Tuesday, May 31, 2011

No Tobacco Day, Save Your Hearing Day, Macaroon Day

May 31st, 2011 is World No Tobacco Day, Save Your Hearing Day, and National Macaroon Day.

The theme of World No Tobacco Day 2011 is "The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control."

Turn the volume down on those tunes! Wear ear protection when you use that jackhammer! Today is Save Your Hearing Day.

On National Macaroon Day enjoy these flourless cookies often made with coconut. A tasty way to brighten the last day of May.

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day, Moment of Remembrance, Water a Flower Day, more

May 30th, 2011 is Memorial Day, National Moment of Remembrance, Loomis Day, Water a Flower Day, Hole In My Bucket Day, National Mint Julep Day, Spring Bank Holiday, Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna Day, and Indian Arrival Day.

Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, was intended to honor Union soldiers who died during the Civil War. After World War I the holiday expanded to honor U.S. soldiers who died during any war. Take time today to reflect on the sacrifice made by others for our sake and for our country. President Barack Obama has declared 3:00 p.m., your local time, as a National Moment of Remembrance.

May 30th is Loomis Day, honoring Mahlon Loomis. He  conducted experiments in the 1800s that helped lead to the wireless technology we enjoy today.

Today is Water a Flower Day. Unless it's raining where you are, your flowers need a drink. Oh, and don't forget your indoor beauties.

Hole In My Bucket Day doesn't require a trip to the hardware store. Instead, search your memory banks for a children's song that goes on and on, ending up right where it started. Want lyrics?

On National Mint Julep Day try this refreshing drink made with bourbon whiskey, water, sugar, and - of course - mint.

Have fun, everybody in the UK! The last Monday of May is the Spring Bank Holiday. No work for you!

Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna Day, celebrated in Fiji on the last Monday in May, honors the Father of the Nation.

Indian Arrival Day is celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago, as the anniversary of the first indentured servants from India arriving in Trinidad in 1845. The culture of India - including music, food, clothing, and religion - forever changed Trinidad.

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Shooting Week, Black Single Parents Week, Family Week, more

The final days of May feature several celebratory weeks, mostly in the UK, running into early June: National Shooting Week, Black Single Parents Week, Safe Kids Week, National Family Week, National Barbecue Week, National Camping and Caravanning Week, and Isle of Man TT.

National Shooting Week takes place in the UK from May 28th to June 5th, 2011. The event "aims" to help people try shooting for the first time, promote respect for legal firearms, and encourage people to learn more about Olympic and Paralympic shooting events.

Black Single Parents Week, sponsored by The Black Single Parents' Network, honors those who do their best to raise their children in spite of hardships. The event runs from May 29th to June 4th.

Canada's Safe Kids Week, 2011, from May 30th to June 5th, asks parents to "Give your kids a boost!" In other words, use booster seats for children too big for car seats and under 4'6" tall.

National Family Week, May 30th to June 5th, is the biggest annual celebration of family life in the UK

National Barbecue Week, another UK event, is celebrated from May 30th to June 5th this year. Their slogan is, "It's (almost) Sunny - So Barbi!"

National Camping and Caravanning Week is yet another British event, celebrated from May 30th to June 6th, with a special event called The Big Pitch on June 4th. The ultimate goal is for the whole country to sleep under the stars on that one special night! Let's hope the weather is balmy.

And finally, to end with still another UK event, the Isle of Man TT takes place from May 30th to June 10th. For the life of me, I can't find any explanation of the initials "TT." It's on a need-to-know basis, I suppose.

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Indianapolis 500, Rogation Sunday, Ascension of Baha'u'llah, more

May 29th, 2011 is the Indianapolis 500, Rogation Sunday, Ascension of Baha'u'llah, and International Day of UN Peacekeepers.

Today marks another exciting run of the Indianapolis 500, a famous 500-mile race around a 2.5-mile track.

Rogation Sunday is celebrated on the fifth Sunday after Easter. It is a time to celebrate dependence on God for the miracles of growth and harvest.

Followers of the Baha'i faith celebrate the Ascension of Baha'u'llah on May 29th, the anniversary of the death of the founder of Baha'i in 1892.

The United Nations states: 'All too often, in post-conflict societies where the rule of law has collapsed, civilians are arrested, spend years in detention under inhumane conditions, and never see a courtroom. UN peacekeeping is working on all fronts to redress these injustices and restore the rule of law." Take a moment to honor the International Day of UN Peacekeepers.

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Slugs Return from Capistrano Day, Jazz Day, Julia Pierpont Day, more

May 28th, 2011 is Slugs Return from Capistrano Day, Gone-ta-Pott Day, International Jazz Day, Amateur Radio Military Appreciation Day, Julia Pierpont Day, Amnesty International Day, Derg Downfall Day (Ethiopia), Republic Day (Armenia, Azerbaijan), and National Multiple Births Awareness Day. 

For some crazy reason, today is Slugs Return from Capistrano Day. Not as glamorous as the swallows' return to Capistrano, but feel free to send an e-card. If you're actually in San Juan Capistrano, California, maybe you want to get rid of the slimy creatures.

The 28th of every month is Gone-ta-Pott Day, as proclaimed by the gang at the website by the same name. They say this day is meant for "seeing the humor in a bad day." Nice sentiment.

The Saturday before Memorial Day is known as International Jazz Day. Take some time to kick back and enjoy some genuinely American jazz.

