Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Holidays and Observances for June 3 2014

Chimborazo Day

June 3rd: Chimba … Chimbo … Huh? It’s CHIMBORAZO DAY? What in the world is a Chimborazo? Do you eat it? Do you throw it? Do you run from it?

No running needed; Chimborazo, or MOUNT Chimborazo, if you please, just sits there. Proudly and majestically, Mount Chimborazo is an inactive volcano in Ecuador, rising 20,565 feet into the skies. Its claim to fame is that it reaches further out into space than any other mountain peak on Earth. Even though Mount Everest claims the title of highest mountain on Earth (nearly 10,000 feet higher than Mount Chimborazo), it’s further from the moon. Mount Chimborazo is cheating a little. You know when you can’t quite reach the top shelf in the kitchen; you utilize a step stool to give you that extra needed boost? With Mount Chimborazo being near the equator, that little extra bulge around the center of the earth (that many of us don’t realize is there), gives Chimborazo that little step stool effect, giving it an extra 1.5-mile stretch. (Yep, the Earth too has one of those little middle-aged, too-many-french-fries “spare tire” bulges.)

The distance from the center of Earth to sea level at the equator is 13 miles greater than the distance from the center of Earth to sea level at the North Pole. Whew, that’s some “spare tire” Mother Earth.

Now, what to do with that information? I’m not sure how useful you’ll find it; but I know I've learned several new tidbits for the day. And finding a new day to celebrate, along with learning something new is ALWAYS a good day! Happy Chimborazo Day!

National Chocolate Macaroon Day

National Coconut Macaroon Day is a food holiday listed on some special-event calendars and websites, as well as food blogs. It falls on June 3, and is not an official holiday recognized by a major organization or by government.

Macaroons are a kind of baked confection, small cake, or cookie, generally using egg white as the raising agent. Most macaroons also contain almonds, coconut, or both, in a crushed, ground, shredded, slivered, or powdered form. The word 'macaroon' come from the Italian maccarone or maccherone meaning 'paste', referring to the original almond paste ingredient; this word itself derives from ammaccare, meaning to bruise. Macaroons are often light and airy, although some recipes create a more dense, heavy final product.

Macaroon varieties are many and varied, since different recipes for the confection have arisen in different cultures and time frames. Some macaroons are similar to a crispy-crusted almond meringue cookie. This form of macaroon is considered to be the oldest and original form. Many modern recipes for macaroons create a softer, more chewy confection with coconut being the most dominant flavor and texture.

Chocolate macaroons are macaroons with cocoa or chocolate forming part of the recipe. Even among chocolate macaroons, there are a great number of different varieties. Many chocolate macaroon recipes result in sandwiched cookie filled with a chocolate cream or paste. Others include chocolate chips or a chocolate icing.

The origin of National Chocolate Macaroon Day is not clear. No organization or retailer has specifically endorsed the special day or documented its proposal. It is likely that this food holiday arose from blog posts or culinary websites, perhaps hoping to create unique daily content, or present a special recipe for every day of the year.

National Chocolate Macaroon Day is a great opportunity to explore one of the exhaustive varieties of chocolate macaroon recipes. Food holidays such as this can be an enjoyable way to find an idea for a special treat to present at a get-together or when guests visit. Chocolate macaroons can also make a great gift, or something to eat on a special occasion.

Many chocolate macaroon recipes are not difficult and have few ingredients, so Chocolate Macaroon Day could be an opportunity to cook with children.

National Egg Day

Happy National Egg Day? What's that, you say? If you're like me, then you're wondering if National Egg Day is just another one of those random, promote-something-so-people-will-buy-it type of days, but it turns out there is a nice little story behind it all (and I guess its true...). 

National Egg Day was first declared a day of celebration by Claudius Nero Germanicus (b. 10 BC, d. 54 A.D.; emperor, 41-54 A.D.) who was the third emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Due to a severe poultry plague that devastated Europe at the beginning of the first millennium, chickens and particularly eggs were feared as a staple food source.

Three years after the plague had begun, Claudius challenged nobles within his realm to eat eggs to prove to the peasant population that it was indeed now safe to do so. None accepted the challenge except Augustus Antonius who invited all far and wide to witness his meal of boiled eggs. Showing no ill effects, the Roman populace once again embraced eggs and poultry. As a result, Claudius issued a royal proclamation dedicating the third day of June as the Holy Roman Day of Eggs.

The holiday endured for more than 500 years but ended during Justinian's reign. The egg remembrance resurfaced in 1805 during Napoleon's rule after he captured historical Italian documents relating to the Holy Roman Empire. Intrigued by the fact that Roman emperors were so enamored of the egg, and not wanting to be upstaged by them, he also declared June 3rd as "Oeuf Journée Nationale" or, "National Egg Day." It has remained a popular acknowledgement by western society to this day.

American Space Walk Day

One hundred and 20 miles above the earth, Major Edward H. White II opens the hatch of the Gemini 4 and steps out of the capsule, becoming the first American astronaut to walk in space. Attached to the craft by a 25-foot tether and controlling his movements with a hand-held oxygen jet-propulsion gun, White remained outside the capsule for just over 20 minutes. As a space walker, White had been preceded by Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei A. Leonov, who on March 18, 1965, was the first man ever to walk in space.

Implemented at the height of the space race, NASA's Gemini program was the least famous of the three U.S.-manned space programs conducted during the 1960's. However, as an extension of Project Mercury, which put the first American in space in 1961, Gemini laid the groundwork for the more dramatic Apollo lunar missions, which began in 1968. The Gemini space flights were the first to involve multiple crews, and the extended duration of the missions provided valuable information about the biological effects of longer-term space travel. When the Gemini program ended in 1966, U.S. astronauts had also perfected rendezvous and docking maneuvers with other orbiting vehicles, a skill that would be essential during the three-stage Apollo moon missions.

Repeat Day

Be honest. If you had the chance to do something over again, would you? If you answered “yes” to that question, you’re in luck! It’s Repeat Day. While the origins of this “holiday” are unknown, the annual event is held yearly on June 3.

Besides having the opportunity to do something all over again and hopefully getting it right the second time around, Repeat Day also comes in handy for those with “selective hearing”. You know the type – folks who would rather text than listen to your most intimate feelings. Or how about those significant others who tend to tune you out and mutter those famous words, “yes, dear” only to adamantly proclaim days later you never told them about that important appointment or event in the first place!

But every-so-often, some things bear repeating. Have you ever had a perfect moment you’d love to repeat over and over again? Whether it was the day you married your spouse, the day your child was born or some other significant event you will never forget, if only we could relive that special moment.

How to Celebrate Repeat Day:
  • Annoy all your family and friends by repeating everything you say. Surely someone will notice?
  • Make the same meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
  • Wear the same outfit two days in a row.
  • Be sure to watch the 1993 film, Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray and Andie Macdowell. Then watch it again.
Happy Repeat Day! Happy Repeat Day!