February 28th – National Tooth Fairy Day

February 28, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning believers in generous sprites. Today is Tuesday, February 27, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

National Tooth Fairy Day

At one time or another, almost all of us have been visited by the tooth fairy. For hundreds of years, people have shared mystical legends, stories, and traditions about the loss of baby teeth. The early Europeans buried children’s teeth so witches and evil spirits couldn’t use them for voodoo. The Vikings believed that children’s teeth had magical powers that could help them fight in battle. They would pay their children for their lost baby teeth and string them onto necklaces and other jewelry.
Over time, people began to share stories about a Tooth Mouse who scampers around town and steals children’s teeth in the middle of the night. The story of the Tooth Mouse evolved into the story of the Tooth Fairy who leaves treasures under children’s pillows in exchange for their lost teeth. Tooth Fairy traditions are still popular today. Kids all over the world place their lost baby teeth under their pillows at night and look forward to a wonderful surprise in the morning.
Author’s Note: The amount of money per tooth left by the Tooth Fairy is on the decline. In 2015, the average amount left by the Tooth Fairy was $3.19– down from $3.43 in 2014 and $3.70 in 2013. One-third of children get $1.00 per tooth and 10% of children get nothing.

Public Sleeping Day

The tradition of the siesta has existed in Mexico for centuries – and today, many companies in Japan are realizing that allowing employees a short nap during the work day can actually result in increased production. Even in America, employers such as Google, Huffington Post/AOL, and Nike offer sleep pods or sleep rooms to their employees to reap the benefits of napping. Studies have shown certain types of naps fuel the brain and recharge our batteries and naps can improve productivity, decrease health risks and improve morale.
Public Sleeping Day encourages you to catch a few winks no matter where you are today…just be sensible about it. And, by that, I mean don’t fall asleep on a park bench, sidewalk, or public transportation…you might be robbed or arrested for vagrancy. Don’t fall asleep in the direct sunlight…you suffer the ravages of heat stroke or severe sunburn. And, unless you have an enlightened boss like those mentioned above, don’t fall asleep at work…or you suffer the ravages of unemployment.
Believe it or not, there are different types of naps.

  • The Power Nap – Approximately 10 to 20 minutes long, it can give a boost of energy to get us through the rest of the day. It also doesn’t leave us drowsy like some longer naps might and will also allow us to fall asleep at a decent time at night.
  • The Hangover – About 30 minutes long, it is the least beneficial of naps. It can leave us disoriented and wanting more sleep. Eventually, you will recover, but it may take a bit of time before we realize any benefits.
  • The Brainiac – Lasts about 60 minutes and includes the deepest sleep. While you may feel a little grogginess upon waking, your ability to recall facts, names, and faces, will be improved. This type of nap may be the best nap after a round of studying or before a big test.
  • The California King – Lasts about 90 minutes and is typically a full cycle of sleep. It will include REM or a dream stage sleep. This type of nap improves creative thinking and motor memory but may affect your ability to sleep at night.

So when the afternoon doldrums kick in today, don’t fight it. Let nature take its course on Public Sleeping Day.

Floral Design Day

Floral Design Day began as a way to celebrate the birthday of Carl Rittner, founder of the Rittner School of Floral Design in Boston; and to appreciate floral design as a unique and creative art form. And yes, the holiday is official – the Governor of Massachusetts William F. Weld proclaimed it in 1995.
For thousands of years, floral design has been an important cultural art form. From a simple bridal bouquet or a bouquet to brighten up someone’s day to majestic, historic gardens, floral designers have an eye for color, style, and perspective.
Floral design is a multi-billion dollar industry that brightens our lives on a daily basis. Floral designs, big or small, can complete a space and complement existing structures bringing brightness and color to them.
As with many arts, floral design has roots dating back to the Ancient Egyptians. Temple offerings to gods and the design changed from era to era, each having distinct customs and traditions.
History lesson aside, Floral Design Day is an excuse to go wild about flowers and let your inner creativity spark. Take a stroll past your local flower shop and admire the floral arrangements in their window. Or you can buy, or pick, some flowers and design your own floral arrangement at home. Either way, take some time out today to “stop and smell [and arrange] the flowers.”

