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National Days

International Plastic Bag Free Day

July 3rd is International Plastic Bag Free Day, which seeks to raise awareness about the extensive environmental damage caused by single-use plastics. More than one million plastic bags are used every minute around the world and the average plastic bag is only used for 25 minutes. Over 100,000 marine animals and one million birds die every year from consuming plastic bags. Because a plastic bag can take between 100 and 500 years to disintegrate a single bag can even kill multiple animals over many years. International Plastic Bag Free Day encourages consumers to refrain from single-use plastics to promote a sustainable environment, and while some countries such as Italy, Rwanda and Bangladesh have already banned single-use plastics, more action is needed to solve this serious problem.

Selected Sources:

new windowhttps://zerowasteeurope.eu/plastic-bag-free-day/

new windowhttp://oceancrusaders.org/plastic-crusades/plastic-statistics/

National Kitten Day

July 10th is National Kitten Day in the United States, which celebrates the joy that kittens bring to our lives and also seeks to help animals in need. Cats are incredibly popular in the United States as almost 96 million cats are owned compared to only 83 million dogs according to the American Humane Society. On National Kitten Day the public is encouraged to buy a new toy for their kitten, post selfies on social media, volunteer at a shelter and consider adoption. But make sure not to wear your kitten out, as the average kitten needs 18 hours of sleep every day to grow and develop properly! Over 3.4 million cats enter animal shelters in the United States every year and only 37% are adopted, so there are always kittens in need of a good home.

Selected Sources:

new windowhttps://nationaltoday.com/national-kitten-day/

new windowhttps://iheartcats.com/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-kittens/

new windowhttps://kittencoalition.org/news-events/statistics/

World emoji day

July 17th is recognized as World Emoji Day, which celebrates our obsession with communicating via these graphic icons. Emojis were first developed by Japanese mobile phone carriers in the late 1990s and the word emoji itself comes from the Japanese language combining the words for picture "e" and character "moji". Since then emojis have been widely adopted around the world with more than 700 million shared daily on Facebook alone, with "laughing face with tears of joy" being the most popular. Emojis have been standardized since 1995 by the Unicode Consortium and there are now more than 3,304 emojis available as of March 2020. People are encouraged to celebrate World Emoji Day by having emoji only conversations, creating personalized emojis and wearing emoji-inspired clothing 😂.

Selected Sources:

new windowhttps://www.statista.com/chart/17275/number-of-emojis-from-1995-bis-2019/

National Cousins Day

July 24th is National Cousins Day which celebrates the special relationships that we have with our extended family members. A study by AncestryDNA in the UK showed that the average person has 5 first cousins, 28 second cousins and 174,000 sixth cousins! In fact, some geneticists believe that practically every person on earth is a 50th cousin of everyone else. National Cousins Day might hold special meaning for Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Phillip the Duke of Edinburgh as they are in fact third cousins as they are both the great-great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria. In order to celebrate National Cousins Day, people are encouraged to watch movies and TV shows featuring cousins, or catch up with cousins.

Selected Sources:

new windowhttps://io9.gizmodo.com/why-humans-are-all-much-more-related-than-you-think-5791530

Uncommon Musical Instrument Day

July 31st is Uncommon Musical Instrument Day, which celebrates unknown musical instruments. Some of the unusual instruments celebrated on this day include the Great Stalacpipe Organ in Virginia’s Luray Caverns which claims to be the largest musical instrument in the world. This organ uses mallets connected to the cave’s stalactites to create music and spans over 3.5 acres! Conversely, the world`s smallest musical instrument is the Nano Harp developed by Cornell University. This harp was carved from a silicon crystal which is only 50 nanometers, or about 150 atoms thick and generates a 380 MHz pitch. On Uncommon National Musical Instrument Day people are encouraged to learn about unusual musical instruments such as the digeridoo, octobass and harpsichord and even to consider learning how to play one!

Selected Sources:

new windowhttps://www.mentalfloss.com/article/71314/8-unusually-large-musical-instruments

new windowhttps://www.joytunes.com/blog/music-fun/the-smallest-musical-instruments-in-the-world/

Lighthouse Day

August 7th is National Lighthouse Day in the United States which commemorates the signing of the Act for the Establishment and support of Lighthouse, Beacons, Buoys, and Public Piers by the U.S. Congress in 1789. Although lighthouses have become less important in recent decades due to advances in marine navigation technology, they remain an important part of our heritage. There are currently approximately 18,600 lighthouses around the world, and almost all of them are now automated. The tallest lighthouse in the world is the Jeddah Light standing at 436 feet and the oldest functional lighthouse is the Tower of Hercules in Spain which was built in the second century. People are encouraged to celebrate National Lighthouse Day by visiting local lighthouses and to consider donating to preservation efforts.

