Saturday, October 18, 2014

Holidays and Observances for October 18 2014

Alaska Day

Alaska Day marks the anniversary of the formal transfer of the territory from Russia to the United States and the raising of the United States flag at Sitka on October 18, 1867. It is usually celebrated on October 18 each year.

The Alaska Day festival is annually celebrated in the city of Sitka, Alaska. The three-day festival usually involves: a mayor’s proclamation; a costume ball featuring period costumes; dance performances; races; a concert; an army band; an air-sea rescue demonstration; an open house on board a coast guard cutter or naval vessel; and tea at the Pioneer’s Home.

On Alaska Day many people involved in the armed forces join in a memorial service at the Sitka National Cemetery and in a parade throughout the city’s business district. School bands, marching units and costumed participants are among the many people who participate in the parade. A re-enactment of the 1867 ceremony also occurs on this day – it involves the lowering of the Russian flag and the raising of the United States flag on top of Castle Hill, accompanied by ceremonial music.

Alaska Day is an official state holiday so state government offices, the Alaska court system, state library, schools (closed for students), and many businesses are closed. Employees are entitled to take a day off during this holiday. When the holiday falls on a Saturday it is observed on the Friday before. If the holiday falls on a Sunday it is observed the following Monday.

After 68 years of Russian rule in Sitka, Alaska, the Russian flag at the governor’s house was lowered on October 18, 1867, and replaced with a United States flag. Two years before, the transcontinental telegraph line reached Sitka, and old expansionist dreams were rekindled. The United States bought the territory for 7.2 million dollars. Many Americans thought this was a waste of money and called Alaska “Seward’s Folly”, after William Seward, the state’s secretary who championed the purchase.

Little happened to interest the residence of the rest of the United States until gold was discovered in the Klondike in 1897. The gold rush era in Alaska began with the gold discovery by Joe Juneau and Richard Harris. Soon hundreds of prospectors poured into the site that later became Alaska’s capital city. In 1897, gold was discovered on the Klondike River in Canada. About 10,000 fortune seekers headed for the Klondike gold fields. Many of them hiked from Skagway across the Chilkoot Trail. In 1898, gold was found on the beaches near the Alaskan city of Nome. A city of tents sprang up overnight and by 1900, 232 ships had arrived in Nome carrying nearly 18,000 prospectors.

During World War II, Alaska’s strategic position was important. By the time Japan invaded the Aleutian Islands in 1943, more than 140,000 military personnel were stationed in Alaska. The Aleutian campaign, known as the "One Thousand Mile War," was the first battle fought on American soil since the Civil War. Alaska maintained its status as a territory until it became the 49th state of the United States on January 3, 1959.

The name Alaska is derived from the Aleut word “Alyeska”, meaning “great land”. The state’s nickname is “the last frontier”. The state motto is “North to the Future”. It was chosen in 1967 during the Alaska Purchase Centennial and represents Alaska as a land of promise. The state seal was designed in 1910 while Alaska was a territory and not a state. The rays above the mountains represent the Northern Lights. The smelter symbolizes mining. The train stands for Alaska’s railroads and ships denote transportation by sea. The trees symbolize Alaska’s forests, and the farmer, his horse, and the three shocks of wheat represent Alaskan agriculture. The fish and the seals signify the importance of fishing and wildlife to Alaska’s economy.

The state flag features a blue field, which is for the sky and the forget-me-not, the state flower. The North Star is for the future of the state of Alaska, the most northerly of the Union. The dipper is for the Great Bear, symbolizing strength. Other state symbols include: the willow ptarmigan (state bird); the giant king salmon (state fish); forget-me-not (state flower); gold (state mineral); the moose (state land mammal); the bowhead whale (state marine mammal); and the Sitka spruce (state tree).

National Chocolate Cupcake Day

It’s National Chocolate Cupcake Day! Chocolate cupcakes are a delightful treat served at gourmet bakeries and kitchen tables across the country.

The cupcake evolved in the United States in the 19th century, and it was revolutionary because of the amount of time it saved in the kitchen. There was a shift from weighing out ingredients when baking to measuring out ingredients. According to the Food Timeline Web, food historians have yet to pinpoint exactly where the name of the cupcake originated. There are two theories: one, the cakes were original cooked in cups and two, the ingredients used to make the cupcakes were measured out by the cup.

In the beginning, cupcakes were sometimes called "number" cakes, because they were easy to remember by the measurements of ingredients it took to create them: One cup of butter, two cups of sugar, three cups of flour, four eggs, one cup of milk, and one spoonful of soda. Clearly, cupcakes today have expanded to a wide variety of ingredients, measurements, shapes, and decorations - but this was one of the first recipes for making what we know today as cupcakes.

