Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Holidays and Observances for May 13 2014

National Frog Jumping Day

National Frog Jumping Day is celebrated on May 13th of each year. Frog jumping is a competitive pastime in which frogs compete to jump certain distances. Frog jumping contests are held in small communities scattered around the United States, as part of the folk culture.

Frog jumping was made famous in a short story by Mark Twain, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” An event has been held annually in Calaveras County since 1928, with other events held in Indiana, Ohio, Washington, Maine, Missouri, Louisiana, New York, and also in Manitoba, Canada. With 4,000 contestants in 2007, the Calaveras County contest has strict rules regulating the frogs’ welfare, including limiting the daily number of a frog’s jumps, and mandating the playing of calming music in their enclosures. The endangered California Red-legged Frog may not be entered in the competition. Participants entering the longest jumping frog were to win a $750 prize or $5,000 if their frog breaks the 1986 record of 21 feet, 5¾ inches set by Rosie the Ribeter.

National Apple Pie Day

The National Apple Pie Day is in 2014 on May 13. An apple pie is a fruit pie in which the principal filling ingredient is apples. It is the quintessential American dessert. In countless surveys it has been chosen as the favorite dessert in the United States.

Although apple pies have been eaten since long before the European colonization of the Americas, "as American as apple pie" is a saying in the United States, meaning "typically American". The dish was also commemorated in the phrase "for Mom and apple pie" - supposedly the stock answer of American soldiers in World War II, whenever journalists asked why they were going to war.

Advertisers exploited the patriotic connection in the 1970's with the commercial jingle "baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet". There are claims that the Apple Marketing Board of New York State used such slogans as "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" and "as American as apple pie!", and thus "was able to successfully 'rehabilitate' the apple as a popular comestible" in the early twentieth century when prohibition outlawed the production of cider.

Apple pie is sometimes served with whipped cream or ice cream on top. Pastry is generally used top-and-bottom, making it a double-crust pie, the upper crust of which may be a disk shaped crust or a pastry lattice woven of strips; exceptions are deep-dish apple pie with a top crust only, and open-face Tarte Tatin. 

National Fruit Cocktail Day

National Fruit Cocktail Day occurs every May 13 in the United States of America. This holiday celebrates fruits that have been chopped and made into a cocktail (typically with some sort of juice or syrup. Fruit cocktail may be eaten as a snack or as a dessert. Although fruit cocktail is generally healthy, those made with heavy syrups can contain high amounts of sugar and calories.1

Fruit, along with vegetables, is a main part of a healthy diet. Fruits contain vitamins and minerals that help combat illnesses, and those who incorporate produce into their diets are less likely to develop some serious diseases. In addition, the majority of fruits have low amounts of sodium, fat or calories, making them logical choices for those who seek to lose weight.2

There is little documentation available about National Fruit Cocktail Day, and thus it is difficult to determine how, when or why it was started. It may have been created by a company that makes fruit cocktails, or by another group with ties to the fruit industry. Industry organizations are often responsible for food holidays.3

National Fruit Cocktail Day may be honored by making some fruit cocktail at home. By making it at home, it is possible to choose exactly what fruits and flavorings will go into the creation. There may also be some specials and promotions for the holiday at grocery stores or restaurants.

National Leprechaun Day

If you’re in the mood to get lucky and have a fondness for men in designer, haute couture uniforms, it may be your lucky day! On the heels of National Twilight Zone Day and National Limerick Day, May 13 is dedicated to those elusive Irish men dressed in green. Hold on to your pot of gold, it’s National Leprechaun Day! While the origins of this annual holiday are unknown, chances are pretty good a diminutive leprechaun created the day in his honor.

Who are Leprechauns?
Leprechauns are sly and sneaky fairies dressed in shades of green that lead solitary yet busy lives. These spiffy dressers typically don waist coats, buckled shoes and hats. Many little leprechauns are hard-working shoemakers (like the author of this article!) They are talented musicians and love to dance. In fact, they love dancing so much, they wear out their shoes and constantly have to make new ones.

While they may be small in stature, they are quick as a whip. While seeing one from time-to-time is not all that unusual, catching one of these mischievous pranksters is another matter entirely! If you happen to catch a leprechaun, and good luck with that, the leprechaun will use his magical powers to grant you three wishes in return for his freedom. Or will he?

How to Celebrate Leprechaun Day
  • Get lucky today and learn the right way to catch a Leprechaun!
  • Need a wee bit more help? Make this colorful Leprechaun Trap out of colored craft sticks!
  • Be sure to stop by Leprechaun Days later this year in Rosemount, MN.
  • Lucky Leprechaun Cocktail - Feeling a little parched after all that Leprechaun hunting? Check out this pretty green concoction made with melon liqueur, pineapple juice, Malibu Rum and mint.
  • Ugly Leprechaun – This interesting drink calls for vodka, Irish whiskey, melon liqueur, kiwi puree and a lime wedge.
  • Frosty Leprechaun Cocktail - Speaking of quenching your thirst, run, don’t walk, to your kitchen to whip up this fabulous drink. You’ll need Irish whiskey, coffee liqueur, Irish cream, simple syrup, cold espresso and vanilla ice cream for this one!
Abbotsbury Garland Day

Abbotsbury Gardland Day is celebrated on May 13th of each year. celebrations have taken place in the Dorset village of Abbotsbury since about the early 19th century. They were first described in the edition of John Hutchins’ History of Dorset published in 1867. The custom involves the making of garlands by the children of the village. Originally only the children of local fishermen took part. The garlands were blessed in a church service and some were then rowed out to sea to be tossed into the water. The children would then spend the rest of the day playing on the beach. From around the time of the First World War the custom changed somewhat in that children of non-fishermen started to take part. This was probably due to the decline of the local fishing industry. The village school gave the children a day’s holiday and they would set about constructing two garlands, one of wild flowers and the other of garden flowers. These were held aloft on poles and paraded from house to house in the village with the intention of collecting money which the children would keep. Later in the day older children who had been at school in nearby Weymouth would arrive home and make a more elaborate garland which would also be taken around the houses. From after the First World War two garlands would be placed on the local war memorial.

The Abbotsbury village school closed in 1981 and the children no longer get a day’s holiday. This has led to the celebrations taking place in the evening or on the nearest Saturday. However, a determination amongst the villagers has ensured that this English tradition survives, albeit in a form slightly different from the original.