Friday, December 21, 2012

End of the World, Humbug Day, Kiwi Fruit Day, more

December 21st, 2012, is the End of the World, Winter and Summer Solstice, Anne and Samantha Day, Yule, Shab-e Yalda, National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day, Humbug Day, National Flashlight Day, Underdog Day, Look on the Bright Side Day, Forefathers' Day, Phileas Fogg Wins a Wager Day, and Kiwi Fruit Day.

According to one interpretation of the Mayan Calendar, today brings the End of the World. If you're reading this, we've either dodged a bullet or we're about to go *poof*!

Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, takes place on December 21st or December 22nd in the Northern Hemisphere this year. In the Southern Hemisphere, today brings Summer Solstice.

Anne and Samantha Day is observed on both the Winter Solstice and Summer Solstice, in an effort to honor Anne Frank and Samantha Smith on postage stamps. The two girls lived with courage and died as teens.

Yule is also celebrated on the Winter Solstice. Pagans and Wiccans set up yule alters, celebrate goddess rites, and welcome back the sun.

Global Orgasm for Peace Day, also known as GORG, takes place today at Solstice, UTC time, at 11:11. Convert to your local time here. The intent is for everyone to think about peace during the, uh, critical moment.
Shab-e Yalda, celebrated in Iran, commemorates the Eve of the Birth of Mithra, the Sun God.

Since 1990, National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day has been observed on the Winter Solstice. The event, meant "to bring attention to the tragedy of homelessness and to remember our homeless friends who have paid the ultimate price for [the United States'] failure to end homelessness," is sponsored by the National Coalition for the Homeless, the National Consumer Advisory Board, and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council.

Celebrate your inner Ebenezer Scrooge on Humbug Day. Go on, it's okay. All of us embody at least a smidge of Scrooge sometimes.

National Flashlight Day takes place each year on December 21st, despite the fact that many neighborhoods are brightly lit with holiday lights. Oh, well. If someone blows a fuse, that flashlight will come in handy.

Underdog Day honors the little guy, the second banana, the unsung hero.... You get the idea. This holiday, always the third Friday in December, was founded by the late Peter Moeller in 1976. He used to crown an "Underdog of the Year." So-called winners included Lee Iacocca, Harry Reasoner, Dennis Kucinich, and Phyllis Schlafly. Who would you select as this year's "Underdog?"

Look on the Bright Side Day is easy to celebrate today, given the plethora of glowing holiday lights and shining flashlights.

Forefathers' Day commemorates the Pilgrims' arrival at Plymouth Rock in 1620 on December 21st.

Today is Phileas Fogg Wins a Wager Day, the day when the fictional Fogg collected on his $20,000 bet that he could travel Around the World in Eighty Days.

On Kiwi Fruit Day, enjoy a fruit that's not only good for you, but is also delicious and looks beautiful served in slices or quarters. Add some kiwi to your holiday buffet!

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