National Button Day on November 16th celebrates the function of buttons and the hobby of button collection. Buttons are so commonly found in our clothing that we tend to take them for granted. Buttons have various functions other than just keeping our clothes perfectly together, not denying that it is an important function. They have been used for decorative and gaming purposes as well.
Some people just like to collect buttons for their sparkle and cuteness and others collect signature buttons that have been somehow important to them. There are thousands of button collectors in the United States. Crafters across the country utilize buttons in creative ways. They are some of the best at finding new uses for old items.
Buttons come in different materials, patterns, designs, and sizes. Buttons have been made of a variety of materials. Ancient buttons were formed from natural and readily available substances such as stone, shell, bone, clay, or wood. In more modern times, metals, plastics, resins, and acrylics have been used. While buttons were created to fasten two pieces of cloth together, they also served as decoration.
While buttons today can be simple disks with two or four holes allowing a needle and thread to pass through, button makers create more elaborate designs. If you can imagine it, there’s probably a button like it. From animals and food to iconic buildings and famous people, button makers make them. They’re colorful and fun. While the fun ones may be less practical, they still function.
The origin of buttons can be traced back to 2800 BC where shells were used for making ornaments and seals. However, the buttonholes with buttons as fasteners first emerged in Germany and from there, spread throughout Europe. The buttons were made using the popular materials available during that period. Today, we see buttons mostly made of plastic, metal, wood, or seashells.
Why National Button Day?
The National Button Society was founded after the Hobbies Magazine conducted a hobby show in 1938 and found many participants to be button collectors and thus the National Button Day. Both novice and advanced button collectors celebrate the enjoyment of collecting on this day.
The appeal of buttons is clear. They come in every shape, color and style, from pearly white shirt buttons, to ornate Victorian affairs, to cute fastenings shaped like insects and animals. Any outfit can be updated by adding the right buttons, and sewing them on is one of the easiest types of needlework to learn. And they don’t just belong near buttonholes, either. Clusters of buttons can be used to decorate almost everything, and even on their own in jars they are delightful to handle, play with and admire. Some collect them, but most just lose them. Regardless, nearly everyone seems to love them, or at least regard them with fascination.
In case you may be thinking that buttons do not deserve their own holiday, try to imagine what life would be like without them. Sure, we have zippers and velcro, but could you imagine velcro down the front of your elegant blouse? Of course not!
A Short History of Buttons
It took the buttonhole to popularize the button in medieval Europe. Buttonholes were invented by Moorish tailors as a means of fastening garments and adopted in Europe in the 13th century. Then buttons became so prominent that in some places sumptuary laws were passed putting limits on their use. The earliest evidence comes from 13th-century German sculptures, which show tunics featuring six buttons running from neck to waist.
Buttons in fourteenth century Europe were hand-made in beautiful shapes and colors. They were both costly and decorative and used to boost the ego and attract attention. John Brandon, for example, who died in 1384, was shown with 40 buttons on the sleeve of his undervest alone.
The wearing of gold, silver, and ivory buttons in fourteenth century Europe was an indication of wealth and rank. Expensive buttons were also made of copper and its alloys. The metalsmith frequently embellished such buttons with insets of ivory, tortoiseshell, and jewels.
There was a button mania in the late Middle Ages, resulting, in some outfits adorned with thousands of buttons, all of them with accompanying buttonholes. Dressing and undressing became a laborious process, but created a niche for the employment of professional dressers.
In the 15th or 16th century someone discovered that a loop slipped over a button, or a button pushed through a slit in the cloth, made a better fastener for the close-fitting garments that were coming into style. For some time, however, the chief use continued to be ornamental.
The asymmetrical fastening of jackets of the wrap over style came into fashion in China during the 15th and 16th centuries and was worn by men and women, royalty and peasants. It was the material and the buttons that showed rank. Peasants wore rough cloth fastened with anything that came to hand while the emperor wore silk and furs fastened with jewels.
In the 1700’s metal buttons were used and button covering was created. Metal threads were wound about a button in intricate patterns. Miniature scenes were painted on ivory or glass buttons. Some buttons were engraved and inlaid with silver.
Frederick the Great organised the buttons on soldiers’ coat sleeves being sewed on the top sides of their sleeves. This was to ensure that the soldiers would scratch their faces open every time they tried to wipe their noses on their tunics.
In the middle of the 18th century, Matthew Boulton, the English manufacturer and partner of James Watt, introduced the bright, costly, cut-steel button, which was made by attaching polished steel facets to a steel blank. Matthew Boulton built the Soho manufactory near Birmingham. The factory produced small metal articles such as gilt and silver buttons and buckles.
Noting the abundance of pearl mussels in the nearby Mississippi River, German immigrant J.F. Boepple, founded a pearl button company in 1884 Muscatine, Iowa He produced buttons that looked like pearls by machine-punching them from freshwater mussel shells harvested from the Mississippi River. His button-making factory grew to be the largest manufacturer of pearl buttons in the world. From that time forward, Muscatine was known as “The Pearl Button Capital of the World”.
Celebrating Button Day
Take some time on this day to either go though your existing button collection or start a new one, and enjoy Button Day to the fullest! Who knows, perhaps you possess in your collection an antique button that’s been passed down for so long that you’ve never stopped to think about where it came from. Keep your eyes open! Every now and them someone discovers a treasure that had just been sitting around collecting dust at their home. And even if you don’t, an all you have is regular buttons, don’t worry and just enjoy an afternoon looking at the pretty, shiny little things. At the end of the day, people are animals, and there’s nothing animals like better than something pretty and shiny.
- Take a trip down memory lane.
Do you remember your grandmother or your mother snipping the buttons off shirts headed for the rag basket? Those buttons often collected in jars or tins. Maybe you even played games or strung them for ornaments and crafts. The buttons were fun to stack into piles, sort by color or size, or scatter and slide across the floor or table making up different games each time.
- Begin a button collection.
If you like buttons and didn’t have a chance to collect buttons before, you can observe the day, by collecting your first set of buttons either from your old shirts or get a few nice ones from the store!
- Show your button collection on Social Media
If you have already been collecting Buttons share your collection on Social Media using the following hashtags: #NationalButtonDay and #ButtonDay
- Craft your way with buttons!
If you love designing or making crafts, use buttons to make a unique craft today! You could make anything from greeting cards, posts to toys depending on the colors and size of the buttons! You may look up the internet for other activities too.
- Learn to sew a button!
Another best and productive way to celebrate your love for buttons is by learning to sew on of them. You never know, when this skill might come in handy!
- Play a game with buttons
Play a game with buttons, such as tic tac toe or even checkers. You can also have a contest as to who can build the tallest stack of buttons, or who can flick buttons into paper cups from the farthest distance.
- Visit a buttons museum
Use this day to visit a local museum that displays their button collection! A few museums have an online display too such as the Victoria & Albert Museum, Hammond Turner & Sons, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian among many others.
Interesting Facts About Buttons
Men shirts have buttons placed on their right and the women have buttons placed on the left. There is a difference because mostly men dressed themselves using their right hands and the wealthy women were usually dressed with the help of maidens and the left side position of the buttons was necessary for doing it easily. The pattern is still followed today!
- In the ancient days, buttons were used as ornaments rather than as fasteners.
- The oldest ever button is found in Pakistan.
- The Waterbury Button Company has been the largest button manufacturer since 1812.
- New York is home to the largest button in the world.
- Joseph Coors Jr. created the indestructible diamond Z button which obviously must last longer and expensive.
- Before the 13th century, the use of buttons to fasten your clothing was taken as an indication that you led a loose life.
- Francis 1st of France (1494-1547) had 13,600 gold buttons on a single coat, which he wore when meeting King Henry VIII of England.
- King Louis XIV had a coat with 123 diamond buttons on it.
- Today, 60 per cent of the world’s buttons are made in one Chinese town, Qiaotou, which churns out 15 billion buttons a year.
- 1 in 75,000 people suffer from koumpounophobia, the fear of buttons.
