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May 25, 2015

Today we celebrate:

National Wine Day - Back in February we celebrated National Drink Wine Day.  Today is a little different.  You don’t have to drink wine if you don’t want to...although why wouldn’t you want to?  I’m joking, I know wine isn’t for everyone.  But if you do enjoy wine, celebrate today by going to a local vineyard for a wine tasting.  While you are there, learn a little bit about how wine is made and see if your vineyard knows anything about the history of wine.

National Missing Children's Day – Begun in 1983, this day was created in the memory of Ethan Patz, a six year old boy who disappeared on this day in 1979.  He was never found. Today we honor law enforcement officers who have performed above and beyond their call of duty in order to safely recover a missing child, or have helped a child who has been sexually exploited over the course of the year.

Towel Day – This day is a tribute to late author Douglas Adams. We are to celebrate by carrying a towel everywhere we go today. Fans of Adams' book, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, need no further explanation. For the rest of you, I will explain only that if you are an interstellar hitchhiker, or you want to be prepared in case you unexpectedly become one, you absolutely MUST have a towel with you. If you want to know more, read this marvelous and entertaining novel.

National Brown-Bag-It Day – This is a day to celebrate the simple brown bag that we all used to use to carry our lunches to school. These days we have fancier bags that keep things cold or warm, but bringing your lunch to school or work is still called brown-bagging-it. I bring my lunch nearly every day. If you don't, you might want to consider doing so at least now and then. It's healthier, depending on what you pack, and it's definitely cheaper.

Cookie Monster's Birthday – There’s a little confusion here with this day. Cookie Monster's birthday is really November 2nd, but the voice of Cookie Monster, Frank Oz, celebrates his birthday today. So have a cookie today in honor of the Cookie Monster's voice.

Buddha Day – Known as Vesakha, or Buddha's birthday, the date of celebration varies depending on which culture's calendar you follow. The Chinese lunar calendar places the day on the 8th day of the 4th month, which would be May 25th this year. The Japanese adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1873 and so they celebrate this day on April 8th every year.  On this day Buddhists are expected to gather at their temples for a day full of symbolism and reflection upon Buddha's words.

National Tap Dance Day – This is a day to celebrate tap dancing. It was created by Carol Vaughn, Nicola Daval and Linda Christensen, and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1989. It is also celebrated in a few other countries like Japan, Australia, India & Iceland. This day was chosen for celebrating tap dancing because it is the birthday of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.

Nerd Pride Day or Geek Pride Day – This day was chosen for this particular celebration because on this day in 1977, the first Star Wars film, A New Hope, was released. The idea for today is to play up your unique geekiness or nerdiness in any way you choose.

Memorial Day – Celebrated on the last Monday in May, this is a United States Federal Holiday and is a day for remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It was originally known as Decoration Day, as I mentioned yesterday, and celebrations began shortly after the Civil War to commemorate both Union and Confederate soldiers who died in that war. It has since been extended to honor all Americans who died in all of the wars we have been involved in. Veteran's grave stones or crosses are typically decorated for this day with an American flag and sometimes with wreaths and flowers as well.

Fiji Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna Day - On the last Monday in May, the people of Fiji celebrate the life of one of their most important leaders, Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna.  He was a hero in WWI and then became a politician who helped Fiji gain independence from Great Britain.  He didn’t see that goal reached because he died on May 30, 1958, twelve years before independence was achieved.

To celebrate today, honor local veterans by watching a Memorial Day parade near you. Then, wear a particularly geeky outfit today and make sure you have a towel and a bag lunch while you go out to pass out cookies, drink wine, and tap dance in the street to entertain the Missing Person’s division of your local law enforcement. Tonight read up on Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna and reflect on Buddha’s wisdom.

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