Saturday, July 4, 2015

Holidays and Observances for July 4 2015

Hop-a-Park Day

Hop A Park Day encourages you to visit the local parks in your area, and to enjoy public space put aside tor rest and relaxation. Larger or managed parks often host events on this day, from barbeques to sporting events – why not find out what’s going on at your local park and join in?

A park is an area of open space provided for recreational use. It can be in its natural or semi-natural state, or planted, and is set aside for human enjoyment or for the protection of wildlife or natural habitats. It may consist of rocks, soil, water, flora and fauna and grass areas, but may also contain buildings and other artifacts such as play grounds. Many natural parks are protected by law.

The first parks were English deer parks, land set aside for hunting by royalty and the aristocracy in medieval times. They had walls or thick hedges around them to keep game in and people out.

These game preserves evolved into landscaped parks set around mansions and country houses from the sixteenth century onward. These may have served as hunting grounds but they also proclaimed the owner's wealth and status. An aesthetic of landscape design began in these stately home parks where the natural landscape was enhanced by landscape architects such as Capability Brown. As cities became crowded, the private hunting grounds became places for the public.

With the Industrial revolution parks took on a new meaning as areas set aside to preserve a sense of nature in the cities and towns. Sporting activity came to be a major use for these urban parks. Areas of outstanding natural beauty were also set aside as national parks to prevent their being spoiled by uncontrolled development. Media related to Parks at Wikimedia Commons In some parks or time periods with high pollen counts, parks tend to be avoided.

Independence Day

Variously known as the Fourth of July and Independence Day, July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83). In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

When the initial battles in the Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, few colonists desired complete independence from Great Britain, and those who did were considered radical. By the middle of the following year, however, many more colonists had come to favor independence, thanks to growing hostility against Britain and the spread of revolutionary sentiments such as those expressed in Thomas Paine’s bestselling pamphlet “Common Sense,” published in early 1776. On June 7, when the Continental Congress met at the Pennsylvania State House (later Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, the Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies’ independence. Amid heated debate, Congress postponed the vote on Lee’s resolution, but appointed a five-man committee–including Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Robert R. Livingston of New York–to draft a formal statement justifying the break with Great Britain.

On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of Lee’s resolution for independence in a near-unanimous vote (the New York delegation abstained, but later voted affirmatively). On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2 “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.” On July 4th, the Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which had been written largely by Jefferson. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence.

In the pre-Revolutionary years, colonists had held annual celebrations of the king’s birthday, which traditionally included the ringing of bells, bonfires, processions and speech making. By contrast, during the summer of 1776 some colonists celebrated the birth of independence by holding mock funerals for King George III, as a way of symbolizing the end of the monarchy’s hold on America and the triumph of liberty. Festivities including concerts, bonfires, parades and the firing of cannons and muskets usually accompanied the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence, beginning immediately after its adoption. Philadelphia held the first annual commemoration of independence on July 4, 1777, while Congress was still occupied with the ongoing war. George Washington issued double rations of rum to all his soldiers to mark the anniversary of independence in 1778, and in 1781, several months before the key American victory at Yorktown, Massachusetts became the first state to make July 4th an official state holiday.

After the Revolutionary War, Americans continued to commemorate Independence Day every year, in celebrations that allowed the new nation’s emerging political leaders to address citizens and create a feeling of unity. By the last decade of the 18th century, the two major political parties–Federalists and Democratic-Republicans–that had arisen began holding separate Independence Day celebrations in many large cities.

The tradition of patriotic celebration became even more widespread after the War of 1812, in which the United States again faced Great Britain. In 1870, the U.S. Congress made July 4th a federal holiday; in 1941, the provision was expanded to grant a paid holiday to all federal employees. Over the years, the political importance of the holiday would decline, but Independence Day remained an important national holiday and a symbol of patriotism.

Falling in mid-summer, the Fourth of July has since the late 19th century become a major focus of leisure activities and a common occasion for family get-togethers, often involving fireworks and outdoor barbecues. The most common symbol of the holiday is the American flag, and a common musical accompaniment is “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States.

Independence From Meat Day

Not only is July 4th Independence Day in the US, it is also Independence from Meat Day. This day, originally created by the Vegetarian Awareness Network in Tennessee, has grown beyond its original US-only focus to being an international day for celebrating a meat-free diet and lifestyle.

