Monday, February 6, 2012

Time for a Cuppa Day, Chinese Lantern Festival, more

February 6th, 2012, is Time for a Cuppa Day, Meat-Free Monday, Hurling the Silver Ball, Lame Duck Day, Chinese Lantern Festival, Waitangi Day, International Day Against Female Genital Mutilation, and Frozen Yogurt Day.

Time for a Cuppa Day is about relaxing over a cuppa tea, but only partly so. In the UK groups organize charity events, featuring tea and baked goods, to raise funds for Dementia UK.

The first day of Go Greeen Week in the UK is Meat-Free Monday. Some of us Super Bowl fans in the US could stand to go meatless for a day, following too many chicken wings, burgers, and nachos.

Hurling the Silver Ball is an annual event in Cornwall, England, always held on the Monday following February 3rd. Participants hurl a silver ball around town, and whoever hands the silver ball to the mayor at the stroke of midday wins a silver coin.

Lame Duck Day commemorates the Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. A lame duck president is one spending his final days in office, after someone else has been elected. Before the Twentieth Amendment was adopted, four months lapsed between the presidential election and the inauguration. Today a lame duck serves for only two months.

The Chinese Lantern Festival takes place on the fifteenth day of the Chinese New Year. Celebrations take place under the full moon, including dragons, fireworks, and games.

Waitangi Day is observed on February 6th in New Zealand, commemorating the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. Representatives of the British Crown and Maori chiefs signed the treaty, founding the country of New Zealand. Today the holiday prompts both celebration and controversy.

The United Nations supports International Day Against Female Genital Mutilation. This traditional practice in parts of Africa and the Middle East is meant to ensure chastity, but this practice also "severely violates the human rights of women and girls."

Frozen Yogurt Day celebrates an alternative to ice cream - not as sweet, perhaps, but healthier.

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