DECEMBER 21 – NATIONAL FRENCH FRIED SHRIMP DAY – CROSSWORD PUZZLE DAY – PHILEAS FOGG WIN A WAGER DAY – YULE – HUMBUG DAY – WINTER SOLSTICE – NATIONAL FLASHLIGHT DAY – NATIONAL HOMELESS PERSONS’ REMEMBRANCE DAY
NATIONAL FRENCH FRIED SHRIMP DAY
National French Fried Shrimp Day is observed annually on December 21
Americans eat more shrimp than any other seafood.
The word prawn is used loosely to describe any large shrimp, sometimes known as jumbo shrimp. Some countries use the word prawn exclusively for all shrimp.
Preparing the shrimp for consumption usually involves the removal of the head, shell, tail and sand vein. There are many ways to cook shrimp. Common methods of preparation include baking, boiling, broiling, sauteing, frying and grilling.
Cooking time is delicate for shrimp and they are at their best when not over cooked.
A healthy food, shrimp is low in calories and high in levels of omega-3s, calcium, iodine, and protein. Shrimp is also known to be considered good for the circulatory system. *The preparation of the shrimp does impact the caloric count.
For more information, visit the National Day Calendar page for National French Fried Shrimp Day.
CROSSWORD PUZZLE DAY
December 21 commemorates the birth of a challenging word game enjoyed by millions around the world. It’s Crossword Puzzle Day!
The first crossword puzzles were published in England in children’s books and other publications. They were simple word games derived from the word squares where letters were arranged in a square so that the words read the same across and down.
The object of a crossword puzzle is to fill in the white spaces of a grid with the correct words from the hints provided alongside the grid. The black spaces separate individual words. The clues to more challenging puzzles are more like riddles, making the game more complex.
Many tout the benefits of crossword puzzles. Not only are they fun, but challenging crossword puzzles may help delay the effects of dementia or sharpen the brain for problem solving. They can also increase vocabulary and even relieve the mind from the stress of the day by focusing on something other than worldly problems.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Buy a crossword book or find one online. Use #CrosswordPuzzleDay to post on social media.
Journalist Arthur Wynne from Liverpool is credited as the inventor of word game we know today. He created what is considered the first known published crossword puzzle. The puzzle appeared in the December 21, 1913, edition of the New York World newspaper.
PHILEAS FOGG WIN A WAGER DAY
Phileas Fogg Win a Wager Day is observed annually on December 21. Phileas Fogg is the illustrious main character in the classic novel Around the World In 80 Days by French Novelist, Jules Verne.
During an argument about the possibility of traveling around the world in 80 days, Fogg is challenged by fellow members of the Reform Club to do just that. He accepts the wager of £20,000 (equal to about £1.5 million today).
He departs on his with his newly hired valet, Passepartout at 8:45 P.M. on Wednesday, October 2, 1872. In order to win the wager, he must arrive back at the Reform Club at the same time on Saturday, December 21, 1872.
As you can imagine, Fogg and his valet encounter many trials, obstacles and adventures along the way. Does Phileas Fogg win a wager?
HOW TO OBSERVE
Start reading Around the World in Eighty Days. Use #PhileasFoggWinAWagerDay to post on social media.
December 21st is the anniversary of the day Phileas Fogg was due back at the Reform Club to win his wager. Within our research, National Day Calendar has not identified the founder of Phileas Fog Win a Wager Day.
Yule is observed on the day of the Winter Solstice.
Also known as Jul, Yule predates the Christmas holiday by thousands of years. There is some debate as to the origin of the word Yule. Some linguists suggest the word is derived from “Iul”, the Anglo-Saxon word for wheel. This makes a connection to a Celtic calendar, the Wheel of the Year. In the Norse culture, “Jul” refers to the god, Odin. Odin was celebrated during Yule as well.
Yule celebrations included bonfires, decorating with holly, mistletoe and the boughs of evergreen trees, ritual sacrifices, feasts and gift giving.
Do you recognize any Christmas traditions borrowed from Yule?
- The Yule midwinter feast usually lasted 12 days.
