Happy National Meteor Day from the Holidaychicks.com. Meteor Day is celebrated every June 30th. Why it became a holiday, no one is quite sure. But it sure is a fun one to celebrate.
Have a meteor watching party. The summer months are the best. Invite your friends and family under the stars. Set out a blanket or some comfy chairs. Make sure you are as far away from city lights as possible. Check out some constellations, make a wish on a falling star. Make up a cocktail and give it a festive name. Check out some new Apps that can really help you explore the sky. Be creative. Get out under the stars and see what surprises the night sky can bring.
Not sure when the next meteor shower will happen? Check out the 2020-2021 Meteor Shower Calendar from the American Meteor Society.
Happy Meteor watching from the Holiday Chicks!
The Dragon Boat Festival is a traditional Chinese holiday in June that has numerous tales about its origin. The most popular one commemorates the life and death of Qu Yuan, a famous but controversial scholar who loyally served the King of Chu in the 3rd century BC. Court officials, wary of Qu Yuan's wisdom and intelligence, falsely accused him of conspiracy. As a result, the king exiled Qu Yuan, who then spent this time writing poems. He is known as China's first poet.
When the Qin State conquered the capital of Chu in 278 BC, Qu Yuan was so distraught that he committed suicide by jumping into the Miluo River. People of Chu who believed Qu Yuan to be an honorable man searched the river in their boats, beating drums and throwing rice into the water to keep evil spirits and fish away from his body, but they were not able to save him. The Dragon Boat Festival commemorates their attempts to rescue him.
The multi-day festival begins on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar (which is the reason some call it the Double Fifth Festival), This puts the time around the summer solstice and each year the dates change. Festivities include dragon boat races, eating special foods like zongzi (rice dumplings), and drinking realgar wine, entertainment, and games.
In the Republic of China, the festival was also celebrated as "Poet's Day" in honor of Qu Yuan. Other names for the festival are Double Fifth; Duanwu Festival; and Tuen Ng Jit,. Even though it was a cultural holiday in China for a long time, the Dragon Boat Festival was made a traditional holiday in 2008.
A dragon boat is a human-powered vessel that holds a team of 20 paddlers, a drummer, and a steers person. Boats may be brightly decorated and have a dragon's head in the front and a scaly tail at the end. *Sizes and lengths of dragon boats vary with some of the largest boats able to hold 80 paddlers (they must all be the same size to race). A sacred ceremony is held before the competition to bring the boat "to life". The goal, of course, is to be first boat to finish the race.
Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, and South Korea also hold Dragon Boat Festivals, based on the Chinese festival, but with their own special differences.
World Rainforest Day was first observed on June 22, 2017. It was started by the Rainforest Partnership, an environmental collective, to raise awareness, regenerate, and protect rainforests.
Most people have heard of rainforests, but may not realize their importance to life on earth. Twenty percent (20%) of the oxygen we breathe and the freshwater we drink comes from the Amazon rainforest alone. Rainforests are also home to half the world's animal and plant species.
But - rainforests are being destroyed - primarily by humans at an alarming rate. Logging, mining, cattle ranching, industrial development, commercial fishing, bio-piracy and smuggling (plants and animals), and large dams contribute to the mass destruction.
Some may be surprised to learn that there are rainforests in the United States. Most are temperate rainforests, meaning they are in the temperate zone (areas with mild climates that do not experience extremes in cold or heat) and receive heavy rainfall. Tropical rainforests are located near the equator between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. There is only one tropical rainforest in the United States.
Tongass National Forest in Alaska is the largest rainforest, as well as the largest national forest in the US. It includes Glacier Bay National Park and covers 16.9 million acres in the southeastern part of the state.
Chugach National Forest in Alaska is one-third the size of Tongass, but it is one of the largest national forests in the country. Located 500 miles south of the Arctic Circle, Chugach runs from Prince William Sound to Kenai Peninsula. This forest is part of the Iditarod National Historic Trail.
Hoh Rainforest located in Olympic National Park, Washington state is the most famous rainforest in the lower 48 states and has been called the "quietest place in the USA". The other rainforests in Olympic National Park are located in the Quinault, Queets, and Bogachiel valleys. The town of Forks, Washington - the setting for the popular Twilight Saga series - is also located in Olympic National Park.
El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico (a commonwealth of the USA) is the only tropical rainforest in the US. It has been protected as a federal forest reserve for more than 100 years. It is home to animal and plant species that are not found in the contiguous US.
Learn more about the earth's rainforests and how you can help preservation efforts by watching this recorded film from a World Rainforest Day live stream.
Happy Father’s Day!!!
Father’s Day is celebrated in the US, the United Kingdom and many countries around the world on the 3rd Sunday in June.
