Sunday, April 5, 2015

Holidays and Observances for Apr 5 2015


Easter, which celebrates Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead, is Christianity’s most important holiday. It has been called a movable feast because it doesn't fall on a set date every year, as most holidays do. Instead, Christian churches in the West celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox on March 21. Therefore, Easter is observed anywhere between March 22 and April 25 every year. Orthodox Christians use the Julian calendar to calculate when Easter will occur and typically celebrate the holiday a week or two after the Western churches, which follow the Gregorian calendar.

The exact origins of this religious feast day’s name are unknown. Some sources claim the word Easter is derived from Eostre, a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility. Other accounts trace Easter to the Latin term hebdomada alba, or white week, an ancient reference to Easter week and the white clothing donned by people who were baptized during that time. Through a translation error, the term later appeared as esostarum in Old High German, which eventually became Easter in English. In Spanish, Easter is known as Pascua; in French, Paques. These words are derived from the Greek and Latin Pascha or Pasch, for Passover. Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection occurred after he went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover (or Pesach in Hebrew), the Jewish festival commemorating the ancient Israelites’ exodus from slavery in Egypt. Pascha eventually came to mean Easter.

Easter is really an entire season of the Christian church year, as opposed to a single-day observance. Lent, the 40-day period leading up to Easter Sunday, is a time of reflection and penance and represents the 40 days that Jesus spent alone in the wilderness before starting his ministry, a time in which Christians believe he survived various temptations by the devil. The day before Lent, known as Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, is a last hurrah of food and fun before the fasting begins. The week preceding Easter is called Holy Week and includes Maundy Thursday, which commemorates Jesus’ last supper with his disciples; Good Friday, which honors the day of his crucifixion; and Holy Saturday, which focuses on the transition between the crucifixion and resurrection. The 50-day period following Easter Sunday is called Eastertide and includes a celebration of Jesus’ ascension into heaven.

In addition to Easter’s religious significance, it also has a commercial side, as evidenced by the mounds of jelly beans and marshmallow chicks that appear in stores each spring. As with Christmas, over the centuries various folk customs and pagan traditions, including Easter eggs, bunnies, baskets and candy, have become a standard part of this holy holiday.

Go For Broke Day

Go for Broke Day is a day to take a chance on something. It could be asking out that girl or guy you've had your eye on. Going for that promotion or new job. Starting a business. Trying something you've always wanted to but didn't have the courage or thought that it was silly. Many of our world's successes have come as a result of someone who has taken a chance. Today, give yourself the opportunity to be that next person.

We've found nothing authoritative, though, we did find a credible tie-in that this holiday may pay tribute to the Japanese Americans of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, including the 100th Infantry Battalion, who became the most decorated unit in American military history. Their motto was "Go for Broke" and on April 5th, 1945 they made a surprise attack on Nazi positions breaking through the Nazi Gothic Line.

National Caramel Day

It’s National Caramel Day! Americans began making sugary syrups in the 1600s, but the delicious chewy caramel we know and love today was a more recent innovation. Caramel candy emerged during the 18th century and quickly became one of the most popular sweets on the market. In fact, Milton Hershey’s first business was the Lancaster Caramel Company!

The word caramel was first recorded in the English language in 1725; it comes from the Spanish caramelo. The original Spanish word did not refer to the chewy caramel candy we know today, but more likely, to caramelized sugar. The source of caramelo is unknown, but some scholars believe it is related to the late Latin calamellus, a diminutive form of calamus, reed or cane—an implied reference to sugar cane.

We know that soft caramel candy is an American invention—we just don’t know exactly when it was invented. By about 1650, Americans were boiling water and sugar in deep kettles in their fireplaces to make hard candies. Someone, at some point, added butter and milk to the pot and invented the caramel. By the mid-1800s, there were nearly 400 American candy manufacturers producing hard candies as well as caramels—recipes for caramels abound in cookbooks of the era. Milton Hershey’s first business was the Lancaster Caramel Company: He learned to make chocolate when seeking a coating for his caramels.

While the British invented toffee, the “soft toffee,” or caramel, invented by Americans crossed the pond in the 1880s, soon enough creating a universal demand in England. Unfortunately, mass-producers cut corners, substituting coconut oil for the butter and cream until, as one writer of the time reported, “competition stepped in with the usual result—the prices lowered, the quality suffered, until anything cut into the shape were called caramels....The very name has almost become a synonym for rubbish.”

More than one hundred and twenty-five years later, one might say that most Americans have never tasted a real caramel—only “rubbish” from the supermarket, the newsstand, and mass-merchandise stores. We’re happy to be able to turn back the hands of time, by introducing you to products that taste as good as—or better than—the ones made by artisans of generations past.