- During World War II, Canada gave out buttons to people who tried to enlist but were refused due to medical reasons to show their willingness to fight.
Buttons are incredible little tokens much like coins or rocks that can be used for a plethora of fun and useful witchy crafts. They’re small, portable, wearable, transferable, and can be made easily or found for very little money at most thrift stores and craft shops!
Who knew buttons are magickal little tools? Our ancestors did, of course! Did your grandmother or aunt keep a tin or container of random buttons? Mine did and gifted to me. At the time, I wondered why a tin of buttons was so important. Now I know. If you were blessed with a tin of buttons from your family, keep it and make use of it!
- Ancestral work!
If anyone in your family has sewed they probably have a box/jar/tin of sewing supplies left around with some buttons in it! Use these on ancestral altars to again create that connection.
- Friendship spells!
Buttons are a kind of clasp or connection, therefore using buttons in spells for bonding can symbolize a connection, or clasp, of two or more people!
- A Button Magick Charm Necklace
Back in the day our ancestors collected and saved buttons. If you have a collection of buttons, you can make a magickal button necklace. Or what was once called a wishing necklace. For each button you string onto the necklace, pray over it your intention. Different colors for different intentions, etc. Make it fun and be creative!
Often buttons are used for eyes on dolls and stuffed animals and placing a button in front of you during a divination ritual can help you visualize and therefore open your third eye.
- Elemental Buttons
Buttons of certain materials can be used to harken back to certain elements, like clay or wooden buttons for Earth, or shell buttons for water.
- Altar Decorations
Buttons can be used as altar decorations, and larger buttons can act as tiny plates, display stands, or bases for mini offerings!
- Button Magic With Bags and Bottles
Buttons are great to add to shaker jars. When you shake the jar, they make awesome sounds! For me, part of the allure of a shaker jar is not only the prayer while shaking, but the sensory stimulation. The sounds release energy along with your prayers.
Also, buttons can be added to spell bottles and bags. Again, choose colors and styles matching your intentions. Think of the button’s job in the spell as “buttoning” up the situation.
Draw or paint sigils on the back of buttons with a sharpie and seal with some clear glue/resin. Sew them onto your shirt, bag, or thread them to wear as jewelry!
- A Declaration of Love
Japanese male students often confess their love to a female by giving them the second button from the top of their school uniform. The second button is the one closest to the heart.
Sewing Buttons With Intention
- To attract money – attach the button with the letter Z with a diagonal strip to the other side.
- For many fans – the stitches should be in the form of an hourglass: two horizontal stripes and the letter X in the middle.
- To strengthen friendship – an equal sign;
- Success in creativity – the letter A.
- Success in business – letter Z;
- Harmony with the outside world – a square;
- Gaining developed intuition – two vertical stripes;
- Health promotion – the cross;
- Increase of well-being – a cross and two verticals;
- For gaining passionate love – a cross and a square.
Buttons and the superstitions surrounding them are fascinating. While we tend to think very little about these ancient fasteners, our recent ancestors had a lot to say about the magick in buttons.
For example, it is believed that you cannot sew a button “on yourself” so as not to sew up the mind and memory . As an antidote, it is recommended to clamp a thread or other object between your teeth, even a piece of clothing.
Another belief says that sewing buttons on right before the New Year is not the best idea. Better to wait until the next day.
If you are preparing to meet a person who is unpleasant for you, then fasten all your buttons as tightly as possible. The buttons will work like a talisman and protect from any negativity coming your way.
Losing a button from your shoe is bad luck. The only way to get rid of the bad luck is to either spit in your left shoe or spit over your left shoulder.
Most people know that it is bad luck to do up buttons incorrectly. Fortunately, the remedy is easy; all you need to do is undo the buttons, take off the item of clothing, put it on again, and then do up the buttons correctly.
It is good luck to do up an odd number of buttons. If your garment has three buttons, for instance, you can do up either one or all three of them. However, if your garment has two buttons, you should do up the top button only, or leave the garment unbuttoned.
A seventeenth-century rhyme used for counting cherry stones, daisy petals, and other small objects was sometimes recited with buttons. Young women could count the buttons on their clothing to determine whom they would marry.
Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor,
Rich man, poor man, beggerman, thief.
Like counting flower petals, girls would grab a handful of buttons and count them out to the “He loves me, He loves me not” chant. The last button gives the answer.
Make a wish over a button and throw it into a well. The well fairies like buttons and are said to grant wishes in exchange for a button or two.
- Should you find yourself sewing a button for a bachelor, you will marry him within the year.
- Putting old buttons on a new coat was considered bad luck.
- If a button pops off on a business suit, your luck in business is about to change.
- If three buttons fall off a garment, expect a funeral in the near future.
- A coat with eight buttons brings good luck.
- If someone is spreading lies about you, bite the top button of your shirt and the liar will get a blister on his tongue.
- Gifting buttons is to gift good luck. It brings the receiver good fortune.
The semantic meaning of the word “button” in Russia for many centuries consisted in the verb “scare”. The accessory, in addition to its utilitarian function, played the role of a talisman and served to scare off hostile forces. In the omen about the black cat that crossed the road, to neutralize the negative, you had to take the button and continue on your way. It was believed that this amulet would not allow anything bad to happen.
What does it mean to find a button?
Just because you come across a button, it doesn’t mean that you should pick it up. Everyone must decide for themselves, pick up a button or leave it on the road. A superstitious person will certainly pay attention to the number of holes.
Buttons with one or two holes should be left where they are. Especially destructive is the finding of a button with traces of thread still attached. Popular beliefs warn of imminent misfortunes for the one who appropriated this accessory, because all the illnesses and adversities of the previous owner will go to the one who picked it up.
An important factor will be the color scheme, which suggests that you can pick up only a button with four holes of any color except black.
If found on the street, then this is a good sign. This button portends luck in any undertakings, an easy way to fulfill wishes, the possibility of pleasant changes in life. Sometimes it is interpreted as a prediction of a long journey.
A button found in another busy place is also a good sign: on the verge of a change in life and a high appreciation of professionalism. It was also said that if you find a button while undertaking your daily tasks it is a sign that you’ll make a new friend.
If you find a button on the ground, and decide to pick it up and put it in your pocket, you will have good luck for as many days as the button has holes.
- Green is money.
- White is joy.
- Red is love.
- Blue is success.
- Black is grief.
If you came across a black button in your path, you should NEVER pick it up! It was a sign of bad luck or a curse.
It is especially lucky to find a button with four holes. If you find one, you can count on good news, and if the color of the button is white or green, then in addition to good news, you can expect cash receipts.
Finding buttons also holds different meanings based on which day of the month the button crossed your path.
- A finding in the first seven days of the month means that recognition of the person’s professional merits and his appointment to a new position is soon expected.
- In the second week – it promises good luck in love;
- In the third week – serves as a promise of change in personal life;
- At the end of the month – the possibility of large purchases and unexpected finds.
If a button with two holes is found – you should expect good news related to family or work. Possible unexpected financial receipts or a fundamental change in bachelor status.
On the road lies a talisman with four holes – a series of pleasant events and news awaits a person, and if you sew it in a secret place, the button will work to attract whatever is desired.
If you really want to pick up someone’s loss, pay attention to its color . According to popular beliefs, it predicts joyful or sad events that await in the near future:
If the button is still in the hands, then you can not keep it in your pocket – this will lead to a quarrel between friends or relatives. It is better to sew it on the wrong side of the garment, so that it will be closer to the heart, but invisible to others. Sewn in a special way, it will serve as a talisman, as many centuries ago.
More Things To Do With Buttons
There’s no need to let the buttons on worn-out clothes go to waste! Whenever you can, snip them off, and start a collection.
A great place to come across interesting button is at the thrift shop. You may have to cut them off a given piece of clothing, but when you’re getting something unique for your collection, who really cares?