The Saturday before Memorial Day is also known as ARMAD - Amateur Radio Military Appreciation Day. Amateur radio operators all over the world work together in a show of support for members of the armed forces, past and present.

Julia Pierpont Day honors a woman believed to be one of the founders of Decoration Day, now known as Memorial Day in the United States.

AI@50. Image: Amnesty International
This Amnesty International Day marks the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International. Their global call to action: "tip the scales against repression and injustice."

Derg Downfall Day is celebrated in Ethiopia as the end of the Derg regime, a junta that ruled the country from 1974 to 1987.

Armenians celebrate Republic Day today by decorating their streets in the national colors of red, blue, and orange. People enjoy khash, a dish made from the hooves, shin bone, and stomach of a cow. Armenia declared its independence in 1918.

May 28th is also Republic Day in Azerbaijan. The country declared its independence most recently in 1991. Their national flag features blue for "Turkic," red for "modern, progressive," and green for "Islam."

Today is National Multiple Births Awareness Day, established by Multiple Births Canada in 2005. May 28th is the birth date of the Dionne quintuplets - Annette, Emilie, Yvonne, Cecile, and Marie - born in Quebec in 1934.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Cellophane Tape Day, Old-Time Player Piano Day, Don't Fry Day, more

May 27th, 2011 is Cellophane Tape Day, Old-Time Player Piano Day, National Grape Popsicle Day, Don't Fry Day, Heat Safety Awareness Day, and Sun Screen Day. Today used to be National Wig Out Day as well.

Why should duct tape get all the attention? Tape together a gift, a collage, or a hem with good old cellophane tape today, in honor of Cellophane Tape Day.

Many readers of The Holiday Whiz are too young to remember player pianos, which used paper music rolls to tell the piano which notes to play. They're the mp3 players of 100 years ago! Enjoy this video  in honor of Old-Time Player Piano Day:

Don't bother with lipstick today, ladies. Just grab a grape popsicle and rock that purple smile! May 27th is National Grape Popsicle Day.

If it's hot where you are, take proper precautions. If it's not hot, just wait - unless you live way up north, you'll get your turn. Learn ways to protect yourself from heat stroke on Heat Safety Awareness Day.

An excellent companion to Heat Safety Awareness Day is Don't Fry Day, also known as Sun Screen Day. Yes, wearing sun screen can be a sticky hassle - but your alternative could be skin cancer.

National Wig Out Day was traditionally celebrated on this date, but the founder is moving the holiday to September.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sally Ride Day, Dzien Matki, Blueberry Cheesecake Day, more

May 26th, 2011 is Sally Ride Day, Dzien Matki, Independence Day (Georgia), and National Blueberry Cheesecake Day.

Sally Ride Day, celebrated on her birth date, honors the first American woman to go into space. Her historic feat took place in 1983, aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger.

Dzien Matki, otherwise known as Mother's Day, is celebrated today in Poland.

The Republic of Georgia observes Independence Day on May 26th, celebrating 20 years of freedom.

Enjoy a decadent dessert with the natural health benefits of blueberries on National Blueberry Cheesecake Day.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Brown-Bag-It Day, Geek Pride Day, Towel Day, Tap Dance Day, more

May 25th, 2011 is National Brown-Bag-It Day, Geek Pride Day, Towel Day, National Tap Dance Day, National Missing Children's Day, African Liberation Day, Independence Day (Jordan), National Day (Argentina), World MS Day, and National Senior Health and Fitness Day.

National Brown-Bag-It Day is an opportunity to save a few dollars and cut calories. Unless, of course, your brown bag holds yesterday's pizza, greasy chips, and double-fudge brownies.

Since you're reading this, there's at least a fifty-fifty chance you're a geek. Not that there's anything wrong with that! Check out some geek jewelry in honor of Geek Pride Day.

Towel Day will only make sense if you've read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. "A towel...is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have," according to the guide. Do you know where your towel is?

National Tap Dance Day is celebrated on the agreed-upon birth date of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson - he had no birth certificate. National Tap Dance Day earned official recognition in 1989.

President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25th as National Missing Children's Day in 1983. Always keep a recent, high-quality photo of your children close at hand. Also study photos of missing children - you could be the hero who reunites a family.

African Liberation Day commemorates the liberation of many African countries from European colonial powers.

Jordan achieved independence from Britain on this date in 1946. Today is Jordan's Independence Day.

Argentina's National Day or First Government Day commemorates that country's independence from Spanish rule. Argentinians dress in white and blue to celebrate.

On World MS Day, learn more about Multiple Sclerosis and its impact on people's lives. Sign a petition encouraging employers to improve working conditions for employees with MS.

You're only as old as you feel, right? Try a few stretches or some cardio in honor of National Senior Health and Fitness Day, the "largest annual health promotion event for older adults."

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tiara Day, Scavenger Hunt Day, European Day of Parks, more

May 24th, 2011 is  International Tiara Day, National Scavenger Hunt Day, European Day of Parks, Labor Day (Jamaica and Bermuda), Independence Day (Eritrea), Battle of Pichincha (Ecuador), Commonwealth Day (Bermuda), and National Escargot Day.

Today is your chance to emulate Kate Middleton without the trouble of a Royal Wedding, paparazzi, or constant scrutiny. Just put on a tiara, stand proud, and celebrate International Tiara Day.

In honor of National Scavenger Hunt Day, here's a fresh idea for you: Create a list of clues, then turn them into QR codes that can be scanned with a smartphone. My daughter invented this idea, and she's only eleven! (Proud Mom here.)