Cupcakes were convenient because they cooked much quicker than larger cakes. When baking was down in hearth ovens, it would take a long time to bake a cake, and the final product would often be burned. Muffin tins, also called gem pans, were popular around the turn of the 20th century, so people started created cupcakes in tins.

Since their creation, cupcakes have become a pop culture trend in the culinary world. They have spawned dozens of bakeries devoted entirely to them. While chocolate and vanilla remain classic favorites, fancy flavors such as raspberry meringue and espresso fudge can be found on menus. There are cookbooks, blogs, and magazines specifically dedicated to cupcakes.

Cupcakes are now made with a variety of flavors, ingredients, and decorations, but simple chocolate cupcakes remain a perennial favorite. Bake, frost, and decorate a batch today to celebrate National Chocolate Cupcake Day!

National No Beard Day

National No Beard Day is celebrated on October 18th. As the name suggests, one should separate on this day from old "pigtails" and go through life with a smooth skin. It is made as an opportunity especially for those who can not imagine to live without a beard. And for those whose partner has ever asked for a shave. The great thing is that if the result of shaving seems unbearable, you can let yourself grow the beard again!

A beard is the collection of hair that grows on the chin, upper lip, cheeks and neck of human beings and some non-human animals. In humans, usually only pubescent or adult males are able to grow beards. However, women with hirsutism may develop a beard. When differentiating between upper and lower facial hair, a beard specifically excludes the mustache.

Over the course of history, men with facial hair have been ascribed various attributes such as wisdom, sexual virility, masculinity, or a higher status; however, beards may also be perceived to be associated with a lack of general cleanliness and a loss of refinement, particularly in modern times.

In the 15th century, most European men were clean-shaven. 16th-century beards were allowed to grow to an amazing length (see the portraits of John Knox, Bishop Gardiner, Cardinal Pole and Thomas Cranmer). Some beards of this time were the Spanish spade beard, the English square cut beard, the forked beard, and the stiletto beard. In 1587 Francis Drake claimed, in a figure of speech, to have singed the King of Spain's beard.

In the beginning of the 17th century, the size of beards decreased in urban circles of Western Europe. In the second half of the century, being clean-shaven gradually become more common again, so much so that in 1698, Peter the Great of Russia ordered men to shave off their beards, and in 1705 levied a tax on beards in order to bring Russian society more in line with contemporary Western Europe.

During the early 18th century most men, particularly amongst the nobility and upper classes, went clean-shaven. There was, however, a dramatic shift in the beard's popularity during the 1850s, with it becoming markedly more popular. Consequently, beards were adopted by many leaders, such as Alexander III of Russia, Napoleon III of France and Frederick III of Germany, as well as many leading statesmen and cultural figures, such as Benjamin Disraeli, Charles Dickens, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Karl Marx, and Giuseppe Verdi. This trend can be recognized in the United States of America, where the shift can be seen amongst the post-Civil War presidents. Before Abraham Lincoln, no President had a beard; after Lincoln until Woodrow Wilson, every President except Andrew Johnson and William McKinley had either a beard or a moustache.

The beard became linked in this period with notions of masculinity and male courage. The resulting popularity has contributed to the stereotypical Victorian male figure in the popular mind, the stern figure clothed in black whose gravitas is added to by a heavy beard.

By the early 20th century beards began a slow decline in popularity. Although retained by some prominent figures who were young men in the Victorian period (like Sigmund Freud), most men who retained facial hair during the 1920s and 1930s limited themselves to a moustache or a goatee (such as with Marcel Proust, Albert Einstein, Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Adolf Hitler, and Joseph Stalin). In the United States, meanwhile, popular movies portrayed heroes with clean-shaven faces and "crew cuts". Concurrently, the psychological mass marketing of Madison Avenue was becoming prevalent. The Gillette Safety Razor Company was one of these marketers' early clients. These events conspired to popularize short hair and clean shaven faces as the only acceptable style for decades to come. The few men who wore the beard or portions of the beard during this period were frequently either old, Central Europeans; members of a religious sect that required it; or in academia.

The beard was reintroduced to mainstream society by the counterculture, firstly with the "beatniks" in the 1950s, and then with the hippie movement of the mid-1960s. Following the Vietnam War, beards exploded in popularity. In the mid-late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, beards were worn by hippies and businessmen alike. Popular music artists like The Beatles, Barry White, The Beach Boys, Jim Morrison (The Doors) and the male members of Peter, Paul, and Mary, among many other, wore full beards. The trend of seemingly ubiquitous beards in American culture subsided in the mid-1980s.

