Fire, Mutts, Lemonade, Brothers & Sisters, Babies, Scurvy, Tuna, Ukuleles, and Truffles

May 2, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

According to the National Day Calendar, there are more than 1500 national holidays every year – meaning that there is at least one holiday for every day in the calendar year. All you have to do is choose which holiday(s) you want to celebrate.
With that said, today’s holidays are listed below — so let the festivities begin. 

Good morning my “fired-up” friends. Today is Sunday, May 2, 2021. Today is the 122nd day of the year, and 243 days remain.

National Fire Day 

National Fire Day is celebrated annually on May 2nd – but no one knows why. It’s a real puzzler. In my research, I could find no information regarding what this holiday is about. Are we supposed to light a fire…or not? Are we celebrating the discovery of fire by cavemen millennia ago? Are we supposed to fire up the grill, get all fired up, fire off some questions, or fire someone? I don’t know! Are we supposed to support our local Fire Department? Are we supposed to paint something fire engine red, sing “Ring of Fire” (the old Johnny Cash song), install the Firefox web browser on our computers, watch episodes of the tv show Chicago Fire or watch the Clint Eastwood movie Firefox, or merely strike a match? Again, I don’t know!
To celebrate National Fire Day, you’re on your own. Pick one of the examples in the previous paragraph, or fire up your imagination and celebrate it in another way. I just hope that your day doesn’t “go up in flames” because you chose not to celebrate this holiday.

Mayday For Mutts

Mayday For Mutts is celebrated annually on the first Sunday in May. As you might expect, this holiday serves to remind us of the wonderful dogs available in shelters – not only mutts but senior and special needs pups that often are overlooked by people. It seeks to remind everyone that it is personality, not pedigree that makes a good dog.  Adopting one of these special mutts can go a long way to reducing the number of “puppy mills” in America. This holiday coincides with the first day of Be Kind To Animals Week, an event established in 1915 by the American Humane Association.
Mayday For Mutts is the brainchild of  Karen Derrico, author of “Unforgettable Mutts: Pure of Heart Not of Breed”‘. According to the Humane Society of the United States, approximately 75% of the six million dogs entering United States animal shelters each year are mixed-breed.
Animal shelters, humane organizations, and pet-related businesses across America will be holding mutt-related activities and distributing literature promoting the adoption of mixed-breed dogs throughout the month of May, but the official Mayday For Mutts holiday is the first Sunday of each May.
The aforementioned literature will include information on: mutt myths and facts, adopting a mutt, listings for mutt-specific activities, events, and clubs, spaying and neutering, and adopting special needs dogs –And who says that mutts don’t come with papers? Participating shelters will be presenting “100% Pure Mutt” certificates to people adopting mutts during the month of May.
So if you’re in the market for a loving canine companion, please consider adopting a mutt, senior dog citizen, or a special needs dog in celebration of Mayday For Mutts.

Lemonade Day

Lemonade Day is observed on the first Sunday of May. Contrary to what you might be thinking, this holiday has very little to do with the refreshing summertime beverage. Instead, it focuses on teaching children about entrepreneurship, an element that, unfortunately, is missing in most education programs these days. Prepared 4 Life, which started this program, is an organization whose goal is to help prepare youth for life through fun, proactive and experiential programs that teach life skills, character education, and entrepreneurship. The aim is to help today’s youth become business leaders, social advocates, community volunteers, and better citizens. They strive to build self-esteem and a new mindset that can guide youth to a level of success that they likely would not have achieved otherwise. Many children in America are introduced to entrepreneurship through real-world experiences by starting their own business – such as a lemonade stand.  In running their little lemonade stand, they learn about running a business. They gain needed life skills like setting goals, making plans, and working their plan to achieve success.
Lemonade Day began as a fun, experiential program to teach young people how to start, own and operate their very own business – a lemonade stand. The mission of this holiday is to help today’s youth to become the business leaders, social advocates, community volunteers, and forward-thinking citizens of tomorrow.
Each year, in participating cities, youth have the opportunity to experience entrepreneurship by setting up their business during their city’s community-wide Lemonade Day. By teaching key skills, financial literacy, and decision-making, we foster self-esteem and new mindsets that can propel youth to success.
The history of lemonade is quite long. The first written evidence of lemonade can be found in medieval Egypt, but, it is believed that natives of India (not native-American Indians) began drinking a form of lemonade called “nimbu pani,” or “lemon water” prior to the entrance of lemonade in Egypt and neighboring countries. Lemonade recipes began appearing in America during the 17th century with the early arrival of European immigrants.
There are many different variations of lemonade including raspberry lemonade, sparkling lemonade, frozen lemonade, ginger lemonade, and pink lemonade. It is rumored that pink lemonade was invented by a circus performer named Henry E. Allott. During a show, Allott accidentally dropped cinnamon candies into a container of lemonade, giving the drink a subtle pink hue. Instead of disposing of the lemonade, Allott marketed the drink as “pink lemonade” and sold it to eager spectators.
To celebrate Lemonade Day, simply enjoy some lemonade today. Bonus points if you buy it from a ‘budding entrepreneur’ in your neighborhood.