European Day of Parks was founded in 1999 by the EUROPARC Federation, to raise awareness and support for Europe's protected areas. The theme for 2011 is "Volunteering - Nature Needs You," "Volontariat - La nature a besoin de vous," "Freiwillige vor - die Natur braucht Sie."

Labor Day in Jamaica includes emphasis on volunteer service. Prior to 1961 the date was known as Empire Day, honoring the birth of Queen Elizabeth.

Labor Day is celebrated in Bermuda to draw attention to racial disparity in the workplace.

The people of Eritrea celebrate Independence Day on May 24th, although they have yet to achieve democracy or adopt a constitution.

The Battle of Pichincha festival commemorates a victory in 1822 which ultimately led to Ecuador's independence from Spain. Festivities include parades and air shows.

Even though I'm an adventurous eater who gave snails a chance, I'm not a fan. You're welcome to my share of the goodies on National Escargot Day. Go crazy!

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Monday, May 23, 2011

World Turtle Day, Lucky Penny Day, Declaration of the Bab, more

May 23rd, 2011 is World Turtle Day, Lucky Penny Day, Declaration of the Bab, Birthday of Guru Amar Das Day, Victoria Day, World Crohn's and Colitis Day, and National Taffy Day.

Today is World Turtle Day! Take a moment to admire these creatures that carry their homes wherever they go. Nice lifestyle.

In these iffy economic times, who among us can afford to reject the luck and value of a stray penny? "A penny saved is a penny earned," as Ben Franklin used to say. But wait - a fact check shows that Ben Franklin is falsely credited for the saying! The original quote, "A penny spar'd is twice got," comes from George Herbert's Outlandish Proverbs, ca. 1633. Happy Lucky Penny Day.

The Declaration of the Bab is "one of the greatest and most significant of all festivals," commemorating the inception of the Baha'i faith in 1844.

Followers of the Sikh religion celebrate the Birthday of Guru Amar Das Day today. Guru Amar Das was the third of the ten Sikh Gurus.

Victoria Day in Canada celebrates the birth of Queen Victoria, who was actually born on May 24th, 1819. The holiday is observed on the Monday before May 25th.

World Crohn's and Colitis Day is meant to raise awareness about Crohn's and Colitis, in the hope of finding a cure. The day was founded in 2007 by Josh Golder, director of True Guts.

National Taffy Day is always celebrated on May 23rd. Amazingly, the salt water version of this candy was invented by accident in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA, when ocean water swamped a candy stand during a storm! Salt water taffy, a delicious combination of sweet and savory, was born.

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Safe Boating Week, Hurricane Awareness Week, Pickle Week, more

This week features a variety of celebrations and commemorations, including National Safe Boating Week, National Hurricane Awareness Week, National Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week, Week of Solidarity with the People of Non-Self-Governing Territories, National Vegetarian Week, and International Pickle Week.

National Safe Boating Week, always celebrated on the full week before Memorial Day, runs from May 21st to May 27th in 2011. "Wear it!" is their message, meaning always wear a life jacket when boating.

The week of May 22nd to May 28th brings National Hurricane Awareness Week. You can reduce the devastating effects of a hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center, by "knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take."

The seventh annual National Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week  takes place this year from May 23rd to May 29th. The focus for 2011 is "swimmer's ear."

The Week of Solidarity with the People of Non-Self-Governing Territories is celebrated from May 25th to May 31st, 2011.

National Vegetarian Week is celebrated in the UK this year from May 23rd to May 29th, "promoting inspirational vegetarian food and the benefits of a meat-free lifestyle.

Vegetarians may indulge in pickles during International Pickle Week. The deliciousness of a pickle can't be contained in a mere seven-day celebration - International Pickle Week runs from May 20th to May 30th this year. 

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Lag BaOmer, Buy a Musical Instrument Day, Vanilla Pudding Day, more

Since you're reading this, you've presumably survived Judgment Day on May 21st, 2011. Congratulations!

May 22nd, 2011 is  Lag BaOmer, Buy a Musical Instrument Day, National Maritime Day, National Heroes Day (Sri Lanka), International Day for Biological Diversity, and National Vanilla Pudding Day.

Lag BaOmer is a Jewish holiday, commemorating the passing of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and the end of a plague. Children run to the fields and play with imitation bows and arrows, as a reminder that no rainbows appeared during the lifetime of Rabbi Shimon.

Today is Buy a Musical Instrument Day. What will you have - an electric guitar or a harp, a drum kit or a harmonica?

National Maritime Day commemorates the departure in 1819 of the S.S. Savannah from Savannah, Georgia, USA, beginning its voyage to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. From 1933 to the present, the current U.S. President has issued a proclamation regarding this holiday.

National Heroes Day commemorates Sri Lanka's independence, since 1971, from colonial rule

The United Nations has declared May 22nd to be the International Day for Biological Diversity "to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues."

Vanilla pudding is not the most glamorous member of the pudding family, but its flavor is tried and true either on its own or in recipes. Celebrate National Vanilla Pudding Day.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Gemini, May 21 to June 20

Gemini. Image: Salvatore Vuono, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Everyone born between May 21st and June 20th is a Gemini, the sign of the Twins.

For more information about Gemini:

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Judgment Day, Zombie Day, "I Need a Patch for That" Day, more.

