April 18th International Juggler's Day

It takes a lot of concentration to juggle, whether that means juggling three or more balls or the workload you have. Both require talent, one a little more physical than the other but whose keeping count? The art of juggling was once the fashionable entertainment, particularly if you owned a castle. Today, it’s a recognizable talent, but seen less often – and when it is performed, it’s generally more dangerous. They didn’t have things like chainsaws back during the Middle Ages. Today is celebrated on the closest Saturday to June 17th. It was created by the International Juggler’s Association (IJA) in the 1980’s.

How to celebrate – Learn how to juggle. Consider yourself a juggler if you can do many things at the same time. Make a list of all the things you can juggle.

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.

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.

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.

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 26th National Mincemeat Pie Day

Mincemeat pie. Ever heard of it? It seems to have been lost to history in the mid 1900’s either because it was too difficult to make or because the American diet did not lend itself to the dish. Prior to that, the dish was a favorite of many, particularly in Europe. In fact, it comes to us all the way from medieval times (The era, not the attraction).

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In fact is was one of the best dishes one could be served as a Knight. It was rich with meat and sweet like a dessert. It allowed the participant to eat both the main course and the last course at the same time. Since it was made of meat (Usually a ground beef though pork, mutton or any chopped up meat could be used). Suet, a substance made from the fat near the loins and kidneys of animals. (It is a powder today) And finally whatever fruit was in season at the time.  Generally raisins, apples or pears were used (And still are) though cherries, grapes or anything else you might have handy could also be used.

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Mincemeat Pie was a real feast back in its day. The crust was like a bread and the mix of meat and fruit was a tasty treat. Just like the popularity of Egg Nog has been reserved for the holiday season when you do see a mincemeat pie being served it is generally a holiday dish. Oh, and normally a healthy portion of brandy, or rum, is added to the dish just for flavoring… and maybe to tempt the consumer a little more.

How to celebrate – See if you can find any place near you that serves mincemeat pie and go try some. (Medieval Times does not serve Mincemeat Pie) Fix a mincemeat pie for your family from the recipe provided. Go to a Middle Ages Society reenactment and see they serve mincemeat pie.

May 29th End of the Middle Ages Day

The Middle Ages were no doubt a difficult time to live in. It was a time of crusades, dark thoughts and feudalism.  Kings and Queens ruled through strength and ruthlessness – dealt to both friend and foe alike. On May 29th, 1453 that all came to an end. Well maybe not over night but at least things started to change. Battles began to subside.

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And a Knights place in society began to disappear.

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Why did all of this happen? Because Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Empire.

With the Byzantine Empire now crushed, the Greeks that resided there since early in the Roman Empire days left, scattering across Europe. With these scholars and artists an entire new movement spread where ever the Greeks went.

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A new era had begun, the Renaissance. Art became more important than battles. Saving people was more valuable than slaughtering them. Education began to feed more than the feudal system ever did.

Kings and Queens still ruled nations but the people began to have a voice. It was an Age of Enlightenment that in a sense, started the world all over once again.

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How to celebrate: Study the Renaissance. Go to an exhibit of Renaissance art.  Imagine yourself a King or Queen and trying to serve them instead of them serving you. Find a Renaissance fair to participate in.