International Moment of Laughter Day

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The unofficial holiday, created by humorologist Izzy Gesell, encourages people to forget the stresses of daily life and give into the healing and relaxing power of laughter.

Reduces Stress

Medical studies have shown that laughing reduces stress, increases blood flow, and lowers blood sugar levels. Some studies have found that people who laugh just before going to bed are much more likely to sleep better than those who did not.

Spreads Happiness

In addition to its health benefits, laughter also has social advantages. People who are jovial tend to be quickly accepted in social groups and have an easier time making friends. Laughter is a way to spread joy and happiness and bring cheer in the lives of other people.

How to Celebrate?

  • Take a moment in the day to read or watch something that would make you laugh.
  • Go with family and friends to watch a comedy show or comedy movie.
  • Collect jokes and share them with colleagues, friends, and family.

Did You Know…

…that human laughter has a specific acoustic structure? Laughter can have a ha-ha-ha or ho-ho-ho structure, but it is humanly impossible to have a ha-ho-ha-ho structure to laughter. (timeanddate.com)

National Scrabble Day

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April 13 is the day Scrabble inventor Alfred Mosher Butts was born. He gave the world an iconic board game now played all over the world. Today, more than seven decades later, we live for “Triple Word Scores”! Not to mention, the strategic use of those mysterious blank tiles.

Now then, time to lift the lid on that game box, pick out your first seven letters, and begin! Don’t forget the Scrabble Dictionary. We don’t want any squabbles — which, by the way, happens to be a valuable Scrabble word (21 points)! It’s time to C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-E one of the world’s most iconic board games.

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NATIONAL SCRABBLE DAY ACTIVITIES

  1. Spend some Scrabble family time

Don’t forget the Scrabble Junior game for kids. Rest easy — it has pictures!

  • Host a Scrabble tournament

Scrabble tournaments can get intense but they are also great fun — so invite some friends!

  • Play Scrabble online

It’s one thing to play with a human, quite another to play with a computer. Are you ready for the challenge?

NO NEED TO SPELL CHECK THESE 5 SCRABBLE FACTS

  1. Keeping up with the times

The Official Scrabble Dictionary now includes words like “hashtag,” “selfie,” “vlog,” “mojito,” “chillax,” and “beatbox.”

  • They were originally handmade

For about two decades’ co-inventor James Brunot, along with another friend, made all the games he sold by hand in his garage!

  • Braille version

It’s fully accessible for the blind and visually impaired. The playing board also has tactile dots and dashes on the premium word squares.

  • No language barrier

Scrabble’s sold in 121 countries and played in 29 different languages!

  • We love those letters

Every hour, about 30,000 games of Scrabble are started all over the world! (nationaltoday.com)

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day

April 12th is GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH DAY! Now we know that most people are partial to a lovely, warm, gooey cheese sandwich but who knew it had its own special day to celebrate it’s importance in our lives?

Grilled cheese sandwich requires some basic ingredients, but it is one of the most popular comfort foods in the world.

Did you know that the very first grilled cheese sandwich was served as an open-face sandwich, but eventually it evolved into what we know today? Its thought that this staple meal has been around since the Roman times but it wasn’t until the 1920’s when sliced bread became more popular and readily available that the grilled cheese sandwich as we know it became a firm favorite for our nation.

Celebrate National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day on April 12 and don’t forget to make your favorite sandwiches for breakfast, lunch or dinner! You could always experiment and add other ingredients, but being creatures of habit…we think we will stick to what we know and indulge in a simple yet satisfying plain grilled cheese sandwich! Enjoy! (awarenessdays.com)

National Poetry Month-April

National Poetry Month is a literary celebration which is celebrated all over the world by millions of people. The purpose of this holiday is to mark the importance of poetry in our lives and to remember the great poets who created this poetry. This holiday started in the 1990s, due in part to the successful celebrations of Women’s History Month in March and Black History Month in February.

History of National Poetry Month

During the 1990s, Black History Month and Women’s History Month began to hit their stride and became more successful than any other time since they had been created. This gave hope to those who wanted to establish a National Poetry Month. So with that in mind, the Academy of American Poets – an organization that includes booksellers, librarians, teachers, publishers, poets and literary associations – met in 1995 to discuss the need for a month long celebration of poetry. It was determined that it would have value and the holiday was officially launched in April of 1996.

Over the years, this holiday has been not only celebrated by academics, poets and literary groups. It has also been celebrated by society in general. For instance, in 2005, the Empire State Building was illuminated to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this holiday.

