February 10th National Umbrella Day

The umbrella was not originally designed to keep us dry, it was created to provide shade. And that was thousands of years ago, probably in the Middle East where sunburns were a real problem!

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It provided shade, not only protection and in some cases could have dropped the temperature by as much as ten degrees. It did eventually become protection from the rain, snow and anything else that might fall on you except for maybe an anvil.

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In England it became a fashion statement and still is. The styles and shapes have changed but the purpose stays the same. The curved handle was made just to fit over the arm so that it was easy to carry when not in use.

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Such a simple tool that has so many uses and makes such a fashion statement.

How to celebrate – If you don’t have one, get an umbrella. Find an umbrella that fits your personality. Stay dry!

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December 26th National Boxing Day

Today is Boxing Day. For years I thought it was a day that people got rid of all the boxes of stuff they got during Christmas day. I was wrong. It always falls of the first weekday after Christmas. Today it is easy because it is a Tuesday, but if Christmas falls on Friday, Boxing Day will come on the following Monday.

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It’s also not the day the reindeer beat up Santa for his abuse on Christmas Eve (Though they may well be within their rights!). In fact, it has nothing to do with the sport of boxing either. Celebrated in England, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and any of the British Commonwealth, this traditionally is a European holiday.

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It started in the Middle Ages when the nobility would reward their servants and those that served them with a box full of gifts, normally of food and fruit. It was a way of giving back for what had been done for those more affluent. It is also known as St. Stephens Day.

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We at Unboxing the Bizarre welcome all unusual holidays, as well as those that are widely recognized. Life is worth celebrating, everyday, for some reason or the other. We try to show you different reasons to celebrate though you really should celebrate every day anyway. We owe each other to find happiness, we owe each other to find love, when we accomplish that then we can truly celebrate the future and the lives we live and com in contact with.

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How to celebrate – Celebrate something every day! Create days to celebrate in your own lives. Take a box of food and fruit, and clothing or anything else you can give to someone in need.

October 13th Yorkshire Pudding Day

Though it sounds like a dessert Yorkshire Pudding is anything but that. It is basically a meat and gravy dish served up in a crust, all of which has been slow cooked. Traditionally it is served with mutton but any meat will do in a pinch. It is observed in the United States on October 13th, though it is centuries old and no one knows exactly when it was first made.

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The first known written recipe came from England in 1737 when it was called “A Dripping Pudding” published in “The Whole Duty of a Woman” – their words, not mine.

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The same basic recipe was rewritten in 1747 in “The Art of Cooking Made Plain and Easy.” It was written by Hannah Glasse who first called it, “Yorkshire Pudding”.

It is a tasty treat, though I am not wild about mutton. Most Americans replace mutton with hamburger, just as they do with Shepherd’s Pie (the real name for Shepherd’s Pie made with hamburger is “Cottage Pie”). The Royal Society of Chemistry claims that if the dough does not rise at least 4 inches, it is not truly Yorkshire Pudding. I assume it got it’s name because Miss Glasse lived in Yorkshire but there is nothing I have found to proove or disproove that either way.

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Traditionally, this is a typical Sunday meal in the UK. Try one for yourself with this recipe.

How to celebrate – This one is easy, have some Yorkshire pudding! Make a Sunday family meal of Yorkshire Pudding (you might want to call it something else though. Maybe call it Pudding On The Ritz!)  Fly over to the UK and have some traditional Yorkshire Pudding.

July 4th Independence Day

The 4th of July, 1776 is perhaps the most important day in American history. The day we declared our freedom from England. Of course it didn’t come to an end for 8 years but then good things come to those who wait. In 1783 the waiting was over (the war actually started in 1775).

Over the years the 4th of July has become a collage of fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches designed to help us know what we need to do to be great again.

Well, maybe remembering where we come from, what we have accomplished, and how we turned a few colonies into a nation would help. Back in the time when our heroes were real people and our actions spoke louder than some politicians blowing hot air. No, we haven’t always been right, but then who has? We have been the best we could be, and considering all, that’s been pretty good.

Oddly, it was the French government who helped us win our freedom, mainly to get back at the English. Still had it not been for them we probably would not have won. Then the people of France took our example and overthrew their government to win freedom for themselves. That really didn’t work out so well. Then in 1875 the French began building a statue for us, the Statue of Liberty, which wasn’t dedicated until 1886.

Of course, freedom isn’t free. It cost a lot of people their lives over the years. Maybe that’s something we should remember on Independence Day. A friend of mine, and I, created a music video called, “Miss Liberty“. Hope you enjoy it. Written and performed by Mickey Carroll.

How to celebrate: Enjoy some fireworks but remember why we do them. Give a vet a sincere thank you.  Have an old time picnic with the family.