“It is not flesh and blood, but the heart which makes us fathers and sons or daughters.” -Johann Friedrich Von Schiller
On Father’s Day we honor fathers, father figures, step-fathers, fathers-in-law, grandfathers or great grand-fathers. We celebrate any male figure that has made a significant contribution to a child’s life. Being a father is not about biology- Love is all you need to be a good father figure!
Strangely enough, it’s a rather modern holiday.
The first observed Father’s Day was in 1908. It was to commemorate fathers who lost their lives in a terrible mine collapse in West Virginia.
In 1919 Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane, Washington. It was started by Sonara Smart Dodd. Her father, Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, raised 6 children by himself.
His daughter believed that if there was a Mother’s Day, then there should be a Father’s Day. She spent many years spreading the word and celebrating this holiday to commemorate her Dad.
Father’s Day did not really catch on till after WWII. People were distrustful of it and thought that it was a ploy of the gift industry to get people to spend their hard-earned money. As years passed after the war, commemorating fathers seemed to become a more popular idea.
Making it a holiday
*1916 - President Woodrow Wilson tried to establish Father’s Day as a recurring holiday but was defeated.
*1924 - President Calvin Coolidge tried also to make Father’s Day a national holiday. No go.
*1966 - President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the 1st Presidential proclamation honoring fathers and designating the 3rd Sunday of June as Father’s Day.
*1972 President Richard M. Nixon signed Father’s Day into law and made it a permanent national holiday.
Interesting ways to Celebrate
*Barbecues or a Party
*Special Church Services
*Trips to Cemeteries
Interesting Facts about Father’s Day:
*As of 2016 there are over 70 million dads in the U.S., with over 190,000 stay-at-home Dads. That is a lot of Dads to celebrate with, not even including adoptive Dads, or Dads who have passed away. That is really quite a lot of celebrating- the Holiday Chicks love to celebrate!!!!!
*1967 Frank Sinatra and his daughter, Nancy Sinatra recorded the song “Something Stupid.” They were the 1st father - daughter team to reach number one on the billboard charts.
*In 1963 before he was assassinated, President John F. Kennedy was nominated Father of the Year by the National Father’s Day Committee. He had two children Caroline (1957) and John (1960.)
*My Hubby says Father's Day is an official day to display your U.S. Flag. Go and fly the stars and stripes.
Take time to thank the men who have influenced your life in positive ways!
Happy Father's Day to All from the Holiday Chicks.
Happy Father's Day Pop! I'll be playing some Frank Sinatra today for your enjoyment in heaven. I love you. You were a wonderful Father.
Barbara here. Thanks, Monika for this lovely post I just want to add my Happy Father's Day wishes as well and pay tribute to my own dad, Walter, who crossed in 2018. Here is an excerpt of something I wrote about him:
"Dad was a kind, gentle man who valued education, taught us good sportsmanship, and took us to all kinds of events and locations that had historical merit (I based a travel show I created on going to those types of places with my family).
Dad welcomed everyone, regardless of where they were from, what they looked like, and what they had - and if they didn’t have much, he was first to help in whatever way he could, even if it meant he would then go without. He was a generous soul who gave things to others for the joy of it, not because he ever expected (or wanted) anything in return.
Dad had a deep love for family and animals. Everyone who knew him loved him. Once when my daughter was four, we went to Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole near Lake Placid, NY. During our chat with Santa, my father’s name somehow came up and Santa happily went on to tell me what a great guy my dad was! It turned out they had known each other in some capacity I now forget, but Santa clearly thought the world of my dad. That's the kind of man he was."
- Barbara 🙃
The Summer Solstice 2020 officially occurs in the Northern Hemisphere at 5:43 PM (EDT) on Saturday, June 20. Celebrated between June 20 and 22 (most often on the 21st), the solstice marks the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere (Summer Solstice) and the shortest day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere (Winter Solstice). It is the time when the sun reaches its zenith in the sky (Northern Hemisphere).
The Summer Solstice is thought of as the first day of summer in North America, but in many countries in Europe and Scandinavia, it is considered midsummer. That is also true for pagan cultures and those who follow the of the Wheel of the Year.
Litha / Midsummer
Litha (pronounced LEE-thuh), or Midsummer, celebrates the power of the sun and the Deities of the Summer Solstice. It is a time of light and heat.
Celebrations include festivals, bonfires, flowers, herbs, and honoring the Oak King who rules the first half of the year before giving way to the Holly King for the remainder of the year.
A Midsummer's Eve tradition is to stay up all night, bonfires blazing, and wait for the sun to rise.