Interesting Poetry Facts

  • The most popular poetry form in the world is the Haiku
  • The longest poem in the world is the Indian epic Mahabharata
  • The shortest poem is ‘The Shortest and Sweetest of Songs’ by George MacDonald. It has just two words – “Come Home.”
  • The oldest poem is the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh
  • Poetry can increase your vocabulary
  • World Poetry Day is March 21st

National Poetry Month Customs & Traditions

The purpose of National Poetry Month hinges on 6 key areas: 1) to highlight the achievements and legacy of American poets, 2) to encourage poetry reading, 3) to help teachers introduce poetry into the classroom, 4) to increase media coverage of poetry and poets, 5) increase publication of poetry books and 6) to increase support for poetry and the poets who produce it.

The first presidential proclamation of National Poetry Month was done in April of 1996 by President William Clinton. Since then, similar proclamations have been done by mayors and other government officials all across the United States. Also, many bookstores and classrooms all over the country, will hang up National Poetry Month posters they obtained from poets.org.

National Poetry Day is also celebrated through book fairs, conventions and other activities. However, festivities don’t have to be grandiose. People can also celebrate the day by curling up with their favorite book of poetry and letting it sweep them away. (holidayscalendar.com)

Stop into WDFPL pick up some poetry books 📚

Take a Walk in the Park Day

Celebrated annually on March 30, the unofficial holiday encourages people to get active and enjoy the physical and mental benefits that come from walking in nature.

Better Health

Studies have shown that walking for about 30 minutes a day can have huge health benefits. Walking can not only help burn calories and reduce weight, but can also lower the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancers. It can also increase heart activity and lower blood pressure.

Reduces Stress and Boosts Mood

Walking in nature – away from the dust and pollution of streets and cars – can boost moods and reduce stress. Studies have shown that people who hike or walk in green areas tend to be happier than those who don’t.

Take a Walk in the Park Day is also sometimes known as National Take a Walk in the Park Day in the United States.

How to Celebrate?

  • This one’s easy. Wear your finest walking shoes, leave your phone behind and breathe in the fresh air as you walk around your local park.
  • Recruit a good friend or a fun family member to accompany you on your walk. What better way to enjoy nature and maintain your health than to share it with a loved one?

Did You Know…

…that the Northeast Greenland National Park in Greenland is the world’s largest national park? Also the world’s northern-most park, it covers around 375,000 square miles (972,000 square kilometers) of land. (timeanddate.com)

National Something On a Stick Day

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The origins of National Something On a Stick Day, celebrated every March 28, remain unclear despite our research and digging. There seems to be no specific historical event attached to the beginning of the day’s observance nationally; it is more likely a case of a fun-loving individual or group of people manipulating internet search results via the wizardry of SEO to boost the holiday’s legitimacy, and we don’t mind! There’s no getting around it, food on a stick is fun. Well, maybe we wouldn’t try to eat Jeff Dunham’s ‘Jalapeno on a Stick,’ but as far as candy apples, creamsicles, shish kabobs, and teriyaki chicken on a stick are concerned, today is the day to chow down!

HISTORY OF NATIONAL SOMETHING ON A STICK DAY

The use of sticks — skewers of wood — in the preparation and consumption of food items goes back a long way. A very long way. An archeological site in Germany contained a stick with a burnt tip, indicating its use in the cooking of meat over a fire, from 300,000 years ago, the Lower Paleolithic era.

From ancient Greece, Homer’s “Iliad” makes mention of cooking meat on skewers. In the absence of a metal grill to set over a wood fire, piercing your meat with a sharpened stick and holding it over the flames to cook while you turn it and adjust its height above the flames for ideal doneness is a no-brainer. Perhaps this is the sole reason that this method has been around for millennia. 

There’s even a story, popular among medieval scholars, of Turkish soldiers in the crusades using their swords as spits to cook meat with. Make that thing a multitasker!

So the next time you are out camping and you cook your hot dog at the end of a sapling branch you’ve found, know that you’re in good company — humans have cooked meat that way for almost as long as there have been humans. And National Something On a Stick Day is the perfect time to reflect on that.

NATIONAL SOMETHING ON A STICK DAY ACTIVITIES

  1. Get that backyard fire pit blazing

March 28 isn’t the height of summer, but even in temperate climates, it shouldn’t be too chilly to gather around the campfire to cook hot dogs and marshmallows on sticks or skewers over the flames. No flicking your stick, though, because molten marshmallow on your cheek is never fun!

  • Host a shish kabob grill out

Have a dinner party centered around your grill, and use official bamboo skewers to make kabobs of lamb, beef, chicken, tofu, and/or veggies, in this more sophisticated open-flame celebration of taste.

  • Make your own popsicles

If you don’t want to invest in specialized popsicle makers for your freezer, with the prefabricated drip-proof handles, there’s a simpler alternative — fill your regular ice-cube trays with Kool-Aid or other sweet liquid, cover the trays with plastic wrap, and insert a toothpick through the plastic into each cube, to serve as a handle after freezing takes place. Mini-pops!

WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL SOMETHING ON A STICK DAY

It cuts down on cleanup time

What do you do with a popsicle stick, or a corn dog stick, or a shish kabob skewer, when you’re done eating? Toss it. We can’t say for a fact that food tastes better when you know you don’t have to do the dishes after you eat, but it sure seems that way!

It leaves one hand free

Whether being on your smartphone or tablet at the dinner table is accepted depends on your family’s preferences, but if you’re alone and busy, it sure helps to be able to eat with one hand — your food on a stick — and send out that PDF with the other.

It reminds you that summer is on the way

When you celebrate National Something On a Stick Day on March 28, warmer days are right around the corner, so it’s especially good to practice your ice-cream-bar eating skills and perfect the ‘dripless finish.’ Sweet, cold, and mess-free. What could be better? (nationaltoday.com)

Make Up Your Own Holiday Day

The unofficial holiday honors all made-up holidays past, present, and future and encourages people to come up with creative, quirky, offbeat, important, and significant things to celebrate, observe, and commemorate.

The holiday is also known as National Make up Your Own Holiday Day in the United States.

Special Days

A holiday is a special day during the year, when normal, day-to-day activities such as going to school or work or opening up businesses are temporarily interrupted. On these days, other activities such as visiting places of worship, preparing special meals, and decorating homes and places of businesses are encouraged.

Unofficial and Official

Holidays can be official or unofficial. Official holidays usually mean that they are sanctioned by the government. Everyone who observes the holiday usually gets the day off from work. Official holidays can be religious, like ChristmasDiwaliYom Kippur, or Eid al-Fitr; or they can be national, like the country’s independence or constitution day. Other official holidays, like New Year’s Day or Labor Day, are secular holidays and can be celebrated by people of all religious faiths.

Fun and Serious Holidays

Unofficial holidays, on the other hand, are not sanctioned by the government. This means that people usually do not get a day off, nor do businesses or government offices close to celebrate or observe the holiday. Unofficial holidays can include national and global awareness holidays such as UN days, and fun holidays that celebrate trivial, unimportant, and fun things like food, movies, books, and television series. (timeanddate.com)

How to Celebrate?

  • Make up your own holiday, of course! Create a holiday, spread the word and celebrate it when the day comes.
  • If you want to make it official, you may have to talk to your local representative – only an official act of the legislature or government can make a holiday a national day.

International Waffle Day

International Waffle Day on March 25 and celebrates waffles, their history, and a surprising religious holiday. A holiday that is best celebrated by eating waffles is our kind of holiday. Unsurprisingly the day has become a bit of a hit. It was originally celebrated in Sweden but now eager stomachs all over the world embrace International Waffle Day. Plug in your waffle maker and tuck into some mouth-watering treats.

HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL WAFFLE DAY

Waffles came to Sweden near the early 1600s and quickly spread to nearby lands. They were often eaten with jams and fruits, establishing themselves as a beloved treat to be eaten at all times of the day. The event in celebration of them was called Våffeldagen which sounded remarkably close to the religious Vårfrudagen and the traditions merged.

As time passed a wider variety of waffles emerged. They became sweeter in the 1700s after more butter and sugar were added to the recipes. In 1839, the Belgian waffle was created much thicker than regular waffles and with deeper grids. The Belgian variation was more filling and held more jam and cream too.

International Waffle Day itself is the result of a mispronunciation that brought two holidays together. In Sweden, this Waffle Day is known as Våffeldagen, which sounded a lot like Vårfrudagen (Our Lady Day), a day that celebrated the Virgin Mary’s conception. Because of this lingual connection, it became customary for Swedish families to celebrate Vårfrudagen with waffles on Our Lady Day. That’s how International Waffle Day ended up being celebrated on March 25.

HOW TO CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL WAFFLE DAY

  1. Do it like the Swedes

If you can’t go to Sweden, then try the next best thing and make traditional Swedish waffles! Use a heart-shaped waffle maker, pair it with your favorite jam and whipped cream, and top it all with some fresh berries. The end result is that authentic feel.

  • Dine out at a waffle house

Dine at your local waffle house and eat as many waffles as your stomach will allow. Many waffle houses have deals for International Waffle Day so it’s worth doing your research beforehand.

  • Play a waffle app

On “My Waffle Maker,” you can create, decorate, and eat sweet dessert pastries in the digital world. It’s an addictive game and is great fun to play with friends.

FIVE FACTS ABOUT INTERNATIONAL WAFFLE DAY

  1. Sweet Swedes

Swedes are known for having a sweet tooth with their numerous candies and pastries.

  • Brussels to Belgium

Belgian waffles were known originally as Brussels waffles

  • Pilgrimage

The Pilgrims brought the first waffles to America.

  • L’Eggo the Eggo

Eggo Waffles were available for consumer purchase in 1953.

  • Presidential waffles

Thomas Jefferson came back from France with the first waffle irons. (nationaltoday.com) (Photo by karthik reddy on Pexels.com)