Brothers and Sisters Day 

Brothers and Sisters Day is celebrated annually on May 2nd. You needn’t be a member of MENSA to deduce that this holiday celebrates that special bond between siblings.
Let’s face it, sometimes you cherish them, and other times, you want to disown them. If you have siblings, use today to reach out to them. If they live nearby, pay them a visit. If you are geographically separated, write them a letter or send them a card. If you need instant gratification, call them on the telephone, email them, IM them, Tweet them, or use whatever other means of instant communication you choose.
The point is to reach out to them today in celebration of Brothers and Sisters Day. You’ll be glad you did.

Baby Day

Baby Day is celebrated annually on May 2nd. Oddly enough, it celebrates babies – in this instance, the human variety. Logic tells us that this holiday is a day to enjoy and care for young infants. It gives us the opportunity to celebrate the miracle of birth and life.
Parents, new or old, can celebrate Baby Day by lavishing extra attention on their “little bundles of joy” – regardless of their age. Couples who haven’t yet been blessed with a baby can take the steps necessary to make sure that they will be able to celebrate Baby Day next year – if you get my drift.

International Scurvy Awareness Day 

International Scurvy Awareness Day is celebrated annually on May 2nd. If you’re like me, you thought that Scurvy was eradicated a couple of centuries ago.
Evidently, that is not the case. In nations where fresh fruits and vegetables are plentiful, and where Vitamin C is added to processed foods, Scurvy has, in fact, all but been eliminated. But in poor nations that lack a source of fresh fruits and vegetables, Scurvy is still a problem. Scurvy is a condition caused by a lack of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in the diet. Even if you live in a “developed” country, you could still be at risk for Scurvy if you are on a very restricted diet, you are under severe physiological stress (such as, during an infection or after an injury), or you are a chronic alcoholic.
The symptoms of Scurvy are lethargy, slow wound healing, swollen and/or bleeding gums, and muscle and joint pain. Purplish red blood blisters on the skin of the legs are also a common symptom. I guess the point here is “watch your diet.”
To observe International Scurvy Awareness Day, learn more about scurvy and make sure that you’re getting enough Vitamin C – either through consuming fresh fruits and vegetables or through vitamin supplements.

World Tuna Day 

World Tuna Day is celebrated annually on May 2nd. You don’t need to be a fishmonger to determine that this holiday celebrates tuna – one of the world’s most renowned types of seafood. In 2011, eight Pacific Island countries (Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu) that include much of the world’s tuna fishing waters declared May 2 to be World Tuna Day. They support some of the world’s largest and most valuable fisheries, as well as many people who rely on them for their livelihoods.
This holiday recognizes the critical role these fish play in marine ecosystems. The label “tuna” actually includes more than 20 species that range from the tropics to the frigid waters of the Arctic and the Southern Ocean. The gigantic 1,500-pound Atlantic Bluefin is the largest tuna while the 18-inch Skipjack is the smallest.
Increased demand for sushi and canned tuna, along with more efficient fishing techniques, has had a devastating effect on tuna populations worldwide. World Tuna Day seeks to inform us that to have healthy populations of tuna for the future, we need to make efforts now to end overfishing and make sure that the gear used on them doesn’t imperil other ocean life. Organizations such as the Pew Environment Group, are leading a global campaign to change tuna fishing practices and policies to ensure that the health and long-term sustainability of tuna are given priority over short-term economic gains.
To celebrate World Tuna Day, enjoy some tuna today – canned or fresh, the choice is up to you.