By the end of the 20th century, the closely clipped Verdi beard, often with a matching integrated moustache, had become relatively common. From the 1990s onward, the fashion in the United States has generally trended toward either a goatee, Van Dyke, or a closely cropped full beard undercut on the throat. By 2010, the fashionable length approached a "two-day shadow". The 2010s decade also saw the full beard become fashionable once again amongst young men.

One stratum of American society where facial hair is virtually nonexistent is in government and politics. The last President of the United States to wear any type of facial hair was William Howard Taft, who was in office from 1909 till 1913. The last Vice President of the United States to wear any facial hair was Charles Curtis, who was in office from 1929 till 1933.

Sweetest Day

Sweetest day is ceremony which is celebrated largely in regions of Great Lakes and also in the parts of northeast US. Sweetest day is celebrated on 3rd Saturday in month of October. By the Retail Confectioners International, Sweetest day is described as the occasion that offers us the chance to memorize not only the aged, orphaned and the sick but also to remember associates, relatives and friends who are very kind and helpful to us. Sweetest day is also referred as the concocted promotion which is formed by candy industry exclusively for enlarging candy sales.

The origin of Sweetest Day is frequently attributed to candy company employee Herbert Birch. His desire was to bring the happiness for the shut- ins, under- privileged and orphans. His main intention was to display that they are not forgotten. Kingston started sweetest day as the holiday by giving the small gifts and the candy in the year 1922. Sometimes he uses the movie stars for distributing the gifts.

The attractiveness of sweetest day as holiday spread very quickly. Today, sweetest day is celebrated with the friends and loved ones. Sweetest day is celebrated to make somebody happy. Sweetest day is not based on any of the individual’s group spiritual feelings or on family relationship. Sweetest day help us to remind that the thoughtful deed or word enriches the life and also provides life a meaning. As for the lots of the people remembrance takes form of the gift- giving. Sweetest day also provide us with the opportunity to demonstrate others, that we care them, in real way.

Currently Sweetest day significantly consists of giving the small presents as flowers, candy and greeting ones to the loved ones. Whereas sweetest day is not widely or large observed as the Valentine’s Day, still sweetest day is celebrated in parts of United States. Sweetest Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in month of October. Holiday on sweetest day is very much significant in some of the regions in United States. Now day’s holiday on this day is getting the popularity each year all through country.

Near about sixty years ago, the Cleveland man, by believing that city’s shut-ins and orphans sometimes felt that they are neglected and forgotten, conceived thought of displaying all of them that still they are remembered. Cleveland did all this by distributing gifts. With help of the neighbors and his friends, Cleveland distributed the small gifts as the remembrance in month of October on Saturday. After that, the other Clevelanders started to take participate in celebrations ceremony, which is now called as the Sweetest Day. Sweetest day is the special day which is dedicated just to your sweetie. Sweetest day provides you the opportunity to remember that special and sweet someone.

World Menopause Day

World Menopause Day is a worldwide awareness call for women who face health issues when menopause day comes. Menopause Day is a chance for women to be properly informed about proper care and treatment when they go to the imminent phase of life: menopause. World Menopause Day is celebrated annually every October 18th.

World Menopause Day was created by a United Kingdom based organization, International Menopause Society and World Health Organization. It is created to help raise health-awareness issues about menopausal women. During World Menopause Day, varied medium of health education programs are being offered in order to fully educate and end misinformation about menopause.

Menopause Facts that You Should Know
  1. During a menopause, a baby is still possible. If you are still in the transition phase of menopause, don’t abandon those birth control pills and condoms yet. Chances are, you can still get pregnant. According to studies, this phase is considered the second highest rate of unwanted pregnancies.
  2. Cigarette-smoking can intensify menopausal experience. Compared to non-smoking women, cigarettes have content which can heighten menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes.
  3. Don’t say goodbye to PMS just yet. During the transition to menopausal period, aside from irregular periods, you will experience more mood swings.
  4. Majority of women still experience the quality life even in menopause stage. Certainly, menopause is not an easy experience to go through. Yet, if carried with positive attitude, one can overcome the less pleasant experience and continue on with her quality life.
Years back, the word menopause is almost a taboo word. With the issue being severely silent, women worldwide only have the slightest idea on how to deal with menopausal symptoms and how to gain proper knowledge of menopausal health—related issues.

It is the World Menopause Day’s aim to utilize every available resource to educate women. It is the perfect opportunity for menopaused women to take advantage of these resources to accurately know how to take care of their health better. Factors such as focused attention to diet, exercise, alcohol, cigarette and caffeine consumption are important considerations in living a healthy life.

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