- Vikings would decorate evergreen trees with gifts such as food, carvings, and food for the tree spirits to encourage them to return in the spring.
- Mistletoe combined with a mother’s tears resurrected her son, the God of Light and Goodness, in a Viking myth. The Celts believe Mistletoe possessed healing powers as well and would ward off evil spirits.
For more information, visit the National Day Calendar page for Yule.
Humbug Day – December 21
When the stresses of the holiday season have piled up, many of us start to feel a bit like Scrooge. This day was created to allow us an opportunity to express our frustrations. Humbug Day is observed annually on December 21.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Use #HumbugDay to post on social media.
Humbug Day was created by Thomas and Ruth Roy at Wellcat.com.
The winter solstice is the shortest day and longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. It occurs annually between December 20 and December 23.
The winter solstice is marked by the point at which the North Pole is at its farthest from the sun during its yearly orbit around the sun. It will be approximately 23 degrees away from the sun. Despite the temperature outside, the winter solstice is considered the astronomical beginning of winter. Meteorological winter begins December 1 and lasts until the end of February and is marked by the coldest average temperatures during the year.
Depending on how far north a person is in the Northern Hemisphere during the winter solstice, their day can range from 9.5 hours to absolutely no sunrise at all. On the bright side, the days will gradually become longer in the Northern Hemisphere until the summer solstice in June. In the Southern Hemisphere, this same day marks the summer solstice and the Southern Hemisphere’s longest day of the year.
For more information, visit the National Day Calendar page for Winter Solstice.
NATIONAL FLASHLIGHT DAY
National Flashlight Day is on the same day as Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year.
It was around 1899 that the invention of the dry cell and miniature incandescent electric light bulbs made the first battery-powered flashlights possible.
Today the flashlights that we use, are mostly incandescent lamps or light-emitting diodes and run on disposable or rechargeable batteries. Some are powered by the user turning a crank or shaking the lamp and some have solar panels to recharge a battery.
In addition to the well known, general-purpose hand-held flashlight, other forms have been adapted for special uses. Head or helmet-mounted flashlights designed for miners and campers leave the hands free. There are special flashlights that can be used underwater or in flammable atmospheres.
January 10, 1899 – British Inventor David Misell obtained U.S. Patent No. 617,592, assigned to American Electrical Novelty and Manufacturing Company. This electric device designed by Misell was powered by “D” batteries laid front to back in a paper tube with the light bulb and a rough brass reflector at the end. The company donated some of these devices to the New York City police, who responded well to them.
HOW OF OBSERVE
Use #NationalFlashlightDay to post on social media.
Our research was unable to find the creator and origin of National Flashlight Day.
NATIONAL HOMELESS PERSONS’ REMEMBRANCE DAY
National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day is observed annually on the first day of Winter.
Because of media attention to such issues increases during the holiday season in December, National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day was in part created to garner a public forum for this issue, and local groups are encouraged to seek out and work with their local media outlets to publicize the event.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Local groups across the country are encouraged first to determine the number of homeless persons in their community who died in the previous year and then arrange a ceremony to remember them. Candlelight marches, vigils, graveside services, plays and performances, religious services, and public policy advocacy are the suggested ways of remembering. Some groups have read publicly a list of names of the deceased. Use #HomelessPersons’RemembranceDay to post on social media.
Since 1990, the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council have sponsored National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day to bring attention to the plight of the nation’s homeless population and to encourage the public to act on their behalf.
National Coalition for the Homeless
2201 P St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037
202-462-4822; fax: 202-462-4823
There are over 1,200 national days. Don’t miss a single one. Celebrate Every Day with National Day Calendar!
About National Day Calendar
Founded in 2013 in the historic town of Mandan, North Dakota, National Day Calendar began as a kernel of curiosity that exploded into a growing collection of ways to Celebrate. Every Day, founder Marlo Anderson and his team seek out all the daily, weekly and monthly observations and celebrations to keep you up to date and informed. Through daily updates, social media, mobile applications and much more, National Day Calendar helps you #CelebrateEveryDay!