National Holidays happening on 21 January

  • National Hugging Day
  • National Granola Bar Day
  • National New England Clam Chowder Day
  • One-Liners Day
  • Own Your Own Home Day
  • Squirrel Appreciation Day
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National Fig Newton Day

National Fig Newton day takes place annually on 16 January. Fig Newtons, are a Nabisco trademarked version of the fig roll, a cookie filled with fig paste. They are produced by an extrusion process. Their distinctive shape is a characteristic that has been adopted by competitors, including generic fig bars sold in many markets.

Figs became popular in the 19th Century when physicians recommended a daily intake of biscuits and fruit to stave off most illnesses which they thought were related to digestion problem and Fig rolls were the ideal solution to this advice. They were a locally produced and handmade product until a Philadelphia baker and fig lover, Charles Roser, invented and then patented a machine in 1891 which inserted fig paste into a thick pastry dough. Cambridgeport, Massachusetts–based Kennedy Biscuit Company purchased the Roser recipe and started mass production. The first Fig Newtons were baked at the F. A. Kennedy Steam Bakery in 1891. The product was named after the city of Newton, Massachusetts, and contrary to popular belief, has nothing to do with Sir Isaac Newton. The Kennedy Biscuit Company had recently become associated with the New York Biscuit Company, and the two merged to form Nabisco—after which, the fig rolls were trademarked as Fig Newtons.

Prohibition Remembrance Day

Prohibition Remembrance Day is observed annually on January 16th to commeomrate the anniversary of the ratification of The Eighteenth Amendment on 16 January 1919. This prohibited the production, transportation, and sale of alcohol. It was ratified by the requisite number of states, but did not go into effect for another year. Prohibition Remembrance Day commemorates the ratification and implementation of Prohibition, and the almost fourteen years that American citizens lived under it.

Prohibition had come about after many years of work by those in the temperance movement, which wanted complete abstinence from alcohol. As a whole, the movement had close ties to the church. One of the main groups that was instrumental in the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment was the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), which believed an amendment would protect children, women, and families from the effects of alcohol abuse, by reducing social problems such as poverty, crime, mental illness, and drunkenness. Another important temperance group was the Anti-Saloon League, which had first took on alcohol by working to ban its sale at the state level. The fight against alcohol was dramatized by campaigners such as the hatchet-wielding Carrie Nation, who traveled around the country smashing up saloons. By the time the amendment went into effect, many states already had prohibition laws on the books, which helped with the final passage of the amendment. For example, by 1916 there were 23 states that had laws against saloons, and some had already banned the manufacture of alcohol as well.

On August 1, 1917, the US Senate passed a resolution with the language for a prohibition amendment, and On December 17, 1917, the House of Representatives passed a revised resolution. The following day the Senate approved the revised version, and it was sent to states for ratification. On January 16, 1919, the amendment became official, as Nebraska became the 36th state to ratify it. With it the consumption of alcohol was not banned, but the production, transportation, or sale of it was. There was a stipulation that it could not go into effect right away though, so it was not until January 17, 1920, that it began being implemented. In order to enforce the amendment, and to define which drinks were considered “intoxicating liquors,” the Volstead Act was passed by Congress, overriding a presidential veto.

The amendment was quite controversial during its thirteen year existence, and public pressure eventually led to its repeal. There were debates to its positive and negative qualities during its implementation, as there have been since its repeal. Overall alcohol consumption declined during it, cirrhosis rates for men decreased, and admissions to mental hospitals for issues surrounding alcohol went down. There is some indication that overall violent crime didn’t increase dramatically during Prohibition, and many people did decide to follow Prohibition when it came into effect.

Although overall drinking went down, in some areas more people drank, and they drank more. This fostered an underground bootlegging industry that was controlled by organized crime groups such as the Mafia, as well as by other gangs. Some members of the police force were bribed, and some politicians turned a blind eye. Still, many were prosecuted for violating liquor laws, which overburdened the justice system. While bootlegging was running rampant, gambling and prostitution also increased.

In the cities there were many speakeasies, or underground drinking establishments, but in the country and among the working class, drinking mainly moved from being in saloons to being a part of home life, exemplified in the rise in production of “bathtub gin” and moonshine. There also were many instances of the re-distilling of the alcohol in things such as perfume and paint, which were materials that contained poisons.

Prohibition also was costly. There was a large amount of money spent to enforce it, and there was a loss of tax revenue from the lack of alcohol sales. As the Great Depression began at the end of the decade, it was harder to justify Prohibition when an economic benefit from its repeal could be seen.

