Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Holidays and Observances for April 1 2014

April Fools Day

April Fools' Day (alternatively April Fool's Day, sometimes All Fools' Day) is celebrated on 1 April every year. 1 April is not a national holiday, but is widely recognized and celebrated in various countries as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other called April fools.

Precursors of April Fools' Day include the Roman festival of Hilaria, held 25 March,[2] and the Medieval Feast of Fools, held 28 December, still a day on which pranks are played in Spanish-speaking countries.

In Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1392), the "Nun's Priest's Tale" is set Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two. Modern scholars believe that there is a copying error in the extant manuscripts and that Chaucer actually wrote, Syn March was gon. Thus, the passage originally meant 32 days after April, i.e. 2 May, the anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia, which took place in 1381. Readers apparently misunderstood this line to mean "March 32", i.e. 1 April.[8] In Chaucer's tale, the vain cock Chauntecleer is tricked by a fox.

In 1508, French poet Eloy d'Amerval referred to a poisson d’avril (April fool, literally "April fish"), a possible reference to the holiday. In 1539, Flemish poet Eduard de Dene wrote of a nobleman who sent his servants on foolish errands on 1 April. In 1686, John Aubrey referred to the holiday as "Fooles holy day", the first British reference. On 1 April 1698, several people were tricked into going to the Tower of London to "see the Lions washed".

In the Middle Ages, up until the late 18th century, New Year's Day was celebrated on 25 March (Feast of the Annunciation) in most European towns. In some areas of France, New Year's was a week-long holiday ending on 1 April. Many writers suggest that April Fools originated because those who celebrated on 1 January made fun of those who celebrated on other dates. The use of 1 January as New Year's Day was common in France by the mid-16th century, and this date was adopted officially in 1564 by the Edict of Roussillon.

International Tatting Day

International Tatting Day is always on April 1st. This day has been celebrated for more than 44 years internationally.

People who tat on this day will have activities. The activities lean towards the educational side of this art. This day in April allows tatters to celebrate their hobby and introduce this hobby to others. They can celebrate the day by making tatted lace and eating chocolates.

What is Tatting?
Tatting is using a a needle or shuttle to create lace for garments, doilies, and other durable goods. Tatting laces is more delicate of work compared to crocheting this type of trim work for items.

I have tried tatting once, but I didn't quite get the gist of using the tatting shuttle. I wasn't coordinated enough to be able to do tatting. I have seen other people's tatting work. Many of their pieces had intricate designs.

National Atheist's Day

In 2003, a Christian joke circulated around the internet. The joke talked about a fictional case in which an atheist sued the government because there were no atheist holidays. The judge then told the atheist that he was wrong and that April 1st (April Fool’s Day) was an atheist holiday citing the Bible:
"The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good." - Psalm 14:1
Despite the obviousness that this was a fictional story meant to be humorous to Christians at the expense of atheists on April Fool’s Day, many religious believers were actually fooled and began circulating the story as real (Snopes.com).

To this day, it is not unusual for Christians to claim that April Fool’s Day is the atheist’s holiday. Some make this claim maliciously, but many are just honestly fooled by the April Fool’s Day prank. This is not surprising given what it says in the atheist holy book:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him will believeth in anything.” - Hitchens 3:16

International Fun at Work Day

If you are someone who gets a kick of pulling pranks on unsuspecting friends, loved ones and/or coworkers, pull my finger! It's International Fun at Work Day!

Originally called National Fun at Work Day, International Fun at Work Day began in 1996 by the folks at Playfair in an effort to create "a joyous and playful, yet absolutely serious, effort to increase awareness of the importance of bringing a playful attitude to work."

While International Fun at Work Day is officially observed annually on April 1st (unless the 1st falls on a weekend and then it's celebrated on the first Thursday in April), the 17th Annual International Fun at Work Day celebration takes place on April 2, 2013. This year's theme is Work Like Your Dog.

If you've ever felt like you work like a dog, you aren't alone. Whether you love your job or not so much, many of us are overworked, underpaid and over-stressed But when you think about it, most dogs enjoy life, whether they are working dogs, service dogs or beloved family pets. Everything is a new adventure no matter what they are doing. A dog's life is exciting and fun. Most dogs are loyal and loving, despite their circumstances.

If humans embraced life like most dogs do, perhaps our lives could change? Life may not be so "ruff" with a little attitude adjustment. At the end of the day, we could even have a happy "tail" to tell? Who "nose?"

Why not take a cue from our canine companions and really enjoy life, regardless of the circumstances? International Fun at Work Day reminds us all to live a little and laugh a lot!

National One Cent Day

National One Cent Day is celebrated on April 1, every year.  A cent is one hundredth of a dollar. It was designed and minted first in the year 1909. It took four years to design and issue the first prototypes of the coin. But what is the significance of one cent day. One cent is a very small denomination today. Its value has diminished. Nonetheless, the coin has its own charm.

