August 24th Vesuvius Day

Today, in 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted destroying Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae in Italy. Some 3,360 people died, caught in the ash and lava that followed. What amazes me is that they could see the smoke coming from the volcano weeks before the eruption and apparently thought nothing of it. As the years passed, people rebuilt on the same basic spots only to have another tragedy in 1631 where 3,500 people died. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. And you know what… they are still building there today. When are we gonna learn!

How to celebrate – Read about Mount Vesuvius. Visit Italy. Create your own mini volcano and see how the lave flows for yourself.

March 15th Ides of March

Today is the Ides of March, the Roman New Years Day! For some, I guess this was a pretty good day, for others not so much so. In 44 BC Julius Caesar was probably having a decent day until he met up with his buddy, Marcus Brutus. Julius went to greet Marcus by shaking hands, Marcus greets Julius with a dagger… along with the rest of the Roman Senate. Julius got the point but a little too late change his ways. This led to the quote, “Beware of the Ides of March”. But since most of us do not live in Rome and since the Roman Empire no longer exists, just enjoy your day. (Unless you have a friend named Marcus)

How to celebrate – Throw a Roman New Years party. Pretend to be Julius Caesar. Visit Rome.

February 14th Valentine’s Day

We can thank the Romans for today as they honored their God of Fertility at the Feast of Lupercalia. We celebrate love today by giving gifts to the person we love. It seems old hat that we give candy or flowers, but what is older than love? It does make me wonder what Adam gave Eve for Valentine’s Day, but then the Romans hadn’t been around yet so maybe he lucked out because I don’t think candy had been invented yet. Maybe he gave her a new fig leaf. Anyway, give your loved one a reminder that you love them and that your life would not be the same without them.

How to celebrate – Honor the one you love. Give some original thought gift. Visit Rome.

March 30th Good Friday

Today is Good Friday, the day Christ died on the Cross. I have always had a little issue with it being called Good Friday, it seems like it should be Bad Friday. But since it is the beginning of Christianity, for us Christians I guess it is good, in a way. The dates vary since it is the Friday before Easter and Easter varies.

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This is a very Holy Day for Christians as Christ died on the cross for our sins. The idea of dying on the cross was a Roman torture, meant to dissuade others from committing the same crime. Pontius Pilate did not think Jesus guilty of any crime but sent him to the cross to appease the crowd and the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem and history remembers the rest.

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Jesus died after 6 hours, it took most 36 or more hours to pass. It is said the sky turned dark and the earth shook when he succumbed. For years it was known as Dark Friday, in some places it is still observed as such. He died at 3 PM on Good Friday.

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On Easter Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven. There He would judge between the quick and the dead and buy for we Christians our chance at Heaven.

How to celebrate – Remember Jesus on Good Friday. Study the events that led up to Good Friday. Respect others religious choices.

April 1st April Fools Day

One of the most loved, and hated, days of the year. Today is the day that we all try to fool somebody. Sometimes the jokes are funny and everybody gets a laugh, but others are taken more seriously and probably should be avoided.

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It is believed that April Fools Day may have begun as far back as the Roman Empire. Well, April Fools Day Rome if you really thought your Empire was going to last. However, it often appears that April Fools Day was celebrated every day in Rome as their Empire began to fall apart because of their leaders.

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And naturally there were the fools that filled the courts of Kings and Queens in the days before television and radio. These were men meant to make the King or Queen laugh and forget the woes they had trying to run their kingdoms. If a Jester was good, he might live in comfort inside the castle walls.  If he wasn’t so good he might not even last the day. The ultimate meaning of the fool- because quite often the joke is in the eye of the beholder, and if they do not behold it as you do, the joke’s truly on you.

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The worst fool is the person who sees themselves as something they aren’t. They not only fool others but often fool themselves as well.

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How to celebrate – Go ahead and try to fool someone today, just make sure it is harmless. Be wary of stories told today, try to catch someone trying to fool you before they can accomplish their goal. Keep count of how many people try to fool you today. Use that as your guide as to how many people you try to fool today.