Arguments for and against eating meat has raged for years, and while there has been many scientific studies published on the health benefits of a meat-free diet, many of these are inconclusive, given the huge variability on human diets both with and without meat. Also, many of the health risks posed by processed meat, for example, has more to do with the chemicals and fats introduced as part of the processing, than it has with the meat itself.

Much stronger arguments are made on moral grounds against the slaughter of animals for human consumption, and many great thinkers have made succinct arguments for a meat-free diet. In the words of outspoken vegetarian George Bernard Shaw, “Animals are my friends… and I don’t eat my friends.”

The fact of the matter is that, despite evolving as omnivores, the human mouth and gut is such that we don’t need meat in our diets. Our bodies can extract the necessary nutrients from a plant-based diet, as long as you take care to provide your body with good alternative sources of the proteins and other nutrients typically found in a meat-diet. Growing children require more protein in their diet than adults, so vegetarian children need to make extra sure they get all the required nutrients in sufficient doses.

Vegetarian or not – it can’t hurt enjoying a meat-free day every so often. So give it a go – celebrate your Independence from Meat, wherever you are.

Indivisible Day

Indivisible Day is a holiday first proclaimed on July 4, 2002 by Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura. It celebrates the unique secular nature of the American Constitution and offers a counterpoint to all that piety political candidates seem to be expressing these days. There were a number of demonstrations for it here in Southern California. I attended a small one at the Ventura County Government Center.

We had about a dozen demonstrators there drawn from humanist and freethinker groups from Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. We held up signs with slogans on them like, "E PLURIBUS UNUM", "BRING BACK THE ORIGINAL PLEDGE (of Allegiance)", "KEEP THE PULPIT OUT OF POLITICS (this one was my personal contribution)", etc. A couple of hundred free pies bearing the original version of the Pledge of Allegiance on the container were handed out to onlookers. We also played patriotic music and songs like John Lennon's "Imagine" over the loudspeakers. Audience reception of everything but the pies was mild interest for the most part but I did get to talk to a few people who came up and expressed support and sometimes astonished delight to find that groups like ours existed.

I was one of five speakers, all of whom did bang-up jobs. Here's the text of my speech:


My name is Hugh Kramer but my name is less important to me than a title I bear; that of citizen of the United States of America. I am proud of that title and would rather be a citizen of the United States than any other nation in the world. I am proud of it not because of our military might or industrial power; other nations have been strong in both before. No, I am proud because we, first among nations, defined the principles of freedom and civil liberty as the basis of our government and still work to make those principles equal for all.

Today, a group of people have gathered here to protest what they regard as an infringement against the Constitutional principle of separation of Church and State; the 1954 addition of the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance. It’s a hot button issue for a lot of people. Those for it and those against it will often argue over the precise meaning of those parts of the First Amendment that refer to the establishment of religion or the free exercise of it. Others talk about the intentions of the Founding Fathers and whether or not this country was established as a Christian nation. Me, I just want to talk about what the concept of civil rights and liberties means for each and every one of us. Don’t be afraid to stick around and listen. I promise it’s not as dry a subject as it sounds!

There’s nothing mysterious about civil liberties. They are the rights and privileges citizens of a nation define for themselves when they set up a government. In the United States they include freedom of speech, of religion; freedom of assembly and of the press. These and other rights, along with the rules the government is run by, are set down in a contract called the Constitution, and it behooves us to know where the ideas and ideals set down in this extraordinary document come from.

And it really is an extraordinary document; the first of it’s kind where neither the power nor the inspiration descends from a monarch, earthly or divine. Instead, right from the very first word and all throughout, it’s clear that sovereignty is derived from “we the people.” Now you all probably had to memorize the preamble to the Constitution while you were still in school but now, with maturity aiding your reasoning, I think it bears repeating:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

It’s a great principle, that “we the people.” Sovereignty resides in us. We decide how to govern ourselves. We decide the rights and privileges that government guarantees. And with these rights and this new font of sovereignty, the Constitution becomes not only a humane document, but a very human one; for it enshrines the principle that the security and rights of the people is the most important reason for government to exist.

Some people today still think that certain groups seem to get more rights than others; that this minority or that minority gets special treatment by legislation or judicial activism, often at the expense of the majority. That is simply not so. No group, either minority or majority has civil rights. The special genius of the Founding Fathers was the realization that civil liberties and rights reside in the individual and not in any group. This was done because the Founding Fathers were quite aware that, if unfettered by law, tyranny by the majority against a minority can occur in a democracy as readily as it can through the will of any despot.