Selected Sources:

new windowhttps://www.oldest.org/structures/lighthouse/

new windowhttp://www.lighthousefoundation.org/national-lighthouse-day/

World Calligraphy Day

August 14th is World Calligraphy Day, which celebrates the art form combining skilled penmanship and handwritten communication. The English term “calligraphy” is a combination of the Greek words “kallos,” meaning beauty, and “graphein,” meaning to write. Calligraphy is believed to have originated in the 3rd century BC in China when poetry was often engraved on animal bones for decorative purposes. Because the available space was often small, it is believed that characters had to be slanted to fit them all, which is the origin of cursive script. People are encouraged to celebrate World Calligraphy Day by practicing their skills by taking a class at a local art institute or university and learning more about the various forms of calligraphy, such as Eastern style, Western style, or Arabic style online.

Selected Sources:

new windowhttps://usashop.mozartsupplies.com/blogs/calligraphy/8-interesting-facts-on-calligraphy

new windowhttps://www.tmcnet.com/topics/articles/2019/09/24/443342-history-calligraphy.htm

National Senior Citizens Day

August 21st is National Senior Citizen's Day in the USA, which celebrates the accomplishments of the country's 52 million inhabitants over the age of 65. On this day, many stores and restaurants offer promotions to recognize the contribution of senior citizens to society. People are encouraged to spend time with senior citizens in their life and to consider volunteering at a nursing home. There is also a special holiday in Japan, where senior citizens are revered and make up nearly 30% of the population, called “Respect for the Aged Day”, which is held on September 21st. National Senior Citizen's Day gives people time to spend with their older relatives. The Japanese government started awarding silver cups to those who reach 100 years of age on this day and awarded 153 cups in 1963, but by 2016 this number had risen to over 30,000 people.

Selected Sources:

new windowhttps://www.prb.org/aging-unitedstates-fact-sheet/

new windowhttps://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/09/15/national/elderly-citizens-accounted-record-28-4-japans-population-2018-data-show/#.XvA-GGgzY2w

Bow Tie Day

August 28th is National Bow Tie Day, which celebrates and promotes the use of this iconic fashion accessory. The modern bow tie can trace its history to the 17th century in Croatia, where local soldiers in the Thirty Years War donned pieces of fabric around their necks to keep the collars of their shirts together. French soldiers returning home brought this tradition with them. This eventually evolved into the black bow tie created by Pierre Lorillard in 1886 for an event organized at the Tuxedo club, which in turn gave the name to the famous formal suit. Bow ties remain popular today, especially in Southern U.S. culture as the most popular states for bow ties are Mississippi, South Carolina, and Alabama. People are encouraged to celebrate National Bow Tie day by learning how to tie a bow tie and to purchase one and post pictures on social media.

Selected Sources:

new windowhttps://www.thebowtie.com/bow-tie-history/

National Wildlife Day

September 4th is National Wildlife Day in the United States, which seeks to raise awareness of endangered species and wildlife conservation and preservation efforts. More recently, a second National Wildlife Day has been added on February 22nd to celebrate the birthday of global wildlife advocate Steve Irwin. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, there are currently over 116,000 species on their Red List, with more than 31,000 species threatened with extinction due to human activities such as deforestation, poaching, the illegal pet trade, and pollution. To celebrate National Wildlife Day people are encouraged to learn more about wildlife conservation issues, host a National Wildlife day educational event online, and consider donating an organization advocating wildlife conservation issues.

Selected Sources:

new windowhttp://www.nationalwildlifeday.com/

new windowhttps://www.iucnredlist.org/about/background-history#:~:text=Currently%2C%20there%20are%20more%20than,mammals%20and%2014%25%20of%20birds.

Make Your Bed Day

September 11th is Make Your Bed Day, which is celebrated around the world, and encourages people to make and tidy up their beds every morning. People have been sleeping in beds since 3400 B.C. when Egyptian Pharaohs started sleeping on elevated platforms, but the modern cotton-stuffed mattress traces its roots back to the 18th century. Studies have shown that there are benefits to making your bed every morning, as data from the National Sleep Foundation indicates that people who make their bed every morning are 19% more likely to get a good night's sleep every night. To celebrate Make Your Bed Day, people are encouraged to upgrade their bedding material and accessorize their bed, air out mattresses to prevent dust mites, and learn new ways of making their bed such as the “hospital corner” technique.

Selected Sources:

new windowhttps://nationaltoday.com/national-make-bed-day/

new windowhttps://www.sleepfoundation.org/bedroom-environment/touch/make-your-bed-better-sleep

International Country Music Day

September 17th is International Country Music Day, which celebrates this unique music style. Country music started in the 1920s in the United States and originates from many sources including blues music, English ballads, Irish fiddle music and cowboy folk songs, and often features unique instruments such as the banjo and the harmonica. Country music is still the most popular genre in the United States, as a poll by CBS news found that country music was the favorite type of music for American listeners at 21%, slightly edging out rock music at 18%. In order to celebrate International Country Music Day, people are encouraged to listen to their favorite country music songs, explore lesser-known country music sub-genres such as bluegrass, honky-tonk or Tejano.

Selected Sources:

new windowhttps://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/fun/international-country-music-day

new windowhttps://www.cbsnews.com/news/cbs-news-asks-what-is-americas-favorite-music-genre/

September 17, 2020

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