Tió de Nadal

The Tió de Nadal ( “Christmas Log”), also known simply as Tió (“Trunk” or “Log”, a big piece of cut wood) or Tronca (“Log”), is a character in Catalan mythology relating to a Christmas tradition widespread in Catalonia and some regions of Aragon. A similar tradition exists in other places, such as the Cachafuòc or Soc de Nadal in Occitania. In Aragon it is also called Tizón de Nadal or TozA. Tió de Nadal  is a hollow log about thirty centimetres long. Recently, the Tió has come to stand up on two or four stick legs with a broad smiling face painted on its higher end, enhanced by a little red sock hat (a miniature of the traditional barretina) and often a three-dimensional nose. Those accessories have been added only in recent times, altering the more traditional and rough natural appearance of a dead piece of wood.

Beginning with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8), one gives the tió a little bit to “eat” every night and usually covers him with a blanket so that he will not be cold. The story goes that in the days preceding Christmas, children must take good care of the log, keeping it warm and feeding it, so that it will defecate presents on Christmas Day. On Christmas Day or, in some households, on Christmas Eve, one puts the tió partly into the fireplace and orders it to defecate. The fire part of this tradition is no longer as widespread as it once was, since many modern homes do not have a fireplace. To make it defecate, one beats the tió with sticks, while singing various songs of Tió de Nadal.

The tradition says that before beating the tió all the kids have to leave the room and go to another place of the house to pray, asking for the tió to deliver a lot of presents. This makes the perfect excuse for the relatives to do the trick and put the presents under the blanket while the kids are praying. The tió does not drop larger objects, as those are considered to be brought by the Three Wise Men. It does leave candies, nuts and torrons. Depending on the region of Catalonia, it may also give out dried figs. What comes out of the Tió is a communal rather than individual gift, shared by everyone there.

National Brownie Day

National Brownie Day takes place annually on 8 December. Brownies were created in the United States at the end of the 19th century. A cross between a cookie and cake, they soon became very popular across the country. There aretwo types of food based brownie chocolate brownies and  blonde brownies. A blonde brownie is made with brown sugar and no chocolate and is often called a blondie. Chocolate Brownies were created after a group of ladies a requested A small cake-like dessert that could be eaten from a boxed lunch while they were attending a fair in the late 1800s. So A Chicago chef, working at the Palmer House Hotel, created the first brownie for the ladies. This featured an apricot glaze and walnuts. The Palmer House Hotel still serves their original recipe for brownies on their menu.

The earliest recipes for brownies comparable to those familiar to us today are found published in regional cookbooks and newspapers around the turn of the last century. The 1904 Laconia, NH Home Cookery, the 1904 Chicago, IL Service Club Cook Book, and an April 2, 1905, edition of The Boston Globe are three early examples. In 1906, Fannie Merritt Farmer published a recipe in an edition of The Boston Cooking School Cook Book. There are Three myths that have gained popularity over the years, regarding the creation of the brownie, that A chef accidentally added melted chocolate to biscuit dough. Acook forgot to add flour to the batter and A housewife did not have baking powder and improvised with this new treat.

More events and holidays occurring on December 8

  • Take It in the Ear Day
  • National Brownie Day
  • National Christmas Tree Day
  • Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day
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More anniversaries and holidays happening on 7 December

National Cotton Candy Day
International Civil Aviation Day
National Letter Writing Day
National Pearl Harbor Remembrance


Special Kids Day

Special Kids Day Was Started in 1990. It began as a holiday event that provided an opportunity for children with special needs and their families to visit Santa Claus without having to face some of the obstacles that they might encounter when trying to experience a visit with Santa in a mall.

Over the years, through a combined effort among local businesses and community organizations, the Department of Education at Elmhurst College and dedicated individuals, Special Kids Day has grown to serve hundreds of families in the western suburbs. Today, Special Kids Day has evolved into a not-for-profit, organization dedicated to providing celebratory events for children with disabilities and their families in environments designed to accommodate their special needs.