May 21st, 2011 is - first and foremost - Judgment Day (if you believe Harold Camping). Apocalypse aside, today is also Zombie Day, "I Need a Patch for That" Day, National Memo Day, O. Henry Pun-Off Day, Preakness Stakes, Armed Forces Day, Navy Day (Chile), World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, and National Waitstaff Day.  

Judgment Day is upon us! So says Harold Camping, of Family Radio Worldwide. At 6:00 p.m. (don't know what time zone), earthquakes and such will raise the dead. Believers will join God, while the zombies and people left behind will experience "a world of horror and chaos beyond description." The end of the world will occur on October 21st, 2011.

Inspired by predictions of Judgment Day, Kat N. Nerdvana declares today to be Zombie Day. Participate by posting zombie images on your social network profiles.

"I Need a Patch for That" Day is here. You may have a patch to help you quit smoking, to administer pain meds, or to provide birth control. But more immediately important today, try to find one that repels zombies.

In honor of National Memo Day, please take a memo: "May 21, 2011 - Judgment Day and zombies!"

O. Henry Pun-Off Day - The 34th Annual O. Henry Pun-Off World Championship takes place today, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., in Austin, Texas, USA. Lucky they scheduled it to end at 6:00, just in time for the earthquakes. "Pun for your lives! The zombies are coming!"

The 136th Annual Preakness Stakes is scheduled to run in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. They even have an app. Do earthquakes and zombies make horses skittish?

Armed Forces Day was conceived by U.S. President Harry S Truman, to honor the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines under one department - the Department of Defense. Let's hope they're prepared to save us from the zombies.

Chileans celebrate Navy Day today, to honor the memory of those who fought in the Iquique Naval Combat of 1879. The tribute should continue, even though Judgment Day might be at hand.

The United Nations established the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development in 2001. The day is "an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to 'live together' better." Sorry, but cultural diversity does not include zombies.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 2 million Americans work as waiters and waitresses. (Remember when the politically correct crowd wanted them to be waitrons?) Celebrate National Waitstaff Day by leaving a big tip for a deserving waiter or waitress. You won't need money tomorrow, anyway, with Judgment Day and all.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Eliza Doolittle Day, Mike the Headless Chicken Festival, Be a Millionaire Day, more

May 20th, 2011 is Eliza Doolittle Day, Mike the Headless Chicken Festival, Be a Millionaire Day, Pick Strawberries Day, NASCAR Day, Endangered Species Day, Dayton Hamvention, Independence Day (Cameroon), National Defense Transportation Day, and National Quiche Lorraine Day. 

Eliza Doolittle Day is celebrated on May 20th each year, as set forth in lyrics from the musical, My Fair Lady: "Next week on the 20th of May, I proclaim Eliza Doolittle Day." My Fair Lady is based on George Bernard Shaw's play, Pygmalion.

The Mike the Headless Chicken Festival runs from May 20th to May 21st, much like the brave chicken who ran around after his head was cut off in 1945. Visit Fruita, Colorado, USA to participate in the 5k "Run like a Headless Chicken," the Chicken Dance Contest, lots of chicken, eating contests and more.

Gather your play money or dust off your Monopoly board in honor of Be a Millionaire Day. Buy a lottery ticket. Follow a lucky stock tip. Of course, if you're fortunate enough to be a millionaire every day, for real, feel free to disregard this holiday.

Even though today is Pick Strawberries Day, ours aren't ready yet. Perhaps I'll step outside and explain the facts to our lazy, disrespectful strawberry plants. I hope you're having better luck!

NASCAR Day is sponsored by the NASCAR Foundation and Victory Junction. Victory Junction, built in honor of Adam Petty, serves children with 24 chronic medical conditions and serious illnesses. Funds raised during various activities are used to help Victory Junction children discover what they can do, rather than focus on what they can't do.

Endangered Species Day is meant to raise awareness about the alarming number of endangered species on our planet. We must act now to preserve these creatures for our children and grandchildren.

Dayton Hamvention 2011, organized by volunteers around the world, begins today and continues through May 22nd. This year's theme is "Global Friendship." During times of crisis when even the Internet is shut down, Amateur Radio keeps the lines of communication open.

Cameroon celebrates Independence Day today. The Republic of Cameroon, home to approximately 250 ethnic groups, gained its independence in 1972.

National Defense Transportation Day is observed today, as part of National Transportation Week. President Barack Obama calls upon all Americans "to recognize the importance of our Nation's transportation infrastructure and to acknowledge the contributions of those who build, operate, and maintain it."

Today is National Quiche Lorraine Day. This classic French dish features eggs, bacon and Swiss cheese, combined and baked in a pie crust. The French know their cuisine, but plain old scrambled eggs and bacon would hit the spot right about now.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Plant Something Day, Youth Day, Devil's Food Cake Day, more

May 19th, 2011 is Plant Something Day, Youth Day (Turkey), National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Ho Chi Minh's Birthday, and National Devil's Food Cake Day.

Plant a seedling, bulb or sprout in honor of Plant Something Day. When you're finished, send e-cards to your friends, bragging about your accomplishments.

Today Turkey celebrates both Youth Day and the 90th anniversary of founder Ataturk's escape from Instanbul, on the Turkish path to independence.

May 19th is National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. This day was created by the Banyan Tree Project in 2005, in an effort to remove the stigma of HIV/AIDS in the API community.

Ho Chi Minh's Birthday is a national holiday in Vietnam. Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City in honor of the former Prime Minister and President. "Ho Chi Minh" means "he who enlightens."

