May 4th Star Wars Day

So I keep telling this story and some people say it’s right, and some say it’s wrong but I am sticking with it. The day began as a mistake by a German News TV company, N24, in 2005. Via a translation mistake they took “May the force be with you” as “May the 4th be with you” and hence “Stars War Day” was created on May the 4th. Right or not it’s a good story and at least sort of makes sense. Or at least just as much sense as “May the force be with you” because isn’t the source already something with you whether you want it or not?

How to celebrate – Watch Star Wars. Visit Germany. Learn to become a translator.

April 26th National Pretzel Day

Though the pretzel is often associated with German food, or snacks, it actually was created around 610 AD in Southern France by Catholic Monks. Some insist that pretzels first appeared in Italy, also made by Monks, who created them as treats for children who said their prayers. The original pretzels were designed to look like arms folded over the chest, as if saying prayers. Of course the Germans claim some credit for the first pretzel as well so about all we do know is that it was created in Europe, somewhere. The first pretzel in the United States was made by Julius Sturgis in 1850 at Lititz, Pennsylvania. While today has some listing a 1983 Pretzel Day we do know that Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania made a pretzel holiday in 2003.

How to celebrate – Have a pretzel today. Learn how to make your own pretzel. Visit a German restuarant.

April 26th National Pretzel Day

When we think of pretzels we often think Germany, and beer. Well, the world’s oldest snack food actually came out of France around 610 AD when Monks created the treat to represent children’s folded arms while in prayer. You can get pretzels salted, and unsalted, and in numerous different flavors today and generally speaking, while not exactly healthy, they aren’t all that bad for us. You can get hard pretzels or soft pretzels, big pretzels or small pretzels, you can even get them mixed with other snacks like popcorn, peanuts and raisins. (And you don’t have to have beer but it does make them better)

How to celebrate – Have some pretzels. Learn how to make your own pretzels. Become a Monk.

March 20th Snowman Burning Day

March 20th Snowman Burning Day

Here’s a fun day! It’s time to burn any snowmen that might still be around. Now, it’s nearly impossible to burn a real snowman, so build your own made out of straw, or wood, or anything that will burn. That’s what they do in Germany for the “Rose Sunday Festival”. It is meant to mark the changes of the season, and the end of winter. Is a snowman made out of anything other than snow really a snowman? Well, I guess it’s all in the way you look at it.

How to celebrate – Look for a snowman. Build your own straw man. Break out the hot dogs and marshmallows and throw a snowman burning party.

June 6th D-Day

June 6th -_ D-Day

156,000 soldiers landed on Omaha, Utah, Gold, Sword and Juno beaches to reclaim Europe from Nazi Germany on June 6th, 1944. Thousands would give their all on this day, Canadians, British, French and Americans. It was the one day in the early part of June that had clear enough weather the Allies could actually attempt the landing, and an attempt it was. The Germans had built up the beach defenses to an extreme and though the Allies were fairly sure they could hold some of the beaches it really was done on a hope and a prayer. The landings were preceded by parachute drops and the resistance causing as much havoc as they could. The landing, requested by the Russian, did succeed however and it was the beginning of the end for the Third Reich.

How to celebrate – Remember all those who served in World War 2 (there aren’t many left). Visit the beaches where many of the wrecks have been left reminding us of the day. Read a book written from those who survived the day.

May 4th Star Wars Day

May 4th Star Wars Day

We all know Star Wars; Han Solo, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Jedi warriors, etc., etc, etc. But did you know today became a holiday by mistake? The famous line, “May the fourth be with you” came from a post by the Conserbative Party when Margaret Thatcher won the Prime Minister seat. But now Star Wars fans all over have adopted it as a holiday!

How to celebrate – Watch any of the 200 or so Star Wars movies today. Dress up like your favorite character from the series. Visit a Star Wars museum.

February 2nd Ground Hog Day

Today we celebrate Ground Hogs Day. It’s also Candlemas which somehow is related. Ground Hog day was started in Germany apparently, coming to America in the 1800’s where it is celebrate every year on February 2nd, telling us whether winter is over or will extend later into year. In Pennsylvania (Where the Germans mainly settled) the Ground Hog is called Punxsutawney Phil. If he sees his shadow then winter will continue, if he does not, winter is over.

