Sunday, November 9, 2014

Holidays and Observances for November 9 2014

International Tongue Twister Day

It’s International Tongue Twister Day! “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.” “A quick witted cricket critic.” “She sells seashells by the sea shore.” How many other tongue twisters can you think of to celebrate this tongue-twisting holiday?

Tongue twisters have fascinated people throughout history. Did you know that Peter Piper is a historical figure? Pierre Poivre was a one-armed French pirate and horticulturist during the mid-1700s. Poivre was notorious for stealing spice nuts (known as “peppers”) from Dutch trade ships, and using them to plant his garden. On at least one occasion he stole half a bushel of nutmegs, which inspired the tongue twister we know and love today.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the most difficult tongue twister in the English language is: “The sixth sick sheikh's sixth sheep's sick.” To celebrate International Tongue Twister Day (always the 2nd Sunday in November), read a rhyming book or practice some of your favorite tongue twisters with your friends and family! 

National Chaos Never Dies Day

There are, let’s face it, quite a number of days dedicated to stress relief, calmness and generally taking it easy. All of these days work on the premise that we’re too busy, too bustly, and need to step away from it all for a little while. But the world doesn't work like that – we’re all busy, all the time, and nothing’s ever simple or quiet!

National Chaos Never Dies Day takes the stance that the perfect, quiet moment we’re all striving for and anticipating doesn't – and likely never will – exist, and that we should make the most of now, chaos-and-all, and embrace the moment.

Chaos in Greek mythology and cosmology referred to a gap or abyss at the beginning of the world, or more generally the initial, formless state of the universe.  In Greek mythoical cosmogony, particularly in the Theogony of Hesiod, Chaos is the original dark void from which everything else appeared.  First came Gaia (Earth) and Eros (Love), then Erebus and his sister Nyx (Night).  These siblings produced children together which included Aether, Hemera (Day), and Nemesis.  Other cosmogonies, such as the lost Heptamychos of Pherecydes of Syros, also have the gods being born from Chaos, but in a different way.

Later uses of the term by philosophers varied over time.  In modern English, the word is used in classical studies with the original meaning; in mathematics and science to refer to a very specific kind of unpredictability; and informally to mean a state of confusion.

National Scrapple Day

It’s National Scrapple Day! Scrapple, or pon haus, is similar in both composition and taste to British white pudding. Its name comes from the fact that it is composed of “scraps” of pork combined with cornmeal and spices. The mixture is formed into a mostly solid loaf, and then it is sliced and panfried before serving.

Scrapple is arguably the first pork food invented in America. The roots of the culinary traditions that led to the development of scrapple in America have been traced back to pre-Roman Europe. The more immediate culinary ancestor of scrapple was the Low German dish called panhas, which was adapted to make use of locally available ingredients, and it is still called "Pannhaas," "panhoss," "ponhoss," or "pannhas" in parts of Pennsylvania. The first recipes were created by German colonists who settled near Philadelphia and Chester County, Pennsylvania in the 17th and 18th centuries. As a result, scrapple is strongly associated with rural areas surrounding Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, eastern Virginia, and the Delmarva Peninsula. Its popularity on the Delmarva Peninsula is celebrated the second weekend of October during the annual "Apple Scrapple Festival" in Bridgeville, Delaware.

In composition, preparation, and taste, scrapple is similar to the white pudding popular in Ireland, Scotland, and parts of England and the spicier Hog's pudding of the West Country of England.

Scrapple is typically eaten for breakfast, topped with syrup or ketchup. In some regions of the United States, it is mixed with scrambled eggs. Enjoy National Scrapple Day!

World Freedom Day

World Freedom Day in the U.S. is observed on November 9th. World Freedom Day is a United States federal observance declared by then-President George W. Bush to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe. It started in 2001 and is celebrated on the 9th of November. 

For nearly three decades, the Berlin Wall divided a nation and stood as one symbol of a system that denied individuals the freedoms that are the right of every person. It separated families and suppressed free will and self-determination -- but while it tried to contain the yearnings of a courageous and unwavering people for liberty and justice, it could not crush them. Twenty-five years ago today, Germans from East and West came together to tear down the Wall and begin the work of building an open and prosperous society. On World Freedom Day, we honor a generation that refused to be defined by a wall, and we reaffirm our commitment to stand with all those who seek to join the free world.

The images of this extraordinary event are seared in our memory and enshrined in our history: brave crowds climbing atop an old barrier and Berliners reuniting in city streets. But the victory of 1989 was not inevitable. We will not forget those who risked bullets, dug through tunnels, leapt from buildings, and crossed barbed wire, minefields, and a mighty river in pursuit of freedom. In their struggle -- and in the memory of all those who did not live to see Berlin united and free -- Americans see our own past, as well as the spirit of citizens around the world who long for opportunity and are willing to do the hard work of building a democracy.

America stood with those on both sides of the Iron Curtain who held fast to the belief that a better future was possible, and as the Berlin Wall fell, it spurred a more integrated, more prosperous, and more secure Europe. Today, Germany is one of our strongest allies. And as we pay tribute to our shared past, we are reminded that upholding peace and security is the responsibility of every nation. There is no progress without sacrifice and no freedom without solidarity, and we cannot shrink from our role of advancing the values in which we believe.

The story of Berlin shows us that with grit and determination, we have the power to shape our own destiny, even in the face of impossible odds. As we celebrate a triumph over tyranny, we also recognize that the challenges to peace and human dignity continue in our complex world and that complacency is not the character of great nations. Let us resolve to extend a hand to those who reach for freedom still and continue the pursuit of peace in our time.