Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Holidays and Observances for January 21st 2014

National Granola Bar Day

January 21st is National Granola Bar Day

If you're looking for something to do today then get ready for a wholesome snack because it's National Granola Bar Day!

Whether you're on the trail, on your way to work or just looking through your cupboards, granola is always a great option!

Let's get right into celebrating National Granola Bar Day!

Why is this a holiday?
Granola has actually been around for quite some time and is VERY common in the bar form these days, so why not set aside a day to celebrate this treat?

Granola (or Granula) came about in the late nineteenth century in the United States and it referred to food that was made with whole grains, crumbled and then baked to form a crispy treat.

Fast forward to the 1960s and companies started to try to revive this treat by marketing it as a health food. They added things like fruits and nuts to make it an even tastier and well-balanced treat.

But granola bars were invented by Stanley Mason and were a different kind of treat with the same wholesome goodness. Granola usually came in a loose form which could be messy when traveling but was great as a cereal. But with the new option of having a granola bar this treat is made more portable.

The first actual granola bar that sold in the United States was patented and created by Edward Thayer Sr. He produced granola bars like Granola Crunch, Granola Grabber and Peanut Butter Crunch out of Chico, California.

Now a days you have the option to choose between crunchy or chewy granola bars. I prefer the chewy; it makes for less of a mess and has a great consistency.

There are so many different varieties of granola bars available that I'm sure you'll never get bored with this treat!

National Hugging Day

National Hug Day or National Hugging Day is an annual holiday occurring on January 21. The holiday was founded on January 21, 1986 in Caro, Michigan, and has since spread to Canada, England, Australia, Germany and Poland.

A hug is a form of physical intimacy, not necessarily sexual, that usually involves closing or holding the arms around the neck or waist of another person. Hugging has been proven to have health benefits. One study has shown that hugs increase levels of oxytocin, and reduce blood pressure. Hugging is not particular to human beings, as there are many species of animals that engage in similar exchanges of warmth.

In recent years it has become a practice amongst some teenage girls to greet and farewell each other with a hug. In May 2009, the New York Times reported that "the hug has become the favorite social greeting when teenagers meet or part these days" in the United States. A number of schools in the United States have issued bans on hugs, which in some cases have resulted in student-led protests against these bans.

National New England Clam Chowder Day

Today's food holiday is chowdah this world - January 21 is National New England Clam Chowder Day.

Let’s get one thing straight off the bat: New Englanders are serious about their chowder. Chowders - a hearty soup typically made from seafood and/or vegetables - vary by region. The differences might seem subtle to the untrained eye, but to representatives of that region, they’re black and white.

The main difference between a New England clam chowder and a Manhattan clam chowder is the addition of tomatoes to the latter. Italian immigrants brought tomatoes with them to the New World and they became so popular, they were put in most dishes. New Englanders disagree with this addition, so much so that in 1939, an assemblyman in Maine introduced a bill making it illegal to add tomatoes to clam chowder.

New England clam chowder is a milk- or cream-based soup that’s thickened by the starch from potatoes or crushed crackers. Onions and celery sautéed in bacon fat add a salty component that complements the clams. Littleneck or cherrystone clams work best for chowders. They’re cooked in salted water until the shells open revealing the sweet and salty flesh. The liquid the clams are cooked in becomes the broth for the soup, adding extra clam flavor. New England chowders are served simply with crackers and a spoon.

Squirrel Appreciation Day

Squirrel Appreciation Day is celebrated annually on January 21 in the United States!

On this day we are encouraged to honor squirrels! You can help celebrate this day by putting out extra food for the squirrels.

Squirrel Appreciation Day is an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate squirrels in their native environment. It's lots of fun to watch squirrels climbing trees, jumping from limb to limb, gathering food and munching on snacks. You can even get a big chuckle out of watching them do summersaults as they play with each other too. They even play with bugs by tossing them up in the air! hahaha

Squirrel Appreciation Day is held in mid-winter when food sources can be scarce for squirrels. In celebration of Squirrel Appreciation Day we suggest supplementing them with some winter food by giving them some squirrel feed or dried corn from your local pet center or feed store.

We love squirrels and make it a point to feed them in the winter. In fact the photo you see above is one of our squirrels. A family of squirrels were playing chase in the tree when I snapped this photo of one of them. This is a favorite tree for them because we have a squirrel feeders in it that's filled with corn and we also have a large bird feeder in the tree that's filled with a mix of bird seeds and sunflower seeds. The squirrels love the sunflower seeds too. I could spend hours watching them swing and snack on the treats. So on this special holiday please remember our wildlife and give them a helping hand.

Christy Hargrove from Asheville, North Carolina started Squirrel Appreciation Day on January 21, 2001. Christy is a wildlife rehabilitator in North Carolina, and is is affiliated with the Western North Carolina Nature Center.

A squirrel is one of the many small or medium-sized rodents in the family Sciuridae." "In the English-speaking world, "squirrel" commonly refers to members of this family's genera Sciurus and Tamiasciurus, which are tree squirrels with large bushy tails, indigenous to Asia, the Americas and Europe." "Similar genera are found in Africa." "The Sciuridae family also include flying squirrels, as well as ground squirrels such as the chipmunks, prairie dogs, and woodchucks." "Members of the family Anomaluridae are sometimes misleadingly referred to as "scaly-tailed flying squirrels" although they are not closely related to the true squirrels.