Now we’ve never been a perfect country and we definitely didn‘t start out that way. Certain compromises were made that, even at the time, many recognized were inconsistent with the concept of “liberty and justice for all.” But the ideal was there; enshrined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. And the entire history of our nation from that day to this has been the struggle to extend the equality and rights of that ideal to every segment of our society.

Do you know that when this country was first formed, only men of property had the right to vote? Since that time, restrictions on the rights of the individual based on race, on gender, on religion and on social status have been successfully fought and eliminated. But the battle’s not over yet. There are still people out there who think that, because their view is the majority one, they have the right to use the power of government to push their agenda on everyone. Such is the case with the 1954 addition of “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance. It amounts to a government endorsement of religion in general and monotheism in particular. There are significant minorities of people in this country who are not monotheists. They may be atheists, agnostics, Wiccans, Buddhists, Hindus or what have you. But it doesn’t matter who they are or how many they are. If only one person or even one child is confronted with the choice of having to say or not say the Pledge in it’s current form, then the “indivisibility” that pledge boasts of, is made a mockery.

Now it’s true that, for the most part, no one is forced to say the Pledge, but it’s kind of hard to avoid it. It opens sporting events, city council meetings and, more importantly, it’s recited every day in school. Think of a child, perhaps your child or your neighbors, being the only one in an entire class not saying the Pledge of Allegiance. All eyes are on him or her, perhaps even those of the teacher. The pressure to conform has to be enormous. Should any child be forced to face that kind of pressure simply to remain true to his or her own conscience?

It may not be your child or you this time, but once you agree to the idea that the will of the majority trumps the rights of the individual, everyone’s rights are endangered. You may not always hold the majority viewpoint on issues of conscience. Your child may not always hold the majority viewpoint. It may get pushed on them anyway. This is not what the Founding Fathers meant when speaking of freedom of conscience, of religious freedom and the right of the individual to pursue his or her own destiny within the framework of just and equal laws. The fight for civil rights and civil liberties will not be over until we realize, as a nation, that the foundation of these rights resides in the individual and only in the individual.

That’s why, when someone tells me that America was founded as a Christian nation, I regard the idea as absurd as saying it was founded as a white nation or a male nation! Now, while it’s true that the majority of the country at founding was Christian and that all of the members of the constitutional convention were white and male - and that males were the only ones allowed to vote, it’s flat out wrong to say that the ideals they espoused and committed to the Constitution were religious, racial or sexual in character.

Men like Washington, Franklin, Jefferson and others espoused the ideals of that all-too-short period in human history called by names like “the Enlightenment,” or “the Age of Reason.” They got their ideas from the works of philosophers like Montesquieu and John Locke, of deep political thinkers like Jefferson and Madison and humanist authors like Thomas Paine. And few if any of their ideas -were inspired by religion, or race, or gender.

I’d like to leave you with one final thought. There are no minority rights. There are no majority rights. There are only human rights. If and when tyranny comes to America, it will come wrapped in the flag, blaring patriotic music, with eyes piously lifted and the cheers of the crowd ringing in every ear. So remember; remember the individual - you may not agree with what he believes, but his freedom is also your own.

International Cherry Pit Spitting Day

Compete with your friends and family to see who can spit their cherry pit the farthest since today is International Cherry Pit Spitting Day. The current world record is 100 feet 4 inches. This holiday dates back to 1974 when Herb Teichman held a cherry spitting tournament as a joke. From that point, this contest has been an annual tradition of Eau Claire, Michigan, on the first Saturday of July.

A number of sources have the date of this holiday as July 7th, though we've found an equal number who have the holiday's date coinciding with that of the Eau Claire tournament. Seeing that we've found no credible proclamation that establishes the July 7th date, we view the annually held contest date of the first Saturday in July as the official date of the holiday.

Cherry pit spitting is the act of spitting, or ejecting, the pit (the seed) of a cherry from one's mouth with great speed so as to send the pit a great distance. Spitting cherry pits is an amateur sport; there are no professional leagues of cherry spitters known, though this may change if enough people begin participating in this sport.

A cherry pit, the pit of a cherry, is very small, about the size of a front tooth, and is very slippery when first removed from the cherry, making it easy to spit. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the record distance is 95 feet and 6.5 inches (29.12 m).