Enjoy some sinfully rich chocolate cake today in honor of National Devil's Food Cake Day. Then tomorrow, confess your sins and promise to stick to your diet.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Turn Beauty Inside Out Day, No Dirty Dishes Day, Magtymguli, more

May 18th, 2011 is Turn Beauty Inside Out Day, No Dirty Dishes Day, Magtymguli, Visit Your Relatives Day, Send an Electronic Greeting Card Day, International Museum Day, Battle of Las Piedras Day, Haitian Flag Day, Emergency Medical Services for Children Day, HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, National Employee Health and Fitness Day, Second Passover and National Cheese Souffle Day.

On Turn Beauty Inside Out Day, focus on the beauty within. Value the kind heart over the airbrushed image. Turn Beauty Inside Out (TBIO) was founded by a group of teen and tween girls back in 2000. TBIO offers "a counterbalance to the damaging and unhealthy messages about beauty that bombard us in media, film, advertising and music every day."

To celebrate National No Dirty Dishes Day, simply do the dishes! If you're more ambitious, visit FlyLady and learn how to keep a shiny sink. Best option of all, go out for dinner tonight - someone else will have to do the dishes.

On Magtymguly (Revival and Unity Day), the citizens of Turkmenistan celebrate the adoption of their Constitution and the poetry of Magtymguly.

Take time out of your usual routine to celebrate Visit Your Relatives Day. If you can't visit in person, at least call or send an e-card.

Speaking of e-cards, today is Send an Electronic Greeting Card Day. Sorry, mail carriers! Visit 123 Greetings, Blue Mountain and Egreetings for traditional and gently funny cards. Or try Someecards, Rattlebox and Wrongcards for something more extreme.

Would you rather visit an art museum or a children's museum? A history museum or a science center? Visit your favorite museum on International Museum Day or send a generous donation.

Uruguay celebrates the Battle of Las Piedras Day today, commemorating a victory against Spain. The battle was fought in 1811 as Uruguay fought for independence.

On this date in 1803 the first Haitian flag was created, following Haiti's independence from France. The design has been modified several times since 1803, but Haitians the world over celebrate May 18th as Haitian Flag Day.

We hope our children will never need us to call 911 on their behalf, pray our children will never need emergency medical services. But we rest easier, knowing that pediatric professionals are standing by. Take a moment to honor dedicated EMS workers during Emergency Medical Services for Children Day.

HIV Vaccine Awareness Day honors the medical professionals, scientists and volunteers who are working to find an effective HIV vaccine.

The third Wednesday of May brings National Employee Health and Fitness Day. Fitness programs often improve productivity, boost morale, and reduce absenteeism among employees.

The Second Passover is a wonderful concept - a true second chance for Jews who were unable to celebrate Passover in the previous month. Shmurah matzah - matzah that has been watched - is often eaten on this day.

Ooo la la - today is National Cheese Souffle Day. C'est magnifique!

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Full Flower Moon tonight, May 17th, 2011

Full moon. Image: morgueFile.
May's full moon is known as the Full Flower Moon because, obviously, flowers are all around us this month.

May's full moon is also sometimes called the Full Corn Planting Moon or the Milk Moon.

May's full moon for 2011 occurs tonight. Grab your kids and your telescope, then head outside. Imagine - man actually landed on the moon and planted an American flag.

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Pack Rat Day, Cyber Safety Awareness Day, Vesak Day, more

May 17th, 2011 is Pack Rat Day, National Cyber Safety Awareness Day, International Day Against Homophobia, Constitution Day (Norway), World Hypertension Day, World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, and National Cherry Cobbler Day.

Pack Rat Day is a time to celebrate or condemn hoarding, depending on your point of view. The expression "pack rat" is inspired by an actual rodent, the pack rat.

National Cyber Safety Awareness Day is meant to draw attention to the issue of cyberbullying and other online dangers faced by children. An aside from me: Consumer Reports recently found that more than one-third of Facebook users are under the age of thirteen - the minimum age required - and a large percentage of those young users are not properly supervised by their parents. Parents need to wake up to the real danger that lurks online!

Vesak Day honors the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha. Buddhists in Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan and India observe Vesak.  The specific date varies for some countries, due to variations in their lunar calendars.

The International Day Against Homophobia is always observed on May 17th, the date on which the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses.

Today is Constitution Day in Norway, commemorating the signing of their constitution in 1814.

On World Hypertension Day everyone is urged to prevent and control high blood pressure, a silent killer. Do you know your numbers?

The theme of the 2011 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, sponsored by the United Nations, is "Better Life in Rural Communities with ICTs." ICTs are information and communication technologies.

National Cherry Cobbler Day means two servings of dessert, right? Amazingly, early American settlers ate cobblers as their main meal, according to What's Cooking America.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Wear Purple for Peace Day, Love a Tree Day, Biographer's Day

May 16th, 2011 is Wear Purple for Peace Day, Love a Tree Day and Biographer's Day. Only three holidays, which is unusual, so you'll have time to celebrate each to the fullest!

The inspiration behind Wear Purple for Peace Day is promoting peace between us and any space aliens who might be lurking about. Are aliens partial to purple? Purple clothing or jewelry may not help if the UFOs do land, but since purple's my favorite color anyway, I'm in.

Love a Tree Day is a lesser-known relative of Arbor Day, apparently, but trees deserve more than one day of adulation. The National Wildlife Federation invites you to "release your inner 'tree hugger.'"