Druids and pagans have gathered at scared places to welcome the sun for ages. This year, the popular Summer Solstice gathering at Stonehenge in England will be live streamed on Facebook for all who wish to join in. Click the link above to go to their FB Live event.
Midsummer is especially popular in Sweden. It marks the beginning of summer and is one of the country's most important holidays. Celebrations there include making flower wreaths for display and to wear as a headdress, dancing around the Midsummer Pole, singing songs, and feasting on special food and drink.
Decorate your table, altar, or a special space with the colors of Green, Gold, Yellow, and Red. Summer flowers, seashells, candles, a chalice of water, and an athame (ceremonial knife).
Some of the Gods and Goddesses associated with Litha are Pan, Apollo, Ra, Osiris, Juno, Hera, Isis, Ishtar, and Inanna.
Creatures of Litha are Honeybees, Fairies, Sprites, and Fireflies.
Special stones include Emerald, Carnelian, Citrine, Topaz, Smokey Quartz, and Jade.
Foods should include all summer fruits and vegetables, honey, mead, and herbs.
Sending all Solstice Blessings from the Holiday Chicks.
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, commemorates the liberation of all remaining enslaved people in the Confederacy.
On June 19, 1865 - two and a half years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, Major General Gordon Granger led a regiment of Union soldiers to Galveston, Texas to read and enforce General Order Number 3, which begins with these words:
"The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free."
The Order was met with mixed reactions. Texans who had long rebelled against abolishing slavery were surprised and upset. Newly freed slaves rejoiced at the news and referred to this celebratory day as "Juneteenth", which has since become the nation's oldest commemoration of the end of slavery.
In 1980, Texas became the first state to declare Juneteenth an official holiday.
Juneteenth has evolved through the years to become a national day of pride and respect for African American heritage, culture, and tradition. While it is still not an official national holiday, it is observed as a holiday in 47 states and support is strong and growing to make it happen nationwide..
Commemorate this day by learning more about African American History, Important and Notable People of Color throughout history, the Black Lives Matter movement, African and Black culture, food, and traditions.
Juneteenth readings from the NY Times June 19, 2020.
Genealogists who are tracing the lineage of descendants of slaves may find helpful information in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, an ongoing, multi-team international research project.
June is National Zoos and Aquariums Month! In 1982, President Ronald Regan declared June as the month to honor the nation’s zoos and aquariums for the work they do in education, conservation, research, and other programs that help us understand animals and their habitats.
Many also help rescue and rehabilitate injured wild birds, animals, and marine life before releasing them back into the wild (whenever possible).
Ways you can celebrate: visit a zoo or aquarium virtually, sponsor an animal or rescue effort, learn about a creature you like, learn about conservation - and how pollution harms habitats, volunteer to help.
Jellyfish at the NC Aquarium, Fort Fisher
Happy Flag Day! 🇺🇸.
Flags are a popular decoration in my house. My husband loves them. His favorite gifts are flags or red, white and blue decorated gifts.
When I asked him, he said, “I love the colors. It’s makes me happy. It’s very cheerful." He had his favorite flag out for Flag Day. (My last years b-day gift to him.) He actually keeps a list of all flag flying holidays on our fridge.
Flag Day is a special holiday at our house.
The current US flag design has been with us since 1960.
The Second Continental Congress adopted the 1st flag on June 14, 1777.
Flag Day became an actual holiday, established by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, Celebrated on June 14th every year.
How to Celebrate:
Here’s a chance to celebrate our colors.
*Don some red, white and blue clothing.
*Make a patriotic snack.
Blueberries, strawberries and marshmallows make an awesome parfait.
*Have a barbecue.
*Hang your flag out. (that's an easy way to partake in the holiday)
*Give the family a quick history lesson.
Did you know that when a new state was added to the Union a new flag was designed. The new flag would be introduced on the first 4th of July after the state had been ratified. Hawaii was our last state to join our union in 1960.
Show your patriotism. The flag reminds us all we are one county. United in our love for it. Despite our many disagreements.
Get out there. Wave your flag. It really does give you a rush of pride. 🇺🇸🇺🇸😁 #flagday #holidaychicks#americanflag #juneblessings.
June 14th is National Bourbon Day. 🥃 Drink it straight or on the rocks. Or try an Old Fashioned Cocktail. Grab a highball glass, sugar cube, angostura bitters, a few drops of water, 2 oz bourbon, ice cubes and stir. Garnish with a cherry or orange slice. Relax with some great music. Maybe some Jazz. Bourbon and Jazz go so well together. 🥃🥃 There are so many delicious ways to celebrate with this magical spirit called Bourbon. #nationalbourbonday #bourbon #bourbonwhiskey #holidaychicks #holidaychicks.com. #oldfashionedcocktail #juneblessings
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