Saturday, October 12, 2013

Holidays for October 12th 2013

31 Day of Halloween Horror
12. Halloween 5


Universal Music Day


Universal Music Day educates people about the power and importance of Music-making. It acts as a spark to ignite, encourage, and inspire people to take an active role in their own lives to LOVE their MUSIC and themselves, to create a life that enriches and creates compassionate communities. It’s about what Alfred Adler referred to as a spirit of belonging to this human family, self-esteem and social interest – all of which begins by claiming one’s own breathe, heart song and MUSIC-making.

These tools and attributes, especially during challenging times of uncertainty and transition offer wonderful opportunities. These tools can help people effectively deal with many personal, national and world problems with the active involvement of all the world’s citizens. Active involvement will grow by each one of us claiming our own breathe, voice, MUSIC-making and FUN!

Columbus Day


After sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus sights a Bahamian island, believing he has reached East Asia. His expedition went ashore the same day and claimed the land for Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain, who sponsored his attempt to find a western ocean route to China, India, and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia.

Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy, in 1451. Little is known of his early life, but he worked as a seaman and then a maritime entrepreneur. He became obsessed with the possibility of pioneering a western sea route to Cathay (China), India, and the gold and spice islands of Asia. At the time, Europeans knew no direct sea route to southern Asia, and the route via Egypt and the Red Sea was closed to Europeans by the Ottoman Empire, as were many land routes. Contrary to popular legend, educated Europeans of Columbus' day did believe that the world was round, as argued by St. Isidore in the seventh century. However, Columbus, and most others, underestimated the world's size, calculating that East Asia must lie approximately where North America sits on the globe (they did not yet know that the Pacific Ocean existed).

With only the Atlantic Ocean, he thought, lying between Europe and the riches of the East Indies, Columbus met with King John II of Portugal and tried to persuade him to back his "Enterprise of the Indies," as he called his plan. He was rebuffed and went to Spain, where he was also rejected at least twice by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. However, after the Spanish conquest of the Moorish kingdom of Granada in January 1492, the Spanish monarchs, flush with victory, agreed to support his voyage.

On August 3, 1492, Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, with three small ships, the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Nina. On October 12, the expedition reached land, probably Watling Island in the Bahamas. Later that month, Columbus sighted Cuba, which he thought was mainland China, and in December the expedition landed on Hispaniola, which Columbus thought might be Japan. He established a small colony there with 39 of his men. The explorer returned to Spain with gold, spices, and "Indian" captives in March 1493 and was received with the highest honors by the Spanish court. He was the first European to explore the Americas since the Vikings set up colonies in Greenland and Newfoundland in the 10th century.

During his lifetime, Columbus led a total of four expeditions to the New World, discovering various Caribbean islands, the Gulf of Mexico, and the South and Central American mainlands, but he never accomplished his original goal—a western ocean route to the great cities of Asia. Columbus died in Spain in 1506 without realizing the great scope of what he did achieve: He had discovered for Europe the New World, whose riches over the next century would help make Spain the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth.

International Moment of Frustration Scream Day


Today, at 1200 Greenwich time, everyone is supposed to go outside and scream out their frustrations.

I think that I really like this concept.

This might help relieve my stress about the weather, which I am aware that can't control, and therefore should not feel so much stress.

I am preparing stuff for an outdoor event. Catering, presentation stands, speakers, electrical equipment...

The weather reports have changed four times in the last 24 hours.

Yeah. I know. I should stop checking them.

Must... stop... checking... weather... reports...

...or maybe it will just be better to scream.

National Gumbo Day


It’s National Gumbo Day! Gumbo is a tasty stew-like dish that originated in Louisiana. The name comes from an African word for okra, which is the key ingredient used for thickening.

Similar to Louisiana itself, gumbo is an amalgamation of many cultures. Elements of the recipe can be linked to West African, Choctaw, and French cuisine. As a result, there are many variations of gumbo and to this day chefs argue over the true recipe. The first historical reference to gumbo appears in an 1803 document, which describes the menu at a gubernatorial reception in New Orleans.

Enjoy Louisiana's most famous dish served over brown or white rice, and celebrate National Gumbo Day!