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras, the last day of Carnival and the day before for Ash Wednesday, is the combining of a period festivals and feasts that lead to a time of fasting and reflection. Also known as Shrove Tuesday and Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras has many traditions and deep roots around the world.
Mardi Gras (French for Fat Tuesday) dates back to an ancient Roman festival which took place in mid-February. When Christians arrived in Rome, they incorporated the festival into Lenten preparations.
For centuries, this feast prepared Christians for the season of Lent and used up valuable meat and supplies they would be abstaining from in the days to come. Traditions surrounding Mardi Gras have changed over time, with regional traditions and practices becoming incorporated into the custom.
In the United Kingdom, Mardi Gras is also known as Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day. Pancakes are the perfect menu item when the future includes abstaining from fats, eggs, and sweets! In Russia, they celebrate the entire week during Shrovetide as Pancake Week.
While the French didn’t originate the Mardi Gras, they certainly put their own twist on it. From parades to beignets and colorful masks, the last day of Carnival is full of elaborate costumes and lavish food sure to hold the revelers over through a long fast. During the 16th century, their ancestors celebrated Boeuf Gras (fatted calf) which included a tradition of parading a bull decorated with flowers through the city. The decorated animal is followed through the streets by a retinue of colorfully dressed attendants and bands playing unusual instruments. There was even a Boeuf Gras Society in Mobile, Alabama at one time.
New Orleans holds the crown for Carnival and Mardi Gras celebrations in the United States. While the city is filled with French flavor and style, its culture is an eclectic infusion of many cultures.
The roots of Mardi Gras have been woven together for centuries from medieval spring festivals and feasts that were based on the Christian calendar. Mardi Gras is celebrated around the world in various forms all of which harken back to these roots of spring festivals and religious fasting in preparation for the Holy day of Easter.
Credit for bringing Mardi Gras to America goes to French explorers Pierre Le Moyne Sieur d’Iberville and Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville. In 1699, d’Iberville reached the mouth of the Mississippi river on Shrove Tuesday near what is now Louisiana and named it Pointe du Mardi Gras. Thanks to their establishment of Fort Louis de la Mobile, modern-day Mobile, Alabama lays claim to the first Mardi Gras celebration on American soil in 1703. When de Bienville established Nouvelle Orleans (New Orleans) in 1788, Mardi Gras celebrations reportedly began immediately. In 1875, Louisiana declared Mardi Gras an official holiday.
To truly celebrate Mardi Gras, you need to be in New Orleans. But, if you aren’t, you can, to a lesser extent, celebrate it at home. Plan a menu based upon all of the traditional fatty, sugary foods of Mardi Gras. You could even go so far as making masks and costumes to wear throughout your festivities.

The list of holidays below, like Mardi Gras, center around a common theme…indulging oneself before Lent. I have listed them individually, and, naturally, provide a link where you can obtain specific information for each.

National Chocolate Soufflé Day

Though cheese soufflés and other savory soufflés may be better known, chocolate soufflé might be the perfect dessert after a rich meal. The first Chocolate Soufflé recipe can be traced to the 1742 French recipe book, “Le Cuisinier.”
A chocolate soufflé can be tricky to make, but it is a sure way to impress your guests – if you can pull it off. They are well-known for collapsing 5-10 minutes after coming out of the oven, so be sure to serve them as soon as you remove them from the oven. Also, consider topping your soufflés with fruit or plenty of sauce to hide the inevitable.
The French word ‘soufflé’ comes from the verb ‘souffler‘, meaning to “to blow” or “puff up.” Two very simple ingredients make a soufflé: a cream/ puree base, and egg whites whipped to a soft peak meringue. The base gives the soufflé its flavor while the egg whites give the puffy treat its bloated appearance. It can then be flavored as desired. The best soufflés are cooked using a well-greased porcelain ramekins.

More Holidays

Car Keys and Small Change Day

International Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day – Last day of February.

National Science Day

Rare Disease Day – Last day of February.

World Spay Day – Last Tuesday in February.

