Sunday, June 8, 2008

Weird holidays for June 8

Another listing of unique, weird, or wacky celebrations for this day in history.

Abused Women and Children's Awareness Day does NOT seem like a strange holiday. It's a day of awareness, a day to learn about the battered and abused. There isn't a bold history written about the subject. I'm sure it has been going on for a long time. Picture the manner in which cavemen are depicted: clubbing the woman over the head and dragging her to the cave. Fast forward to present day; the abuse could be happening in the house next door and you might not even be aware. Make yourself aware and offer support - or even escape - for those who suffer at the hands of an abuser.

Initiated in 1957 by the Bahai's of the United States to promote racial harmony, Race Unity Day has grown into a celebration of diversity promoting equality, unity, acceptance, respect, and love. The unity day is celebrated on yearly on the second Sunday in June.

The Festival of Weeks, or Shavo'ut, is the second of three major Jewish festivals with both historic and agricultural ties. This holiday celebrates the first fruits were harvested and carried to the Temple. The historical perspective celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai. Shavo'ut has close ties to Passover. Counting from the second day of Passover to the day prior to Shavo'ut is 49 days - 7 weeks. This accounts for the name of the festival. Labor is not permitted on Shavo'ut. Custom calls for staying up the first night and studying the Torah. Then, most pray early the following morning. Also, a dairy meal is customary during the festival. Why? Two possible reasons: some believe it has to do with Israel being considered a land of milk and honey; others feel it is because the Torah had just been received, which included dietary laws, and as a result, both meat and dairy meals were not available. The final custom is the reading of the book of Ruth.

Today is also Write to Your Father Day. Considering that next Sunday is the real father's day, you might want to take advantage of this week and pen a heartfelt letter to your dad. This celebration has an interesting history. Three poets from San Luis Obispo came up with the holiday. Why? Because 70 percent of U.S. prisoners grew up fatherless and because poets use a few words to get to the heart of the matter. Take a look at the writing exercise these three offer.

Multicultural American Child Awareness Day celebrates what some may consider a twist of irony. We're celebrating the American child who is multicultural. I say celebrate ALL children! They are our future.

Orphan's Train Memorial Day is celebrated today. I could not find any information about the origins of this memorial day; however, I'm going to guess that this celebration honors those orphans who were placed on trains and sent across the U.S. to adoptive homes. Quite of a few of the orphans ended up in my home state of Nebraska.

Having a bad day? Turn that frown into a smile and celebrate Upsy Daisy Day. According to Merriam-Webster, the people who started this happy holiday did it as a way for people to get up gloriously, gratefully, and gleefully. So true. When you wake up, you have the power to decide if you are going to be positive or negative that day. Upsy daisy is also an interjection used to reassure a child when he or she is being lifted.

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