National Cotton Candy Day

National Cotton candy Day (Candy Floss day) occurrs annually on 7 December. Cotton candy is a form of spun sugar. The confection is mostly sugar, with small amounts of either flavoring or food coloring often being added. Cotton candy is made by heating and liquefying sugar and spinning it out through minute holes. It resolidifies in minutely thin strands of “sugar glass”. The final cotton candy contains mostly air, with a typical serving weighing around 1 ounce or 28 grams. It is often served at fairs, circuses, carnivals, and Japanese festivals, and sold on a stick or in a plastic bag.

Similar light halva confections include the Indian sohan papdi and pootharekulu, the Persian pashmak, and the Turkish pişmaniye, although the latter is made with flour and water in addition to sugar. Tatar cuisine has similar flour-honey sweet sawdust talqysh-kalava. Similar sweets include Chinese dragon’s-beard candy and Korean honey skein kkul-tarae.

The creation of Cotton Candy/ Candy Floss dates all the way back to the 1400’s when it was first called spun sugar. Several places claim the origin of cotton candy, with some sources tracing it to a form of spun sugar found in Europe in the 19th century. At that time, spun sugar was an expensive, labor-intensive endeavor and was not generally available to the average person.Others suggest versions of spun sugar originated in Italy as early as the 15th century.

Machine-spun cotton candy was invented in 1897 by the dentist William Morrison and confectioner John C. Wharton, and first introduced to a wide audience at the 1904 World’s Fair as “Fairy Floss”  with great success, selling 68,655 boxes at 25¢ per box (equivalent to $6 per box today). Joseph Lascaux, a dentist from New Orleans, Louisiana, invented a similar cotton candy machine in 1921. In fact, the Lascaux patent named the sweet confection “cotton candy” and the “fairy floss” name faded away, although it retains this name in Australia. In the 1970s, an automatic cotton candy machine was created which made the product and packaged it. This made it easier to produce and available to sell at carnivals, fairs, and stores in the 1970s and on. Tootsie Roll of Canada Ltd., the world’s largest cotton-candy manufacturer, makes a bagged, fruit-flavored version called Fluffy Stuff.

Since then cotton candy has been a favorite treat for young and old alike at carnivals, fairs and the circus. Each year on December 7th, cotton candy lovers look forward to celebrating the day as they pull puffs of cotton candy from a stick or out of a bag and reminisce about their childhood days.

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Microwave Oven Day

Microwave Oven day takes place annually on 6 December. Microwave oven day commemorates the occasion when, Quite by accident, self- taught American engineer Percy Spencer discovered in 1945 a way to heat food safely with microwaves whilst working with an active radar for the company Raytheon when he noticed that a candy bar in his pocket had begun melting whilst he was near the radar. Spencer then began experimenting and deliberately attempted cooking popcorn with the microwaves and then he tried an egg. Unfortunately The egg exploded in his fellow engineer’s face! Spencer, then started experimenting with different methods of heating food safely with microwaves.

A microwave oven heats and cooks food by exposing it to electromagnetic radiation in the microwave frequency range This induces polar molecules in the food to rotate and produce thermal energy in a process known as dielectric heating. Microwave ovens heat foods quickly and efficiently because excitation is fairly uniform in the outer 25–38 mm (1–1.5 inches) of a homogeneous, high water content food item; food is more evenly heated throughout than generally occurs in other cooking techniques.

The development of the cavity magnetron in the UK made possible the production of electromagnetic waves of a small enough wavelength (microwaves). American engineer Percy Spencer is generally credited with inventing the modern microwave oven after World War II from radar technology developed during the war. Named the “Radarange”, it was first sold in 1946. Raytheon later licensed its patents for a home-use microwave oven that was first introduced by Tappan in 1955, but these units were still too large and expensive for general home use. Sharp Corporation introduced the first microwave oven with a turntable between 1964 and 1966. The countertop microwave oven was first introduced in 1967 by the Amana Corporation. After Sharp introduced low-cost microwave ovens affordable for residential use in the late 1970s, their use spread into commercial and residential kitchens around the world. In addition to their use in cooking food, types of microwave ovens are used for heating in many industrial processes.

