Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Remember November

Brett's Monthly:

As readers know, Brett B sends me a list eacj month of the coming month's special days and celebrations, November being no exception.

November's list:

Men Make Dinner Day - first Thursday of Month
Book Lovers Day - first Saturday of the month
U.S. General Election Day - first Tuesday of the month after first Monday of month
Hindu Diwali Day - date varies
Chaos Never Dies Day - you've got that right
13 Young Readers Day second Tuesday of month
15 Great American Smokeout  - third Thursday in November
17 Electronic Greeting Card Day - now who do you think created this day!?
17 National Adoption Day - Saturday before Thanksgiving
22 Thanksgiving - Eat, drink, and be thankful, fourth Thursday
23 Black Friday - Friday after Thanksgiving
23 Buy Nothing Day - always the day after Thanksgiving...does anyone abide by it!?!
23 You're Welcome Day - the day after Thanksgiving

Thanks, Brett.

What I am going to do this time, which I haven't done before, is provide a some quick notes about those days.  I'll space it over the month.

I found it to be informative and entertaining, hopefully you will as well.

1 Nov: All Saint's Day 

The Christian holiday of All Saint's Day honors and recognises all of the saints of the Christian church, many of which were martyrs. The church sets this day aside to celebrate over 10,000 recognised saints. Historically, All Saints Day was known as Hallomas. All Saints Day and All Souls Day was originally in May. They were moved to November 1st and 2nd to downplay the pagan holidays of Halloween (All Hallow's Eve) and Dia De Loss Muertos. Religious leaders felt these holidays were too popular at the time to ban outright but, if moved the Christian holidays to this time periods, the pagan holidays would slowly die away. 

All Saints Day at a cemetery in Poland 

A cemetery in Hungary 

1-2 Nov: Dios Los Muertos 

The Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and by people of Mexican ancestry living in other places, especially the United States. It is acknowledged internationally in many other cultures. The multi-day holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey. 

Even James Bond has been known to participate in Dios Los Muertos, both by attending the festivities and by killing people. 

Funnily enough, the above festival was staged in Mexico City specifically for the 2015 flick Spectre. It boosted tourism and led to calls for it to be an annual event. What also emerged was that the government of Mexico was unhappy at the likely portrayal in the film of cops and officials being corrupt and involved in drug trading. The government spent $28m with the moviemakers to portray Mexico in a favourable light. That in turn drew flak from people who questioned how many teachers and doctors it would have paid for. 

The Day of the Dead" is actually two days spent in honouring of the dead. The first day celebrates infants and children who have died. This is a group which is believed to have a special place in heaven, and are referred to as "Angelitos" or little angels. The second day is in honour of adults who have passed away. 

While the culture in the U.S. is to shy away from discussions of death, Mexicans embrace death. They use Dio De Los Muertos as an opportunity to celebrate the death and the life of loved ones and friends they knew in this world. And it is a day of celebration, not a day of mourning.  Chinese also celebrate their dead in a similar manner. 

1 Nov: Men Make Dinner Day 

National Men Make Dinner Day was created by Sandy Sharkey in 2001 and is observed annually on the first Thursday in November. This is the day for men to take charge in the kitchen and cook for their loved ones. Men need to be aware that there is a list of rules that must be followed, some of which include: 
  • The main meal must include a minimum of 4 ingredients and require at least one cooking utensil other than a fork. 
  • The man goes shopping for all necessary ingredients. 
  • Clean up as you go. 

2 Nov: All Soul's Day 

Celebrated on November 2 (November 3rd if the 2nd falls on a Sunday), the Christian holiday of All Soul's Day pays respect and remembers the souls of all friends and loved ones who have died and gone to heaven. It is a time to pray for their souls that they may be received into heaven. Upon death, it is believed that souls have not yet been cleansed of sin. Praying for souls of loved ones helps to remove the stain of sin, and allow the souls to enter the pearly gates.  All Souls Day was started in 998. Often people will pray to their lost loved ones and even ask for special favors. It is sometimes called the "Day of the Dead". 

