March 07, 2017

#05-014: Frivolous February Holidays

photo of seven men three woman, most in military camo fatigues, almost all facing off camera right, presumably toward a television; several look extremely happy
A Super Bowl party

Note: Some silly-seeming celebrations actually support good causes, like awareness of women's heart disease and domestic violence. Read on!

Get Ready: How does wearing red or purple, for example, (or pink, for breast cancer awareness) help educate the public about important causes?

Here are some of the more lighthearted (but sometimes serious in intention) celebrations in February.

First up is "National Wear Red Day," held on the first Friday in February in the United States. It's intended to call attention to the fact that heart disease--sometimes thought of as a "men's ailment"--is the Number One killer of women in America.

Two days later (usually, depending on what day of the week the month starts) on the first Sunday of the month is one of the biggest celebrations for sports fans: Super Bowl Sunday, when the championship teams from the National Football League's two "conferences" (main divisions) play each other to determine the overall champions. Family and friends gather to eat and drink while watching the game on TV.

Similar in its observance to "National Wear Red Day," and equally as serious, is International Purple Hijab Day in remembrance of those who have experienced domestic violence. Held on the second Saturday of February, it is mainly observed by Muslim women, but others can join in by wearing any purple item of clothing on that day.

Here's some pure tomfoolery: the first full week of February (Monday through Sunday) is Doppelganger Week. At this time, people are encouraged to change the profile pictures on their social media accounts to that of a famous person they look like. For example, since I've grown my beard out, people often say, "James, you look like Santa Claus!" So I would change my profile pics to look like Saint Nick.

As in any month, there are plenty of food and drink days in the U.S.: National Tater Tot Day (Feb. 2) celebrating small, deep-fried balls of grated potatoes; National Pizza Day (Feb. 9); National I Want Butterscotch Day (Feb. 15) honoring a confection made of brown sugar and butter; National Margarita Day (Feb. 11) in honor of the popular Mexican cocktail; National Banana Bread Day (Feb. 23); and once every four years, on February 29, National Frog Legs Day. Also, the first Saturday of the month celebrates "Ice Cream for Breakfast," and the first Monday is "National Frozen Yogurt Day."


Read more:

Practice: Match the term to its definition below:

  1. ailment
  2. cocktail
  3. confection
  4. domestic violence
  5. doppelganger
  6. grated
  7. hijab
  8. lighthearted
  9. social media
  10. tomfoolery

  1. physical abuse against someone in the family
  2. made into very small pieces on a special kitchen tool
  3. a mixed alcoholic drink
  4. an illness; a disease
  5. a look-alike; an unrelated "twin"
  6. fun
  7. websites used among friends, like Facebook, Instagram, or WeChat
  8. the head covering for Muslim women
  9. silly behavior
  10. candy

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for March 7, 2017

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. d; 2. c; 3. j; 4. a; 5. e; 6. b; 7. h; 8. f; 9. g; 10. i