December 15th International Tea Day

With the holidays coming on and the demand on our time and energy, maybe it’s time to settle in for a comfort break on International Tea Day. Mainly celebrated in Asia, there is a movement to take it international through the UN. It has been celebrated since 2005 officially, but tea has always been the drink of preference, it seems like since time began in places like India, Myanmar and their neighbors. There are hundreds of flavors so there is something for everyone. Join those who celebrate their favorite drink, cold or hot, all over the world today.

How to celebrate – Have a cup of tea! Visit India. Remember the Boston Tea Party.

April 9th National Unicorn Day

April 9th National Unicorn Day

Unicorns are probably the best known of all the mythical beasts of history.  They seem to first have appeared in Greek stories though it is thought, even then, that the Unicorn came from India. Children love the idea of Unicorns, and over the years they have been given bright colors and rainbows to enhance them to make them appeal to children even more. In legend, women were the only ones who could tame Unicorns.

How to celebrate – Try to remember all the stories you have heard or read that had unicorns in them. Get yourself a stuffed unicorn. Study mythology.

September 20th National Punch Day

Today we all should enjoy our punch, even if you have to throw a special party to share it in. There are so many things you can add to a punch to make it different that the choices are nearly unlimited.  Fruit, ice cream, rum, vodka, soda, nearly anything goes well, depending on your base.

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Punch has been around for a long, long time. It has always been served at parties and banquets and other social gatherings. It has been blamed for the young getting their first taste of alcohol. And as such, many recipes have been handed down over the years. Here are a few recipes you might enjoy.

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Just don’t order punch in Hawaii. (The joke from Would you like a nice Hawaiian punch!) The word punch comes from Sanskrit, which comes to us from India, where “punch” was served including 5 ingredients. Alcohol, lemon, water, sugar and tea, or other spices. The English sailors brought back the idea to England and it spread from there.

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Naturally, in the olden days, alcohol made a lot of foods and drinks served saver since water was often suspect. A punch also served a large number of people making it economical.For years only lemon was used to flavor the punch served, but over the years other flavors were discovered and now, lemon seems to be one of the least served punches.

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It also makes for a great Halloween treat when dry ice is added to make it fog. In fact it’s hard to find a holiday of any type where punch isn’t served. It’s fun and easy to make, is refreshing and nearly always a hit at parties.

How to celebrate – Make some punch today, it doesn’t need to be a special occasion. Invent your own punch recipe. Make up your own punch for every season.

April 25th National East Meets West Day

There has always been a difference in culture between the East and the West. Look at Japan and Canada, Russia and America, Indian and Mexico. It doesn’t mean one is better than the other or that one is right and one is wrong, it just means… well… there is the east and there is the west!

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If you go far enough east you will eventually end up in the west and vise-versa. There are football games and other sporting events that tries to prove which is better but in the end, it really doesn’t matter. Take a football game many of the players that play for a western team came from the east, and many playing in the east came from the west.

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During World War 2 a big drive was for the Americans to meet up with the Russian to end the war. the Russians were considered the Eastern troops, the Americans the Western. In fact when the two sides decided they could not get along they separated Germany into East Germany and West Germany.

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Even in America the life styles were different. The above photo is of an 1800’s street in Philadelphia. Well established by the mid 1800’s, Philadelphia became a point of culture and refinement. It had been around longer, gone through more was a permanent fixture.

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An old west town of the same era was a little cruder and contained a not so refined culture and citizens. The buildings were smaller and less secure because frankly, the owners didn’t know if they were going to stay there or not. One was not better than the other, they just served different needs and purposes.

How to celebrate – Try and determine where east meets west where you live. If you live in the East take a trip West. If you live in the West take a trip East. (Note what difference you see, and don;t see, on your trip)

October 19th Hindu Diwali Day

Well apparently there aren’t a lot of American holidays on October 19th but Hindu Diwali Day is probably one we should adopt. The date does vary though, this year it’s on October 19th so we are in luck! It basically is the India Harvest Festival.

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Today is a celebration of the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair…. something we all could stand celebrating no matter what religion you practice.

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The day is celebrated with family prayer, cleaning your house or workplace, wearing new clothes, lighting lamps or candles and, of course, fireworks. (Which is a good thing they collected the harvest before setting it all on fire with the fireworks). It is a day to celebrate life and the riches we have been given, something we often forget in the daily grind.

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It sort of combines a lot of other holidays we all celebrate, this just happens to begin in India. It is kind of odd that religion often causes war. All religions celebrate a greater Being, someone we should try to be like though we will never succeed.