Biographer's Day commemorates the date when Samuel Johnson and James Boswell first met. Boswell's work, The Life of Samuel Johnson is widely considered to be the greatest biography ever written. Samuel Johnson was a famous author and lexicographer, famous for his pithy quotes, such as: "Do not accustom yourself to use big words for little matters."

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

New Friends Old Friends Week, American Craft Beer Week, more

This week features a variety of celebrations: National New Friends Old Friends Week, American Craft Beer Week, National Police Week, National Stuttering Awareness Week, National Transportation Week, National EMS Week, National Dog Bite Prevention Week, National Backyard Games Week, World Trade Week, National Watercress Week and British Sandwich Week.

May 15th to May 21st is National New Friends Old Friends Week. Make new friends, keep the old. That's what Facebook is for, right?

American Craft Beer Week 2011 is celebrated from May 16th to May 22nd, but I recommend taking breaks periodically and switching to water or juice! Official events are scheduled in all fifty states this year, for the first time ever.

President John F. Kennedy signed the first proclamation regarding National Police Week back in 1962. Thank a police officer for keeping the rest of us safer every day.

National Stuttering Awareness Week runs from May 12th to May 18th. Actor Nicholas Brendon, who played Xander in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is Chair of the event.

National Transportation Week is a time to show appreciation for everyone who works in the transportation industry.

In Washington, DC, May 15th to May 21st is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. Dogs all over the world bite people, though, so everyone should take notice.

In honor of National Backyard Games Week, May 15th to May 21st, go outside and play tag, hide and seek, croquet, relay races, frisbee golf or whatever else suits your fancy. Does anybody remember Jarts? That was my favorite. Jarts was taken off the market because the heavy, sharp darts could impale anyone in the vicinity - imagine that.

The third week of May is celebrated as World Trade Week in the United States. Organizations and businesses unite "to promote and facilitate national trade in the U.S. economy."

The theme for National EMS Week 2011 is "Everyday Heroes." And I know from personal experience that they are heroes indeed.

National Watercress Week is celebrated in the UK from May 16th to May 23rd. Watercress is technically an herb, not a veggie, but feel free to use the green leafy in salads, soups and sandwiches.

British Sandwich Week runs from May 15th to May 21st. British residents may register to win a trip to the Sandwich Islands in Hawaii in honor of this special week.

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Hollyhock Leaf Crest Festival, Sea Monkeys Day, Nylon Stockings Day, more

May 15th, 2011 is the Hollyhock Leaf Crest Festival (Aoi Matsuri or Kamo), National Sea Monkeys Day, Nylon Stockings Day, Over the Rainbow Day, Straw Hat Day, Watercress Festival, San Isidro Day, Peace Officers Memorial Day, International Day of Families, Independence Day (Paraguay), Stepmother's Day, and National Chocolate Chip Day. 

Would be wonderful to be in Kyoto today, to see a gorgeous parade - everything is decorated with hollyhocks! The parade, which travels from the Imperial Palace to the Kamo Shrines, is the centerpiece of the  Hollyhock Leaf Crest Festival, otherwise known as Aoi Matsuri.

Today is National Sea Monkeys Day. Did you have sea monkeys - a trademarked brine shrimp - when you were young?

On this date in 1940, nylon stockings were introduced by DuPont. Celebrate Nylon Stockings Day by wearing them or hanging garlic in them (I'd recommend a new pair for that).

Over the Rainbow Day commemorates the birth date of Frank L. Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Embrace a retro headgear trend on Straw Hat Day, considered by some to be the unofficial beginning of summer.

Today in Airesford in Hampshire, the watercress capital of the United Kingdom, celebrate the Watercress Festival.

San Isidro is the patron saint of Madrid and of farmers. Today is San Isidro's Feast Day, when people drink from the spring he miraculously made, eat ring-shaped pastries called listas, and enjoy picnics and concerts.

Peace Officers Memorial Day honors brave individuals who sacrificed their lives for our safety.

The theme of the 2011 United Nations International Day of Families is "Confronting Family Poverty and Social Exclusion."

Independence Day in Paraguay celebrates their independence from Spanish rule. Celebrants eat Sopa Paraguayan and drink mate while watching parades.

Stepmother's Day was founded by a nine-year-old girl named Lizzie, believe it or not. She wanted to honor her stepmother while keeping Mother's Day special for her birth mom. Stepmother's Day is celebrated on the Sunday after Mother's Day.

On National Chocolate Chip Day you could bake a batch of tried-and-true cookies. Or you could enjoy mint chip ice cream, pancakes with chocolate chips, or spicy Mexican chocolate chip cookies.

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Naked Gardening Day, Dance like a Chicken Day, Windmill Day, more

May 14th, 2011 is World Naked Gardening Day, Dance like a Chicken Day, National Windmill Day, Underground America Day, National Buttermilk Biscuit Day, Stamp Out Hunger, International Migratory Bird Day, National Miniature Golf Day, Annual Armed Forces Day Crossband Military/Amateur Radio Communications Test, World Fair Trade Day, Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Awareness Day and Birth Mother's Day

WARNING: Don't click the following link if you find nudity offensive! Today is the sixth annual World Naked Gardening Day. Be careful with the pruning shears if you celebrate this one. Oh, and please don't call me to bail you out.

Are you gardening naked? Might as well take it to the next level and do the Chicken Dance among the iris and shrubbery. Happy Dance like a Chicken Day!

