Sunday, June 21, 2015

Holidays and Observances for June 21 2015

Atheists Solidarity Day

It ultimately is a day of protest, celebration, and awareness raising. Only in solidarity can atheists create a world in which atheists everywhere can be open about their lack of belief in god and not fear any harmful consequence.

It's an atheist holiday and awareness campaign. It's a global and annual day to stand up together as one and provide support for those who struggle to be non-religious in their communities. It's a day of celebration for those who have the freedom to be open about their beliefs while at the same time raising awareness about those who don't have that freedom. There are many around the world who have to hide their lack of belief in god because of social pressures, taboos, threat of violence, and even death. Everywhere there are people who have to hide out of necessity.

This day will be a day where atheists around the world wear the atheist ribbon (half scarlet red half black) pinned to their shirt or anything that identifies themselves as an atheist such as the "Scarlet A". As we get more and more publicity every year it will be easier and easier for others to stand out and express themselves.

On June 21 people will be paying more attention to the repercussions that some may suffer identifying themselves as an atheist. It will be a day that when repercussions happen atheists around the globe will stand up and demand it end. On this day we'll write letters to the media, we'll protest, we'll make it more well known, we'll cast an eye on those who oppress. To be successful publicity is important. It's a day to party and be responsible. Create awareness in clever ways. Have a party in a public place and invite the public. Run a fundraiser in the community. Do anything to get more people to see that atheists are just like everyone else. Do things to break the stereotypes people may have. Be fun and show your community what you think is important. 

Ideas on ways to identity yourself on this day: wear a half scarlet red half black ribbon, get something from (proceeds to go to a non-profit foundation), or from , make signs, or anything to identify yourself as atheist.

This day belongs to everyone. No one controls it or its agenda. It will take it's own path. Hopefully every year more and more people will celebrate this day. Feel free to use this facebook page to organize local events. Just post your location as a topic in discussions. Offer ideas. Join this group. Encourage others to join. Write about it in your blog. Promote this day everywhere. 

Eventually this day could be a day were all atheists stand up in solidarity worldwide in order to help more come out to those around them. Together we can help change the world where eventually atheists everywhere can stand up fearless and celebrate our freedom every June 21. This event nicely compliments World Humanist Day. (The main reason for the date) See for related information. 

Solidarity can be shown all year long!! June 21 is the day we celebrate and focus our solidarity for yearly events and projects. 

The black and red colors were mostly chosen as a homage to one of the first "Scarlet A" pictures on It was a red A on black background. 

Baby Boomers Recognition Day

The most familiar June holiday is Father's Day. June is also the first day of summer, or the summer solstice, or the longest day of the year. But June also has several offbeat, unusual, and wacky holidays. Just on the 21st of June alone, besides Summer Solstice Day, there is Go Skateboarding Day, World Hand Shake Day, and, of course, the one that is most dear to our hearts, Baby Boomer Recognition Day. Baby Boomer Recognition Day, what is that?

After doing several exhaustive searches on the internet, nothing very definitive could be found, so it is time to make some educated and also some wacky guesses. How about this? This is the day you go around to where you think Boomers would be hanging out, and try to “recognize” them. These would be places like in the malls, or walking slowly in the park, or watching the surf at the beach, reminiscing about the days they could actually have enough energy to paddle out.

But, here is a word of caution. You would probably be identifying their parents. Remember Boomers are between the age of 47 and 65. And what makes it even harder is they don’t look or act their age. Yes, there are some boomers in that pack of cyclers that just past you and some of those surfers out there catching waves are also boomers. Did you know that our president is also a boomer?

There is an estimated 70 million fathers in the US who will receive over $11 billion in gifts for Fathers Day. That is a lot of money. Half of those fathers are Baby Boomers. So when you are looking around to try to find a Boomer, every other father you see is one. That goes for the mothers also. That is scary.

The people who make a difference in your life aren't the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They’re the ones who care. If you want to be important to someone else’s life, make them feel appreciated. This fathers day is a good time to take an inventory of the men who have that left a mark on your life and then let them know it. It’s like paying it forward through kind comments, small favors, and gentle token gifts. Fathers like tech gadgets, special outings, tools, sporting goods, books and CDs, photos, gift baskets, or even a hug, a small gift, and a card you made.

Cuckoo Warning Day

June 21 is Cuckoo Warning Day, a holiday that holds to the superstition (or is it science?) that if you hear the Cuckoo bird call on this day – the first day of summer - there will be plenty of rain this summer. If you don’t, the summer will be drier. This holiday is on the order of Groundhog Day, depending upon an innocent animal to predict the weather.