The buttons you collect can be used for many different things, like repairing clothes with missing buttons. But that’s not all! Buttons are an excellent source of craft ideas. You’d be amazed at how many delightfully cute gadgets can be made and/or decorated using buttons, such as picture frames, clocks, purses and bags, headbands, costume jewelry, lamp shades, and even shoes!
When you decorate with buttons, you can be 100% sure that whatever you make will be completely unique, and that nobody else in the world will have the same look as you do. And if you’re not quite feeling up to arts and crafts, remember that buttons can simply be a joy in and of themselves, if even just to look at. Children can enjoy examining buttons as well, but if you do decide to give your button collection to your child to look at, make sure he or she is old enough to know better than to put them in his or her mouth, because neglecting to do that could result in a tragedy.
- National Day Calendar
- Strange Ago
- Encyclopedia of Superstitions
- National Days Today
- January Witch
- Encyclopedia of Trivia
October 23 is Slap Your Irritating Co-Worker Day! How fun is that? This is the day each year when those who have an irritating coworker don’t have to hold back, and have an excuse to slap the person they just can’t stand.
The creators of the day seem to imply that it is perfectly acceptable to really get into the day, but we think maybe the day should be taken a little tongue-in-cheek. In what ways may a co-worker be irritating?
- Maybe they talk nonstop.
- Maybe they act like they think you’re stupid.
- Maybe they constantly mess things up and create more work for other people.
- Maybe they are a constant suck up to the boss.
- Maybe they can’t keep their noses out of your personal life.
- Maybe they are so unpleasant no one can stand being in the same room with them.
Whatever it is that makes them irritating, they better watch out, because today they are going to get slapped.
How do you observe this really fun and interesting day? You could celebrate the day by slapping your irritating co-workers. But wait just one minute, even slapping has rules!
- Only one person can be slapped per hour.
- If you slap someone and they do something irritating again, you can slap them again.
- The irritating person can be held down while other co-workers slap them.
- If you are questioned by your supervisor or others, it is acceptable to lie.
Some Fun Slap A Coworker Day Activities
- Watch a Three Stooges marathon
Without a doubt, you can’t dissect the science of slapping without the Three Stooges. It is reported that Moe slapped Larry so much that one side of Larry’s face felt like leather. (You definitely have to build up to that much slapping.) So, after you survive yet another day of torture with that most obnoxious of coworkers who sits two cubes over, enjoy back-to-back episodes of one of the funniest trios in film.
- Perfect your slapping technique
Before you go into work, make sure you are ready to administer the most effective slap possible. You have, in fact, been flexing your hand muscles regularly in anticipation — and the day has finally arrived. Decide on the forehand slap, backhand slap or five finger slap. National Slap Your Annoying Coworker Day is rife with possibilities.
- Train others on how to give a good slap
Since it’s National Slap Your Annoying Coworker Day, don’t keep all the fun to yourself. Spread the joy around. During the next break, train a group of your favorite coworkers on all the possible slapping scenarios. Help them with their coordination because there’s nothing worse than winding up to slap somebody and missing the mark.
The Mothman Festival is an annual gathering commemorating the visit of the mysterious entity known only as “The Mothman.”
This event is held every third weekend in September that commemorates the 1966 Point Pleasant, West Virginia Mothman sighting, which gave birth to the infamous red-eyed winged legend. People from all over the world gather to celebrate their favorite cryptid during this one of a kind event.
A Terrifying Tale
In November 1966, gravediggers working in a cemetery in Clendenin, West Virginia, spotted a strange, man-like figure in the trees above their heads.
A few days later, two young couples from Point Pleasant reported being chased by a large creature with 10-foot wings whose eyes “glowed red” while driving near a former military munitions site outside town.
Sightings of what area newspapers dubbed the “Mothman” continued throughout the next year, oftentimes leaving witnesses with a deep sense of dread. Many locals believed the Mothman lived in a vacant nuclear power plant outside Point Pleasant, perhaps the escaped product of some secret government experiment.
The sightings came to an abrupt halt in December 1967, however, after a horrific tragedy in Point Pleasant. The Silver Bridge—which carried U.S. Route 35 over the Ohio River—collapsed on under the weight of heavy rush hour traffic, killing 46 people.
The fact that the collapse was later attributed to a faulty suspension chain didn’t stop the conspiracy theories. In 1975, writer John Keel wrote a book titled The Mothman Prophecies linking the bridge collapse with the Mothman sightings. In it, Keel suggested that the sightings were actually bad omens about the impending bridge collapse.
In 2002 the book was turned into a movie starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney, and the spooky West Virginia legend exploded onto the national stage.
The small town of Point Pleasant fully embraced its most famous resident, welcoming the annual Mothman Festival in 2002, installing a 12-foot metallic statute of the creature in 2003, and opening the Mothman Museum and Research Center in 2005.
And in the news…
POINT PLEASANT, WV (WCHS/WVAH) — Hunters in Mason County may need to be on the lookout for something other than deer when they hit the woods this week.
The Point Pleasant Mothman is a local legend that over the years has gained worldwide fame.
There hadn’t been any recent sightings of the red-eyed creature recently, but that changed Sunday evening, when a man who says he was driving along State Route 2 saw something jump from tree to tree. He pulled off the road and snapped some pictures.
The man declined an on-camera interview, but was adamant the pictures had not been doctored. He said he recently moved to Point Pleasant for work and didn’t even know about the legend.
In the pictures, the creature appears to have wings with pointed tips and long legs, bent at an awkward angle.
Point Pleasant locals such as Carolin Harris believe the pictures could be real because there have been so many other sighting over the years.
“I definitely know the Mothman is real,” Harris said.
Harris has owned The Mothman Diner in Point Pleasant for 48 years. She also helped start the Mothman Festival. Harris said there have been too many sightings of the Mothman for her not to believe.
“First responders and the sheriff’s department that I talked to definitely made a believer out of me.” Harris said.
Some believe The Mothman is a bad omen, only appearing when catastrophe is about to strike. There have been many claims the winged, red-eyed creature was seen right before the Point Pleasant Silver Bridge collapsed in 1967.
Harris has met many Mothman believers over the years who visit her diner.
On Monday, Karen and Ralph Smith were patrons at the diner. The couple was traveling from Florida to Pennsylvania, but decided to stop off in Point Pleasant to visit the Mothman Museum.
Karen Smith said she hopes she can add herself into the “believer” category.
“You have eyewitnesses. It does have the potential to be real, and I want to believe,” Smith said.
The Smiths said the Mothman pictures look real to them. So Eyewitness News asked Jeff Wamsley, the local Mothman expert and owner of the Mothman Museum.
Wamsley said with modern technology, it’s almost impossible to know for sure if the pictures are real.
Whether the pictures are real or not, the benefits the legend of the Mothman brings to the town of Point Pleasant are very real.
“It’s a good thing. It brings lots of people to the area. He’s here to stay,” Harris said.
The Wikipedia Story
On November 15, 1966, two young couples from Point Pleasant, Roger and Linda Scarberry and Steve and Mary Mallette, told police they saw a large grey creature whose eyes “glowed red” when the car’s headlights picked it up. They described it as a “large flying man with ten-foot wings”, following their car while they were driving in an area outside of town known as “the TNT area”, the site of a former World War II munitions plant.
During the next few days, other people reported similar sightings. Two volunteer firemen who saw it said it was a “large bird with red eyes”. Mason County Sheriff George Johnson commented that he believed the sightings were due to an unusually large heron he termed a “shitepoke”.
Contractor Newell Partridge told Johnson that when he aimed a flashlight at a creature in a nearby field its eyes glowed “like bicycle reflectors”, and blamed buzzing noises from his television set and the disappearance of his German Shepherd dog on the creature.
Wildlife biologist Robert L. Smith at West Virginia University told reporters that descriptions and sightings all fit the sandhill crane, a large American crane almost as high as a man with a seven-foot wingspan featuring circles of reddish coloring around the eyes. The bird may have wandered out of its migration route, and therefore was unrecognized at first because it was not native to this region.
Folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand notes that Mothman has been widely covered in the popular press, some claiming sightings connected with UFOs, and others claiming that a military storage site was Mothman’s “home”.