Celebrate the 39th annual National Windmill Day today and tomorrow, if you're in Holland. I wish I were there! More than half of the Dutch windmills are open to the public on National Windmill Day, with food and activities for all.

Underground America Day honors North Americans who live under the ground rather than on it. Architect Malcolm Wells conjured up (conjured down?) this holiday in 1974. Wells states, "I woke up one day to the fact that the Earth's surface was made for living plants, not industrial plants."

Today is National Buttermilk Biscuit Day. Can't beat 'em with sausage gravy.

The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers, is the largest single-day food drive in the United States. According to their website, 49,033,784 Americans are hungry today.

International Migratory Bird Day is celebrated on the second Saturday in May in the U.S. and Canada; on the second Saturday in October in Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean. The theme for 2011 is "Go Wild, Go Birding!" But how do birds manage to migrate year after year without GPS?

Ready for some retro fun? Play a round or two on National Miniature Golf Day.

The Annual Armed Forces Day Crossband Military/Amateur Radio Communications Test is a companion event to Armed Forces Day (May 21st, 2011). The event takes place on May 14th, 2011 to avoid conflict with the Dayton Hamvention. During the Amateur Armed Forces Day Crossband Military/Amateur Radio Communications Test, amateur radio operators and short wave listeners are given "an opportunity to demonstrate their individual technical skills and to receive recognition from the Secretary of Defense and/or the appropriate military radio station for their proven expertise."

Sponsored by the World Fair Trade Organization, World Fair Trade Day is meant to help producers "improve their livelihoods and communities through Fair Trade."

On Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Awareness Day, learn more about this genetic disorder that affects approximately 1 in 10,000 live births. CdLS causes physical, cognitive, and medical challenges.

Birth Mother's Day occurs on the second Saturday in May, to honor women who placed their children in adoption. The day was founded by a group of Seattle mothers, out of recognition that "Mother's Day is one of the most painful days of the year - second only to the birthday of our missing children."

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Frog Jumping Day, Tulip Day, Blame Someone Else Day, more

May 13th, 2011 is Frog Jumping Day, Tulip Day, Blame Someone Else Day, Friday the 13th, and National Apple Pie Day.

Frog Jumping Day is here, inspired by Mark Twain's short story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County." The story is also known as "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" or "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog" (original title).

Tulip Day is a lovely way to celebrate spring. Send ecards to your friends, then gather a tulip bouquet for your table.

The first Friday the 13th of the year is always Blame Someone Else Day. Today nothing is your fault. Beware the 14th, however, because reality may set in.

Do you suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia? If so, Friday the 13th may be a good day to call in sick and stay in bed. Just hope the headboard doesn't crash down on you.

In the United States we like to talk about baseball, hot dogs and apple pie, but apple pie originated in Europe. Oh well. Celebrate National Apple Pie Day.

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Hug Your Cat Day, Limerick Day, Bike to Work Day, Nutty Fudge Day, more

May 12th, 2011 is Hug Your Cat Day, Limerick Day, National Bike to Work Day, Migratory Bird Day, Fibromyalgia Day, Canada Health Day, and National Nutty Fudge Day.

If your cat is the snuggly type, enjoy Hug Your Cat Day. Otherwise, celebrate at your own risk.

There once was a girl in St. Louis
Who wondered when Limerick Day is
She Googled and found
Crazy holidays abound
Now she writes a blog called "Holiday Whiz."
Celebrate Limerick Day in your own special way.

National Bike to Work Day is celebrated in metro areas all over the U.S. with set routes and drinking stations. But you can participate no matter where you live -- just grab your bike and your helmet, then pedal!

Migratory Bird Day recognizes the beauty, strength and mystery of migratory birds around the world. How do they find their way year after year with no GPS?

Fibromyalgia Day is a time to bring awareness to a disease that causes pain and fatigue.

Canada Health Day is celebrated on the birth date of Florence Nightingale, a pioneer in modern nursing. Canada Health Day is sponsored by the Canadian Healthcare Association and the Canadian Public Health Association.

Barring food allergies, you can't go wrong with National Nutty Fudge Day. Nuts and fudge are such a classic combo.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Eat What You Want Day, Twilight Zone Day, School Nurse Day, more

May 11th, 2011 is Eat What You Want Day, Twilight Zone Day, National Night Shift or Third Shift Workers Day, National School Nurse Day, Donate a Day's Wages to Charity Day, and National Receptionist Day.

What will you have? Toasted ravioli and garlic bread. Chips and dip. Pad thai and chicken satay. Corn dogs and funnel cake. Steak and shrimp. Burgers and fries. Fries and caramel sauce (says my 11-year-old). Celebrate Eat What You Want Day today, but remember to eat what's good for you tomorrow.

Twilight Zone Day is here! Rod Serling's hit sci-fi series ran from 1959 to 1964. Guest stars included Jack Klugman, Burgess Meredith, Cliff Robertson, Anne Francis, Dick York, and Martin Landau.

National Night Shift or Third Shift Workers Day is always celebrated on the second Wednesday in May. Kudos to the people who keep the world running while the rest of us sleep!

National School Nurse Day was established "to foster a better understanding of the role of school nurses in the educational setting." National School Nurse Day is always celebrated on the Wednesday during National Nurse Week. (Thank you, Ms. Davis, for taking good care of my feverish daughter last week!)

Donate a Day's Wages to Charity Day is a wonderfully generous notion. At least consider participating!

