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August 1, 2015

Today we celebrate:

Lammas - This day is celebrated by England and Scotland.  It is the festival of the wheat harvest, which is the first harvest festival of the year.  I’m sort of surprised there is more than one because I figured everyone would be too busy harvesting to have multiple festivals.  In any case, for this one it was the traditional practice to bake a loaf of bread with the first harvest and bring it to church.  The loaf would be blessed, broken into four pieces and a piece put in each of the four corners of the farmer’s barn in order to protect that grain and all the rest that would be harvested.  There were other traditions as well that I don’t have time to describe here.

National Raspberry Cream Pie Day – Yesterday's raspberry theme continues with this cool and refreshing dessert pie.

Girlfriend's Day – Today is a day to celebrate girlfriends. It doesn't matter if you're talking about a special female love interest or a bunch of gal pals. Show them today how much you care about them.

Lughnasa - Celebrated by the Irish and Scottish, this is a day that began as a harvest festival and continues today with festivals, bonfires and dancing. It is also a popular day to begin handfastings which are trial marriages. After a year and a day the couple has the option of ending the relationship or formalizing it into a lasting marriage.  Festivities began last night and last until this evening at sunset.

Spider-Man Day – Spider-Man, created by Stan Lee, first appeared in comics sometime around August 1962 and has continued with varying degrees of popularity until this year. So this would be a good day to dig out some old comics or buy some new ones and read all about his adventures.

National Minority Donor Awareness Day – Begun in 1996 by Clive O. Callender, MD, with the goal of raising awareness among ethnic groups on all the issues related to organ, tissue and blood donations among minorities. The hope was to promote healthy living among minorities and to ultimately increase the number of minority donors. More than half of the people on the transplantation waiting list are minorities so it is very important for minorities to be involved in donations because they have a much better chance of being a good match for another member of their minority.

Respect For Parents Day – This is a day to be aware of how respectful you are to your parents. Sometimes when we get aggravated at people we need a little reminder about how important it is to be kind, respectful and most important of all, patient with all of our elders but particularly with our parents.  It is all too easy to hurt the people we love.  Way easier than it is to hurt people we barely know.  So we need to remember that these are the people who brought us into the world and raised us as best they could.  As a parent, I know I love my children more than anyone else ever will.  So knowing that my parents feel that way for me makes it a little easier to remember to be respectful and kind and loving toward them.

Rounds Resounding Day – Do you remember singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat in a round when you were younger? I think most of us did that at some point with that song or with some other one. For the non-musically inclined among us, a round is when a group of people sing a song together but each person starts the song at a different time (or if you have a large group, divide into small groups and each group would start at a different time). So the first person would sing “Row, row, row your boat” and as that person starts the next line with “gently”, the second person would start singing “Row, row, row your boat” and the rest would follow in that staggered pattern. If done well, it sounds good, so practice with your family today.

National Mustard Day – Celebrated on the first Saturday of August, this is a day to eat lots and lots of mustard. There is surprisingly, to me anyway, a Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wisconsin that has a whole mustard themed day planned for today with free hot dogs, music, games, etc. They use this event to raise money for a worthy charity.

World Wide Web Day – I'm not sure why today was chosen to celebrate the World Wide Web. As far as I can tell, it should be on August 6th since that is the day in 1991 that the WWW was open to the public. But in any case, get on the web today and look to see how far we have come in just 23 years.  Interesting factoid….WWW is actually one of the very few (perhaps even the only) acronyms that uses more syllables than the words that it is trying to shorten.

Yorkshire Day – This is a day to celebrate the English county of Yorkshire. On this day in 1834, slaves in the British Empire were freed and also on this day in 1759 the Battle of Minden was fought and won by the British during the Seven Years' War.  

World Scout Scarf Day – This is a Boy Scout celebration. Celebrations today call for all scouts, whether they are active or former, to wear their scout scarves in public today. The scarf is a symbol of the scout promise and for the scout mission to leave the world a little bit better than they found it. Sounds like a great mission to me.

U.S. Air Force Day - The Air Force was established on this day in 1907, although it was called the Aeronautical Division in the Office of the Chief Signal Officer of the Army.  I’m glad they shortened that.  This particular celebration day was established on this day in 1947 by President Truman “in recognition of the personnel of the victorious Army Air Forces and all those who have developed and maintained our nation’s air strength.”

To celebrate today, dig out your scout scarf, if you have one, and wear it today. If you don't have one, keep your eye out for scouts who are wearing their scarves today and ask them about their scouting experiences. Then invite them and your parents and your girlfriend(s) and anyone you can find that is from Yorkshire County and invite them to your house for a Lammas, Lughnasa and Air Force celebration. Get on the web and find out what kind of food is usually served at one of these celebrations and supplement it with mustard and  raspberry cream pie. Make sure you organize everyone so you can sing some rounds and pass out Spider-Man comic books. Finally, talk to your minority guests about the importance of blood, organ and tissue donations to their minority groups.

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