Since then Microwave ovens have become common kitchen appliance and are popular for reheating previously cooked foods and cooking a variety of foods. They are also useful for rapid heating of otherwise slowly prepared foodstuffs, which can easily burn or turn lumpy when cooked in conventional pans, such as hot butter, fats, chocolate or porridge. Unlike conventional ovens, microwave ovens usually do not directly brown or caramelize food, since they rarely attain the necessary temperatures to produce Maillard reactions. Exceptions occur in rare cases where the oven is used to heat frying-oil and other very oily items (such as bacon), which attain far higher temperatures than that of boiling water. However Microwave ovens have limited roles in professional cooking, because the boiling-range temperatures of a microwave will not produce the flavorful chemical reactions that frying, browning, or baking at a higher temperature will. However, additional heat sources can be added to microwave ovens.

Microwave cooking is thought to be less healthy than normal cooking although All forms of cooking Have an effect on food and nutrients, Any form of cooking will destroy some nutrients in food, but the key variables are how much water is used in the cooking, how long the food is cooked, and at what temperature. Nutrients are primarily lost by leaching into cooking water, which tends to make microwave cooking healthier, given the shorter cooking times it requires. Like other heating methods, microwaving converts vitamin B12 from an active to inactive form; the amount of conversion depends on the temperature reached, as well as the cooking time. Boiled food reaches a maximum of 100 °C (212 °F) (the boiling point of water), whereas microwaved food can get locally hotter than this, leading to faster breakdown of vitamin B12. The higher rate of loss is partially offset by the shorter cooking times required.

Spinach retains nearly all its folate when cooked in a microwave; in comparison, it loses about 77% when boiled, leaching out nutrients. Bacon cooked by microwave has significantly lower levels of carcinogenic nitrosamines than conventionally cooked bacon. Steamed vegetables tend to maintain more nutrients when microwaved than when cooked on a stovetop. Microwave blanching is 3–4 times more effective than boiled water blanching in the retaining of the water-soluble vitamins folic acid, thiamin and riboflavin, with the exception of ascorbic acid, of which 28.8% is lost (vs. 16% with boiled water blanching). Microwaving human milk at high temperatures is not recommended as it causes a marked decrease in activity of anti-infective factors.

A safety benefit of using microwave oven is that Microwave ovens heat food without getting hot themselves. Taking a pot off a stove, unless it is an induction cooktop, leaves a potentially dangerous heating element or trivet that will stay hot for some time. Likewise, when taking a casserole out of a conventional oven, one’s arms are exposed to the very hot walls of the oven. A microwave oven does not pose this problem.

Food and cookware taken out of a microwave oven are rarely much hotter than 100 °C (212 °F). Cookware used in a microwave oven is often much cooler than the food because the cookware is transparent to microwaves; the microwaves heat the food directly and the cookware is indirectly heated by the food. Food and cookware from a conventional oven, on the other hand, are the same temperature as the rest of the oven; a typical cooking temperature is 180 °C (356 °F). That means that conventional stoves and ovens can cause more serious burns.

The lower temperature of cooking (the boiling point of water) is a significant safety benefit compared to baking in the oven or frying, because it eliminates the formation of tars and char, which are carcinogenic.[49] Microwave radiation also penetrates deeper than direct heat, so that the food is heated by its own internal water content. In contrast, direct heat can burn the surface while the inside is still cold. Pre-heating the food in a microwave oven before putting it into the grill or pan reduces the time needed to heat up the food and reduces the formation of carcinogenic char. Unlike frying and baking, microwaving does not produce acrylamide in potatoes, however unlike deep-frying, it is of only limited effectiveness in reducing glycoalkaloid (i.e. solanine) levels. Acrylamide has been found in other microwaved products like popcorn.

There are also hazards to using a Microwave oven these include the superheating of Water and other homogeneous liquids when heated in a microwave oven in a container with a smooth surface when the liquid reaches a temperature slightly above its normal boiling point without bubbles of vapour forming inside the liquid. The boiling process can start explosively when the liquid is disturbed, such as when the user takes hold of the container to remove it from the oven or while adding solid ingredients such as powdered creamer or sugar. This can result in spontaneous boiling (nucleation) which may be violent enough to eject the boiling liquid from the container and cause severe scalding.