There is a poem that supposedly explains it.

If Candlemas be fair and bright, Winter has another flight, if Candlemas brings clouds and rain, winter will not come again.

Phil isn’t the only ground hog though. Ohio has Buckeye Chuck and Georgia has General Beauregard Lee.

How to celebrate – Go see Phil, Chuck or Lee. Celebrate winter! Enjoy Spring.

October 7th Octoberfest

Well if you have been waiting all year to celebrate Octoberfest today is the last day of the 2 week festival so you’d better get busy! That means a lot of beer! This year it started on September 2nd and ends today, October 7th. (Ah, isn’t that more than two weeks?) Oh well, we are using the German calendar anyway.


The celebration has spread all over the world but it is still a celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghansen. (Personally I think she married him just to get a new name. I know I would!)  Their marriage was celebrated in the Munich area for two weeks.


That was originally October 12th, 1810. Well, any reason for a good party I suppose. But it’s not all about beer. Everything you admire about Germany is celebrated during this festival. The food, the costumes and, of course, the beverages.


The dates change. That must have really made it difficult on Ludwig to remember the anniversary of his marriage. Seriously though, the music and fun is worth the wait, whatever date it may be and if you do happen to have enough beer you won’t miss those two weeks anyway, even if they take a month or more to go by.


And look at the really cool hats you get to wear too!

How to celebrate – Visit a German Octoberfest. Throw your own German festival. Have a beer and a pretzel.

July 22nd National Rat Catcher’s Day

Well, here’s a day that comes once a year but probably should be celebrated much more, National Rat Catcher’s Day. And while one might think it’s about catching rats it really isn’t.

images (2)

The world’s best rat catcher is no doubt the cat… though my dogs pretty good at it to because the cats taught her. I doubt many humans could keep up with natures real rat catcher, the cat. Of course they torture them before they kill them, that’s kinda cruel, but again, not really what this is is all about.

This is about the Pied Piper of Hameling and it comes to us from his efforts in 1284 Germany. Naturally in 1284 people were worried about the plague, which most knew came from rats that lived in their community. Well it turns out it really wasn’t actually from the rats but from the fleas on the rats! Anyway, the Pied Piper was hired to get the rats out of a village town. When he accomplished this feat, by playing on his fife and leading the rats to the river where they drown.


When he returned, the mayor of the town refused to pay him for his work. This supposedly happened on June 26th, 1284. Well he returned to the town, We think on July 22nd, and led the children of the city out to the river exactly as he had the rats. Now there are several versions of this story but the real ending is that he led the children to the river where they did exactly the same as the rats.

images (1)

This led to the the town instantly regret of not paying the piper for his services. So while we think rat catchers as what it’s all about it is actually all about… paying the piper!

How to celebrate – Let your cats out to do what they do today! Make sure you live up to any agreement you have made. Read the story of the Pied Piper of Hameling.

April 26th National Pretzel Day

Today is a day we can really sink our teeth into. It’s National Pretzel Day, hurrah! Well, hurrah for those of us who like pretzels. Hard or soft, with or without mustard, cheese or any topping  you prefer. They are pretty good without any topping either.


Pretzels first came on the scene apparently in Southern France around 610 AD. Monks were trying to make what would look like children’s hands praying by baking thin strips of dough twisted into the shape of praying hands. I’m not sure they got it but what they did start was probably the world’s first snack treat!


Since then, pretzels seem to appear in nearly any shape to can imagine, even the boring straight thin kind. (They are still pretty good but not as much fun.) They go great with beer or soda, or nearly any beverage of your choice.  Better yet, when served plain, they aren’t all that fattening either!


Now if you have a pretzel factory, or place or store or whatever you call it, they often give away free pretzels today to celebrate. Or if you prefer, you can even make your own by using this recipe.


How to celebrate – Have a pretzel! Go to a baseball game and…. have a pretzel! Have a pretzel party with different shapes and dips or toppings.