Brunvand notes that recountings of the 1966–67 Mothman reports usually state that at least 100 people saw Mothman with many more “afraid to report their sightings” but observed that written sources for such stories consisted of children’s books or sensationalized or undocumented accounts that fail to quote identifiable persons.
Brunvand found elements in common among many Mothman reports and much older folk tales, suggesting that something real may have triggered the scares and became woven with existing folklore. He also records anecdotal tales of Mothman supposedly attacking the roofs of parked cars occupied by teenagers.
Conversely, Joe Nickell says that a number of hoaxes followed the publicity generated by the original reports, such as a group of construction workers who tied flashlights to helium balloons. Nickell attributes the Mothman stories to sightings of barn owls, suggesting that the Mothman’s “glowing eyes” were actually red-eye effect caused from the reflection of light from flashlights or other bright light sources.
Benjamin Radford points out that the only report of glowing “red eyes,” was secondhand, that of Shirley Hensley quoting her father.
According to University of Chicago psychologist David A. Gallo, 55 sightings of Mothman in Chicago during 2017 published on the website of self-described Fortean researcher Lon Strickler are “a selective sample”. Gallo explains that “he’s not sampling random people and asking if they saw the Mothman – he’s just counting the number of people that voluntarily came forward to report a sighting.” According to Gallo, “people more likely to visit a paranormal-centric website like Strickler’s might also be more inclined to believe in, and therefore witness the existence of, a ‘Mothman’.”
Some pseudoscience adherents (such as ufologists, paranormal authors, and cryptozoologists) claim that Mothman was an alien, a supernatural manifestation, or a previously unknown species of animal. In his 1975 book The Mothman Prophecies, author John Keel claimed that the Point Pleasant residents experienced precognitions including premonitions of the collapse of the Silver Bridge, unidentified flying object sightings, visits from inhuman or threatening men in black, and other phenomena.
Festival and Statues
Point Pleasant held its first Annual Mothman Festival in 2002. The Mothman Festival began after brainstorming creative ways for people to visit Point Pleasant. The group organizing the event chose the Mothman to be center of the festival due to its uniqueness, and as a way to celebrate its local legacy in the town.
According to the event organizer Jeff Wamsley, the average attendance for the Mothman is an estimated 10–12 thousand people per year. A 12-foot-tall metallic statue of the creature, created by artist and sculptor Bob Roach, was unveiled in 2003. The Mothman Museum and Research Center opened in 2005.
The festival is held on the third weekend of every September, hosting guest speakers, vendor exhibits, pancake-eating contests, and hayride tours of locally notable areas.
In June of 2020, a petition was started to replace all Confederate statues in the United States with statues of Mothman. As of July 2020, the petition has garnered over 2,000 signatures.
June 8th is World Oceans Day, a day to honor and protect the world’s oceans. We celebrate World Oceans Day to remind everyone of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. They are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe. It is the oceans which help to regulate our climate and ultimately are the source of all of our water, which is the reason we are able to exist.
Life emerges from salt water, both metaphorically speaking and literally Each person begins their Earthly incarnation swimming in their mother’s salty amniotic fluid. Ocean water is also used to signal rebirth in the next realm.
The purpose of the Day is to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world’s oceans. They are a major source of food and medicines and a critical part of the biosphere. In the end, it is a day to celebrate together the beauty, the wealth and the promise of the ocean.
Clearly, today is sacred to all deities of water and seas including Mananan, Poseidon, Neptune, La Sirene, Aegir, Oceanus, Yemaya, Kanaloa, and Agoueh, amongst many many others.
If you are by the sea, take some time to walk the beach and pick up any rubbish that you find, especially plastics.
An Ocean Spirit Wishing Spell
Address your request to Aphrodite, Poseidon, Yemaya, Sirene, Aegir, Neptune, or any other ocean spirit you choose. The request should be addressed specifically to someone. Don’t send out a generic request. Write your request on rice paper, or some other biodegradable paper. Launch it into the waves and await your response.
Important Facts About The Ocean
Just knowing about World Oceans Day is not enough for your some people to be able to grasp the whole concept of how important the ocean is for human survival. To encourage others to celebrate our oceans and strive to make a difference, you could share some fun facts on World Oceans Day and how important the oceans are:
- 97% of Earth’s water is in the oceans, which is home to more than 200, 000 known species and millions of unidentified organisms.
- The oceans purify the air we breathe by absorbing 30% of the carbon dioxide in the air, which also helps in reducing the effects of global warming and climate change.
- Oceans are the world’s largest source of protein, and more than 2.6 billion people depend on the oceans as their primary source of protein.
- 40% of the oceans of the world are today affected by human actions causing pollution, depletion of fisheries, loss of coral reefs and endangerment of marine species. Seven out of the 13 great whale species are endangered today.
- 13, 000, 000 tons of plastic leak into the ocean water each year. It has been predicted that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. Over 100, 000 marine wildlife animals are killed each year due to plastic contamination of the oceans.
It was Christmas week in Oakland, 1990. Steven Bloom was wandering through The Lot – that timeless gathering of hippies that springs up in the parking lot before every Grateful Dead concert – when a Deadhead handed him a yellow flyer.
“We are going to meet at 4:20 on 4/20 for 420-ing in Marin County at the Bolinas Ridge sunset spot on Mt. Tamalpais,” reads the message. Bloom, then a reporter for High Times magazine and now the publisher of CelebStoner.com and co-author of Pot Culture, had never heard of “420-ing” before.
Since then, April 20 has become an international counterculture holiday, where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis. Many such events have a political nature to them, advocating the liberalization / legalization of cannabis.
- Vivian McPeak, a founder of Seattle’s Hempfest states that 4/20 is “half celebration and half call to action”.
- Paul Birch calls it a global movement and suggests that one cannot stop events like these.
On this day many marijuana users protest in civil disobedience by gathering in public to smoke at 4:20 pm.
As marijuana continues to be decriminalized and legalized around the world, Steve DeAngelo, cannabis activist and founder of California’s Harborside Health Center, notes that “even if our activist work were complete, 420 morphs from a statement of conscience to a celebration of acceptance, a celebration of victory, a celebration of our amazing connection with this plant” and that he thinks that “it will always be worthy of celebration”.
The code often creeps into popular culture and mainstream settings. Nearly all of the clocks in the pawn shop scene in “Pulp Fiction,” for instance, are set to 4:20.
Pot smokers and cannabis lovers know that 4:20 is the time to smoke pot. They also know that 4/20 is international pot-smoking day. But not many people know why or how the number 420 became linked to pot smoking.
There are a few old tales which describe how this national holiday, and that special time of the day, became so iconic. Here’s everything we know about how 4/20 became more than a mid-April day.
You know who does know a thing or two about this? Larry “Ratso” Sloman, author of Reefer Madness: A History of Marijuana. The most accepted root of the high holiday starts with some high school kids in San Rafael, California, back in 1971.
Calling themselves the Waldos, because their typical hang-out spot “was a wall outside the school”, the five students (Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel, Larry Schwartz, and Mark Gravich) designated the Louis Pasteur statue on the grounds of San Rafael High School as their meeting place, and 4:20 pm as their meeting time.
The phrase started as “420 Louis,” meaning “at 4:20 meet by the Louis Pasteur statue outside the high school” and get high. Soon it was shortened to 420, and became a catchall phrase for marijuanna consumption.
It turns out one of these kids, had an older brother, Patrick, who was friends with Grateful Dead’s bassist, Phil Lesh. Patrick also managed a couple of Grateful Dead sidebands, Too Loose To Truck and the Sea Stones; they featured not only Lesh but rock legend David Crosby and acclaimed guitarist Terry Haggerty. Patrick tells the Huffington Post that he smoked with Lesh on numerous occasions. He couldn’t recall if he used the term 420 around him, but guessed that he must have.
