Sunday, October 12, 2014

Holidays and Observances for October 12 2014

Columbus Day (Traditional)

Columbus Day is a U.S. holiday that commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the New World on October 12, 1492. It was unofficially celebrated in a number of cities and states as early as the 18th century but did not become a federal holiday until the 1937. For many, the holiday is a way of both honoring Columbus’ achievements and celebrating Italian-American heritage. Throughout its history, Columbus Day and the man who inspired it have generated controversy, and many alternatives to the holiday have appeared in recent years.

A U.S. national holiday since 1937, Columbus Day commemorates the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the New World on October 12, 1492. The Italian-born explorer had set sail two months earlier, backed by the Spanish monarchs King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. He intended to chart a western sea route to China, India and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia; instead, he landed in the Bahamas, becoming the first European to explore the Americas since the Vikings set up colonies in Greenland and Newfoundland during the 10th century.

Later that month, Columbus sighted Cuba and believed it was mainland China; in December the expedition found Hispaniola, which he though might be Japan. There, he established Spain’s first colony in the Americas with 39 of his men. In March 1493, the explorer returned to Spain in triumph, bearing gold, spices and “Indian” captives. He crossed the Atlantic several more times before his death in 1506; by his third journey, he realized that he hadn't reached Asia but instead had stumbled upon a continent previously unknown to Europeans.

The first Columbus Day celebration took place in 1792, when New York’s Columbian Order–better known as Tammany Hall–held an event to commemorate the historic landing’s 300th anniversary. Taking pride in Columbus’ birthplace and faith, Italian and Catholic communities in various parts of the country began organizing annual religious ceremonies and parades in his honor. In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation encouraging Americans to mark the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage with patriotic festivities, writing, “On that day let the people, so far as possible, cease from toil and devote themselves to such exercises as may best express honor to the discoverer and their appreciation of the great achievements of the four completed centuries of American life.”

In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Columbus Day a national holiday, largely as a result of intense lobbying by the Knights of Columbus, an influential Catholic fraternal benefits organization. Originally observed every October 12, it was fixed to the second Monday in October in 1971.

Opposition to Columbus Day dates back to the 19th century, when anti-immigrant groups in the United States rejected the holiday because of its association with Catholicism. In recent decades, Native Americans and other groups have protested the celebration of an event that indirectly resulted in the colonization of the Americas and the death of millions: European settlers brought a host of infectious diseases, including smallpox and influenza, that decimated indigenous populations; warfare between Native Americans and the colonists claimed many lives as well. The image of Christopher Columbus as an intrepid hero has also been called into question. Upon arriving in the Bahamas, the explorer and his men forced the native peoples they found there into slavery; later, while serving as the governor of Hispaniola, he allegedly imposed barbaric forms of punishment, including torture.

In many Latin American nations, the anniversary of Columbus’ landing has traditionally been observed as the Dìa de la Raza (“Day of the Race”), a celebration of Hispanic culture’s diverse roots. In 2002, Venezuela renamed the holiday Dìa de la Resistencia Indìgena (“Day of Indigenous Resistance”) to recognize native peoples and their experience. Several U.S. cities and states have replaced Columbus Day with alternative days of remembrance; examples include Berkeley’s Indigenous Peoples Day, South Dakota’s Native American Day and Hawaii’s Discoverer’s Day, which commemorates the arrival of Polynesian settlers.

In many parts of the United States, Columbus Day has evolved into a celebration of Italian-American heritage. Local groups host parades and street fairs featuring colorful costumes, music and Italian food. In cities and towns that use the day to honor indigenous peoples, activities include pow-wows, traditional dance and lessons about Native American culture.

Day of the 6 Billion

October 12, 1999, has been designated by the United Nations as the Day of 6 Billion, a symbolic observation of this historic population milestone.

According to United Nations projections, the Earth's population could be 7 billion, 9 billion or 11 billion in 50 years, depending upon the decisions made by today's young people about bearing children.

The number 6 billion does not mean much, especially if people are unaware of concepts like "population momentum." They are usually surprised to learn that it took hundreds of thousands of years to reach 1 billion in 1804; and that the 3 billion milestone came in 1960, and global population has doubled since then, to 6 billion in 1999.

