup to this list? Contact kathryn@pugetsoundkeeper.org for more information. Soundkeeper can help you find a site, provide trash pick up supplies, and recruit volunteers.

Get Out Of Town Today Day


Got cabin fever? Escape from the proverbial rat race on September 21st. It's Get Out of Town Today Day. Pick a spot. Choose an Adventure. Or just climb into your vehicle, and see where your GPS sends you on September 21st. What a wonderful occasion for taking a day trip.

The origins of Get Out of Town Today Day are uncertain, but the idea certainly contains merit. In many years, this date also marks the first day of autumn. Could there be a more apt time for planning a day-long sojourn? Of course, if you simply cannot break away from your responsibilities for even a few hours, look at some of these tips for creative ways to make even mundane driving more pleasant:

1. Arrange your activities. As you creep along the expressway, take a mental inventory of your day. In the morning, you might plan out the projects you will need to address when you arrive at work. On your trip home, you might debrief and decompress before you pull in the driveway.
2. Buy or borrow books on tape. Bookstores and libraries offer hundreds of these. Some are quite professionally done, with talented actors narrating. Why not work your way through a chapter or two of that book you have been meaning to read? Who knows? You might transform potential road rage into WAR AND PEACE. (A friend actually made his way through the entire Bible in one year of commuting!)
3. Carpool with a colleague. Pick up a friend or coworker for the trip to and from work. You will enjoy conversation on the way and save money on gas!
4. Dial a friend. Use the commute time to return phone calls. (Many of us do our most efficient phone work in the car!) Just be alert, as you do so! Hands-free phone-sets are available, for added safety. (These are actually required in many U.S. states.) Please: no text-messaging while you are driving!
5. Enjoy the excursion! Spending time behind the wheel need not always be stressful. Taking your time and using this as quiet moments, meditation and prayer time, and personal relaxation can be a real bonus to you and those in your household.
6. Find public transportation. If a bus or train will take you easily to and from work, then this can be a convenient option. Monthly passes can spell significant savings over wear-and-tear on your automobile, plus gasoline and insurance costs. As a passenger, you can accomplish a lot of paperwork, reading, and even telephoning.
7. Get off the main roads. When you have extra time to do so, it can be quite stimulating to take a new route to or from work. Perhaps you have an errand to run, or you would like to check out real estate in another community. Taking new routes can be quite diverting! (Ha!)
8. Have a meal along the way. Meeting a contact for breakfast on the way to work, or for supper on the way home, can break up the trip and make it much more enjoyable.

National Miniature Golf Day


Today is National Miniature Golf Day! Did you know that miniature golf has been around since the 1800s? During that time, people considered it highly inappropriate for a woman to raise a golf club above her shoulder level. In 1867, the Ladies’ Putting Club of St. Andrews, Scotland built a small scaled-down golf course so that women could play the sport without creating a scandal. It was the first miniature golf course in history.

Miniature golf courses began popping up in America during the early 20th century. However, these facilities were usually located at hotels and private resorts, so they were not yet available to the masses. In 1916, James Barbar of North Carolina built "Thistle Dhu," the first quintessential miniature golf course. The design of the course was neo-classical, similar to the style of the Tuileries Garden at the Louvre in Paris. By the 1930s, miniature golf had become a popular pastime all across the country. To celebrate National Miniature Golf Day, enjoy a round or two of mini golf with some friends!

National Pecan Cookie Day


Today is National Pecan Cookie Day! Bake a delicious batch of homemade pecan cookies to celebrate.

Pecans, a tree nut in the same family as the walnut, are an excellent source of protein, unsaturated fats, and healthy antioxidants that help reduce cholesterol. There are more than 1,000 varieties of pecan in the world.

Whether you prefer butter pecan, caramel pecan, orange pecan, or maple pecan cookies, enjoy a delicious treat today in honor of National Pecan Cookie Day!

World Gratitude Day


Let’s face it. Most of us are overworked, underpaid and just plain stressed out! There simply is not enough time in the day to get everything accomplished. In our hustle-and-bustle society, today reminds us to wake up and smell the coffee and to slow down and smell the roses! Life is short. We need to be thankful for everything and everyone in our lives. September 21 is World Gratitude Day.