The kids started getting high with the Grateful Dead at their rehearsal studio in San Rafael. “The Dead,” recalls Waldo Dave Reddix, “had this rehearsal hall on Front Street, San Rafael, California, and they used to practice there. So we used to go hang out and listen to them play music and get high while they’re practicing for gigs.”
The Waldos also had open access to Dead parties and rehearsals partly because Mark Waldo’s father took care of real estate for the Dead. “We’d go with [Mark’s] dad, who was a hip dad from the ‘60s,” says Steve. “There was a place called Winterland and we’d always be backstage running around or onstage and, of course, we’re using those phrases. When somebody passes a joint or something, ‘Hey, 420.’
“So it started spreading through that community. But I think it’s possible my brother Patrick might have spread it through Phil Lesh. And me, too, because I was hanging out with Lesh and his band [as a roadie] when they were doing a summer tour my brother was managing.”
“I started incorporating it into everything we were doing,” High Times editor Steve Hager told the Huffington Post. “I started doing all these big events – the World Hemp Expo Extravaganza and the Cannabis Cup – and we built everything around 420. The publicity that High Times gave it is what made it an international thing. Until then, it was relatively confined to the Grateful Dead subculture. But we blew it out into an international phenomenon.”
Sometime in the early ‘90s, High Times wisely purchased the web domain 420.com.
One day in the Fall of 1971 – harvest time – the Waldos got word of a Coast Guard service member who could no longer tend his plot of marijuana plants near the Point Reyes Peninsula Coast Guard station. A treasure map in hand, the Waldos decided to pluck some of this free bud.
The Waldos were all athletes and agreed to meet at the statue of Louis Pasteur outside the school at 4:20, after practice, to begin the hunt.
“We would remind each other in the hallways we were supposed to meet up at 4:20. It originally started out 4:20-Louis and we eventually dropped the Louis,” Waldo Steve tells the Huffington Post.
The first forays out were unsuccessful, but the group kept looking for the hidden crop. “We’d meet at 4:20 and get in my old ‘66 Chevy Impala and, of course, we’d smoke instantly and smoke all the way out to Pt. Reyes and smoke the entire time we were out there. We did it week after week,” says Steve. “We never actually found the patch.”
But they did find a useful codeword. “I could say to one of my friends, I’d go, 420, and it was telepathic. He would know if I was saying, ‘Hey, do you wanna go smoke some?’ Or, ‘Do you have any?’ Or, ‘Are you stoned right now?’ It was kind of telepathic just from the way you said it,” Steve says. “Our teachers didn’t know what we were talking about. Our parents didn’t know what we were talking about.”
The Waldos never envisioned that pot smokers the world over would celebrate each April 20th as a result of their foray into the Point Reyes forest. The day has managed to become something of a national holiday in the face of official condemnation.
Officials at the University of Colorado at Boulder and University of California, Santa Cruz, pushed back. “As another April 20 approaches, we are faced with concerns from students, parents, alumni, Regents, and community members about a repeat of last year’s 4/20 ‘event,’” wrote Boulder’s chancellor in a letter to students.
“On April 20, 2009, we hope that you will choose not to participate in unlawful activity that debases the reputation of your University and degree, and will encourage your fellow Buffs to act with pride and remember who they really are.”
But the Cheshire cat is out of the bag. Students and locals showed up at round four, lit up at 4:20 and were gone shortly thereafter. No bands, no speakers, no chants. Just a bunch of people getting together and getting stoned.
Depending on who you ask, or their state of inebriation, there are as many varieties of answers as strains of medical bud in California. It’s the number of active chemicals in marijuana. It’s teatime in Holland. It has something to do with Hitler’s birthday. It’s those numbers in that Bob Dylan song multiplied.
The origin of the term 420, celebrated around the world by pot smokers every April 20, has long been obscured by the clouded memories of the folks who made it a phenomenon.
- Some People Think Bob Dylan Has to Do With It
This one’s pretty simple. Bob Dylan’s got a song called “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35.” At some point, someone, presumably pretty stoned, was listening to ol’ Bob and realized that if you multiply 12 by 35, you get—you guessed it, 420.
Oh how nice this would be, to trace the high holiday back to one of the best artists to listen to while engaging in the devil’s lettuce. But alas, even though the song was recorded in 1966, well before the Waldos did their thing, it’s highly unlikely this is our one true source.
- There’s a Theory About the Actual Plant, Too
This one’s a shut and closed case, too. Although it has been stated that there are “more than 400 chemical compounds” in a cannabis plant, no one ever clearly stated that that number is 420.
- It’s Got Nothing to Do With Lawmen
This story was reported in a flyer: “420 started somewhere in San Rafael, California in the late ‘70s. It started as the police code for Marijuana Smoking in Progress. After local heads heard of the police call, they started using the expression 420 when referring to herb – Let’s Go 420, dude!”
That story referring to what police would say over the radio should they see you buying a baggie, is incorrect. Unfortunately that radio code is for homicide.
- The One About Congress?
Well, it’s not that the two aren’t related. In 2003, when the California legislature codified the medical marijuana law voters had approved, the bill was named SB420.
“We think it was a staffer working for [lead Assembly sponsor Mark] Leno, but no one has ever fessed up,” says Steph Sherer, head of Americans for Safe Access, which lobbied on behalf of the bill. California legislative staffers spoken to for this story say that the 420 designation remains a mystery, but that both Leno and the lead Senate sponsor, John Vasconcellos, are hip enough that they must have known what it meant.
- More Crazy Ideas
The remaining theories around 420 are so wild we might as well not even go into detail. Some think it’s named after the day Bob Marley died, but he died on May 11.
Some think it has something to do with Adolf Hitler’s birthday, but why the hell would that mean anything? (Even if it is his birthday.)
Lastly, some stoned-off-their-ass person once said April 20 is the best day to plant marijuana, but that very clearly depends on where you’re planting it.
What Happened To The Waldos?
The Waldos say that within a few years the term had spread throughout San Rafael and was cropping up elsewhere in the state. By the early ‘90s, it had penetrated deep enough that Dave and Steve started hearing people use it in unexpected places – Ohio, Florida, Canada – and spotted it painted on signs and etched into park benches.
In 1997, the Waldos decided to set the record straight and got in touch with High Times. “We never made a dime on the thing,” says Dave, half boasting, half lamenting.
He does take pride in his role, though. “I still have a lot of friends who tell their friends that they know one of the guys that started the 420 thing. So it’s kind of like a cult celebrity thing. Two years ago I went to the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam. High Times magazine flew me out,” says Dave.
Dave is now a credit analyst and works for Steve, who owns a specialty lending institution and lost money to the con artist Bernie Madoff. He spends more time today, he says, composing angry letters to the SEC than he does getting high.
The other three Waldos have also been successful, Steve says. One is head of marketing for a Napa Valley winery. Another is in printing and graphics. A third works for a roofing and gutter company. “He’s like, head of their gutter division,” says Steve, who keeps in close touch with them all.
“I’ve got to run a business. I’ve got to stay sharp,” says Steve, explaining why he rarely smokes pot anymore. “Seems like everybody I know who smokes daily, or many times in a week, it seems like there’s always something going wrong with their life, professionally, or in their relationships, or financially or something. It’s a lot of fun, but it seems like if someone does it too much, there’s some karmic cost to it.”
“I never endorsed the use of marijuana. But hey, it worked for me,” says Waldo Dave. “I’m sure on my headstone it’ll say: ‘One of the 420 guys.’”
What Does “420-Friendly” Mean?
Whether you’re on a dating profile or looking for an apartment to rent on Craigslist, you’ll probably run into the phrase “420-friendly.”
Simply put, if someone is 420-friendly it means they are sympathetic to the cannabis cause and won’t make a big deal if you regularly consume cannabis. They may also consume marijuana.
Signs bearing the number 420 have been frequently stolen. In Colorado, the Colorado Department of Transportation replaced the Mile Marker 420 sign on I-70 east of Denver with one reading 419.99 in an attempt to stop the thievery; however, the folklore of the 419.99 sign has caused it to be stolen, too, as well as becoming a tourist destination. As of August 2018, the sign was missing, presumed stolen.
