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BLUE MONDAY 2018

Monday, 15 January

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The third Monday of January has
been awarded the gloomy title due to a combination of post-Christmas blues,
cold dark nights and the arrival of unpaid credit card bills.

Apparently, a university
professor managed to precisely calculate the most depressing day of the year,
using the following formula:

Where weather=W, debt=d, time
since Christmas=T, time since failing our new year’s resolutions=Q, low
motivational levels=M and the feeling of a need to take action=Na. ‘D’ is not
defined in the release, nor are units.

Supposedly the date was
calculated by using many factors, including: weather conditions, debt level
(the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since
Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational
levels and feeling of a need to take action.

 

Valentine’s Day 2018

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

 

Valentine’s Day (or Saint Valentine’s Day) is observed on February
14 each year. Today Valentine’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the
world, mostly in the West, although it remains a working day in all of them.
The original “St. Valentine” was just a liturgical celebration of one
or earlier Christian saint named Valentines. All the modern romantic
connotations were added several centuries later by poets.

The day first became associated with romantic
love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the
tradition of courtly love flourished. By the 15th century, it had evolved into
an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting
flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as
“valentines”).
Modern Valentine’s Day symbols include the heart-shaped
outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century,
handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.

 

Easter
Sunday 2018

 

Sunday, April 1.

 

Many churches hold special
services on Easter Sunday, which celebrate the Jesus Christ’s resurrection
after his crucifixion. Many people also decorate eggs. These can be hard boiled
eggs that can be eaten later, but may also be model eggs made of plastic,
chocolate, candy or other materials. It is also common to organize Easter egg
hunts. Eggs of some form are hidden, supposedly by a rabbit or hare. People,
especially children, then search for them. In some areas, Easter egg hunts are
a popular way for local businesses to promote themselves or may even be organized
by churches.

 

Father’s
Day 2018

 

Sunday, 17 June

 

Father’s Day is an occasion to mark and celebrate the contribution that
your own father has made to your life. Many people send or give cards or gifts
to their fathers. Common Father’s Day gifts include sports items or clothing,
electronic gadgets, outdoor cooking supplies and tools for household
maintenance.

Father’s Day is a relatively modern holiday so different families have a
range of traditions. These can range from a simple phone call or greetings card
to large parties honouring all of the ‘father’ figures in a particular extended
family. Father figures can include fathers, step-fathers, fathers-in-law,
grandfathers and great-grandfathers and even other male relatives. In the days
and weeks before Father’s Day, many schools and Sunday schools help their
pupils to prepare a handmade card or small gift for their fathers.

 

Mother’s Day

Sunday, 13 May

During
the 19th century, women’s peace groups in the US tried to establish holidays
and regular activities in favour of peace and against war. A common early
activity was the meeting of groups of mothers whose sons had fought or died on
opposite sides of the American Civil War.

In
1868, Ann Jarvis, mother of Anna Jarvis, created a committee to establish a
“Mother’s Friendship Day”, the purpose of which was “to reunite
families that had been divided during the Civil War.” Jarvis  who had previously organized “Mother’s
Day Work Clubs” to improve sanitation and health for both Union and
Confederate encampments undergoing a typhoid outbreak  wanted to expand this into an annual memorial
for mothers, but she died in 1905 before the celebration became popular. Her
daughter, who became almost obsessed with her, would continue her mother’s
efforts.

There
were several limited observances in the 1870s and the 1880s but none achieved
resonance beyond the local level. At the time, Protestant schools in the United
States already held many celebrations and observations such as Children’s Day,
Temperance Sunday, Roll Call Day, Decision Day, Missionary Day and others. In
New York City, Julia Ward Howe led a “Mother’s Day for Peace”
anti-war observance on June 2, 1872, which was accompanied by a “Appeal to
womanhood throughout the world” (nowadays known as Mother’s Day
Proclamation). The observance continued in Boston for about 10 years under
Howe’s personal sponsorship, then died out in these celebrations, mothers all
around the world would work towards world peace.

 

Independence Day 2018

 

Wednesday, 4 July

 

On July 4, 1776, the United States of
America proclaimed its independence from England by signing the Declaration of
Independence.

While the signing of the Declaration
itself was not completed until August, the Fourth of July holiday is seen as
the official anniversary of U.S. independence.

Although Philadelphians marked the
first anniversary of independence in 1777 with spontaneous celebrations in the
streets of Philadelphia, the first recorded use of the name “Independence
Day” wasn’t until 1791 and Independence Day celebrations only became
common after the War of 1812.

By the
1870’s, Independence Day had become the most important secular holiday on the
American calendar and has transformed into what is known as the 4th of July today.

In 1870, The U.S. Congress made
Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees, though it wasn’t
until 1941 that Congress declared Independence Day to be a paid federal
holiday.

 

Labor Day 2018

Monday, 3 September

 

Observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day pays tribute
to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by
the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in
1894. Labor Day also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is
celebrated with parties, parades and athletic events.

 

Halloween
2018

Wednesday, 31 October

Halloween is an annual holiday, celebrated each year on
October 31 that has roots in age-old European traditions. It originated with
the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and
wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III
designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints; soon, All Saints Day
incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as
All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day
of activities like trick-or-treating and carving jack-o-lanterns. Around the
world, as days grow shorter and nights get colder, people continue to usher in
the season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats.