On National One cent Day, one can revisit its history and other aspects that made it possible. One can realize the power of one cent by understanding how one can save a cent every day on purchases made. Most stores display price tags of items as $9.99. Try saving that one cent in a piggy bank. It can accumulate over a long time and come handy when you need some instant cash.

On National One Cent Day you can celebrate the power of a cent by having popcorn for one cent, buying a candy for one cent, giving one cent to a needy and just putting aside one cent in your piggy bank for the day. May be you could also resolve to continue putting all the one cents you generate per day into a coin bank.

National Sourdough Bread Day

Wow! National Sourdough Bread Day! Now that’s one people living in the San Francisco Bay Area can really sink their teeth into. Few people have ovens adequate to make classic sourdough French bread in their homes, but not to worry, here in the Bay Area we have a plethora of artisan bakeries that daily produce a variety of excellent sourdough loaves.
Sourdough was the main bread made in Northern California during the California Gold Rush, and it remains a part of the culture of San Francisco today. The bread became so common that "sourdough" became a general nickname for the gold prospectors. The nickname remains in "Sourdough Sam", the mascot of the San Francisco 49ers. A 'Sourdough' is also a nickname used in the North (Yukon/Alaska) for someone having spent an entire winter north of the Arctic Circle and refers to their tradition of protecting their Sourdough during the coldest months by keeping it close to their body.

The sourdough tradition was carried into Alaska and the western Canadian territories during the Klondike Gold Rush. Conventional leavenings such as yeast and baking soda were much less reliable in the conditions faced by the prospectors. Experienced miners and other settlers frequently carried a pouch of starter either around their neck or on a belt; these were fiercely guarded to keep from freezing. However, freezing does not kill a sourdough starter; excessive heat does. Old hands came to be called "sourdoughs", a term that is still applied to any Alaskan old-timer.

San Francisco sourdough is the most famous sourdough bread made in the U.S. today. In contrast to sourdough production in other areas of the country, the San Francisco variety has remained in continuous production since 1849, with some bakeries, Boudin Bakery among others, able to trace their starters back to California's Gold Rush period. It is a white bread characterized by a pronounced so much so that the dominant strain of lactobacillus in sourdough starters was named Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis. Sourdough also became popular because of its ability to combine well with seafoods and soups such as Chioppino, clam chowder, and chili. A San Francisco sourdough baguette is also the perfect addition to a wine country picnic basket. It’s almost the law. How can you possibly enjoy that piece of Brie, some pate, grapes and a glass of old growth Zinfandel without a sourdough baguette and it’s unthinkable to even consider local, fresh cracked Dungeness crab without San Francisco Sourdough bread to help it on its way.

Poetry and the Creative Mind Day

Nope, this isn't an April Fool's joke ... today really does celebrate poetry and the creative mind. Poetry is, as dictionary.com puts it, "lofty thought or impassioned feeling expressed in imaginative words." It takes a creative mind to create good poetry.

There are so many forms of poetry that the mind could boggle. There is haiku, limerick, ode, tanka, epic, pastoral, couplet, narrative, quatrain, sonnet, ballad, elegy, iambic pentameter, lyric, free verse and more.

I've always been fond of limericks and haiku myself. I often experiment with the form when I'm feeling stuck in my fiction writing, and forcing myself to obey the rules of these forms often breaks me out of a writing block or rut. Here are a couple of my favorite experiment results:

Here are some questions for you:
Do you sit, while smiling, in glue?
Do you like that new boy?
Or would rather go to Troy?
And are you eyes, which are green, shiny blue?
on worlds far awayby oceans brilliant orangethe Zuk long for fish
I highly recommend stretching your creativity into areas that are not your norm to help you break free from writer's block, as well.

This is an excellent way to celebrate Poetry and Creative Mind Day. Other ways can include:

  • Create your own pottery at Paint 'N' Glaze on 3960 Studebaker Rd. or at Color Me Mine at 5269 East 2nd Street.
  • Visit an art museum and appreciate the creativity of others. Here in Long Beach we have several art museums, such as the Long Beach Museum of Art at 2300 East Ocean Blvd. and the Museum of Latin American Art at 628 Alamitos Avenue.
  • Go to the beach and create a sand sculpture!

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Sorry Charlie Day

Sorry Charlie Day is celebrated on April 1st. Sorry Charlie Day is for all of those who have been rejected, and yet somehow survived it. Celebrate this day by taking a minute to remember a past rejection. After doing this, be happy and realize the fact, that this happens to all of us.