The Colorado DOT usually will not replace signs that are repeatedly taken, but began the practice of replacing further down the road after “69” mile marker signs were frequently stolen – these were replaced with “68.5 mile” ones.
The Idaho Department of Transportation replaced the mile marker 420 sign on U.S. Highway 95, just south of Coeur d’Alene, with mile marker 419.9. The Washington State Department of Transportation implemented similar measures, but only replaced one of the two 420 signs in the state, with the remaining one being subsequently stolen.
According to The Washington Post, there are eleven 420 mile markers in the US, after three replacements and one stolen and not replaced. In Goodhue County, Minnesota, officials have changed “420 St” street signs to “42x St”. The mile marker 420 sign on U.S. Route 89, the only 420 marker in the state of Utah, is also frequently stolen.
Angel Number 420
Has number 420 become a norm in your life? Are you seeing it everywhere, all time? It may mean that the angels are trying to talk to you. If a certain number appears more than once, it may be a message from your guardian angels.
Angel number 420 is reminding you of your spiritual awakening. It is time to start your spiritual journey and be grateful for all the things that you have. Your angels will be with you even in the most difficult situation. When they send you number 420, it means that you can feel safe and protected. Your guardian angels are watching you and they are working in your favor. There is nothing that you should be worried about.
Most important is to have faith in your guardian angels because they will bring great changes in your life. Also, you have to be supportive toward other people. You have to know your soul mission and to be generous and helpful toward others. Very soon you will be rewarded for all good things that you have done in your life.
To sum up, when you see angel number 420, you should not just ignore it, but you should try to understand its meaning. There is no doubt that your angels are preparing you something good, wo you can certainly expect a lot of luck and success in the future.
La Tomatina is a food fight festival held on the last Wednesday of August each year in the town of Bunol near to Valencia in Spain. (in 2019 it is the 28th of August). Thousands upon thousands of people make their way from all corners of the world to fight in this ‘World’s Biggest Food Fight’ where more than one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets.
Prior to 2013 anywhere from 40,000 to 50,000 (reported to be 50,000 in 2012) people crammed into this huge tomato fight, greatly expanding Bunol’s normal 9,000 person population. Since 2013 official ticketing has been in place limiting the number of participants to just 20,000 lucky people.
There is limited accommodation for people who come to La Tomatina, so many people take the easier option of staying in nearby Valencia just 38km to Bunol by bus or train. In preparation for the dirty mess that will ensue, shopkeepers use huge plastic covers on their storefronts in order to protect them from the carnage.
What Happens at La Tomatina
At around 11am many trucks haul the bounty of tomatoes into the centre of the town, Plaza del Pueblo. The tomatoes come from Extremadura, where they are less expensive. Technically the festival does not begin until one brave soul has climbed to the top of a two-story high, greased-up wooden pole and reached the coveted ham at the top. In practice this process takes a long time and the festival starts despite no one reaching the meaty prize. The signal for the beginning of the fight is firing of water cannons, and the chaos begins. Once it begins, the battle is generally every man for himself.
After an one hour the fighting ends. At this point, no more tomatoes can be thrown. The cleaning process involves the use of fire trucks to spray down the streets, with water provided from a Roman aqueduct. The authorities seem more concerned with cleaning the town than cleaning the visitors, so some people find water at the Bunol River to wash themselves, although some kind residents will hose passers-by down. Once the tomato pulp is flushed, the ground is clean due to the acidity of the tomato.
The Rules of La Tomatina
- Do not bring bottles or hard objects as they can cause accidents and hurt other participants
- Do not rip other people’s T-shirts
- You must squash the tomatoes before throwing them as this reduces the impact
- Ensure you keep a safe distance from the lorries
- As soon as you hear the second shot, you must stop throwing tomatoes
- Wear closed shoes that you do not mind throwing away afterwards. If you wear flip-flops, you may get hurt, or you could lose them easily during the battle
- Wear old clothes, or clothes that you are not planning to wear again. They will most likely end up damaged from being ripped or incredibly dirty
- You may find goggles useful. However, it is safer if you just ensure that you always have something clean to wipe your eyes with. The best thing is if you tuck your T-Shirt into your shorts to keep the bottom part of your T-shirt clean and dry
- If you are planning to take pictures, bring a waterproof camera!
- If you are not from Bunol, and you want to stay overnight, don’t forget to look for and secure accommodation in advance.
- Do not miss the Palojabon – a greased pole with a Spanish ham at the top. Whoever can climb the pole and get the ham can keep it!
- Stay safe and enjoy the festivities as much possible
How did La Tomatina Start?
The tomato fight has been a strong tradition in Bunol since 1944 or 1945. No one is completely certain how this event originated. Possible theories on how the Tomatina began include a local food fight among friends, a juvenile class war, a volley of tomatoes from bystanders at a carnival parade, a practical joke on a bad musician, and the anarchic aftermath of an accidental lorry spillage. One popular theory is that disgruntled townspeople attacked city councilmen with tomatoes during a town celebration.
The following year, the young people picked a quarrel by their own decision and brought the tomatoes from home. Although the police broke up the early tradition in the following years, the young boys had made history without being conscious about it. Whatever happened to begin the tradition, it was enjoyed so much that it was repeated the next year, and the year after that, and so on.
La Tomatina was banned in the early 50s, during the Spanish State period under Francisco Franco for having no religious significance, which was not a problem for the participants who were arrested. But the people spoke and the festivity was again allowed with more participants and even more enthusiasm.
The festivity was again cancelled till 1957 when, as a sign of protest, the tomato burial was held. It was a demonstration in which the residents carried a coffin with a huge tomato inside. The parade was accompanied by a music band which played funeral marches and it was totally successful. La Tomatina Festival was finally allowed and became an official festivity.
As a result of the report of Javier Basilio, broadcasted in the Spanish Television Program called Informe Semanal, the festivity started to be known in the rest of Spain.
Since then, the number of participants increased year after year as well as the excitement about La Tomatina Festival. In 2002, La Tomatina of Buñol was declared Festivity of International Tourist Interest by the Secretary Deparment of Tourism due to its success.
The festival is now held in honor of the town’s patron saints, Luis Bertran and the Mare de Deu dels Desemparats (Mother of God of the Defenseless), a title of the Virgin Mary.
“I want to believe.” These are the words of notorious X-Files hero Fox Mulder, who convinced an entire generation that the truth is out there – we just have to find it. But on July 2, it won’t only be sci-fi enthusiasts trying out their ET sleuthing skills, as everyone on planet earth will have to opportunity to celebrate World UFO Day.
World UFO Day is an awareness day for people to gather together and watch the skies for unidentified flying objects. The day is celebrated by some on June 24, and others on July 2.
The stated goal of the July 2 celebration is to raise awareness of “the undoubted existence of UFOs” and to encourage governments to declassify their files on UFO sightings. So why July 2? For many, this date represents the anniversary of the famed and all-but-confirmed 1947 incident in Roswell, New Mexico. Believers claim a UFO crash landed here, deep in the American southwest, but that the government has been covering it up ever since.
June 24 is the date that aviator Kenneth Arnold reported what is generally considered to be the first widely reported unidentified flying object sighting in the United States.
UFOs have been the stuff of legend for centuries, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that freaky flying saucers grabbed national and international mainstream attention. Since then, UFOs have captured the minds of old and young alike, and witness’ stories have proliferated around the world. World UFO Day serves as a way for everyone to come together and watch the skies on the same night in search of UFOs, but that’s not its only purpose.
Many see the holiday as a way to spread knowledge and awareness of UFOs, making a case for their existence, and hoping to make disciples out of the dubious. What do you believe?
And no matter what you believe, World UFO Day is an opportunity to think laterally, creatively, and perhaps even a bit unconventionally. We are encouraged o challenge accepted knowledge, and for once, maybe it’s okay for our minds to be off in space. 🙂
What is a UFO?
