March 09, 2017

#05-015: Three More February Holidays

roadside shrine; a cross made of steel pipe, engraved records and metal cut-out guitar, numerous flowers, a small car model
Memorial at the crash site, 2003

Note: Remember some musical greats, be nice for no particular reason, or chase away the winter "blahs" on these three days in February.

Get Ready: What unexpected act of kindness could you do for someone right now, today?

Here are three more holidays in February that deserve special consideration.

The first falls on February 3 and is called "The Anniversary of 'The Day the Music Died.'" Why might that phrase sound familiar?

Back in 1959, rock-and-roll icon Buddy Holly, whose "That'll Be the Day" and "Peggy Sue" were among rock's earliest hits, was on a tour of the Mid-West with his band, "The Crickets." (Their name is thought to have inspired the name of one of rock's greatest bands ever, "The Beatles"--see Lesson #03-015.) Also on the tour were up-and-coming singers Richie Valens (known for "La Bamba") and J. P. Richardson, known as "The Big Bopper," and remembered for "Chantilly Lace."

The weather was cold and the musicians were tired, so Holly paid for a small airplane to take some of them to their next performance. On February 3, the plane went down, killing Holly, Valens, Richardson, and the pilot.

Fast-forward 12 years, to 1971, when singer-songwriter Don McLean released his hit "American Pie," with many coded references to the event, and dubbing it "The Day the Music Died." McLean felt that the tragedy, happening as it did just before the turmoil of the 1960s, symbolized the "loss of innocence" represented by the earliest performers of rock-and-roll.

The day is still celebrated with concerts and radio programs.


Moving on to February 17 we find "Random Acts of Kindness Day," a day to do something nice for no particular reason. Some call this "Pay It Forward," being proactively kind (as opposed to "paying someone back" for being kind to you). Acts might include sending someone a note, paying for stranger's coffee, or taking a gift to a neighbor.

The movement began in the U.S. in 1995; the first RAK Day was held in New Zealand on September 1, 2004. It's also celebrated on November 4 in Australia.


Finally, February 20 is "Northern Hemisphere Hoodie-Hoo Day." Sick of the winter cold, especially in northern latitudes, the organizers encourage everyone to go outside on this day, raise their hands above their heads, and chant "Hoodie-Hoo! Hoodie-Hoo!" to chase away winter blahs. Try it next year!


Read more:

Practice: Match the term to its definition below:

  1. as opposed to
  2. blahs
  3. coded references
  4. dubbing
  5. fast-forward (to)
  6. icon
  7. loss of innocence
  8. proactively
  9. turmoil
  10. up-and-coming

  1. growing more popular
  2. a state of disturbance; agitation
  3. in contrast to
  4. hidden messages
  5. something or someone symbolic
  6. doing something on one's own, not as a reaction
  7. naming
  8. skip (to)
  9. awareness that life is difficult
  10. feelings of boredom

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for March 9, 2017

1 comment:

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