Meeting the Needs of 6 Billion People
The number of people on earth is not the real story. The real story is improving the quality of life of every one of the 6 billion. The Day of 6 Billion is a time of reflection and action to ensure a healthy and safe future for our children and grandchildren.
  • At 1.07 billion, this is the history's largest generation of young people between 15 and 24. The reproductive choices these young people make will likely determine the planet's future. As they move into adulthood, these young people need access to family planning and reproductive health services, education, jobs and a healthy environment.
  • More than half the world's population is female (equal to the world's entire population in 1960). But too many women and girls in too many countries lack the right to decide their own futures and are denied opportunities for education, employment and health care. Around the world and here in the United States, the more education a girl receives, the more likely she is to postpone pregnancy, the safer her pregnancies will be and the fewer and healthier children she will have.
  • Our global environment is stressed by wasteful consumption, the pressures of rapid population growth and over-development. We may not have solutions to concerns of global warming, acid rain, environmental health or air and water pollution, but we do know what works to produce successful family planning and reproductive health programs.
Putting People First In an historic consensus, governments of the world came together at the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994. They agreed on a Program of Action that puts people first and slows rapid population growth at the same time. The goals are to:
  • Improve and expand family planning and reproductive health care for all who want and need it.
  • Increase self-determination, education and economic opportunities to improve the status of women and girls.
  • End practices such as female genital mutilation and other forms of violence against women.
  • Invest $17 billion per year in global population and development programs - two-thirds from developing nations, one third from the developed world.
Fulfilling the Promise
As the third most populated country on earth, the United States needs to affirm its status as a world leader and meet its financial responsibilities. The needs of 6 billion people cannot be met unless U.S. policymakers fulfill their promise made at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994 to help provide population and development funding in countries that cannot afford it themselves.
  • Most of the money for international family planning programs - two-thirds of it - is already coming from the developing countries that need it most.
  • Financial and technical help is needed from richer countries.
  • The United States should continue its financial commitment to the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) and increase other international humanitarian assistance through USAID programs.
Freethought Day

Freethought Day is celebrated on October 12th of each year, 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.'”
International Moment of Frustration Scream Day

Have you ever been so angry or exasperated with somebody while on the other hand, he or she doesn't even give a hedge to what you feel? How about a situation? The worst thing is you cannot do anything against it except for one thing– SCREAM OUT LOUD! Well, I must say, this day is your chance to do it officially. International Moment of Frustration Scream Day is celebrated always on the 12th of October.

International Moment of Frustration Scream Day is a day to share all your frustrations about everything around you. It was created by Thomas and Ruth Roy of Wellcat Holidays where everybody has to go out at 1200 hours Greenwich Time and yell at the top of their voices for 30 seconds. There may be no further details of the origin of this celebration or the reason behind why it was created, one thing is unquestionable about this—its exceptional and distinctive way to help individuals get their minds off their usual routines and customs even just for a day.

Some people I know may not be aware about such celebration, but honestly, I am seeing it to be very helpful for people to vent out their emotions by screaming, especially when they are just so overwhelm with too much things running in their heads or even in front of their eyes. Screaming and yelling out loud is a form of emancipating hurtful and disturbing sentiments towards situations, circumstances, and people in which they are exercising a good anger management procedure.

Basically, you don’t need too much time to prepare for this day. You simply need a reason why you are celebrating this holiday. Some reasons you might have are:
  • Enormously throbbing conditions
  • Overjoy of something
  • Annoying people around you
  • Being frightened
  • Horror movies
  • Ruthless dreams and nightmares
  • Terrible roller coaster
  • Needs assistance
But whatever reasons you have, might as well have a good day of screaming. Just make sure that you had a proper warm-up because it can probably cause damage to your vocal chords if done carelessly.

You can celebrate and scream all you want. Just make sure that your neighbors are well-informed about it unless they will call the police or 911 thinking that you have been robbed. You can also encourage a friend or a co-worker to join with you and try it. Later he will realize the act of kindness you did for him and he’ll be grateful for that. You can also watch movies suitable for this unique holiday with your friends at home and have some popcorn. Go to the mountain top and scream at the top of your lungs. Do some bungee jumping or rappelling that will cause you to scream naturally.

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.

Of all the dishes in the repertoire of Louisiana cooking, gumbo is undoubtedly the most famous. One of the oldest dishes in Louisiana and a source of culinary pride as far back as there are written records, in modern times it has become as much of a cultural symbol of Louisiana as jazz or the bayou.  Even more so than jambalaya or red beans and rice, it is ubiquitous in restaurants, at special events, and in homes of all classes throughout Louisiana.

