Yesterday, we had a good eight holidays, and a single birthday.
Put On Your Own Shoes Day
National Miner's Day
National Pawnbrokers Day
St. Nicholas' Day
Constitution Day (Spain)
Independence Day (Finland)
Ira Gershwin's Birthday
A few weeks back, we had Vichyssoise Day; yesterday was the time to celebrate yet another cold soup. Most cold soups generally were served in the summer after a hard day's labor and work before everyone had access to booze and soft drinks. This one in particular has roots in the times of old for Spain; so thus we have Gazpacho Day. Gazpacho is still a popular soup today in Spain, Portugal, and Central America in general. Just as vichyssoise you can opt to serve it warm (if you're interested in having it, we are in winter after all), but traditionally it's had cold. Since it's origins are way back with the Moors, you might of suspected the soup is a vegetable soup; meat ain't as common as veggies back in the day, and one wouldn't really want to put warm animal in a cold soup...
Ah yes, the microwave oven... Named after the wave frequency it produces, this machine trades deliciousness for absolute convenience. To celebrate one of many countless modern-day conveniences, Microwave Day is born. Way back in 1947 was it invented (and marketed by the very same company that pioneered the fridge, Amana), but it wasn't all-that convenient in use, and definitely not of convenient size, and thus wasn't really sold for home use. It took a solid 20 years for counter top microwave ovens like we see today to begin coming into existence, as well as into our homes in large numbers.
For anyone who doesn't know the science behind this wondrous device (of which I love to avoid, since as I said, food made in it is NOT delicious... =/), Microwaves work by creating and sending microwave radiation through objects inside said microwave oven. "RADIATION IS GOING THROUGH MY FOOD WTF?!" one might think, but indeed, the radiation is safe because it is of a lower frequency. Because microwaves don't have a very short wavelength, the molecules of your food are not ionized. Because the frequency of the microwave doesn't screw with an atom's particles, it merely excites the atoms in question due to the microwaves being absorbed into the substance they're passing through and causing science to happen. Said science is basically friction at a molecular level, causing the absorbed microwaves to be released as energy in the form of heat. And voila; you have warm food! If you understood all this, congratulations! You know simple science.
Put On Your Own Shoes Day isn't literal; it refers to some adults who've never grown up and expect shit handed to them on a platter (I'm looking at you, rich people with servants...). Whether they can't do something, or simply choose not to out of laziness, today is the day for them to stop being such a douche. 'Course, anyone who falls into this category isn't going to celebrate this day, obviously... Pointless holiday is pointless! =D
National Miner's Day honors miners as a whole. Mining is one of the dirtiest, unsafe, nasty, and generally shitty physical labors that have been widely available as a job. Even in modern day it's dangerous, so take a moment to think 'bout how dangerous it was back then. Unstable explosives were used. Shaft supports weren't always in the best condition, nor were they always installed very well. Work conditions sometimes involved lethal gases and such that, depending on the time period, workers may or may not knew about; and therefore died from disease and other problems. Most mining operations kept workers away from home for a long time, and often had workers going cross-country to get the job for the biggest mining events, such as the multiple western 1890 gold rushes, or the incredibly harsh gold rushes that occurred in Canada and Alaska. This day in particular is to remember the victims of a mining accident in 1907, the Monongah Mine disaster. This West Virginia mining tragedy was the worst in American history due to methane ignition further igniting the coal dust in multiple mines, causing one hell of a fireball to kill 362 workers. Miners helped build the world's economy (hey, it had it's ups at one point), and many have died unfortunate deaths, so this gets my holiday pick of the yesterday.
National Pawnbrokers Day celebrates the pawnbroker; an important piece of the economy indeed. People who want to pawn things off they don't want for quick cash or simply because they don't want the item in question get more than just junk lying around their house. Pawn shops of good repute can amass some very interesting items you could get at discount, or simply get nowhere else. That, and it's ****ing fun haggling and winning said haggle with pawnbrokers, I know from experience. Once got me a wooden ninjatō in perfect condition from an idiot who thought it was worth $15 (probably bought it for half of that or so) for $1.50.
And speaking of pawnbrokers, St. Nicholas' Day celebrates the pawnbroker saint, the inspiration for Santa Claus himself. Legend has it that Saint Nicholas was legendarily known for leaving secret gifts, such as leaving coins in the shoes of those who left said footwear outside their homes. One of the few saints I've no hesitation in giving a toast to, as generosity and gift giving in secret; the act of making people happy the reward in itself; is truly a grand thing. It's people like this that make me hate humanity a fraction less.
Spain's Constitution Day celebrates the first of multiple democratic constitutions Spain would adopt, back in 1978. This was Spain's true leap into democracy following a proper election in 1977, and was written by seven important political figures. Considering 88% of voters approved of the new constitution, there's little reason why this isn't a holiday of celebration.
Finland's Independence Day celebrates the day Finland declared itself to be independent in 1917. It took a full year for Russia to recognize it. Finland's movement for independence was inspired by all the riot and revolution going on in the same year, most of which was inspired in turn by Russia's 1905 Bloody Sunday.
Ira Gershwin is a famous lyricist of the 20th century; a dude that I've never actually heard of... I definitely know plenty of the songs he wrote, but I generally have no clue about whether or not the singer or a lyricist wrote 'em. I care for the music first and foremost, not where the content originated from, after all.
Funfact: Red Dead Redemption pays a sneaky (and thus an almost entirely unknown) tribute to the Monongah disaster in one of it's co-op missions.