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March 20, 2015

Today we celebrate so much that you should probably take the day off from work in order to accomplish it all:

Vernal Equinox – Also known as the Spring Equinox, this is the point at which day and night are exactly the same length. This marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere of the planet and the beginning of fall in the Southern Hemisphere (therefore called the Autumnal Equinox).  I know a great many people in the Northeast USA, and probably lots and lots of other places, who are shouting “Hallelujah!” today because Spring seemed to take forever to arrive this year.

Snowman Burning Day – Begun by the Lake Superior State University Unicorn Hunters in 1971, this is a tradition that says goodbye to winter and hello to spring. This practice apparently comes from Germany where they would have a festival and the Mayor of the town would tell the children that if they promise to be good, he would order the straw snowman to be set on fire and spring would arrive. The children yell out their promise, the snowman is set aflame and it's bye-bye winter. In true college form, the LSSU's snowmen have taken many forms over the years. You can read about it here.

World Frog Day - Celebrated on the first day of Spring, this is a day to honor all amphibians, frogs being the most well-known.  You wouldn’t know it to listen to the nightly croaking in my backyard at certain times of the year, but frogs, and all amphibians, are actually losing habitat left and right to human encroachment, pollution and climate change.  Let’s see if we can help them out today.

Great American Meat Out Day – Today is a day to go without meat. Try a vegan diet today, you may decide you like it better. You may have encountered people at shopping centers and other public locations attempting to get you to pledge to do this today.  Their belief is that going vegan will save not just animals but rainforests and water as well.  You’ll have to check out their website to see how that would happen.  

International Earth Day – Founded by John McConnell, this is a day to focus on the needs of the Earth. Sadly, Mr. McConnell died in 2013 at the age of 97. I'm not sure what that will mean for celebrations this year, the website has not been updated since 2013. I'm sure there will still be an Earth Day because he had so many supporters, they will not let his dream die with him.

Won't You Be My Neighbor Day – Who doesn't remember Fred Rogers, everyone's neighbor? Today is a day to wear a sweater and behave in neighborly manner with everyone. Mr. Rogers was born on this day in 1928 and was an amazing, genuine man. What you saw on television, was what you got in real life.

Extraterrestrial Abductions Day – Today keep a wary eye on the skies. They could be coming for you this time. Make sure you have an “in case of abduction” plan ready.  I don’t know who created this day, whoever it was is understandably keeping a low profile.

Bed-In For Peace Day – John Lennon, of the Beatles, and Yoko Ono were married on this day in 1969. Knowing that they would get a lot of publicity because of it, they decided to use that publicity to promote peace by having the first Bed-In For Peace event which lasted for a week. It was modeled after the popular sit-in protest style, but they sat in beds instead of on the hard ground. It was their intention that this be a humorous type of protest. They certainly got a lot of publicity and you can find many pictures of them sitting on their bed on the internet.

UN French Language Day – This day was created by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2010. The purpose is “to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity...” There are six of these days, one for each of the major languages used in the United Nations. This one was chosen because it is the anniversary day of the International Organization of La Francophonie. If that does not mean anything to you, I will elaborate further and say that La Francophonie is an international organization representing countries where French is the main language.

International Day of Happiness - Created by Action For Happiness, this is a day to reach out to people, whether you know them or not, and make connections.  Use these connections to spread positive messages around the world.  If you live in a major city, join the Happiness Activists who will be gathering together to help spread the word.

National Ravioli Day – There are lots of things that you can put in a ravioli, it's not just a cheese dish. I once had butternut squash raviolis that were out of this world. See if you can make your own or find someone who makes more unusual raviolis and expand your palate today.

Kiss Your Fiancee Day – Wedding planning is stressful. There's no way around that unless you elope or visit your friendly neighborhood Justice of the Peace or Sea Captain. So take a break from the stresses of your upcoming wedding day and just spend some time together and fall in love all over again. Oh yeah, you can practice for your first kiss as a married couple. That takes a lot of practice if you want to get it right.n  Lots and lots of practice!

World Sparrow Day – This is a day for the whole world to be thinking about the sparrows in the world. Many of their species, such as the house sparrow, which was once the most common bird in the world, have had dwindling numbers in recent years. The goal today is to make governments aware of that problem so they will realize that if sparrows are in danger, we probably are too.

Proposal Day – There are two of these days, each celebrated on an equinox. This day was created by John Michael O'Loughlin and is for the purpose of presenting the world with the opportunity to pop the question in a gentle, exploratory manner so you can feel your loved one out for whether he/she is open to the possibility of marriage.

Atheist Pride Day – Although I'm not an atheist, I have some friends who are. If you are one yourself, today is a day to be proud of it. We do have freedom of religion after all and I'm pretty sure that also means that you can be free FROM having a religion if that is what you want.

International Astrology Day – Begun in 1993 by the Association for Astrological Networking, the purpose of this day is to expand networking among astrology minded individuals, gain positive publicity, and raise funds for local astrological organizations.

National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day – This is not just an African Continent problem, although that is what we hear about the most on the news. This problem affects all countries and all nationalities and cultures. Find out how to protect yourselves today.

National Jump Out! Day – Grab a jump rope and start hopping. This is a day for children to be more active, but there is no earthly reason why adults can't do it too. Jumping rope is a great cardiovascular exercise so get in touch with your inner child and hop to it.

World Storytelling Day - Today we share the art of storytelling around the world.  Storytelling is an art, make no mistake.  It has been around for as long as there have been people who can speak.  I was privileged to be at my daughter’s school when a Storyteller came to visit, and she was amazing.  She showed the story to the kids with her voice and her body and it was inspiring to all of us.  On this day, the goal is for as many people as possible to tell stories in as many languages as possible to as many listeners as they can find.

To celebrate today you are going to have to have a lot of energy. So, get started with being ready to spend the day in bed, speaking French, preparing yourself for an alien abduction, creating as little garbage as possible to protect the earth and the frogs, and avoiding praying to a God you don't believe in. While you sit in bed, you can watch Mr. Rogers, I'm sure you can find one of his shows online somewhere. Then, propose to your girl/boy friend and when he/she says yes, kiss your new fiancee before sharing a vegetarian ravioli with them and tell him/her your favorite French story with a positive message. Have someone bring you a jump rope and attempt to jump rope on your bed before you collapse in exhaustion. See if someone has posted a video of LSSU's snowman burning and be grateful that spring has arrived. Finally, tell your Native American friends to get tested for HIV while you watch the stars appear after the sun sets.

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