On This Date

  • In 1827 – The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad became the first railroad incorporated for commercial transportation of people and freight.
  • In 1849 – Regular steamboat service to California via Cape Horn arrived in San Francisco for the first time. The SS California had left New York Harbor on October 6, 1848. The trip took 4 months and 21 days.
  • In 1854 – The Republican Party was organized in Ripon, WI. About 50 slavery opponents began the new political group.
  • In 1861 – The territory of Colorado was sanctioned.
  • In 1883 – The first vaudeville theater opened.
  • In 1885 – AT&T (American Telephone and Telegraph) was incorporated. The company was capitalized on only $100,000 and provided long distance service for American Bell.
  • In 1911 – Thomas A. Edison, Inc. was organized.
  • In 1935 – Nylon was invented. Wallace Carothers first produced the polymer at the DuPont Experimental Station in Wilmington, Delaware.
  • In 1940 – The first televised basketball game was shown from Madison Square Gardens in New York. The game featured Fordham University and the University of Pittsburgh.
  • In 1951 – A Senate committee issued a report that stated that there were, at least, two major crime syndicates in the United States. [What they didn’t mention in the report is that they were one of them…OK, maybe not true then, but certainly true today].
  • In 1975 – A London underground train crashed into the end of the tunnel at Moorgate station. The Moorgate tube crash claimed 43 lives and was the deadliest accident in the London Underground during peacetime.
  • In 1977 – Eddie (Rodchester) Anderson (Jack Benny’s TV butler, chauffeur, and comic muse) died at age 71.
  • In 1979 – Mr. Ed, the talking horse from the TV show “Mr. Ed”, died.
  • In 1983 – “M*A*S*H” became the most-watched television program (at the time) in history when the last episode aired.
  • In 1986 – Swedish prime minister Olof Palme was assassinated. Even though over 130 people have confessed to the murder, the case has never been solved.
  • In 1991 – The first Gulf War ended. The armed conflict had lasted a little over half a year and claimed over 100,000 civilian casualties.
  • In 1993 – Federal agents raided the compound of an armed religious cult in Waco, TX. The ATF had planned to arrest the leader of the Branch Davidians, David Koresh, on federal firearms charges. Four agents and six Davidians were killed, and a 51-day standoff ensued.
  • In 1994 – NATO made its first military strike when U.S. F-16 fighters shot down four Bosnian Serb warplanes, in violation of a no-fly zone over central Bosnia.
  • In 1995 – The new Denver International Airport (replacing Stapleton) opened after a 16-month delay.
  • In 2001 – The Northwest region of the United States, including the state of Washington, was hit by an earthquake that measured 6.9 on the Richter Scale. There were no deaths reported.
  • In 2009 –  American radio host Paul Harvey died. He was 90 years old.
  • In 2013 –  Pope Benedict XVI resigned. The pope whose birth name is Joseph Ratzinger was the first leader of the Catholic Church to resign since 1415.

Noteworthy Birthdays

If you were born on this date, Happy Birthday. You share your birthday with the following list of illustrious individuals – and about 20-million other people.

  • Charles Blondin, 1824 – Acrobat (first person to walk a tightrope across Niagara Falls).
  • Ben Hecht, 1894 –  Screenwriter.
  • Linus Pauling, 1901 – Dual Nobel Prize winner.
  • Vincente Minnelli, 1903 – Director.
  • Billie Bird, 1908 – Actress.
  • Zero Mostel, 1915 – Actor.
  • Charles Durning, 1923 – Actor.
  • Chris Kraft, 1924 – NASA engineer (created NASA’s Mission Control operation).
  • Stanley Baker, 1927 – Actor.
  • Frank Gehry, 1929 – Architect (designed Walt Disney Concert Hall).
  • Gavin MacLeod, 1931 – Actor.
  • Tommy Tune, 1939 – Dancer.
  • Joe South, 1940 – Singer/songwriter.
  • Bernadette Peters, 1948 – Actress/singer.
  • Paul Krugman, 1953 – American economist, Nobel Prize laureate.
  • John Turturro, 1957 – Actor.
  • Rae Dawn Chong, 1961 – Actress.

 

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