This annual holiday actually began at a Thanksgiving dinner in Hawaii hosted by Sri Chinmoy back in 1965. Those in attendance pledged to celebrate their blessings in their own nations each September 21st. In 1977, the United Nations Meditation Group initiated World Gratitude Day on a global level. World Gratitude Day is described as a:
“holiday for all peoples, a day of meditation for all religions, a day of celebration for all humanity, united by knowledge of simultaneously shared emotion, a day when triumph of the spirit can make a world community.”
While World Gratitude Day is celebrated once a year, this annual occasion reminds us we should all be grateful for each and every day we have.

International Day of Peace


"On this International Day of Peace, let us pledge to teach our children the value of tolerance and mutual respect. Let us invest in the schools and teachers that will build a fair and inclusive world that embraces diversity. Let us fight for peace and defend it with all our might."UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 
Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by resolution 36/67 of the United Nations General Assembly to coincide with its opening session, which was held annually on the third Tuesday of September. The first Peace Day was observed in September 1982.

In 2001, the General Assembly by unanimous vote adopted resolution 55/282, which established 21 September as an annual day of nonviolence and cease-fire.

The United Nations invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities during the Day, and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.

World Alzheimer's Day


World Alzheimer's Day, September 21st of each year, is a day on which Alzheimer's organizations around the world concentrate their efforts on raising awareness about Alzheimer's and dementia. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, a group of disorders that impairs mental functioning.

Every 68 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer's disease. At current rates, experts believe the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s will quadruple to as many as 16 million by the year 2050.

Alzheimer's disease is often called a family disease, because the chronic stress of watching a loved one slowly decline affects everyone. 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. With the increases in life spans and baby boomers coming of age, support for Alzheimer’s research is more critical to our families than ever.

National Gymnastics Day


On Sept. 21, 2013, gymnasts and gym clubs around the United States will celebrate the 15th annual National Gymnastics Day and promote physical fitness and gymnastics in their communities by extending opportunities for underprivileged children to participate as part of USA Gymnastics' partnership with Right To Play or raising funds for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. The National Gymnastics Day activities range from open houses to cartwheel-a-thons to hosting local kids from disadvantaged areas.

"National Gymnastics Day is the one day a year that our community joins together to help promote our great sport at a higher level," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "In addition to building awareness, National Gymnastics Day is also an opportunity to give back. Helping children in need is a worthy cause, and we are looking forward to extending the opportunity to underprivileged children in communities across the country through our partnership with Right To Play. In addition, we have raised more than $1.8 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals since 2001."

USA Gymnastics and Right To Play, a global organization that uses sport and play programs to educate and empower children facing adversity, awarded 26 grants to USA Gymnastics member clubs to support innovative programs and initiatives to increase gymnastics' exposure and accessibility to children from disadvantaged or lower-income families as part of their charitable activities for National Gymnastics Day. Below are some of the activities planned for this year's National Gymnastics Day celebrations.

Oktoberfest


Oktoberfest is a 16-day festival celebrating beer held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. Running from late September to the first weekend in October, it is one of the most famous events in Germany and is the world's largest fair, with more than 6 million people from around the world attending the event every year. To the locals, it is not called Oktoberfest, but "die Wiesn", after the colloquial name of the fairgrounds themselves. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, having been held since 1810. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modeled after the original Munich event.

The Munich Oktoberfest originally took place during the sixteen days up to, and including, the first Sunday in October. In 1994, the schedule was modified in response to German reunification so that if the first Sunday in October falls on the 1st or 2nd, then the festival would go on until October 3 (German Unity Day). Thus, the festival is now 17 days when the first Sunday is October 2 and 18 days when it is October 1. In 2010, the festival lasted until the first Monday in October, to mark the anniversary of the event. The festival is held in an area named the Theresienwiese (field, or meadow, of Therese), often called Wiesn for short, located near Munich's center. Large quantities of Oktoberfest Beer are consumed, with almost 7 million liters served during the 16 day festival in 2007. Visitors may also enjoy a wide variety of traditional food such as Hendl (chicken), Schweinebraten (roast pork), Schweinshaxe (grilled ham hock), Steckerlfisch (grilled fish on a stick), Würstl (sausages) along with Brezeln (pretzel), Knödel (potato or bread dumplings),Käsespätzle (cheese noodles), Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes), Sauerkraut or Rotkohl/Blaukraut (red cabbage) along with such Bavarian delicacies as Obatzda (a spiced cheese-butter spread) and Weisswurst (a white sausage).