 

Thanks giving Day 2018

Thursday, 22 November

 

Thanksgiving
Day has been an annual holiday in the United States since 1863. Not everyone
sees Thanksgiving Day as a cause for celebration. Each year since 1970, a group
of Native Americans and their supporters have staged a protest for a National
Day of Mourning at Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts on Thanksgiving
Day. American Indian Heritage Day is also observed at this time of the year.

There are
claims that the first Thanksgiving Day was held in the city of El Paso, Texas
in 1598. Another early event was held in 1619 in the Virginia Colony. Many
people trace the origins of the modern Thanksgiving Day to the harvest
celebration that the Pilgrims held in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. However,
their first true thanksgiving was in 1623, when they gave thanks for rain that
ended a drought. These early thanksgivings took the form of a special church
service, rather than a feast.

In the
second half of the 1600s, thanksgivings after the harvest became more common
and started to become annual events. However, it was celebrated on different
days in different communities and in some places there were more than one
thanksgiving each year. George Washington, the first president of the United
States, proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving Day in 1789.

 

Black Friday 2018

Friday, 23 November

 

Black Friday
is one of the busiest shopping days in the USA. There are two popular theories
as to why the day after Thanksgiving Day is called Black Friday. One theory is
that the wheels of vehicles in heavy traffic on the day after Thanksgiving Day
left many black markings on the road surface, leading to the term Black Friday.

The other
theory is that the term Black Friday comes from an old way of recording
business accounts. Losses were recorded in red ink and profits in black ink.
Many businesses, particularly small businesses, started making profits prior to
Christmas. Many hoped to start showing a profit, marked in black ink, on the
day after Thanksgiving Day.

 

Cyber Monday 2018

Monday, 26 November

 

Cyber Monday
is a marketing invention that was first observed in 2005 by online retailer
shop.org. Seen as an online version of Black Friday, Cyber Monday was created to allow customers to shop
online from the comfort of their offices and homes.

The day
after Thanksgiving in the United States is traditionally considered to be the
beginning of the Christmas shopping season. On this day, brick and mortar
retailers have sales and provide massive discounts to attract customers, making
it one of the busiest shopping days of the year. As a result, many people tend
to stay away from stores to avoid crowds. Additionally, thanksgiving weekend is
also one of the busiest travel weekends in the US when people travel around the
country to be with their families. Such travel may mean that many customers
miss Black Friday deals and sales. It is thought that Cyber Monday was created
as a way to encourage such customers to shop without having to visit brick and
mortar stores.

 

Christmas Eve/Christmas Day 2018

Monday, 24 December

 

Since
Christmas Eve is not an official federal holiday, most people have to work.
However, it is a partial day off or a full day off in some states. Many
workplaces hold Christmas parties or celebrations, so there is a celebratory
air to the day. People who work in the retail or catering sectors often have to
work very hard to meet consumer demands on December 24.

Many people
in the United States decorate their homes and driveways with seasonal
decorations, although some do this much earlier, starting just after
Thanksgiving Day in late November. The centrepiece of the decorations is often
a Christmas tree decorated with fairy lights, tinsel, angels, stars and other
seasonal ornaments. Outdoor light sculptures are also becoming increasingly
popular. These are many light bulbs or LEDs in the form of trees, sleighs,
reindeer, Santa Claus, snowmen and other seasonal figures. Light sculptures may
be placed on driveways, roofs or in gardens.

In the
evening, often just before bedtime, many families, particularly those with
children, will hang up stockings on the fireplace or the end of their bed.
These Christmas stockings are often red with a white fluffy trim, although they
may be of any design and are often much bigger than the socks that they
represent. Children hope that Santa Claus, a mythical figure thought to
represent an ancient European saint, will enter their home via the chimney and
fill their stocking with gifts, sweets and oranges.

Graduation season 2018

In the United States, besides “commencement,” the
term “graduation” is also used in schools below university level such
as the high school, middle school and even kindergarten and preschool
ceremonies.

The American
Council on Education (ACE) is the authority on academic
regalia in
the US, and has developed an Academic Ceremony Guide that is generally
followed by most institutions of higher learning. The ceremony guide and the
related Academic Costume Code provide
the core of academic ceremony traditions in the US. The ACE code addresses
college and university dress: high school and other lower school gown colours
vary from institution to institution.

At many large US institutions, where many hundreds of
degrees are being granted at once, the main ceremony (commencement) involving
all graduates in a sports stadium, amphitheatre, parade ground or lawn, or other large
– often outdoor – venue is usually followed, but sometimes preceded, by smaller
ceremonies (diploma ceremony)
at sites on or around campus where deans and faculty of each academic
organization (college, academic
department, program, etc.) distribute diplomas to their graduates.

 

Back-to-school shopping season

In the era of smart phones, you might expect back-to-school shopping for pens, notebooks,
calculators, and other throwbacks to be going the way of the card catalogue.
Not so, according to data from the National Retail Federation (NRF), which has
projected that fall 2017 will be the largest season ever for school-related spending.

This year, the category is expected to grow more than 10%, hitting $83.6
billion. Much of that will go to clothes ($10.2 billion, according to NRF
projections), but school supplies like binders and glue are still going strong
($4.9 billion).

There are some changes, though. The Association of
American Publishers found that print books accounted for 64% of higher-end
revenue in 2015 and just 59% in 2016. Perhaps related: Backpack sales peaked in
2015, according to the Travel Goods Association, falling nearly 10% last year
by volume.

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