Generally speaking, a gumbo is a thick, dark soup containing a mixture of rice, vegetables, and meat or seafood. Yet when it comes to ingredients, the one constant in gumbo is variety.  Stanley Dry lists just two hard and fast rules:  a gumbo must always contain rice, and it must always be thickened with something.  Most gumbos are, in fact, double-thickened - first with a dark, oil-based roux (although Gumbo Z’Herbes is sometimes roux-less, as are some 19th century recipes), and then using either okra or filé powder, but never both (to connoisseurs, this as uncouth a practice as blending a Bordeaux with a Riesling).   Otherwise, anything might be thrown into the pot; one can even find written references to gumbo made with owl and muskrat.  However, despite this unlimited potential, the vast majority of gumbos fall into one of three categories:  Seafood Gumbo, containing some combination of oysters, shrimp, crawfish, and/or crabs, and more often made with okra than filé; Poultry and Sausage gumbo, which uses either chicken or turkey in combination with pieces of andouille or other smoked sausage, and more often made with filé than okra; and the increasingly rare Gumbo Z’Herbes, a meatless soup created for Lent that incorporates a wide variety of greens.  The greens symbolize different things to different families.  Most often the number of greens a person uses represents the number of new friends he or she is supposed to make that year, but said number is different according to different authors: some list a specific number like 7 or 9, while Fitzmorris insists on an even number of greens and Folse on an odd.  Leon Soniat best explains the reality of the situation: 
“When we got to the vegetable stands, where we bought the ingredients for the GUMBO Z’HERBES, there would be vegetable men or hawkers and their cries of ‘Get your greens, lady, get your twelve greens, get your fifteen greens, get your seven greens ‘–the numbers changed as we passed by each of the different stands.”
Because gumbo has been a staple in Louisiana kitchens long before written records of the dish existed, there are many myths surrounding its origins.  No one is even certain whether the dish is Cajun or Creole in origin - the oldest mention to date is when French explorer C.C. Robin ate it at a soiree on the Acadian coast in 1803. Yet there are records of New Orleans creoles enjoying it during roughly the same time period.  It is not uncommon to read that gumbo evolved from French fish soups such as bouillabaisse.  This seems highly unlikely for a number of reasons, particularly because--while Louisiana has its own version of bouillabaisse that is similar to the French version--the only ingredients in common between your standard bouillabaisse and your standard gumbo are water and salt.  Contrary to popular belief, the seafood gumbos that people erroneously assume to be the descendants of European fish soups were not the original style of gumbo, as the Cajun diet contained very little seafood before the 20th century. 

The oldest records I have found that describe the contents of gumbo are from Pavie in The Borderlands: The Journey Of Theodore Pavie to Louisiana and Texas in 1829-1830, Including Portions of his Souvenirs Atlantiques, by Betje Black Klier, where he mentions consuming:
“...lots of squirrel gumbo, a delicious stew made with rice and Chateaubriand’s sassafras...”
Despite these longstanding myths, as early as 1885 there were writers who recognized gumbo as the culinary legacy of the African/American community. Although the French contributed the concept of the roux and the Choctaw invented filé powder, the modern soup is overwhelmingly West African in character.  Not only does it resemble many of the okra-based soups found in contemporary Senegal, the name of the soup its self is derived from the Bantu words for the okra contained within (guingombo, tchingombo, or kingombo. A legacy of the colonial era, the modern French word for okra is quite simply “gombo”). 

Additionally, Jessica B. Harris has found Afro-Caribbean soups with similar compositions and names to their Louisiana counterpart. The recipe she gives in Iron Pots, Wooden Spoons (45) for a Giambo from Curacao reads like a modern Louisiana gumbo:  onion, celery, a ham hock, a bay leaf, etc.

While gumbo may be eaten at any time and for any reason, it may just as easily be featured as part of a special celebration.  For example, John Folse lists gumbo among the ingredients of the traditional Louisiana reveillon spread.  While the New Orleans Mardi Gras focuses on dishes such as Grillades and King Cake, gumbo is crucial to the Cajun version of the holiday. 

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

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. Happy Old Farmers Day!

Our research did not find the creator, or the origin of this day. 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.

World Arthritis Day

World Arthritis Day was established in 1996 by Arthritis and Rheumatism International (ARI) and is celebrated each year on 12 October.

Now, people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) from around the world can join together to make their voices heard on this day. World Arthritis Day is an ideal focus for organisations to raise awareness of issues affecting people with RMDs and for individuals to support campaigns. 

Although 12 October is the official World Arthritis Day, this is a year round campaign.

The aims of World Arthritis Day are:
  • To raise awareness of RMDs amongst the medical community, people with RMDs and the general public
  • To influence public policy by making decision-makers aware of the burden of RMDs and the steps which can be taken to ease it
  • To ensure all people with RMDs and their caregivers are aware of the vast support network available to them.
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis causes cartilage — the hard, slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones where they form a joint — to break down. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that first targets the lining of joints (synovium).

Uric acid crystals, infections or underlying disease, such as psoriasis or lupus, can cause other types of arthritis.

Treatments vary depending on the type of arthritis. The main goals of arthritis treatments are to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.

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