Closed containers, such as eggs, can explode when heated in a microwave oven due to the increased pressure from steam. Intact fresh egg yolks outside the shell will also explode, as a result of superheating. Insulating plastic foams of all types generally contain closed air pockets, and are generally not recommended for use in a microwave, as the air pockets explode and the foam (which can be toxic if consumed) may melt. Not all plastics are microwave-safe, and some plastics absorb microwaves to the point that they may become dangerously hot. Products that are heated for too long can catch fire. Though this is inherent to any form of cooking, the rapid cooking and unattended nature of the use of microwave ovens results in additional hazard.

Microwaving metal objects is also dangerous as any metal or conductive object placed into the microwave will act as an antenna to some degree, resulting in an electric current. This causes the object to act as a heating element. This effect varies with the object’s shape and composition, and is sometimes utilized for cooking.

Any object containing pointed metal can create an electric arc (sparks) when microwaved. This includes cutlery, crumpled aluminium foil (though some foil used in microwaves are safe, see below), twist-ties containing metal wire, the metal wire carry-handles in paper Chinese take-out food containers, or almost any metal formed into a poorly conductive foil or thin wire; or into a pointed shape. Forks are a good example: the tines of the fork respond to the electric field by producing high concentrations of electric charge at the tips. This has the effect of exceeding the dielectric breakdown of air, about 3 megavolts per meter (3×106 V/m). The air forms a conductive plasma, which is visible as a spark. The plasma and the tines may then form a conductive loop, which may be a more effective antenna, resulting in a longer lived spark. When dielectric breakdown occurs in air, some ozone and nitrogen oxides are formed, both of which are unhealthy in large quantities.

Direct microwave exposure is also dangerous but is not generally possible, as microwaves emitted by the source in a microwave oven are confined in the oven by the material out of which the oven is constructed ovens are equipped with redundant safety interlocks, which remove power from the magnetron if the door is opened.  According to the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, a U.S. Federal Standard limits the amount of microwaves that can leak from an oven throughout its lifetime to 5 milliwatts of microwave radiation per square centimeter at approximately 5 cm (2 in) from the surface of the oven. This is far below the exposure level currently considered to be harmful to human health.


Other events occurring on 6 December

Mitten Tree Day
National Miners Day
National Gazpacho Day
National Pawnbrokers Day
Put On Your Own Shoes Day
St. Nicholas Day

Sacher Torte Day/Bathtub Party Day

Sacher Torte Day is observed annually on December 5. Sacher Torte is a unique, decadent and incredibly rich type of chocolate cake (or torte) which is created by putting apricot jam between layers of rich, chocolate sponge cake and topping the mix with a layer of chocolate icing. The original recipe is a secret protected today and served exclusively by the Sacher Hotels in Vienna and Salzburg.

Sacher Torte was invented by Austrian Franz Sacher in 1832 and is one of Vienna’s most famous culinary specialties. Franz Sacher was an apprentice who was forced to improvise when the head chef was ill and came up with the idea of the Sacher Torte after Prince Wenzel Von Metternich ordered a special dessert from the kitchen for his guests. With the chef ill, Sacher stepped in for his superior and created what is known worldwide as the Sacher Torte. His son, Eduard, went on to perfect this decadent dessert.
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BATHTUB PARTY DAY

Bathtub Party Day is also observed annually on December 5. Bathtub Party Day was created as a way to skip the ordinary, everyday shower and to luxuriate in the pure pleasure of a good soak in the tub.
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More Events and holidays happening on December 5

  • Krampus
  • National Communicate with Your Kids Day
  • National Commute with Your Baby Day
  • National Day of Solidarity
  • Repeal Day

Events and holidays occurring on 1 December

  • Eat a Red Apple Day.
  • Civil Air Patrol Day
  • Day Without Art
  • World AIDS Day
  • Bifocals at the Monitor Liberation Day
  • Coats & Toys for Kids Day.

Christmas Lights Day.