Our research turned up no founder for this holiday or even where this bit of folklore comes from. We did, however, turn up a bit more folklore about the Cuckoo, also related to its singing habits.
“The cuckoo sings in April, the cuckoo sings in May, the cuckoo sings in part of June and then she flies away.”
We are forced to point out that where this little ditty claims “she” flies away after she sings is inaccurate. The cuckoo call that we are all familiar with is made by the male cuckoo bird, while the female is busy laying eggs in other birds’ nests. That’s right. Cuckoos are squatters, taking over other birds’ nests after they vacate. The female cuckoo call is much quieter and sounds like a cross between a quiet mourning dove and gurgling. Even though cuckoos don’t sing as much in June as they do in the April and May, they typically stay until August before heading south.

Celebrate Cuckoo Warning Day by reading about cuckoo birds to learn more, watching videos about them on youtube and by giving someone you love a new cuckoo clock.

Father's Day

On July 19, 1910, the governor of the U.S. state of Washington proclaimed the nation’s first “Father’s Day.” However, it was not until 1972, 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official, that the day became a nationwide holiday in the United States.

The “Mother’s Day” we celebrate today has its origins in the peace-and-reconciliation campaigns of the post-Civil War era. During the 1860s, at the urging of activist Ann Reeves Jarvis, one divided West Virginia town celebrated “Mother’s Work Days” that brought together the mothers of Confederate and Union soldiers. In 1870, the activist Julia Ward Howe issued a “Mother’s Day Proclamation” calling on a “general congress of women” to “promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, [and] the great and general interests of peace.”

However, Mother’s Day did not become a commercial holiday until 1908, when–inspired by Jarvis’s daughter Anna, who wanted to honor her own mother by making Mother’s Day a national holiday–the John Wanamaker department store in Philadelphia sponsored a service dedicated to mothers in its auditorium. Thanks in large part to this association with retailers, who saw great potential for profit in the holiday, Mother’s Day caught on right away. In 1909, 45 states observed the day, and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson approved a resolution that made the second Sunday in May a holiday in honor of “that tender, gentle army, the mothers of America.”

The campaign to celebrate the nation’s fathers did not meet with the same enthusiasm–perhaps because, as one florist explained, “fathers haven’t the same sentimental appeal that mothers have.” On July 5, 1908, a West Virginia church sponsored the nation’s first event explicitly in honor of fathers, a Sunday sermon in memory of the 362 men who had died in the previous December’s explosions at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in Monongah, but it was a one-time commemoration and not an annual holiday. The next year, a Spokane, Washington woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by a widower, tried to establish an official equivalent to Mother’s Day for male parents. She went to local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers and government officials to drum up support for her idea, and she was successful: Washington State celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on July 19, 1910. Slowly, the holiday spread. In 1916, President Wilson honored the day by using telegraph signals to unfurl a flag in Spokane when he pressed a button in Washington, D.C. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge urged state governments to observe Father’s Day. However, many men continued to disdain the day. As one historian writes, they “scoffed at the holiday’s sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving, or they derided the proliferation of such holidays as a commercial gimmick to sell more products–often paid for by the father himself.”

During the 1920s and 1930s, a movement arose to scrap Mother’s Day and Father’s Day altogether in favor of a single holiday, Parents’ Day. Every year on Mother’s Day, pro-Parents’ Day groups rallied in New York City’s Central Park–a public reminder, said Parents’ Day activist and radio performer Robert Spere, “that both parents should be loved and respected together.” Paradoxically, however, the Depression derailed this effort to combine and de-commercialize the holidays. Struggling retailers and advertisers redoubled their efforts to make Father’s Day a “second Christmas” for men, promoting goods such as neckties, hats, socks, pipes and tobacco, golf clubs and other sporting goods, and greeting cards. When World War II began, advertisers began to argue that celebrating Father’s Day was a way to honor American troops and support the war effort. By the end of the war, Father’s Day may not have been a federal holiday, but it was a national institution.

In 1972, in the middle of a hard-fought presidential re-election campaign, Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday at last. Today, economists estimate that Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on Father’s Day gifts.

Go Skateboarding Day

Go Skateboarding Day (GSD) is an official annual holiday conceived by the International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC) to promote skateboarding. It is usually marked on June 21.

The name for the holiday possibly originated from the "No Skateboarding" signs which often has been changed to "Go Skateboarding." by local skaters. The holiday was conceived by the International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC) to help make skateboarding more accessible to the world through various events held in major cities around the world. Beginning with the first celebration in 2004, GSD has since received Special Congressional Recognition from the US Congress for promoting the sport of skateboarding. This holiday is celebrated by millions of skaters around the world. 5boro Skateboards founder/owner, Steve Rodriguez, started Go Skateboarding Day in NYC. It was originally titled the All City Skate Jam. Now GSD accrues thousands of participants in each year all over the world. GSD NYC is considered one of the largest single gatherings of skateboarders in the world and is now considered an official holiday.