Many groups formed to repeal Prohibition, such as the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment (AAPA). Many women joined the repeal movement, after they saw the destructiveness of alcohol being increased by the amendment itself. The Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR) gained 1.5 million members, many of whom had previously supported Prohibition, but now saw it as leading to corruption, violent crime, and underground drinking. Many members also believed that when children saw that people were not following laws, it could have a negative effect on them. The WONPR, the AAPA, and other groups came together and founded the United Repeal Council. The council lobbied at the 1932 Republican and Democrat Conventions, and the Democratic Party’s platform eventually included a plank calling for the repeal of Prohibition, and candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt said he would work to repeal Prohibition.

After Roosevelt was elected, he signed the Cullen-Harrison Act on March 22, 1933, which legalized 3.2% alcohol beer, and wine, and went into effect on April 7—which is now celebrated in the United States as National Beer Day. Congress proposed the Twenty-first Amendment on February 20, 1933, and state conventions ratified it, the last doing so on December 5, 1933, which repealed the Eighteenth Amendment.


National Holidays, Events and Anniversaries taking place on 16 January

  • National Nothing Day
  • Appreciate a Dragon Day
  • International Hot and Spicy Food Day
  • National Fig Newton Day
  • National Good Teen Day
  • Prohibition Remembrance Day

NATIONAL NOTHING DAY

National Nothing Day is an “un-event” which takes place annually on 16 January. It was proposed in 1972 by columnist Harold Pullman Coffin and has been observed annually on January 16 since 1973, when it was added to Chase’s Calendar of Events. It is not actually a public holiday, as that requires an act of Congress. The purpose of National Nothing Day is to provide Americans with one National day when they can just sit without celebrating, observing or honoring anything.

The third Monday of every January has subsequently been inaugurated as Martin Luther King Jr. Day which falls between the 15th and 21st. This means that one-in-seven January 16’s now fall on a public holiday (e.g. Monday, 16th Jan 2012), effectively usurping the very nature of Nothing Day. In contrast, the Realist Society of Canada (RSC) has a religious holiday called THABS ( “There has always been something” Day, THABS is dedicated to the celebration of the “realization” that “if there was ever nothing, there would be nothing now”. It is celebrated July 8 of each year.

National pharmacist Day

National Pharmacist Day is observed annually on January 12. This day has been set aside to recognize and honor all pharmacists across the nation. Pharmacists, also known as chemists (Commonwealth English) or druggists (North American and, archaically, Commonwealth English), are health professionals who practice in pharmacy, the field of health sciences focusing on safe and effective medication use. Pharmacists undergo university-level education to understand the biochemical mechanisms and actions of drugs, drug uses, therapeutic roles, side effects, potential drug interactions, and monitoring parameters. This is mated to anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology. Pharmacists interpret and communicate this specialized knowledge to patients, physicians, and other health care providers. Among other licensing requirements, different countries require pharmacists to hold either a Bachelor of Pharmacy, Master of Pharmacy, or Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

The most common pharmacist positions are that of a community pharmacist (also referred to as a retail pharmacist, first-line pharmacist or dispensing chemist), or a hospital pharmacist, where they instruct and counsel on the proper use and adverse effects of medically prescribed drugs and medicines. In most countries, the profession is subject to professional regulation. Depending on the legal scope of practice, pharmacists may contribute to prescribing (also referred to as “pharmacist prescriber”) and administering certain medications (e.g., immunizations) in some jurisdictions. Pharmacists may also practice in a variety of other settings, including industry, wholesaling, research, academia, military, and government.

The role of pharmacists over the years has shifted from the classical “lick, stick and pour” dispensary role to being an integrated member of the health care team directly involved in patient care. After mastering biochemical mechanisms of action of drugs, physiology, and pathophysiology, pharmacists interpret and communicate their specialized knowledge to patients, physicians, and other healthcare providers.

Historically, the primary role of a pharmacist was to check and distribute drugs to doctors for a patient prescribed medication. In modern times, pharmacists advise patients and health care providers on the selection, dosages, interactions and the side effects of prescriptions, along with having the role as a learned intermediary between a prescriber and a patient. Monitoring the health and progress of patients, pharmacists can then ensure the safe and effective use of medication.

NATIONAL MARZIPAN DAY

National Marzipan Day occurs annually on 12 January. Marzipan is a confection consisting primarily of sugar or honey and almond meal (ground almonds), sometimes augmented with almond oil or extract.

It is often made into sweets; common uses are chocolate-covered marzipan and small marzipan imitations of fruits and vegetables. It can also be used in biscuits or rolled into thin sheets and glazed for icing cakes, primarily birthday, wedding cakes and Christmas cakes. This use is particularly common in the UK, on large fruitcakes. Marzipan paste may also be used as a baking ingredient, as in stollen or banket. In some countries, it is shaped into small figures of animals as a traditional treat for New Year’s Day. Marzipan is also used in Tortell, and in some versions of king cake eaten during the Carnival season. Traditional Swedish princess cake is typically covered with a layer of marzipan that has been tinted pale green or pink.