National Play Your Ukulele Day 

National Play Your Ukulele Day is celebrated annually on May 2nd.  This self-explanatory holiday offers the chance to “change the world four strings at a time” by playing your ukulele, sharing it, and/or teaching others to play — That is, presuming that you own one, and that can play it.
If you don’t own a ukulele and/or can’t play one, do not despair, you can still celebrate National Play Your Ukulele Day. Just search “ukulele” on YouTube. It is full of videos of ukulele players – some of which can even be viewed and/or listened to without permanent damage to your eyes and/or ears. You can also probably find some videos there that can teach you the basics if you want to learn to play the ukulele.

National Truffle Day 

National Truffle Day is celebrated annually on May 2nd. There is some confusion as exactly to which “truffle” this holiday refers; the ganache-filled confection or the extravagantly priced fungus. One of my sources says it is the confection and one says it is the fungus. Since both are food-related, I’ll just cover them both.
The Confection:
According to legend, a man named Louis Dufour invented the chocolate truffle in Chambéry, France in 1895. Truffles became much more prevalent in 1902 when Antoine Dufour opened the Prestat Chocolate Shop opened in London. Prestat still sells “Napoleon III” truffles made to the original recipe. Historians believe this chocolate shop was largely responsible for popularizing chocolate truffles in England (and beyond), but the relationship between Louis and Antoine, or if there even was a relationship, is still not known.
The first recipes for chocolate truffles appeared in the 1920s. Today there are three main types—American, European, and Swiss. Each type of truffle has a slightly different twist, but they all include a creamy ganache filling and a topping. Traditionally, chocolatiers make this sweet confection with a chocolate ganache center coated in chocolate, icing, cocoa powder, chopped nuts, or coconut. They may fill the truffle with other yummy surprises. For example, some candy makers include cream, melted chocolate, caramel, nuts, fruit, nougat, fudge, toffee, mint, marshmallow, or liqueur.
Fun fact:
Roald Dahl, the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, was a huge fan of Prestat truffles.

The Fungus:
A truffle is one of a type of subterranean mushroom or the fruiting body of such a mushroom. Spore dispersal is accomplished through fungivores, animals that eat fungi. Almost all truffles have a symbiotic relationship with trees and are therefore usually found close to them. There are hundreds of species of truffles. The fruiting body of some (mostly in the genus Tuber) is highly prized as food. French gourmand Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin called them “the diamond of the kitchen”.
Edible truffles are held in high esteem in Middle Eastern, French, Spanish, Italian, and Greek cooking, as well as in international “haute cuisine”. The mycelia (roots) of truffles form symbiotic relationships with the roots of several tree species including beech, poplar, oak, birch, hornbeam, hazel, and pine. They prefer argillaceous or calcareous soils which are well-drained and neutral or alkaline. Truffles fruit throughout the year, depending on the species and can be found buried between the leaf litter and the soil. Truffles are difficult to cultivate. Past attempts to cultivate them have been only moderately successful.
Searching for truffles in open ground is almost always carried out with specially trained pigs (truffle hogs) or, more recently, dogs. The Lagotto Romagnolo is the only dog breed recognized for sniffing out truffles (although almost any breed could be trained for this purpose). There are pros and cons to using each. Truffle hogs have a keen sense of smell, and an innate ability to sniff out truffles. The only drawback is that they tend to want to eat the truffles as soon as they find them. Truffle dogs also have a keen sense of smell, and they are also easier to control. The only drawback to using them is that they have to be trained to find the truffles.
The female pig’s natural truffle seeking, as well as her usual intent to eat the truffle, is due to a compound within the truffle similar to androstenol, the sex pheromone of boar saliva, to which the sow is keenly attracted. In Italy. the use of pigs to hunt truffles has been prohibited since 1985 due to damage caused by animals to truffle’s mycelia during the digging that dropped the production rate of the area for some years.
You will have to be the arbiter of which, if any (or both), type(s) of truffle you celebrate today. Do you want to visit your local candy shop and buy some of the ganache-filled confection variety? Or, do you want to take a second mortgage out on your house, go to a specialty food store, and buy an ounce or two of the fungal variety?

Listed below are some other holidays celebrated on this date that are worthy of mention. 

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