International Day of Cooperatives

The United Nations' (UN) International Day of Cooperatives is observed on the first Saturday of July each year. Some of the day's goals are to increase awareness on cooperatives, as well as strengthen and extend partnerships between the international cooperative movement and other supporting organizations including governments.

Cooperatives around the world celebrate the International Day of Cooperatives in many ways. Activities include: messages from the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and the UN translated into local languages for worldwide distribution; news articles and radio programs publicizing the awareness of the day; fairs, exhibits, contests and campaigns focused on the topics related to the day; meetings with government officials, UN agencies and other partner organizations; economic, environmental, social and health challenges (such as tree planting); and sponsored cultural events such as theaters and concerts.

Cooperatives are important in the world's economic and social development. Based as on the principle of cooperation, cooperatives help create new ethics and values in business and economics. In 1895 ICA was formed and since 1927 it observes the first Saturday of July as International Cooperative Day. In 1994 the United Nations recognized and reaffirmed that cooperatives were vital in the world's economic, social and cultural development. However two years earlier – on December 16, 1992 – the UN General Assembly proclaimed the first Saturday of July 1995 as the International Day of Cooperatives, marking the centenary of ICA's establishment.

The United Nations’ logo is often associated with marketing and promotional material for this event. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, enclosed by olive branches. The olive branches symbolize peace and the world map represents all the people of the world. It has been featured in colors such as white against a blue background or blue against a white background.

Promotional material used to publicize the day included images featuring an array of colors similar to those of a rainbow. These colors are linked with those that are used by ICA, which, together with the UN and other organizations, plays a big role in promoting and coordinating events for the day.

Invisible Day

But the day is all about going unnoticed.  July 4 is Invisible Day.  Is it akin to 'fly on the wall day' or is it more like 'oh wo is me day'.  There are days that everyone can feel a little invisible. These days can be brought on by bouts of pity (that one is me), they can be brought on by a sense of failure (again... could be me), or they can be brought on by the super powers of another dimension and can make the rest of the world jealous as hell.  Well, it would if they could see you.

If you could be invisible for just one day, what would you do with that day?  Would you hang out in the dressing room of the Seahawks and admire the offensive line?  (Hey... now THAT really does sound like me.) Would you walk amongst your office mates and superiors to hear what they won't say to you? Would you sit in on the dark backroom negotiations of the G20 summit and then use the information to potentially really make a difference?  Or, would you use it to play pranks on people all day long?  If it were me, I would want to spend it in the dressing room of the Seahawks playing pranks on the offense, defense, and special teams.  I mean come on...

It was also on July 4th that Lewis Carol told a story to Alice Liddell that would eventually become the story of Alice in Wonderland.  In celebration of this great tale... every time I think of the boys in the dressing room, wearing their towels and their smiles, I too will be smiling... like a Cheshire Cat.

National Barbecue Spareribs Day

Time for some rib-tickling fun - July 4 is National Barbecued Spareribs Day.

The word spareribs is actually derived from German. If you've been told that these meaty morsels are actually extra bones, your source of information was probably just ribbing you.

There are four different types of rib cuts: baby back, spareribs, St. Louis and rib tips. Spareribs are actually a combination of St. Louis and rib tips. Spareribs are also straighter and flatter than baby back ribs, which are curved. Even though spareribs are less expensive than baby backs, they’re often preferred given their connective tissue and fat, which equals flavor.

Spareribs work well with a dry rub or a sauce - or both! Many folks trim the membrane - also called silver-skin - from the back of the ribs before rubbing them down, but some choose to skip the step. They can be smoked, grilled or broiled and benefit from a long cooking time at a low temperature.

This Fourth of July weekend, millions of Americans will huddle around outdoor pits, ovens and grills to slowly cook themselves meaty, patriotic dishes slathered in sauce. Barbecue is about as red, white and blue as American cuisine gets, and for true carnivores, the only real question is how to save room for seconds.

Let's first get one thing straight: merely throwing meat on a grill is not barbecue — at least not in the traditional sense. While novices (and Yankees) may believe that anything covered in KC Masterpiece counts as barbecue, the real thing is cooked over indirect heat — usually a wood fire — for a really long time (sometimes for as many as 18 hours). The resulting flavor is a combination of smoke, meat juices, fat and whatever spices or rub have been added.