2 Nov: Deviled Egg Day 

It’s not known how or when this day originated, celebrated in the US on the 2nd day of November each year. 

Deviled eggs, often found at buffets, parties and often served as a starter at dinner, are usually made simply by hard boiling eggs, slicing them in half and them making a mixture with the yolks using mayonnaise and mustard. Often, they are then dusted with seasonings such as curry powder or cayenne.

2 Nov: Look for Circles Day 

Also celebrated in the US on 2nd November each year, it honours all the circles in the world by looking for as many circles as you can find on this day. 

2 Nov: Plan Your Epitaph Day 

Started by Lance Hardie, the author of How to Write Your Own Epitaph -- and Live Long Enough to Enjoy It, it is listed for 2nd November to coincide with the Day of the Dead. Some sources give the date of observance as April 6. 

3 Nov: Book Lovers Day 

Origin unknown, the date of celebration is variously given as the first Saturday in November or August 9. Celebrate on both days if you wish, lock yourself away from people with coffee or a drink, some munchies and a good book. 

3 Nov: Housewife's Day 

A November 3 celebration, origin unknown, Housewife’s Day honours stay at home wives and mothers and, according to many, should be a year long celebration. There are calls for equal honouring of househusbands. 

3 Nov: Sandwich Day 

The day is always celebrated on 3 November each year. Do so by going crazy with some sambo’s (the Australian term for sandwiches, also sangers) or even invent a new filling. 

It is said that the sandwich was invented by John Montagu, the Earl of Sandwich, who asked for meat to be put between bread so that he could continue playing cards at the gambling table. The use of meat between bread goes back a lot earlier, including slices of salt pork between toasted bread. It is true though that the term is referable to John Montagu, although according to Montagu’s biographer he probably ate it at his desk, not the gambling table. 

4 Nov: King Tut Day 

King Tut Day, always celebrated on 4 November, honours the discovery of King Tutankhamen's Tomb. Why that needs a special celebration day, I don’t know, but then again, I don't know how to program the DVD player either. King Tut, the boy king, became Pharaoh of Egypt at age 9 over 3,000 years ago. Tutankhamun was the son of Akhenaten (formerly Amenhotep IV) and his mother was his father's sister and wife. When he became king, he married his half-sister, Ankhesenpaaten, and they had two daughters, both stillborn. No evidence was found in either mummy of congenital anomalies or an apparent cause of death. A close family indeed. Tut’s tomb was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter. It was said that the spate of deaths which followed was attributable to a curse. How to celebrate the day? One suggestion is to take your brother or sister to dinner. 

5 Nov: Gunpowder Day 

5 Nov: Guy Fawkes Day 

Guy Fawkes Day and Gunpowder Day are one and the same. It commemorates the infamous Gunpowder Conspiracy of 1605 in England led by Guy Fawkes. Always celebrated on November 5, the thought arises: Are we celebrating Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators, for attempting to eliminate religious persecution? Or, are we celebrating the government's successful discovery of the plot, saving many lives? 

I know you've been waiting for it so here it is . . .

English Folk Verse (c.1870) 
The Fifth of November 

Remember, remember! 
The fifth of November, 
The Gunpowder treason and plot; 
I know of no reason 
Why the Gunpowder treason 
Should ever be forgot! 

The rest of it is:

Guy Fawkes and his companions 
Did the scheme contrive, 
To blow the King and Parliament 
All up alive. 
Threescore barrels, laid below, 
To prove old England's overthrow. 
But, by God's providence, him they catch, 
With a dark lantern, lighting a match! 
A stick and a stake 
For King James's sake! 
If you won't give me one, 
I'll take two, 
The better for me, 
And the worse for you. 
A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope, 
A penn'orth of cheese to choke him, 
A pint of beer to wash it down, 
And a jolly good fire to burn him. 
Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring! 
Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King! 
Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray! 

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