Monday, February 20, 2012

Presidents' Day, Hoodie-Hoo Day, Bolludagur, more

February 20th, 2012, is Presidents' Day, Hoodie-Hoo Day, Clean Out Your Bookcases Day, Toothpick Day, Daisy Gatson Bates Day, Love Your Pet Day, World Day of Social Justice, Shrovetide, Shrove Monday, Collop Monday, Maha Shivaratri, Canadian Heritage Day, Louis Riel Day, National Cherry Pie Day, Bolludagur, and National Cream Puff Day.

Presidents' Day is celebrated on the third Monday in February, honoring George Washington. Some say the holiday honors Abraham Lincoln and the other U.S. presidents as well, but technically the day honors only Washington.

In the Northern Hemisphere, Hoodie-Hoo Day is celebrated on February 20th. At noon local time, step outside, wave your hands in the air, and shout, "Hoodie-Hoo!" This is meant to chase away winter and welcome spring.

Clean Out Your Bookcases Day is simpler these days for some people, given the popularity of e-readers. Do consider donating your unloved books to a local school, library, or charity. If you're all about the e-books, go ahead and donate the bookcase too.

Consider the humble toothpick, used for appetizer handles, sandwich stabilizers, and craft projects. Oh, and some people use them to clean their teeth. Today is Toothpick Day, commemorating the date in 1872 when the first toothpick-making machine was patented.

Arkansas, USA, observes Daisy Gatson Bates Day on the same day as Presidents' Day, honoring a civil rights activist.

Love Your Pet Day is a time to play an extra game with your cat or bring an extra treat for your dog. Don't forget the birds, fish, snakes, and so on. Just give your pets a little extra love.

The United Nations supports World Day of Social Justice on February 20th. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon writes, "Let us work together to balance the global economy and build a new social contract for the 21st century. Let us chart a development path that leads to greater social justice and the future we want."

Shrovetide includes the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Shrovetide is a time to cleanse the soul, and, perhaps your house as well, if you're into spring cleaning. The Monday of Shrovetide is known as Shrove Monday or Collop Monday. Collops - or chunks - of bacon are served with eggs, and the fat from the collops is saved for Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday.

HIndus observe Maha Shivaratri on the fourteenth night of the new moon during the dark half of Phalguna. Whew! In 2012, that's February 20th. On this day the lord of destruction performed the dance of primordial creation, preservation, and destruction.

The third Monday in February is Canadian Heritage Day.

Louis Riel Day is observed on the third Monday in February in Manitoba, Canada. Politician Louis Riel represented the Metis people and led a rebellion in 1885.

It may seem appropriate that National Cherry Pie Day falls on Presidents' Day this year, but the story of George Washington and the cherry tree is just that - a story.

Iceland celebrates Bolludagur, or National Cream Puff Day, during which they eat not only cream puffs but also other ball-shaped foods, such as meatballs or fish balls. Sounds like the makings of a great buffet.

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