The letters UFO stand for Unidentified Flying Objects. Most of the flying objects that occur on earth are generally from our earth and heavily monitored with technology. UFOs are generally classified as anomalies that are completely unidentified and in identifiable. The most general definition of the UFO is something that’s apparent in the sky that is not identifiable as any known object or natural phenomena.
Identification of a UFO
Normally what happens with UFOs is that they are identified later or explained as a natural phenomenon but until a flying object is identified as being man-made or natural phenomena it keeps its title as a UFO.
The title of UFO was originally created in 1953 by the United States Air Force so that they could record and review any instances where a flying object was logged in official reporting.
Throughout the 1940’s and the early 1950’s UFOs were more commonly called flying saucers are flying discs. This image of a UFO seemed to persist through early sci-fi folklore and only really became UFOs during the Cold War with an interest in national security.
Everyone involved in the Cold War conflict was testing new types of aircraft, missiles and more throughout this time. As a result any unidentified flying object needed to be logged and heavily reviewed. This really became one of the first large-scale reporting efforts for UFOs in the world and since UFOs became a natural security concern there have been reports almost worldwide that are consistently reviewed almost every day.
Although most people are quick to associate UFOs with conspiracy theories or a cultural phenomenon it possible that one day one of these unidentified flying objects could prove an association with extraterrestrial life.
Some of the top 20th-century UFO accounts include:
- Foo Fighters: during the 1940’s over the world war theaters small metallic spears and colorful balls of light were seen and even photographed by bomber crews throughout World War II.
- Roswell: one of the most talked about cases in New Mexico as onlookers described the crash of an unidentified flying object.
- The Phoenix lights: in 1997 thousands of people saw V-shaped patterns in the sky for space of around 300 miles from the Nevada line.
There are new reports coming in nearly every year including mass UFO sightings in Houston Texas and Colorado sightings as early as October of 2014.
With so many instances occurring around the world user phenomena that we need to understand. Until more spending and research goes into the identification of these cases we may simply be left with more questions as to what the nature of a UFO is.
How to celebrate World UFO Day
Celebrating UFO Day happens in a lot of different ways, and the number of ways is as varied as the potential number of intelligent species in the known universe. UFO Enthusiasts gather around the world in known UFO hotspots like Roswell New Mexico to share stories, provide support for other believers, and watch for the return of visitors in the night sky.
But this is hardly the only way to celebrate it, if you live in a small community of supporters or are merely quite far from the nearest large one, you can organize it yourself. Getting together with friends and family to watch UFO movies and share the gospel of the little green man is a great way to support awareness of UFO’s and the copious evidence out there supporting their existence.
- Have a “Welcome to Earth” party
In case you needed a reason to throw a party, there’s plenty of opportunity here. Alien and UFO costumes are simple and funny, while the food ideas are endless. Alien cupcakes with green icing, red jello with rocket ships suspended in the middle or even prepackaged moonpies are all great ideas. For an older-earthlings party, try mixing vodka, blue curacao, grenadine, cranberry juice and sours for a Purple People Eater cocktail.
- Do some investigative research.
There are more than enough stories, legends and actual scientific findings on UFOs and space exploration to keep you busy for a day. Use the power of the internet to separate fact from fiction, and try coming up with your own theories on whether the truth really is out there. Here’s a link to some of the Top UFO Documentaries. Finish the evening by gazing up at the stars before going to bed. You never know what you might see.
- Have a UFO movie marathon
Depending how far you want to go back, try watching a few UFO films from different eras. Here’s a link to a list of Top Rated UFO and Alien Movies. The Flash Gordon-types of the 30’s were genre-defining. The Martian marauders story typical of the 50’s and 60’s may be a bit campy for you, but you could have some friends over to watch them a la Mystery Science Theater 3000, and let the heckling begin. Or settle in for the visually stunning films of the last few decades – take your pick, sit back, and blast off.
Whatever you do, keep your eyes to the sky for World UFO Day.
- World UFO Day
- National Today
- Days Of The Year
May 26 is World Dracula Day which commemorates Bram Stoker’s Gothic horror novel Dracula, which was first published on May 26 in 1897, by Archibald Constable and Company in Britain. It sold for six shillings and came bound in yellow cloth with red lettering. It was first printed in the United States two years later, by Doubleday & McClure of New York City. Although not the first novel about vampires, it became a model for the genre, and laid the foundation for future vampire stories, with its introduction of the character Count Dracula.
The quintessential vampire, Count Dracula has inspired tens of films and stories the world over, not to mention the virtual immortality of the character during as a beloved Halloween character. For all of these reasons, it’s undeniable that this icon of horror more than deserves his own little holiday so the world can show its appreciation for his contributions to the worlds of cinema and literature over the centuries. So put on your fangs, and let’s sink out teeth right into this, shall we?
About The Book
The book follows (spoiler alert!) an English lawyer named Jonathan Harker as he travels to Transylvania to meet Count Dracula at his castle, Castle Dracula. To Harker, Dracula appears pale and off-kilter. The strangeness of Dracula is more apparent after he lunges at Harker’s throat after Harker cuts himself while shaving. Harker eventually finds out that Dracula is a vampire who needs to drink human blood to survive. Afterward, Dracula locks Harker in the castle and flees to England with 50 boxes of dirt (it is believed he needs dirt from his home country to stay healthy). As Dracula heads to England to search for new blood, Harker eventually escapes from the castle.
Meanwhile, Mina, Harker’s fiancée, is visiting her friend Lucy in England. One night, Mina finds Lucy sleepwalking by a graveyard. Mina believes she sees a creature hovering over Lucy for a moment, and then notices two red marks on Lucy’s neck. Lucy becomes sick over the next few days and is then cared for by a Dr. Seward and by Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, before eventually dying. Afterward, strange reports begin surfacing that a creature has been attacking children in the area.
Jonathan Harker and Mina are reunited and married. Harker tells Dr. Helsing about his experience with Dracula, and Helsing then believes Lucy contracted vampirism from him and is the one attacking children. They dig up her corpse, cut off her head, put a stake through her heart, and stuff her mouth with garlic. They then turn their focus to Dracula and try to destroy his boxes of dirt. He escapes back to Transylvania, where they find him buried in the last box of dirt. They cut off his head and stab him through the heart, causing him to collapse into dust.
The Origins Of Dracula
Stoker spent years researching vampires before writing Dracula. During that time, he was particularly influenced by “Transylvanian Superstitions,” an essay by Emily Gerard that was published in 1885. Stoker worked at the Lyceum Theatre in London from 1878 to 1898. The theater was headed by Henry Irving, who Stoker based Dracula’s mannerisms on. It was even Stoker’s hope that Irving would play Dracula in a stage adaptation, but it did not happen.
According to one theory, Prince Vlad III of Wallachia (Romania) was the real-life inspiration behind Stoker’s gothic horror novel. An extremely cruel and merciless ruler, Vlad earned the nickname “Vlad the Impaler” for the many ways he tortured his opponents as well as people who betrayed him when they were captured. As can be guessed from his nickname, impaling was his favorite method of execution, and it is thought that he killed up to 100,000 people during his reign, and was infamous for the “forests” of impaled victims he left behind when he won a battle. One unsubstantiated account says that he dipped bread in his victims’ blood and ate it in front of them as they died on stakes.
Born in Transylvania in the fifteenth century, he was also called Drăculea, which means “Son of Dracul.” Indeed, his father was known as Dracul, a name that derived from the knightly order he belonged to—the Order of the Dragon (the Latin word draco means dragon). In modern Romanian, drac means “devil.”
It is believed that Stoker picked the name Dracula after learning this more modern translation. Some believe that the only connection between Vlad III and Dracula are their names. The connection of his character with vampirism was made by Bram Stoker around the 1890’s, and has become a permanent element of pop culture since then.
What does it mean?
Dracula has been interpreted in numerous ways. Some have interpreted the story as an allegory of the fear that western Europeans had of eastern Europeans coming into their area. Hence, the story of someone coming from Transylvania—in Romania—to London and wreaking havoc on its residents. This theme appeared in other novels of the time.