National Daylight Appreciation Day

National Daylight Appreciation Day is celebrated each year on June 21. This day recognizes summer solstice (the longest day of daylight in the northern hemisphere) and encourages people to celebrate the many benefits of the sun.

National Daylight Appreciation Day is also a day to learn more about the importance of daylighting. Daylighting is defined as lighting an indoor space with openings, such as windows and skylights, that will allow daylight into the home or building. Daylighting is chosen to save energy, to avoid hypothesized adverse health effects of over-illumination by artificial light and for aesthetics. Daylight factor is the ratio between the measured internal and external light levels of the amount of daylight that is received into an indoor space or room.

Installing fewer electric lights because daylight is present or dimming/switching electric lights automatically in response to the presence of daylight can reduce artificial lighting energy. This process is known as daylight harvesting.

Daylight has positive psychological effects; it can boost your mental health and help to lower depression as well as help with increased energy levels.  The Vitamin D, that we naturally get from the sun, has many health benefits for us.

National Peaches and Cream Day

Today, life’s a peach - June 21 is National Peaches and Cream Day!

Living in the South, peach season brings with it a sense of pride. Georgia peaches boast the perfect amount of sweetness, and a flesh that’s soft and not too fuzzy.

The South’s answer to the British strawberries and cream, peaches and cream pair so well together because the cream cuts the tartness of the peach.

For this version you’ll need:
  • 2 ripe peaches (be careful that they’re not too ripe as they’ll disintegrate on the grill)
  • Whipping cream
  • Torn basil leaves
  • Hazelnuts
Cut the peaches in half and remove the pit. Grill the peaches until they’re slightly caramelized. Grease your grill with vegetable oil to prevent sticking.

In the meantime, whip the cream. You want the cream thick, but with some fluidity left to it too. I don’t add any sugar to the cream as the peaches should be sweet enough.

Toast the hazelnuts in a dry, non-stick skillet and then give them a rough chop. (If you've had a bad day, feel free to put them in a sealed bag and whack them with a rolling pin.)

Put your grilled peach halves in a bowl, cut side up. Spoon over the cream and then add the hazelnuts and basil. It’s a great afternoon snack that perfectly celebrates the season.

Summer Solstice

A solstice occurs when the sun's zenith is at its furthest point from the equator. During the June solstice it reaches its northernmost point and the Earth’s North Pole tilts directly towards the sun, at about 23.5 degrees. It is also known as the northern solstice because it occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere. If the Earth's rotation was at right angles to the plane of its orbit around the sun, there would be no solstice days and no seasons.

The June solstice day has the longest hours of daylight for those living north of the equator. Those living or travelling to the north of the Arctic Circle are able to see the “midnight sun”, where the sun remains visible throughout the night, while those living or travelling south of the Antarctic Circle will not see sun during this time of the year. For those living near the equator, the sun does not shift up and down in the sky as much compared with other geographical locations away from the equator during this time of the year. This means that the length of day temperature does not vary as much.

The June solstice marks the first day of the summer season in the northern hemisphere. The word solstice is from the Latin word “solstitium”, meaning “sun-stopping”, because the point at which the sun appears to rise and set stops and reverses direction after this day. On this day, the sun does not rise precisely in the east, but rises to the north of east and sets to the north of west allowing it to be in the sky for a longer period of time. In the southern hemisphere, the June solstice is known as the shortest day of the year. It is when the sun has reached its furthest point from the equator and marks the first day of winter.

After the June solstice, the sun follows a lower and lower path through the sky each day in the northern hemisphere until it reaches the point where the length of daylight is about 12 hours and eight to nine minutes in areas that are about 30 degrees north or south of the equator, while areas that are 60 degrees north or south of the equator observe daylight for about 12 hours and 16 minutes. This is called the September equinox, which is also known as the autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere. Many regions around the equator have a daylight length about 12 hours and six-and-a-half minutes during the equinox.

It is important to note that Earth does not move at a constant speed in its elliptical orbit. Therefore the seasons are not of equal length: the times taken for the sun to move from the March equinox to the June solstice, to the September equinox, to the December solstice, and back to the March equinox are roughly 92.8, 93.6, 89.8 and 89.0 days respectively. The consolation in the northern hemisphere is that spring and summer last longer than autumn and winter.

World Handshake Day

Do not, I repeat, not, get today mixed up with June 28th's National Handshake Day. This is World Handshake Day!

This “holiday” is the brain child of one Ivan Zupa, who heard the following words from an old man:

“My son, place your hand here in the sea and you are united with the whole world."