Caramel is made with butter, brown and white sugar, milk or cream, and vanilla. It is usually enjoyed as an ice cream topping, a candy filling, or on its own. You can also find caramel flavored puddings, popcorn, desserts, and coffee.

To celebrate National Caramel Day, enjoy some of your favorite caramel candies or make a batch of homemade caramel!

National Deep Dish Pizza Day

April 5 is National Deep Dish Pizza Day!  First designated in 2009 in celebration of this iconic Chicago contribution to American cuisine and the 65th Anniversary of its creator, UNO, it offers an opportunity to bite into the delicious, buttery crust that has made it a favorite the world over.

In celebration, UNO's famous individual-sized deep-dish pizzas are just $5 with the purchase of any regular entree from Saturday, April 3 through Monday, April 5 at participating locations with a coupon, which can be found at
UNO's history is closely entwined with America's love affair with pizza. UNO founder Ike Sewell opened his first restaurant in Chicago in 1943, determined to change pizza's reputation as a snack food. Using traditional, authentic Italian recipes, he added generous quantities of the finest meats, fresh cheeses, ripe vegetables and flavorful spices, to make pizza a hearty meal. It was the start of an American tradition -- the Chicago Deep Dish Pizza!

Now famous the world over, UNO and its signature deep dish pizzas have expanded to over 165 locations worldwide, including such exotic locales as Puerto Rico, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Honduras, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.  

Today, the food, fun and celebration roll on. Americans consume 4.4 million UNO deep-dish pizzas every year; which is enough to feed the entire population of Ireland!  Each year, UNO customers consume enough mozzarella cheese to create nearly 10 Boeing 747 commercial airplanes, including its 400 passengers. UNO also uses enough sauce each year to fill an entire Olympic-sized pool and enough sliced pepperoni to leave a trail from the restaurant's birthplace in Chicago to its current corporate headquarters in Boston.

"We're proud of our 65-year heritage of handcrafted, deep-dish pizza, which is the foundation of everything we do," says Frank Guidara, UNO CEO. "When you combine our heritage of deep-dish pizza with our broad array of delicious, healthy fare, it's easy to see why the UNO brand continues to grow both here and abroad."

National Love Our Children Day

Love Our Children USA announces the upcoming celebration of the Eighth Annual National Love Our Children Day on Saturday, April 5. An initiative of Love Our Children USA, this special day is celebrated annually on the first Saturday of every April to honor children, strengthen families and raise awareness for efforts to keep children safe. Each year the day is recognized with a proclamation from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

National Love Our Children Day is like Mother's and Father's Day for children and is celebrated across the U.S.  This day was created to acknowledge the value of children and to educate parents on the importance of giving them love, protection and respect, the three essential elements children need to become strong and successful adults. By promoting healthy and happy children and strengthening families through the support of our nation’s communities, we can keep kids safe.

Celebrities who have participated in National Love Our Children Day include: Meredith Vieira (Today Show), Ashleigh Banfield (ABC NEWS), Frank Grillo (Blind Justice, Prison Break), Yvonna Wright (Guiding Light), Tobias Truvillion (One Life To Live), The DEY, and the New Menudo, Melania Trump, Cameron Mathison, Rebecca Budig (All My Children), Maria Sansone of LXTV, Elton John, Bette Midler, Ellen Degeneres, Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Lisa Kudrow, Michael Buble, Daughtry, Kelly Clarkson, Emily Blunt, Sean Hayes, Sting, Beyonce, Phil Collins, Martina McBride, Melissa Etheridge, Jon Bon Jovi, Barry Manilow, Cindy Crawford, Tom Bergeron, Sherri Shepherd (The View host), Mike Woods (Fox 5 Weatherman), Michael Gargiulo (WNBC Co-Anchor "Today In New York), Chris Cimino (News 4 New York), Andrew Siff (News 4 New York), David Ushery (News 4 New York), George Oliphant (LXTV and Open House), Maria Sansone (LXTV), Siafa Lewis (LXTV), Elise Finch (WCBS Weather Anchor) and Soap Opera Stars Ron Raines (Guiding Light), Robert Bogue (Guiding Light), David Gregory (One Life To Live), Michael Lowry (One Life To Live), Martha Byrne (Gotham and As The World Turns, CSI:Miami, Dancing With The Stars, American idol, So You Think You Can Dance, Nancy Kerrigan, the NY Yankees, NE Patriots,  the NBA, Derek Jeter, Muhammad Ali, Frederique Van Der Wal and many others.

National Love Our Children Day has received media coverage on the Today Show, WABC News, Fox 5, LXTV, Better TV, the New York Post, Mom.Logic, NY Family Life, iVillage, InTouch Magazine, Soapdom, Soap Opera Digest, Soap Opera Weekly, 106.7 Lite FM and other media outlets. The first annual National Love Our Children Day was introduced on ABC's 'The View” by Tom Bergeron, host Dancing With The Stars and America's Funniest Home Videos.