Marzipan is believed to have been introduced to Eastern Europe through the Turks (badem ezmesi in Turkish, and most notably produced in Edirne), however there is some dispute between Hungary and Italy over its origin. In Sicily it was (1193) known as panis martius or marzapane, i.e., March Bread.[9] Marzipan became a specialty of the Hanseatic League port towns. In particular, the cities of Lübeck and Tallinn have a proud tradition of marzipan manufacture. Examples include Lübecker Marzipan  The city’s manufacturers like Niederegger still guarantee their marzipan to contain two-thirds almonds by weight, which results in a product of highest quality. Historically, the city of Königsberg in East Prussia was also renowned for its distinctive marzipan production. Königsberg marzipan remains a special type of marzipan in Germany that is golden brown on its surface and sometimes embedded with marmalade at its centre.

Another possible geographic origin of Marzipan is in Spain, then known as Al-Andalus. In Toledo (850-900, though more probably 1150 during the reign of Alfonso VII) this specialty was known as Postre Regio (instead of Mazapán) and there are also mentions in The Book of One Thousand and One Nights of an almond paste eaten during Ramadan and as an aphrodisiac. Mazapán is Toledo’s most famous dessert, often created for Christmas. Almonds have to be at least 50% of the total weight, following the directives of Mazapán de Toledo regulator counseil another Spanish almond-based Christmas confectionery, is turrón.

In the U.S., marzipan is not officially defined, but it is generally made with a higher ratio of sugar to almonds than almond paste. One brand, for instance, has 28% almonds in its marzipan, and 45% almonds in its almond paste. However, in Sweden and Finland almond paste refers to a marzipan that contains 50% ground almonds, a much higher quality than regular marzipan. In Germany, Lübecker Marzipan is known for its quality. It contains 66% almonds. The original manually produced Mozartkugeln are made from green pistachio marzipan.


More Events and National days happening on 12 January
Kiss a Ginger Day
Curried Chicken Day
Feast of Fabulous Wild Men Day
National Marzipan Day
National Pharmacist Day
Stick To Your New Year’s Resolution Day

National Tempura day

National Tempura Day takes place annually on 7 January. Tempura (天ぷら or 天麩羅 tenpura, [tẽ̞mpɯᵝɾa]) is a Japanese dish usually consisting of seafood or vegetables that have been battered and deep fried.Tempura can trace its origins back to the 16 Century when a fritter-cooking techniques was introduced by Portuguese missionaries and merchants from the region of Alentejo, who were residing in Nagasaki. Whereas Earlier Japanese deep-fried food had either been simply fried without breading or batter, or fried with rice flour. The Portuguese fritter-cooking technique used flour and eggs as a batter. It came about as a way to fulfill the fasting and abstinence rules for Catholics surrounding the quarterly ember days (Latin: Quatuor Tempora). Hence, the etymology of the word, tempura. In those days, tempura in Nagasaki was deep-fried in lard with a batter consisting of flour, water, eggs, and salt.

In the beginning of the 17th century around the Tokyo Bay area, the raw materials of tempura and its method underwent a remarkable change as the Yatai (food cart) culture gained more popularity. Making the best use of fresh seafood while preserving its delicate taste, tempura used only flour, eggs and water as ingredients and the batter was not flavored. As the batter was mixed minimally in cold water, it avoided the dough-like stickiness caused by the activation of wheat gluten, resulting in the crispy texture which is now characteristic of tempura. It became customary to eat tempura by dipping quickly in a sauce mixed with grated daikon just before it was eaten. Today in Japan the mainstream of tempura recipes basically originate from “Tokyo style (Edo style)” tempura, which was invented at the food stalls along the riverside fish market in the Edo period.

To make Tempura A light batter is made using cold water (sometimes sparkling water is used to keep the batter light) and soft wheat flour (cake, pastry or all-purpose flour). Eggs, baking soda or baking powder, starch, oil, and/or spices may also be added. Tempura batter is traditionally mixed in small batches using chopsticks for only a few seconds, leaving lumps in the mixture that, along with the cold batter temperature, result in the unique fluffy and crisp tempura structure when cooked. The batter is often kept cold by adding ice, or by placing the bowl inside a larger bowl with ice in it. Overmixing the batter will result in activation of wheat gluten, which causes the flour mixture to become soft and dough-like when fried. Specially formulated tempura flour is available in worldwide supermarkets. This is generally light (low-gluten) flour, and occasionally contains leaveners such as baking powder. Tempura generally does not use breadcrumbs (panko) in the coating. Generally, fried foods which are coated with breadcrumbs are considered to be furai, Japanese-invented Western-style deep fried foods, such as tonkatsu or ebi furai (fried prawn).

