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January 1, 2015

I hope you have the day off work today because you are going to be far too busy for anything like that while you celebrate:

Asarah B'Tevet – This is a fast that begins at dawn to commemorate the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylonia. The fast ends at nightfall.

New Year's Day – It’s that time of year again, when we all have to retrain our brains and our writing hands to write 2015 instead of the 2014 we’ve been using for the last 365 days.

New Year's Dishonor List Day – On this day every year Lake Superior State University in Michigan publishes a list of overused words that, in their opinion, should be stricken from the English Language.  This tradition was begun on this day in 1976 and as far as I know, they have never missed a year.

National Bloody Mary Day – On this, the first day of the year and directly after staying up too late and drinking too much, I have found the perfect drink for you. I'm told that it is good for getting rid of hangovers. I've never tried it myself so you will have to let me know if it works.

National First Foot Day – There is an old Scottish tradition that says that the first person to visit your home after the New Year is called the First Footer, and he/she must bring gifts. Not just any old gifts, either.  They must bring a lump of coal for good luck, a coin for happiness and wealth, and a drink of whiskey for the host. Who will be your First Footer? If he/she doesn't have the proper gifts, you should not let them in.

Copyright Law Day – This is a day that promises lots of excitement and long as you are a copyright lawyer.  Copyright law is very complicated, I hear, but then isn’t all law work complicated?

Public Domain Day - Related to copyright laws, on this day every year, another round of books becomes public domain.  This means that 70 years after the death of the author, his/her books are no longer protected by copyright laws and anyone can print and sell them without paying anything to the estate of the author.

Ellis Island Day – On this day in 1892, Ellis Island was opened for the purpose of processing immigrants to the United States of America. Annie Moore, 15 years old and from Ireland, was the first immigrant to be processed at Ellis Island on January 2nd. More than 12 million, from many different countries, followed her over the years.

Euro Day – On this day in 2002, the Euro was adopted by most of the countries in Europe. Lithuania legally adopts the Euro today.

Global Family Day – This is a day of peace and sharing to be celebrated around the world. It is a day where we share food with friends and the needy and make personal pledges of non-violence and spread a message of peace and sharing by ringing bells and/or beating drums in hopes of making society and the world a safer place to live. This day developed out of the United Nations “One Day in Peace” back in the year 2000.

Mummer's Parade This parade dates back to somewhere in the mid 17th century and combines many different European and African heritages. It is believed to be the oldest folk festival in America (I say festival because it is far more than just a parade) and is celebrated in Philadelphia, PA.

Polar Bear Plunge or Swim Day – Celebrated by crazy people who jump into icy waters for no good reason that I can think of. I mean no insult to the aforementioned crazy people, but I won't even get into pool water in June because it is still too cold for me.

Saint Basil's Day -Saint Basil the Great was the Greek Bishop of what is now Turkey. He was known for caring for the poor and he created the guidelines by which monks lived for centuries. He died on this day in 379.

Z Day - This is an odd holiday that involves letting people with a name beginning with Z be first in line for the day. Z people are always last, but not today. The day was created by Tom Zager for obvious reasons.

Rose Bowl Game – On this day the famous Rose Bowl game is played. This is a football event for those of you who are like me and don't pay any attention to sports at all.

Tournament of Roses Parade Day – This famous parade takes place in Pasadena, California in the morning but thanks to the miracle of television, you can watch it all over the world.

Commitment DayThis is a family oriented 5K run/walk with the purpose of starting a conversation about adopting a healthy way of life for your family that will spread around the country. Commitment Day supports the American Heart Association's My Heart. My Life. healthy living initiative.

To celebrate today, check the dishonor list and be careful to avoid those overused words today. Take your polar bear plunge first thing before you lose your nerve, then try to buy a Bloody Mary with some euros to toast the New Year. Go to a family member's house to watch the parades and the Rose Bowl Game and make sure you bring the proper first footer gifts make sure they make the nonviolence pledge. Don’t eat anything because you are fasting until sundown.  Then get a book about Ellis Island to read to your kids after you explain about how it has been copyrighted. Finally, make a commitment to live a healthy lifestyle and help the poor.  If you have to stand in any kind of line today, make sure any Z named people, get to be first.

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