Past sponsors of National Love Our Children Day include: Panasonic, Epic Records, Kea + Joby, Spotlight, Uno Chicago Grill, Backpack Toys International (Teddy Ruxpin), Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey Circus, Lord & Taylor, 106.7 Lite FM, Viewpoint, Coral Graphics, Starbucks, Fisher Price, Scholastic, Random House and many others..

Ross Ellis, Founder and Chief Executive Officer said "we urge all parents, families and communities to take time to honor children on each year on the first Saturday of April! Whether you’re a parent or not, children touch your heart in some way. We all have children in our lives, whether it's a son or daughter, relative, friend or neighbor's child. What greater purpose does a person have than to help protect respect, honor and celebrate a child? What is more powerful than the realization that a child needs my love?"

Spend the day with the children and teens in your life! Shower them with special attention. Take them to a movie, game, fair, circus, concert, shopping or out to lunch. Do something special together, spend time in your community together, or buy them something they’ve been wanting for a long time — just because you love them!

Whatever you choose to do with your children on Love Our Children Day, make it a special day! Celebrate together! Children are our treasures!

National Raisin and Spice Bar Day

National Raisin and Spice Bar Day is the perfect time to reminisce back to the aromas of your grandmother's kitchen, and those delectable treats that would emerge from it. Take a moment today, and dig through those old family recipes. When you find the one for Raisin and Spice Bars, you might want to make a few scrumptious batches and keep the tradition alive.

One Day Without Shoes Day

You may have recognized that TOMS does things a little differently. We embark on ideas that some people question and others embrace. Our biggest campaign of the year is no different.

On April 8, we're asking everyone to go barefoot for One Day Without Shoes. But why would a shoe company ask people around the world not to wear shoes?

I think sometimes we forget what we have, and occasionally it's important to remind ourselves. Most people don't even realize how many children in developing countries grow up barefoot and all the risks, infections and diseases they endure. For most of us, modern shoes our so comfortable and accessible, we all but forget about our feet, but they are a source of constant focus for others. I wanted everyone to personally understand the impact of shoes, and the difference they can make, so we thought, "Why don't we get a taste of what these kids go through every day?"

The great thing about an event like One Day Without Shoes is that it's so easy to participate. We've had some supporters go barefoot for 20 minutes and others have gone barefoot for months! We have people participating in our neighborhood and we have people participating in Qatar, Jerusalem, Australia, and all around the world. Kristen Bell, Matisyahu, Morgan Spurlock, and Heather Graham are participating... so are my parents, Kindergarten teachers, 750+ college campuses, lawyers, and senators.

We even have people participating virtually by blogging barefoot, using a One Day avatar for Twitter, or switching out their Facebook profile pic to help spread awareness.

On any other day of the year I'd probably ask you to wear your TOMS or go pick up a new style- but on Thursday April 8th, go barefoot. Yes, you'll get some funny looks and your feet will definitely get dirty... but you'll also be part of a movement that is helping provide new shoes for millions of children who need them.

Register at and you'll be entered to win a spot on a TOMS Shoe Drop too!

National Read a Road Map Day

April 5th is National Read a Road Map Day. Not 'download a map day' or 'input addresses into your GPS day' but actual Read a Road Map Day. Nothing beats the sense of possibility when you unfold a brand-new road map for the first time. Opportunities for adventure abound as you smooth out the accordion creases and lay that map out in front of you. As each new panel opens, hundreds of red, black and blue lines spill forth to tempt. Hmmm…which road to take? This one? Or maybe that one? Doesn’t really matter, as all roads lead somewhere. Further investigation leads to the discovery of town names such as Smiley, TX; Pixley, CA; Timbo, AR. You may have never considered such places before, but they tickle your imagination. You know that if you do visit, those names will surely become as familiar to you as your own. 

So much space, this country of ours. So much to see. Huge expanses of land dotted with cities, mountain ranges and National Parks. Rivers wind up, over and through all types of terrain, creating borders between states and nations or dropping away into oceans. Time zone listings that divide the country remind us not to worry too much about time after all.

This sense of possibility is reminiscent of another moment that held the promise of adventure just around the corner. Remember your first day of school? That moment that twisted your stomach in a combination of nerves and excitement as you sat at your little desk and sorted through the new school supplies in your pencil box; a ruler, an eraser, a pack of Crayola crayons with the sharpener right there in the box and a few gold and green #2 pencils. Again, the sense of possibility. All these new tools you were going to need for your adventure, and they were right there in front of you, ready to help you on your way. Much like a road map, if you think about it. So take advantage of this day by snuggling up with a fold-out, big-kid pencil box and get ready for your next adventure.