Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Pope Gregory XIII, Father of April Fools’ Day?

April 1, 2016

Pope Gregory XIII, Father of April Fools’ Day?

In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII instituted the (you guessed it) Gregorian Calendar, which moved New Year’s Day from March 32nd (honest) to January 1st. People who didn’t know that March 32nd was now April 1st and were still celebrating the old New Year looked pretty foolish that day, hence April Fools’ Day.

Or maybe the story’s just a prank. Pretty good yarn, anyway.

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March 17th

March 17, 2016

March 17th

March 17th marks an American popular and commercial holiday with roots in the liturgical calendar. The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City (1848) started and ended at memorials to George Washington and allowed Irish Americans to demonstrate both their love of their heritage and allegiance to their new country. They weren’t trusted by many of the native-born because they were, you know, immigrants. Today the holiday presents an equal opportunity for all American adults to dye their tongues green.

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Mardi Gras 2.0

February 9, 2016

New Orleans has all the urban problems of any American city — crime, poor education, no parking spaces, economic inequality —  and it’s still suffering the aftereffects of devastating Hurricane Katrina. But as the Crescent City celebrates Fat Tuesday, technology has solved one age-old problem:

You’re sipping Dixie Beer and watching the Mardi Gras parades but there’s nowhere to pee? Now there’s an app for that.

The Airpnp smartphone app directs you to nearby locations where, for a small fee, the business or homeowner will let you use the toilet facilities. Ninety percent of arrests along the French Quarter’s parade routes are for public urination, so it’s not a piddling matter.

More:

“AirPnP, an app helps find Mardi Gras rental restrooms: BBC report,” By Doug MacCash, Times-Picayune

“Inventive startups are changing the way New Orleans celebrates Mardi Gras,” Shannon Sims, Quartz

Top video: “Ain’t No Place to Pee on Mardi Gras Day” by Benny Antin, from the 1997 album Wild LinoleumLyrics here.

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Year of the Monkey

February 8, 2016

Year of the Monkey

Much of East Asia, 1/5 of the world’s people, started celebrating the Lunar New Year on Monday, February 8th, while it was still Superbowl Sunday in America — International Date Line and all that — so Yanks had better party hearty to catch up. Don’t forget to put crisp new bills or gift cards into red envelopes to give as, um, gifts to officials and other decision makers, and mind the taboos. The holiday period continues for another two weeks, until the Lantern Festival on February 22nd.

Dumplings, anyone?

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Image (“Year of the Monkey, after Wiktor Górka“) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,NotionsCapital.com

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Groundhog Day

February 2, 2016

Groundhog Day

It’s February 2nd, time to monitor Marmota monax and dream of winter’s end. Whether or not you believe in woodchuck weathermen, one thing is certain: you can’t have groundhogs if you want a backyard full of fresh garden veggies.

Groundhogs (aka woodchucks, whistlepigs, and marmots) are insecto-vegetarians and confirmed locavores. If you plan to plant this spring, harvest those hairy beasts now. Celebrate Groundhog Day with critter cuisine.

Serving suggestions:

Woodchuck au Vin

Canadian Fried Woodchuck

Groundhog Pie

Woodchuck Recipes from Michigan (Oriental Groundhog,Waco Groundhog in Sour Cream,Woodchuck Stew, Woodchuck Meat Loaf)

More groundhog lore and recipes here and here.

In his book Groundhog Day, Don Yoder reprints a classic groundhog recipe from Cooking with the Groundhog, published as a fundraiser by a hospital auxiliary in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, home of the “official” Groundhog’s Day Festival (there are more than a few others ). A Georgia groundhog is on Twitter.

Five years ago, whilst stalking the elusive picture book Geoffrey Groundhog Predicts the Weather, we espied an ad for the Range Kleen Preseasoned Cast Iron 10 Inch Fry Pan on the book’s Amazon.com page and cooked up today’s graphic. There’s obviously no “storybook ending” to this post if you’re a groundhog.

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This Is the New Year

January 1, 2016

‘This Is the New Year,” written by Ian Axel and performed by him with Chad King as A Great Big World. in 2012. Video director: Leiv Parton.

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New Year Song

January 1, 2016

“New Year Song,” written by Newfoundlander Tim Baker, recorded by hin with his group Hey Rosetta!

“New Year Song” lyrics.

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What A Year For A New Year

January 1, 2016

“What A Year For A New Year,” written and performed by Dan Wilson.

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New Year

January 1, 2016

“New Year,” written and recorded by Sugarbabes (Siobhán Donaghy, Mutya Buena and Keisha Buchanan) in 2000. Video director: Alex Hamming.

New Year lyrics.

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New Year’s Day

January 1, 2016

“New Year’s Day,”  written and performed by the band U2 at a 2001 concert at Slane Castle in County Meath, Ireland. this is not really a holiday song since the lyrics, written in 1982, refer to Poland’s Solidarity Movement, then suppressed under martial law:

Under a blood red sky
A crowd has gathered, black and white
Arms entwined, the chosen few
The newspapers says, says

Say it’s true, it’s true
We can break through
Though torn in two
We can be one

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