Zupa's idea is that we should take the time to put our hands in the sea and shake hands with the whole world, and feel united. If you don't live close to the sea, you could put your hand in any body of water that runs to the sea to still shake hands with the world. Of course, I live close to neither, so there has to be a dry land option, too!!

Limp Handshake
A limp hand is never a good idea when it comes to business either for men or for women. Prospective employees with a weak handshake have not been  hired.  I even know of one or two employees who was fired after making a poor impression on the owner or top level manager. Another kind of weak handshake that makes a poor impression is the shaking of fingers.  Shaking fingers may come off as condescending to women and is never appropriate for men.

Bone Crusher Handshake
A handshake should be a friendly or respectful greeting, not an arm wrestling championship. While you should return the grip in kind, you shouldn’t struggle for power.  Even if the other person’s grip is too strong, you should maintain a comfortable strong grip. An uncomfortable handshake is never a pleasant experience for anyone. It’s bad form to crush your potential boss’ hand.  It may seem like overcompensating or showing off.  When done to a woman’s hand, it’s especially unwelcome.

Handshake Tips:

  1. Before you shake hands, introduce yourself and keep eye contact.
  2. Pump your hand only 2-3 times.  Less is more. 
  3. Shake hands from your elbow not your shoulder. 
  4. Don’t put your other hand on top; that comes off as weird with men and     condescending with women.
  5. End a handshake after 2-3 pumps or before the oral introduction ends.  Any longer and it gets awkward.
  6. If the handshake is awkward, either because of you or the other party, it’s best to just move on.  Ask a quick question or make a comment to take the focus off the handshake.
Remember that a handshake is a big part of your first impression, especially in a business setting.  Make the most of it.

World Humanist Day

World Humanist Day is a Humanist holiday celebrated annually around the world on the June solstice, which usually falls on June 21st. According to the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), the day is a way of spreading awareness of Humanism as a philosophical life stance and means to effect change in the world. It is also seen as a time for Humanists to gather socially and promote the positive values of Humanism.

The holiday developed during the 1980s as several chapters of the American Humanist Association (AHA) began to celebrate it. At the time, the date on which it was celebrated varied from chapter to chapter, with selections such as the founding date of the IHEU, or other significant dates. From the late 1980s to the early 1990s, the AHA and IHEU passed resolutions declaring World Humanist Day to be on the summer solstice.

The manner in which World Humanist Day is celebrated varies considerably among local Humanist groups, reflecting the individuality and non-dogmatism of Humanism as a whole. Whilst the event might be a simple gathering, such as a dinner or picnic, with ample time for both socializing and reflection, the method of celebration is down to the individual Humanists. Some groups actually develop intricate social rituals, music, and proceedings which highlight the metaphoric symbolism of the solstice and the light (knowledge) which brings us out of darkness (ignorance).

World Music Day

Music is the soul of every human being.

World Music Day is also known as FĂȘte de la Musique. World Music Day is a music festival.

Fete de la Musique firstly took place in England. But now World Music Day is spread over the entire globe. Fete de la Musique is actually a Lebanese music festival. World Music Day was firstly initiated by France. It was firstly ideated by French Dance and Music director Maurice Fleuret for the sake of Minister of Culture Jack Lang during the time of 1981. Though the festival took place in the year 1982.

World Music Day is celebrated every year on 21st June.

Why the Day is Celebrated?
  • Goal of World Music Day festival is to make propaganda of music in various manners.
  • Novice and expert musicians are motivated to give their performances in the streets.
  • The slogan Faites de la musique, which means "Make music” and homophone of FĂȘte de la Musique, is utilized to make the music promotion.
  • Several music concerts are arranged at free of cost.
  • This concert provides the platform for the public attaining all the musical genres.
  • The major qualification is to get the sanction from the official Fete de la Musique organization located in Paris that every concert should be accessible at free of cost to the public.
  • Though it's not mandatory that musicians also play at free of cost, but many of them do so.
  • There is no restriction for noise during the night of this music festival and it is also allowed by French law.
  • The musicians without getting any fright play their music whole night and neighbors do not have the right to call the cop due to loudness of music.
How is the Day Celebrated?

In order to build peace worldwide by the means of music, this gala of music festival is celebrated joyfully worldwide.

Thus, celebration of World Music Day involves:
  • Arranging speech of leading composers, musicologists and interpreters in order to gather the knowledge based on the essence of music and recent scenario of music.
  • Arranging seminars of artists
  • Organizing music competitions and quizzes
  • Arranging different exhibitions of
  • records
  • musical instruments
  • paintings
  • posters
  • sculptures
  • caricatures
  • Photographs typically based on musical themes
  • Giving invitation to the delegations of musicians from other national committees in order to ask for their participation during World Music Day.