Some have seen the book as a reaction to the conservative and patriarchal norms of the Victorian period, and as an exploration of suppressed sexual desire. Some also have seen the book as being about the relationship between the past and future, with Dracula symbolizing a primitive past that challenges modernity.
The Historical Vampire
The concept of vampirism dates back thousands of years. The ancient Greeks, Hebrews, Egyptians and Babylonians all had legends telling hair-raising tales of demon-like undead creatures that lived off of the blood of the living.
Tales of the undead consuming the blood or flesh of living beings have been found in nearly every culture around the world for many centuries. Today we know these entities predominantly as vampires, but in ancient times, the term vampire did not exist; blood drinking and similar activities were attributed to demons or spirits who would eat flesh and drink blood; even the devil was considered synonymous with the vampire.
Almost every nation has associated blood drinking with some kind of revenant or demon, from the ghouls of Arabia to the goddess Sekhmet of Egypt. Indeed, some of these legends could have given rise to the European folklore, though they are not strictly considered vampires by historians when using today’s definitions.
Hebrews, ancient Greeks, and Romans had tales of demonic entities and blood-drinking spirits which are considered precursors to modern vampires. Despite the occurrence of vampire-like creatures in these ancient civilizations, the folklore for the entity we know today as the vampire originates almost exclusively from early 18th-century Southeastern Europe, particularly Transylvania as verbal traditions of many ethnic groups of the region were recorded and published. In most cases, vampires are revenants of evil beings, suicide victims, or witches, but can also be created by a malevolent spirit possessing a corpse or by being bitten by a vampire itself. Belief in such legends became so rife that in some areas it caused mass hysteria and even public executions of people believed to be vampires.
In India, tales of vetalas, ghoul-like beings that inhabit corpses, are found in old Sanskrit folklore. Although most vetala legends have been compiled in the Baital Pachisi, a prominent story in the Kathasaritsagara tells of King Vikramāditya and his nightly quests to capture an elusive one. The vetala is described as an undead creature who, like the bat associated with modern-day vampirism, hangs upside down on trees found on cremation grounds and cemeteries. Pishacha, the returned spirits of evil-doers or those who died insane, also bear vampiric attributes.
The Hebrew word “Alukah” (literal translation is “leech”) is synonymous with vampirism or vampires, as is “Motetz Dam” (literally, “blood sucker”). Later vampire traditions appear among diaspora Jews in Central Europe, in particular the medieval interpretation of Lilith. In common with vampires, this version of Lilith was held to be able to transform herself into an animal, usually a cat, and charm her victims into believing that she is benevolent or irresistible. However, she and her daughters usually strangle rather than drain victims, and in the Kabbalah, she retains many attributes found in vampires.
A late 17th- or early 18th-century Kabbalah document was found in one of the Ritman library’s copies of Jean de Pauly’s translation of the Zohar. The text contains two amulets, one for male (lazakhar), the other for female (lanekevah). The invocations on the amulets mention Adam, Eve, and Lilith, Chavah Rishonah and the angels—Sanoy, Sansinoy, Smangeluf, Shmari’el, and Hasdi’el. A few lines in Yiddish are shown as dialog between the prophet Elijah and Lilith, in which she has come with a host of demons to kill the mother, take her newborn and “to drink her blood, suck her bones and eat her flesh”. She informs Elijah that she will lose power if someone uses her secret names, which she reveals at the end.
Other Jewish stories depict vampires in a more traditional way. In “The Kiss of Death”, the daughter of the demon king Ashmodai snatches the breath of a man who has betrayed her, strongly reminiscent of a fatal kiss of a vampire. A rare story found in Sefer Hasidim #1465 tells of an old vampire named Astryiah who uses her hair to drain the blood from her victims. A similar tale from the same book describes staking a witch through the heart to ensure she does not come back from the dead to haunt her enemies.
More about Vampires can be found at The Powers That Be.
How to celebrate Dracula Day
Celebrating all things Dracula why not throw a party and get your friends round for the ultimate film binge. Ideas for creating the perfect atmosphere include giving your party a Gothic feel by making sure all of your decorations are either black or blood red, the table setting is rather sophisticated, everyone is dressed elegantly and wears fangs, hanging up plenty of bat and spider web decorations, and serving plenty of blood red drinks.
It would also be perfect to watch one or more of the classic vampire movies to have been made, such as the 1958 British classic titled simply “Dracula”, and starring the incredibly impressive Christopher Lee as the aristocratic titular character. Other movie choices include “Nosferatu”, a 1922 German expressionist horror film, and “Interview with the Vampire” starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and a young Kirsten Dunst.
If it’s something more lighthearted you’re looking for, Roman Polański’s “The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in My Neck” will keep everyone entertained. Lesser known, but equally fun movies include Suck (one of my personal favorites), and Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter.
If you don’t plan on hosting a party, that does not mean you have to miss out on Dracula day—take the time to delve into the world created by Bran Stoker in his acclaimed novel. Reading a good book has never hurt anyone, and in the era social media’s 140-character blurbs of text, it is ever more important to keep the art of literature alive.
If you’ve already read it, consider tackling Anne Rice’s “Vampire Chronicles”, a series of 11 critically acclaimed books that follow influential vampires all throughout history. Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot”. As you can see, there is no shortage of ways to celebrate the vampires of the world this Dracula Day!
If you get really excited about all this talk of vampires, blood, and the undead, you might even be interested in exploring spells to “become a vampire.” Alternatively, you might want to play around with some protection against vampires spells, vampire prevention spells, or even a peaceful coexistence spell. They can all be found in the Book of Shadows, and Gypsy Magick and Lore.
Go Fly A Kite Day
“Go fly a kite” is an idiom that is used as a way of telling someone to go away or to leave you alone. The phrase originated in the 1940s and was very popular at that time and for the next few decades. Its meaning is derived from its literal meaning: a person would probably need to go away to actually fly a kite. A similar phrase is “Go jump in a lake.” In these phrases, the important word is “go,” not the place where the person is directed to go. Another idiom with a similar meaning is “Get lost.”
Go Fly a Kite Day is observed next on Sunday, April 21st, 2019. It has always been observed the third Sunday in April.
National Look Up At The Sky Day is celebrated annually on April 14 (some calendars have it listed as April 12). On this day we all hope for good weather and look to the skies to reflect on the beauty above us.
There are many things that you can see as you sit back, relax and look up. The sky’s beautiful blue color, the clouds and their many shapes, the sun (maybe peeking through the clouds), and many different birds flying around. If it is nighttime, you may find the sky filled with stars and a beautiful moon.
It’s a busy time of the year. Spring is arriving, people are upping their workout regimes in order to get ready for summer, the newness of the new year has worn off and we are all buckling in, and in the US it’s tax season. This is a perfect day to stop and look up at the sky. Take a moment and enjoy your surroundings and just breathe.
The creators of this holiday remain anonymous, but their goal is very clear: to encourage people to take a little time to slow down and appreciate the little things in life. People who spent a lot of their time looking at the sky include Nicholas Copernicus, who proved the earth revolved around the Sun (and not the other way around as previously thought) Albert Einstein, the creator of the Theory of Relativity, and Leonardo da Vinci, who envisioned the first flying machines, so rest assured you will be in the best of company!
How to Celebrate Look Up at the Sky Day
As the name of this little holiday itself suggests, take some time to look up at the sky! We sometimes take natural beauty for granted, and only pay attention to the sky if, say, it happens to be raining and we want to complain. So take a blanket out to the park and just lay down on it and gaze upwards for a while—you’re likely to be amazed at how it changes depending on wind and other factors.
Watching birds go abut their lives as if nothing of importance was going on down below at all will likely be relaxing, and watching planes soaring high above you may even motivate you to take a trip to some faraway land. Look Up at the Sky Day was created to motivate us to see the world from a different perspective than we usually do and appreciate the beauty of nature, so make sure you get out and celebrate and make your life just a little bit more meaningful!
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