Christmas Lights Day takes place annually on 1December. Christmas lights (also known as fairy lights) are lights used for decoration in celebration of Christmas, often on display throughout the Christmas season including Advent and Christmastide. The custom goes back to when Christmas trees were decorated with candles, which symbolized Christ being the light of the world; these were brought by Christians into their homes in early modern Germany.

Christmas trees displayed publicly and illuminated with electric lights became popular in the early 20th century. By the mid-20th century, it became customary to display strings of electric lights along streets and on buildings; Christmas decorations detached from the Christmas tree itself. In the United States, it became popular to outline private homes with such Christmas lights in tract housing beginning in the 1960s. By the late 20th century, the custom had also been adopted in other nations, including outside the Western world, notably in Japan and Hong Kong. Throughout Christendom, Christmas lights continue to retain their symbolism of Jesus as the light of the world.

In many countries, Christmas lights, as well as other Christmas decorations, are traditionally erected on or around the first day of Advent. In the Western Christian world, the two traditional days when Christmas lights are removed are Twelfth Night and Candlemas, the latter of which ends the Christmas-Epiphany season in some denominations. Leaving the decorations up beyond Candlemas is historically considered to be inauspicious or even bad luck.

The Christmas tree was first adopted in upper-class homes in 18th-century Germany, where it was occasionally decorated with candles, which at the time was a comparatively expensive light source. Candles for the tree were glued with melted wax to a tree branch or attached by pins. Around 1890, candleholders were first used for Christmas candles. Between 1902 and 1914, small lanterns and glass balls to hold the candles started to be used. Early electric Christmas lights were introduced with electrification, beginning in the 1880s.

The illuminated Christmas tree became established in the United Kingdom during Queen Victoria’s reign, and through emigration spread to North America and Australia. In her journal for Christmas Eve 1832, the delighted 13-year-old princess wrote, “After dinner.. we then went into the drawing-room near the dining-room. There were two large round tables on which were placed two trees hung with lights and sugar ornaments. All the presents being placed round the trees”. Until the availability of inexpensive electrical power in the early twentieth century, miniature candles were commonly, and in some cultures still are, used.

In the United Kingdom, electrically powered Christmas lights are generally known as fairy lights. In 1881, the Savoy Theatre, London was the first building in the world to be lit entirely by electricity. Sir Joseph Swan, pioneer of the incandescent light bulb, supplied about 1,200 Swan incandescent lamps, and a year later, the Savoy owner Richard D’Oyly Carte equipped the principal fairies with miniature lighting supplied by the Swan United Electric Lamp Company, for the opening night of the Gilbert and Sullivan opera Iolanthe on 25 November 1882. The term ‘fairy lights’, describing ‘a small coloured light used in illuminations’ had already entered English and  has been common since.

The first known electrically illuminated Christmas tree was the creation of Edward H. Johnson, an associate of inventor Thomas Edison. While he was vice president of the Edison Electric Light Company, a predecessor of today’s Con Edison electric utility, he had Christmas tree light bulbs especially made for him. He proudly displayed his Christmas tree, which was hand-wired with 80 red, white and blue electric incandescent light bulbs the size of walnuts, on December 22, 1882 at his home on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Local newspapers ignored the story, seeing it as a publicity stunt. However, it was published by a Detroit newspaper reporter, and Johnson has become widely regarded as the Father of Electric Christmas Tree Lights. By 1900, businesses started stringing up Christmas lights behind their windows. Christmas lights were too expensive for the average person; as such, electric Christmas lights did not become the majority replacement for candles until 1930.

In 1895, U.S. President Grover Cleveland proudly sponsored the first electrically lit Christmas tree in the White House. It was a huge specimen, featuring more than a hundred multicolored lights. The first commercially produced Christmas tree lamps were manufactured in strings of multiples of eight sockets by the General Electric Co. of Harrison, New Jersey. Each socket took a miniature two-candela carbon-filament lamp.