No one is really sure where the term barbecue originated. The conventional wisdom is that the Spanish, upon landing in the Caribbean, used the word barbacoa to refer to the natives' method of slow-cooking meat over a wooden platform. By the 19th century, the culinary technique was well established in the American South, and because pigs were prevalent in the region, pork became the primary meat at barbecues. Corn bread emerged as the side dish of choice, owing largely to the fact that in humid Southern climates, corn grew better than wheat (which was prone to fungal infections). Barbecue allowed an abundance of food to be cooked at once and quickly became the go-to menu item for large gatherings like church festivals and neighborhood picnics.

Barbecue varies by region, with the four main styles named after their place of origin: Memphis, Tenn.; North Carolina; Kansas City; and Texas. Memphis is renowned for pulled pork-shoulder doused in sweet tomato-based sauce (eaten on its own or as a sandwich). North Carolina smokes the whole hog in a vinegar-based sauce. Kansas City natives prefers ribs cooked in a dry rub, and Texans ... well, Texans dig beef. Eastern Texas' relative proximity to Tennessee puts it in the pulled-pork camp, but in the western segment of the Lone Star State, you're likely to find mesquite-grilled "cowboy-style" brisket. Locals defend their region's cooking style with the sort of fierce loyalty usually reserved for die-hard sports fans. Just as you're better off not mentioning the Yankees to a Red Sox fan, it's probably best not to proclaim your love for Texas beef to anyone from Tennessee.

Because barbecue doesn't require expensive cuts of meat — why bother when you're just going to slather it in sauce and cook it 'til it falls off the bone? — it became a dietary staple for impoverished Southern blacks, who frequently paired it with vegetables like fried okra and sweet potatoes. The first half of the 20th century saw a mass migration of African Americans from the rural South to Northern cities, and as they moved, they took their recipes with them. By the 1950s, black-owned barbecue joints had sprouted in nearly every city in America. Along with fried chicken, corn bread and hush puppies, barbecue came to be known as a "soul food" dish. To this day, there is a strong connection between the cuisine and the African-American community.

Other countries barbecue in their own style. Korean barbecue features thin slices of beef or pork cooked and served with rice. Argentina has asado, or marinade-free meat cooked in a smokeless pit. And of course, there's Mongolian barbecue, which is neither barbecue nor of Mongolian origin but rather a type of stir-fry recently invented in Taiwan. But true barbecue is distinctly American. So this Fourth of July, when the parades have ended and the sun starts to go down, throw some meat on the grill and cook yourself a true American classic. Patriotism never tasted so delicious.

National Caesar Salad Day

Most Americans may know the 4th of July as the United States Independence Day, but there are actually two food holidays that fall on this date. First of all National Barbecued Spareribs Day occurs at this time, and secondly National Caesar Salad Day shares this date. This page will discuss the origins and celebration of the latter of the two.

The salad may be one of the least celebrated foods in American culture, as it is plagued by a dull image and is sometimes seen as a type of food that has to be eaten for health reasons, but is not necessarily enjoyed. The Caesar salad, however, brings life to an otherwise plain plate of romaine lettuce by adding flavor, creaminess, zest and a bit of crunch.

It is unclear exactly how National Caesar Salad Day began. Many food holidays are started by companies who manufacture food products, or by organizations dedicated to their promotion. Most are not officially recognized holidays.

The Caesar salad itself actually has nothing to do with Rome or Julius Caesar, as many people tend to believe. It is generally understood that the salad was created by a Tijuana restaurant owner named Caesar Cardini, who served it to guests for the first time on the 4th of July in 1924. He was short on food at the time, and threw it together with ingredients that he happened to have in his kitchen.

While most Americans are busy celebrating Independence Day on the 4th of July, it is simple to add Caesar salad to the festivities. Greens are typically a welcome addition to any barbecue, and you can honor National Caesar Salad Day by adding Caesar dressing and croutons to your salad.

National Country Music Day

National Country Music Day is celebrated July 4th of each year. The idea of National Country Music Day is dated back to the 1950′s with the Country Music Deejay Association (CMDJA) as a way to commemorate Jimmie Rodgers and country music. It does not appear that National Country Music Day is an “official” holiday, but that doesn't stop the celebrations.