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So celebrate the Hindu Diwali with our Hindu friends. There are a lot of things to celebrate if you just look for them.

How to celebrate – Buy some new clothes today. Lead your family in a prayer. Clean your house (It probably needs it anyway!)

 

September 20th National Punch Day

With the holidays just around the corner it’s time to start thinking about the punch you will serve at all your parties. Or, if there aren’t any parties then punch for yourself!

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Punch evidently comes from the Indian culture, Hindi to be exact. It is believed that sailors, traveling to India from England, re-introducing the beverage to the public once reaching their home port. In Hindi it is called “panch” (when translated means 5) and originally was made with an alcohol of choice, sugar, lemon, water and tea, or spices. When combined it is called “Paantsch”.

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No matter what you call it, it’s still all, sort of, the same. It is a beverage you serve to try and impress your friends, neighbors, and family. Sometimes it can be very tasty, and sometimes it can be just a little above the flavor of gasoline, but no matter, it is festive and just spells p-a-r-t-y!

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Punch can be very fun at Halloween. Dry ice makes it bubble and creates fog. Here’s a recipe for you. It really helps set the mood  and gets the party started (remember don’t accidentally handle the dry ice bare handed).

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And Christmas is another holiday just ripe for punch. Here are a few ideas for you.

The holidays deserve a special kick to get everyone in the mood. They don’t have to be alcoholic, but it does help!

How to celebrate – Since on the “National Holiday” list every day is a holiday, come up with a punch to celebrate every day! Plan your upcoming parties around your punch! Be a great guest, and take some punch to a host’s party!

April 12th National Liquorice Day

Liquorice or Licorice is actually a root.  In it’s natural state it is slightly sweet but not as most of us know it to be from the candy.  It comes from the Glycyrrhiza Glabra plant, found manly in Southern Europe, Asia and India.

It actually has many uses.  It is used in food, medicine, beverages and even tobacco.  Apparently it even works well as shampoo.  It treats sore throats, bronchitis, coughing and infections, both viral and biological.  It helps the digestive system, heartburn, colic and gastritis. It is used to treat prostate cancer as well as eczema.  It also increases fertility.

In many Mid-Eastern countries, liquorice is served as a drink, like coffee.  No one knows how first discovered liquorice but it is clear it has been around for centuries.  I have alwys been curious who dug up a plant and decided to use the roots to make something, anything.  In this case, they dug up a plant with roots that look like twigs.  Someone had to say to themselves, I bet this tastes pretty good!  At the same time, someone standing next to him, or her, said to themselves, I think I’ll try it as shampoo.  Of course it is just a hop-skip and a jump to using it in medicine and tobacco.  However it is nice to know that something that gives you cancer, like tobacco with liquorice in it, can be treated by the exact same product, liquorice as a cure.

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Now before you think you can cure yourself by eating a hundred bags of Twizzlers I’m afraid it won’t work.  Liquorice is semi-sweet as it comes out of the ground, but the real candy has Anisteed Oil added to it which tastes somewhat like liquorice but is much, much sweeter.  Unfortunately, Anisteed Oil contains none of the cure as in liquorice root.  April 12th is also my Father’s birthday, and he loves liquorice!

April 1st International April Fool’s Day

April Fool’s Day has been with us longer than you might think.  The Romans had a  Festival of Hilaria that was celebrated on April 1st.

 

Enthusiasts And Reenactors Parade Through The Streets Of Chester As Part Of Their Roman Saturnalia Festival Celebrations

 

In India the Holi Festival was also celebrated on April 1st

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and during the Medieval Days April 1st was known as The Feast of Fools.

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In fact, many of the Middle Ages kingdoms celebrated the New Year starting on March 25th and going through March 32nd.  Yes, I said March 32nd which was later changed to April 1st.  These kingdoms were thought to be foolish since everyone else knew New Years ended on January 1st.

The first written record of April Fool’s Day comes from Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” in 1392. in 1508, French Poet Eloy d’Amberval mentions the first of April in his poems, though they are known as April Fish.  (I have yet to figure out how this relates.) In 1539 Flemish poet Eduard de Dene tells of a nobleman who sent his servants off on foolish quests every April 1st.  And in 1686 John Aubrey mentions “Fooles Holy Day” in his works, also taking place on April 1st.

So apparently, April Fool’s Day has been around for a very long time.  It is International, obviously, and is the one day when Fools are King. (Or Queen)

Do we really need to suggest how you celebrate this day?  Do whatever you like, to whomever you like.  Just remember to keep it nice because what goes around, comes round!

Oh, and just an aside here…it is also our CEO’s Birthday! Happy Birthday M!