Oktoberfest Day


Bavarian Crown Prince Louis, later King Louis I of Bavaria, marries Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The Bavarian royalty invited the citizens of Munich to attend the festivities, held on the fields in front of the city gates. These famous public fields were named Theresienwiese—"Therese's fields"—in honor of the crown princess; although locals have since abbreviated the name simply to the "Wies'n." Horse races in the presence of the royal family concluded the popular event, celebrated in varying forms all across Bavaria.

The decision to repeat the festivities and the horse races in the subsequent year gave rise to the tradition of the annual Oktoberfest, which now begins in late September and lasts until the first Sunday in October. Alcohol consumption is an important part of the modern festival, and more than 1 million gallons of beer are consumed annually at Oktoberfest.

Old Farmers Day


Old Farmers Day honors the hard labor of farmers throughout American history. Early American culture was heavily a farming culture. Early settlers cleared fields and pristine woods, to farm the rich land. They brought seeds and farming methods with them. They found new seeds, and learned new methods along the way. Many of those new farming methods came from Native Americans, who were already farming the land. Most notably, was the concept of hilling, or mounding soil.

The month of October is a very appropriate month to celebrate and honor farmers. At this time, the harvest is largely complete. It means that farmers can take a break from their labors, to enjoy this celebration.

A farmers' work is long and hard. It certainly doesn't make a person rich. It has its good years, and its bad ones. There is no guarantee of a good crop. Weather, pests, and disease problems often prove disastrous. But, through it all, farmers have persevered. And, their ceaseless hard work sets an example for all.

As Americans, we tip our hat to all farmers for their contributions to American culture, values,society, and the economy.

The origin of this day seems to date back to the early to mid 1800's. There appears for be many dates in September and October for local town "Farmer Days". Many have been around for a long time. For some unknown reason, October 12th is by far the most common date for this celebration of farming and of the harvest they reap.

Happy Old Farmers Day!


Freethought Day


Freethought Day is October 12th, the annual observance by freethinkers and secularists of the anniversary of the effective end of the Salem Witch Trials.

The seminal event connected to Freethought Day is a letter written by then Massachusetts Governor William Phips in which he wrote to the Privy Council of the British monarchs, William and Mary, on this day in 1692. In this correspondence he outlined the quagmire that the trials had degenerated into, in part by a reliance on "evidence" of a non-objective nature and especially "spectral evidence" in which the accusers claimed to see devils and other phantasms consorting with the accused.

Note that, contrary to what has been claimed by some, there was no specific order or edict by Phips to ban "spectral evidence" from all legal proceedings. Rather, this was one concern that brought about Phips' stopping the proceedings. When the trials ultimately resumed, "spectral evidence" was allowed but was largely discounted and those convicted were swiftly pardoned by Phips.

In the time leading up to the trials being stopped, it was actually clerics including the famous Cotton Mather, often portrayed as the chief villain in the hysteria, who took the lead in advising cautions against the use of "spectral evidence." The Rev. Increase Mather, Cotton's father, specifically condemned "spectral evidence" in his book 'Cases of Conscience', in which he stated that:
"It were better that ten suspected witches should escape, than that one Innocent Person should be Condemned."
It was this shift in sentiment, no doubt aided by the escalating hysteria and the fact that accusations were beginning to reach higher into the Massachusetts Bay Colony hierarchy, that led to Phips' action.

As Dr. Tim Gorski, Pastor of the North Texas Church of Freethought has observed:
"Now this is the important part: why did [Phips] do it? Was [he] a Freethinker? No. Was it that people suddenly realized that there are no witches, no demons, no evil spells and the like? No. No, the Phips edict came about with the complicity of all the devout fundamentalist believers that constituted the community of Salem and the Colony of Massachusetts because they had to.
Winston Churchill once remarked that 'What the wise do in the beginning, fools do in the end.' Churchill also said that 'You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else!'
For, you see, eventually, at some point, and to some degree, people simply have to act rationally. You have to open doors before walking through doorways. You have to turn the key in your ignition before you drive home today. No amount of faith and prayer can allow anyone to do otherwise. And despite all the rhetorical flourishes of the superstitious believers, that’s the way it’s always been and always will be. Indeed, this truth is becoming more and more important every day.
It’s also the essence of the role of the law: to hold people to a standard of dealing with one another that’s based on reason. That’s the basis of every shall and shalt not that there is, not some divine command of 'do it or else.'"
Freethought Week is often observed during the week in which October 12th falls or Freethought Month during October which, of course, culminates in the holiday of Halloween.