On this day, show appreciation for the receptionist in your office. National Receptionist Day honors the so-called "Directors of First Impressions."

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Clean Up Your Room Day, World Lupus Day, Move for Health Day

May 10th, 2011 is Clean Up Your Room Day, World Lupus Day, and Move for Health Day.

Cleaning your room may not sound like fun, but the right attitude and some great tunes can speed the job along. Oh, and there's nothing like the satisfaction you'll feel when you're done. Today is Clean Up Your Room Day!

World Lupus Day is meant to raise awareness of a debilitating autoimmune disease. Musician Julian Lennon is the Lupus Foundation of America Global Ambassador.

The World Health Organization created Move for Health Day in 2002, to encourage healthy living and physical activity.

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Lost Sock Memorial Day, Tear the Tags off the Mattresses Day, more

May 9th, 2011 is Lost Sock Memorial Day, Tear the Tags off the Mattresses Day, World Migratory Bird Day, Root Canal Appreciation Day, Accounting Day, Library Legislative Day, National Women's Check-Up Day, and National Butterscotch Brownie Day.

Lost Sock Memorial Day is a time to seek out your missing socks, match up as many as possible, and - if you're really brave - toss out the orphans once and for all. You can even get a special deal on replacements on this day only.

If you were brave enough to toss out those orphan socks, maybe you're ready to be really, truly daring - celebrate Tear the Tags off the Mattresses Day!

The theme of the UN-sponsored 2011 World Migratory Bird Day is "Land-Use Changes from a Bird's-Eye View."

If you're into the movie Little Shop of Horrors,  you'll appreciate Root Canal Appreciation Day. All joking aside, thank the dentist who is there when a root canal is the only option.

According to the Accounting Day website, Accounting Day 2011 promises to be the best of the decade. Interesting, since this decade has eight more celebrations to go. But maybe they're right - their logo is pretty great.

Library Legislative Day, sponsored by the American Library Association, Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, and the District of Columbia Library Association, is meant to encourage government to continue support of the nation's libraries.

The ninth annual National Women's Check-Up Day is part of National Women's Health Week. Women are encouraged to have regular check-ups, because many conditions are easier to treat with early detection.

Got a sweet tooth? Been humming Debbie Harry tunes lately? Have a blondie, otherwise known as a butterscotch brownie, on National Butterscotch Brownie Day.

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Reading Is Fun Week, Salute to Moms 35+ Week, Travel and Tourism Week, more

The week of May 8th to May 14th, 2011 features celebrations for Reading Is Fun Week, Salute to Moms 35+ Week, National Travel and Tourism Week, National Nursing Home Week, National Women's Health Week, Food Allergy Awareness Week, and National Hospital Week.

Reading Is Fun Week is a great opportunity to share your love of reading with your children.

If you, like me, became a Mom after age thirty-five, you deserve to be pampered during Salute to Moms 35+ Week.

National Travel and Tourism Week encourages travel within the United States. The "week" actually runs from May 7th to May 15th, to include two weekends.

The theme of the 2011 National Nursing Home Week, sponsored by the American Health Care Association, is "Fulfilling the Promise."

Women are encouraged to make their own health a top priority during National Women's Health Week. The theme for 2011 is "It's Your Time."

During Food Allergy Awareness Week you are encouraged to "Be a FAAN Hero." FAAN is the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network.

This is National Hospital Week. Of course we're grateful hospitals are available, but let's try to avoid needing their services.

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Mother's Day, No Socks Day, Iris Day, Animal Disaster Preparedness Day, more

May 8th, 2011 is Mother's Day, No Socks Day, Iris Day, Animal Disaster Preparedness Day, Have a Coke Day, Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost their Lives during the Second World War, Victory in Europe Day, World Red Cross Red Crescent Day, and National Coconut Cream Pie Day.

Mother's Day is here! If you're panicking right now, consider these ideas to honor your Mom. If your Mom is no longer around, take a moment to reflect on everything she did for you: caring for you when you were sick, kissing away tears, chauffeuring you to your many activities, shaping you into the wonderful person you are today. If your Mom is with you, give her a hug and thank her for being your Mom.

Go bare or wear sandals on No Socks Day, unless your Mom says no. Oh, and get ready - tomorrow is Lost Sock Memorial Day.

Celebrate Iris Day by giving a bouquet of iris to your Mom. If your Mom, like mine, is no longer with us, enjoy a bouquet in her honor. Brussels, Belgium celebrates Iris Day from May 7th to May 8th with a festival, free concerts, and open Parliament.

On Animal Disaster Preparedness Day put a plan in place to safeguard your dogs, cats, snakes, ferrets, fish, lizards, birds, hermit crabs....

In honor of Have a Coke Day, share a beverage with your Mom and enjoy this Coca-Cola commercial made by students:

Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost their Lives during the Second World War - the title says it all. This event runs from May 8th to May 9th, although our gratitude should continue throughout the year.

Victory in Europe Day, also known as VE Day, commemorates the end of Hitler's Germany. The final document of surrender was signed on May 7th, 1945. Some countries celebrate this event on May 7th; others on May 8th.

World Red Cross Red Crescent Day is a time to thank the many volunteers who do good work around the globe, easing suffering caused by natural disasters, disease, war, poverty, hunger, and climate change.

Getting back to today's main theme, share some pie with your Mom on National Coconut Cream Pie Day.

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If you're from somewhere else, please say "Hello" in the Comments!