To fry Tempura Thin slices or strips of vegetables or seafood are dipped in the batter, then briefly deep-fried in hot oil. Vegetable oil or canola oil are most common; however, tempura was traditionally cooked using sesame oil. Many specialty shops still use sesame oil or tea seed oil, and it is thought certain compounds in these oils help to produce light, crispier batter. When cooking shellfish, squid, or hard-skinned watery vegetables, such as bell pepper or eggplant, the skin is usually scored with a knife to prevent the ingredients from bursting during cooking, which can cause serious burns from splashing oil Oil temperature is generally kept between 160 and 180 degrees Celsius (320–356 F), depending on the ingredient. To preserve the natural flavor and texture of the ingredients, care is taken not to overcook tempura. Cooking times range between a few seconds for delicate leaf vegetables, to several minutes for thick items or large kaki-age fritters. The bits of batter (known as tenkasu) are scooped out between batches of tempura, so they do not burn and leave a bad flavor in the oil. A small mesh scoop (Ami jakushi) is used for this purpose. Tenkasu are often reserved as ingredients in other dishes or as a topping.

Various seafood and vegetables are commonly used as the ingredients in traditional tempura. These include prawn, shrimp, squid, scallop, crab, ayu (sweetfish)
conger eel, Catfish, cod, haddock, pollock coley, plaice, skate, ray, rock salmon, whiting, Sea bass and Sea perch.

Vegetables tempura also popular and is called yasai tempura. Vegetables commonly used include bamboo shoots, bell pepper, broccoli, butternut squash, carrot, aubergine, gobo (burdock, Arctium lappa), green beans, kabocha
mushrooms, okra, onion, pumpkin, potato, sweet potato, renkon (lotus root), shiitake mushroom, shiso leaf and Yams.

Tempura is commonly served with Tentsuyu sauce. Cooked bits of tempura are either eaten with dipping sauce, salted without sauce, or used to assemble other dishes. Tempura is commonly served with grated daikon and eaten hot immediately after frying. In Japan, it is often found in bowls of soba or udon soup often in the form of a shrimp, shiso leaf, or fritter. The most common sauce is tentsuyu sauce (roughly three parts dashi, one part mirin, and one part shōyu). Alternatively, tempura may be sprinkled with sea salt before eating. Mixtures of powdered green tea and salt or yuzu and salt are also used.

Kakiage is a type of tempura made with mixed vegetable strips, such as onion, carrot, and burdock, and sometimes including shrimp or squid, which are deep fried as small round fritters. Tempura is also used in combination with other foods. When served over soba (buckwheat noodles), it is called tempura soba. or tensoba. Tempura is also served as a donburi dish where tempura shrimp and vegetables are served over steamed rice in a bowl (tendon) and on top of udon soup (tempura udon).

There are several factors for the popularization and flourishing of tempura at Tokyo Bay in the Edo period. The abundance of seafood in the Tokyo Bay is the basic factor. In addition, as oil extraction techniques advanced, cooking oil became inexpensive. In those days, serving deep-fried foods indoors was prohibited in Edo due to a possible fire hazard. Traditional Japanese housing was constructed with paper and wood which could catch fire easily from the tempura oil. For that reason, tempura gained popularity as fast food eaten outside at the food stall. Eating tempura in those days was made to be convenient like fast food as tempura was skewered and eaten with a dipping sauce. Tempura has been considered as one of “the Edo Delicacies” along with soba (buckwheat noodles) and sushi which were also food stall take outs. The modern tempura recipe was first published in 1671 in the cook book called “料理献立抄”. After the Meiji period, tempura was no longer considered as a fast food item but instead developed as a high-class cuisine.

Outside Japan (as well as recently in Japan), there are many nontraditional and fusion uses of tempura. Chefs over the world include tempura dishes on their menus, and a wide variety of different batters and ingredients are used, including the nontraditional broccoli, zucchini, asparagus and chuchu. More unusual ingredients may include nori slices, dry fruit such as banana, and ice cream (tempura-based fried ice cream). American restaurants are known to serve tempura in the form of various meats, particularly chicken, and cheeses, usually mozzarella. A variation is to use panko (breadcrumbs), which results in a crisper consistency than tempura batter. Using panko in Japan would no longer qualify the dish as tempura. It would become something else called fry or pronounced in Japanese as furai. Tempura (particularly shrimp) is often used as a filling in makizushi. A more recent variation of tempura sushi has entire pieces of sushi being dipped in batter and tempura-fried. In Bangladesh the blossoms of pumpkins or marrows are often deep fried with a gram of rice flour spice mix creating a Bengali style tempura known as kumro ful bhaja. Elsewhere In Taiwan, tempura as described in the preceding is known as tiānfùluó (天婦羅) and can commonly be found on the menu in Japanese restaurants all over the island. A similar-sounding dish, tiánbúlà (甜不辣) (lit. sweet, not spicy) is usually sold at night markets; it bears no resemblance whatsoever with tempura, but can be considered a counterpart to Japanese oden.