Social rejection occurs when an individual is deliberately excluded from a social relationship or social interaction for social rather than practical reasons. The topic includes both interpersonal rejection and romantic rejection. A person can be rejected on an individual basis or by an entire group of people. Although humans are social beings, some level of rejection is an inevitable part of life.

Nevertheless, rejection can become a problem when it is prolonged or consistent, when the relationship is important, or when the individual is highly sensitive to rejection. The experience of rejection can lead to a number of adverse psychological consequences such as loneliness, low self-esteem, aggression, and depression. It can also lead to feelings of insecurity and a heightened sensitivity to future rejection.

US Air Force Academy Day

The United States Air Force Academy was established April 1, 1954, the culmination of an idea that had been years in the making. Airpower leaders, long before the Air Force was a separate service, had argued that they needed a school, dedicated to war in the air, at which to train the country's future Airmen. After September 1947, when the Air Force was established as a separate service, this idea finally had the legitimacy of the new service behind it.

In 1948, the Air Force appointed a board, later named the Stearns-Eisenhower Board for its chairmen, to study the existing military academies and to study the options for an Air Force Academy. Their conclusions were strongly put: the Air Force needed its own school, and they recommended additionally that at least 40 percent of future officers be service academy graduates.

After Congress passed the bill establishing the Air Force Academy, the secretary of the Air Force appointed a commission to recommend a location. After traveling 21,000 miles and considering hundreds of sites all over the country, the commission recommended Colorado Springs as its first choice. The secretary agreed, and the purchasing of the thousands of acres began. The state of Colorado contributed $1 million to the purchase of the land.

On July 11, 1955, the same year construction began in Colorado Springs, the first class of 306 men was sworn in at a temporary site, Lowry Air Force Base, in Denver. Lt. Gen. Hubert R. Harmon, a key figure in the development of early plans for an Academy, was recalled from retirement by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to become the first superintendent.

Two years later, Maj. Gen. James Briggs took over as the Academy's second superintendent. On Aug. 29, 1958, the wing of 1,145 cadets moved to its permanent site from Denver. Less than a year later, the Academy received academic accreditation and graduated its first class of 207 on June 3, 1959. In 1964, the authorized strength of the Cadet Wing was increased to 4,417. The present authorized strength is 4,000.

Perhaps the most controversial event in the Academy's history was the admission of women. President Gerald R. Ford signed legislation Oct. 7, 1975, permitting women to enter the military academies. Women entered the Air Force Academy for the first time on June 28, 1976. The first class including women graduated in 1980.

As with any institution, the Air Force Academy has suffered growing pains and continues to evolve. Even in its relatively short existence, the school has excelled in its quest for excellence.

The Academy celebrated the 50th anniversary of its inception April 1, 2004. Three noteworthy events occurred in connection with the celebration. First, a 37-cent commemorative stamp was issued honoring the Academy, with the chapel strikingly portrayed. The Academy was also declared a national historic landmark, and a plaque was installed on the Honor Court marking the occasion. Finally, Harmon was officially named as the father of the Air Force Academy, honoring the pivotal role he played in its planning and establishment. Further anniversaries were marked during the next four years, culminating with the 50th anniversary of the first commencement at the Academy in 2009.

The Academy has provided the Air Force with a corps of officers dedicated to upholding the high standards of their profession. The Air Force, in turn has provided a proving ground for these officers and sent back to its Academy dedicated staff members to educate and train these future leaders. Fifty years after the first class entered, the Academy has now graduated over 37,000 young officers' intent on serving their country.

Library Snapshot Day

A Day in the Life of Your Library

Library Snapshot Day provides a way for libraries of all types across a state, region, system or community to show what happens in a single day in their libraries. How many books are checked out? How many people receive help finding a job? Doing their taxes? Doing their homework? This initiative provides an easy means to collect statistics, photos and stories that will enable library advocates to prove the value of their libraries to decision-makers and increase public awareness.

The concept originated in New Jersey as a joint effort between the New Jersey Library Assn. and the New Jersey State Library. Soon after, many states began emulating the effort. At the 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting, the ALA Advocacy Coordinating Group, in conjunction with the Chapter Relations Committee and COSLA, agreed to take this initiative to a national level, asking that states across the country find a date to conduct their own Library Snapshot Day.

Reading is Funny Day

If you have ever tried and failed at getting your child to put down the video games and pick up a book, this might be the day for you! Reading is Funny Day aims to show children that reading can be just as fun as more modern entertainment, whether it be with jokes, riddles or funny stories.

Take the opportunity on this day to show your children how fun reading can be. Download riddles from the internet to get your children engaged, go to the local library to check out a few funny books or even spend the day making up funny stories of your own! Setting this day aside to concentrate on having fun reading can be a real eye opener to the children of today and may even encourage them to start to read on their own on other days of the year!