The use of Indoor electrically illuminated Christmas trees, grew  in the United States and elsewhere. San Diego in 1904, Appleton, Wisconsin in 1909, and New York City in 1912 were the first recorded instances of the use of Christmas lights outside. McAdenville, North Carolina claims to have been the first in 1956.  The Library of Congress credits the town for inventing “the tradition of decorating evergreen trees with Christmas lights dates back to 1956 when the McAdenville Men’s Club conceived of the idea of decorating a few trees around the McAdenville Community Center.” Although the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has had lights” since 1931, but did not have real electric lights until 1956. Philadelphia’s Christmas Light Show and Disney’s Christmas Tree also began in 1956. Though General Electric sponsored community lighting competitions during the 1920s, it would take until the mid-1950s for the use of such lights to be adopted by average households.

Gradually strings of Christmas lights were used elsewhere. Soon, strings of lights adorned mantles and doorways inside homes, and ran along the rafters, roof lines, and porch railings of homes and businesses, many city skyscrapers are decorated with long mostly-vertical strings of a common theme. In 1963, The town of Greenville, North Carolina boycotted Christmas Lights In protest of the segregation that kept blacks from being employed by downtown businesses in Greenville, this became Known as the Black Christmas (boycott) or “Christmas Sacrifice”. In 1973 during the OPEC’s Oil Embargo President Nixon asked Americans not to put up Christmas lights as a way to conserve energy use. In the mid-2000s, a video Featuring the home of Carson Williams, festooned with a large number of fairy lights, was shown in a Williams Television Commercial. The commercial impressed many and Williams was subsequently commissioned to decorate Denver shopping center With 250,000 lights, as well as many parks and zoos.

Perpetual Youth Day

Perpetual Youth Day takes Place annaully on November 30 The purpose of Perpetual Youth day is to educate people concerning good health practices to improve your looks, health and quality of life. It doesn’t have to be anything too drastic Even small changes in the way you live can improve your life. Being beautiful isn’t all about makeup, hair dye, and the right clothes. It’s also about good health. The healthier you are, the better you will look. Change your lifestyle and you’ll be prettier. Here are some tried and true tips for looking your best:

  • Give up Smoking -this can ruin your skin and hair — The primary reason to not smoke — or stop if you do — is to prevent potentially fatal diseases, including cancer and stroke. smoking also damages the microcirculation to the skin and hair, And can lead to early wrinkles, especially around the mouth.
  • Reduce Alcohol consumption- Too much alcohol consumption can cause weight gain — What you drink and how much you drink affect the size of your waistline. The type of alcohol that’s consumed seems to contribute differently to the accumulation of abdominal fat. Alcohol can also damage your liver if drunk in sufficient quantities.
  • Take Vitamins -Taking vitamins can help your skin look healthy — If you want a complexion that glows, take your vitamins. Sometimes that means popping a vitamin pill and other times it means eating the right food. A healthy diet can be a fountain of youth for thr skin. Eat well and your skin will be moist, clear, and glowing. Eat poorly and it will be dry, pale, scaly, or oily.
  • Exercise regularly-this will not only keep you in shape, but also give you poise and make your skin glow. If you walk briskly for 30 minutes a day, you may never gain another pound,
  • Avoid too much sun- Sun provides Vitamin D which is necessary for the production of Vitamin C which are both important for good health, however too much sun exposure can cause health problems, so Cover up with clothing or sun screen. The sun’s ultraviolet rays break down the skin’s collagen, which makes the skin thinner and allows wrinkles to form. Too much ultraviolet light and radiation from sunlight can also cause cancer.
  • Get more Sleep -Sleep is extremeley important for wellbeing, general health and body repairs. So make sure you get enough, which is at least seven to eight hours a night. If you don’t get enough shut-eye, you could also have problems with memory and concentration.
  • Learn how to deal with stress— Stress can have a negative impact on your health and can show on your face and in your posture. Learn how to deal with the big and little stresses you face in your life. Stress is the most common health problem reported by women.
  • Smile and say cheese — Take care of your teeth. Brush, floss, and see the dentist every six months for a check-up. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry offers this advice to keep your teeth white: Avoid drinking too much coffee or red wine and use toothpaste that has hydrogen peroxide or baking soda.