James Charles Rodgers (September 8, 1897 – May 26, 1933), known as Jimmie Rodgers, was an American country singer in the early 20th century known most widely for his rhythmic yodeling. Among the first country music superstars and pioneers, Rodgers was also known as The Singing Brakeman, The Blue Yodeler, and The Father of Country Music.

National Hillbilly Day

While millions of Americans are busy celebrating America’s birthday, July 4 is also National Hillbilly Day, y'all! While the origins of this annual “holiday” are unknown, hillbillies are often described as simple country folk who live in rural, remote areas of the south and are often out of touch with modern society.

And how does one celebrate the annual holiday? The best way to observe National Hillbilly Day is to go to a Hillbilly party, of course. After you get done with your parade and backyard barbecue, why not sit a spell and get your Hillbilly on!

Hillbilly Party 101
  • Slip on your favorite pair of overalls and fanciest straw hat before you head out the trailer and head for the pickup truck.
  • If you notice any road kill along the way to the party, throw it in the back of the truck. Road kill makes some mighty tasty vittles.
  • You can’t have a party without some great family-friendly entertainment, right? How about a greased pig or spittin’ contest?
  • If music is more your cup of tea, try your hand playing the spoons or Dueling Banjos.
  • Shotgun weddings are also a favorite activity during hillbilly get-togethers. Hope you remembered your shotgun.
  • If you’ve got a hankerin’ for something to whet your whistle after enjoying all that grub, try a sip or two of granny’s homemade moonshine.
How Else to Celebrate National Hillbilly Day
  • If you can’t make it to a Hillbilly party in your neck-of-the-woods, why not watch an old episode of the classic television series, “The Beverly Hillbillies.”
  • If you haven’t seen it in a while, watch Jon Voight and Burt Reynolds in the disturbing film, “The Deliverance.”
  • Just in case you don’t know if you are one or not, be sure to read "300 Reasons Why You Might Be a Redneck" by Jeff Foxworthy.
Sidewalk Egg Frying Day

Side Walk Egg Frying Day is celebrated July 4th of each year in Oatman, Arizona. Oatman Sidewalk Egg Frying Day is held at high noon and is held on historic Route 66. For entertainment, there is wild west gun fight reenactments, burros roaming the streets, and plenty of food for everyone. But, the real attraction is the egg frying competition where only the sun can be used to fry an egg on the hot pavement. There is only a 15 minute time limit to fry your egg.

On a hot summer day, bet a friend that you can cook an egg without a stove or microwave.

If it is hot enough (warmer than 35º C), you can break an egg directly on the sidewalk and it should cook within a few minutes. If it is not this hot, you can still cook an egg by creating a solar energy catcher to intensify the sun’s cooking power.

What you need:
  • 1 egg
  • 1 strip of tinfoil (the size must cover that of a small frying pan)
  • Cement pad (garage driveway or sidewalk)
  • A hot sunny day!
  • Adult helper
If temperature is warmer than 35º C - Find a spot outside where the sun is directly shining. Crack the egg and pour onto the hot sidewalk or driveway (make sure it is a flat and level surface). Allow the sun to do the rest of the work. Wait a few minutes and you will have a cooked egg.

If the temperature is less than 35º C – You will not have enough sun heating your area so you will need to intensify the heat in order to cook the egg. This can be done by laying a sheet of tinfoil (shiny side up) on the sidewalk or driveway (it should be flat or level) where the sun is directly shining. Curl up the edges of the tinfoil so that the egg stays on the tinfoil. Crack your egg and pour the contents on the tinfoil. Your egg will soon start to cook.

Curl up the edges to keep the egg on the tinfoil. If it is hot enough, you can cook the egg directly on the sidewalk. WARNING! Do not eat the results of this trick!

Be sure to clean up your mess after you are done.

* Make sure to protect yourself from the sun. Remember to “Slip, Slap, Slop” – Slip on a T-shirt, Slap on a hat and Slop on the sunscreen.

How it works:
The egg cooks faster on tinfoil because it is a reflective surface that focuses the solar (sun) energy back into the egg instead of allowing it through into the cement. The egg will cook faster than if you put it directly on the sidewalk.

Did you know…
Coagulation of an egg (ie. change from a fluid to a solid or semi-solid form) is influenced by temperature. Egg white begins to coagulate at 62°C (144°F) while yolk begins to coagulate at 65°C (149°F).

Did you also know…
Solar energy is being used to power everything these days, from camping lamps, to houses, even cars!