By GLYNIS VALENTI
Times Leader Staff Writer
Was one weekend of celebrating just not enough? Still have some leftover burgers, buns and beverages? Well, fortunately July has plenty of opportunities to celebrate something else, even if you forgot "I Forgot Day" on July 2. The month is young, so here are a few other light-hearted, lesser known holidays that may have you firing up the grill again.
Few people need a reason to eat ice cream, but for rationalization's sake, July is National Ice Cream Month - yes, the whole month, and here's the scoop. While National Strawberry Sundae Day and Chocolate Day were on the 7th, there are still Peach Ice Cream Day (17th), National Ice Cream Day (20th or the third Sunday in July), Vanilla Ice Cream Day (23rd), and National Milk Chocolate Day (28th) on which to catch up.
The origin of ice cream isn't clear. Different sources credit Marco Polo, Catherine Di Medici and a chef for Charles I among others with creating the popular treat. In America, a man named Phillip Lenzi placed an advertisement in a 1774 New York newspaper announcing ice cream as part of his menu. A few years later in 1813, Dolly Madison served ice cream at her husband's inaugural dinner at the White House. A woman from Philadelphia, Nancy Johnson, received a patent in 1843 for the first ice cream maker, which was similar to today's models. Commercial production in the United States started in 1851 by Jacob Fussell of Baltimore, Md.
Since then, flavors have continued to evolve from plainest vanilla to exotic fruits, vegetables and spices. While Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day was on July 1, cooks celebrating Culinarians Day on the 25th have another chance to whip up some new takes on the old favorite. Some of the more unusual and artisanal flavors throughout the world include rosemary honey goat's milk; manchego cheese with pineapple; whiskey-soaked prunes in mascarpone ice cream; butter beer; and peanut butter and jelly with toast chunks. Many people enjoy flavors like basil avocado ice cream or cayenne and cinnamon with chocolate ice cream, but flavors like honey jalapeno pickle or creamed cod with pepper vanilla batter are for the more adventurous palate and stomach.
July 1: Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day
July 2:?World UFO?Day
July 3:?Compliment Your Mirror Day
July 7:?National Strawberry Sundae Day
July 13:?Embrace Your Geekness Day
July 15: Gummy Worm Day
July 17: Yellow Pig Day
July 20: National Ice Cream Day
July 23:?Hot Enough for Ya Day
July 27:?Take Your Houseplant for a Walk Day
July 28:?National Milk Chocolate Day
Most people can find some acceptable flavor of ice cream, though, especially on Hot Enough for Ya Day, July 23rd.
Speaking of "hot enough," humans tend to wear fewer items of clothing during summer months. This month, however, some humans have been wearing NO clothing, especially during Nude Recreation Week from July 7 to 13. The Naturist Society started this holiday nearly 40 years ago to promote life au naturel. They say the annual celebration is a great time to try the lifestyle because there are activities and events scheduled at nudist resorts and beaches everywhere. Not to worry that the official week is over, however. There are more festivals taking place in August, including one in West Virginia.
While you're in the buff, give yourself some love by celebrating a belated Compliment Your Mirror Day (July 3rd.)
July is a good month for geeks, too. Yellow Pig Day, for instance, is on the 17th. This holiday was started in the 1960s by two math students at Princeton University. While studying the number 17 and its properties, David C. Kelly and Michael Spivak came up with a visual of a yellow pig and gave it 17 teeth, 17 eyelashes, 17 toes, etc. They have both become successful mathematicians since and still include yellow pigs in their work. Spivak has used them in textbooks and writings. Kelly directs the Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics (HCSSiM) for budding high school mathematicians where students decorate and wear shirts referencing the Yellow Pig, Kelly lectures on the number 17, and other Yellow Pig activities like origami take place. Several universities celebrate Yellow Pig Day, and many mathematicians collect yellow pigs as a part of this worldwide "cult."
But not every geek is into math, and those who aren't will probably be celebrating Embrace Your Geekness Day on July 13th. All over the world geeks will unite - probably online - and play video games, swap comic books and dress up as "Star Trek" characters. If you haven't made plans for Comic Con yet, then July 13th would be a good time to get that trip in order. At the very least text some friends to come over, stock the fridge with energy drinks and settle in for the complete series of "Dr. Who."
As you gaze at the sky during this Share a Sunset with Your Lover Month, be on the lookout for Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) since World UFO Day was on July 2nd. Organizers chose the anniversary of what is known as "the Roswell Incident" to raise awareness about extraterrestrial visitors and what they believe is a government cover-up of alien visits.
In 1947, a rancher named Mac Brazel found the wreckage of an unusual craft outside of Roswell, New Mexico. He could not identify it or its metallic materials and contacted the military. Authorities arrived on the scene and removed the debris, reporting it as an "Unidentified Flying Object." Later, the government recanted the description and denied the existence of alien life. People speculated that an invasion had begun and that the government was covering up Roswell and other incidents to keep people in the dark.
According to UFOstalker.com, more than 54,000 sightings globally have been indexed so far, and they say overall sightings are up 8 percent over the last year and up 17 percent during the last month. Ohioans have a pretty good chance of seeing something unidentifiable if they're star gazing. Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan are all in the top 10 regions for UFO activity both for all-time and during the last 30 days. There have been 1,629 total sightings in Ohio and 20 in the past month. "The truth is out there" somewhere.
Feel like taking a stroll? July 27th would be an ideal day to do it. Grab your favorite philodendron for Take Your Houseplant for a Walk Day. Or celebrate Take Your Pants for a Walk Day since Nude Recreation Week will be over, and those pants may be a little snug. After all, you'll probably have been eating a lot of ice cream.
Valenti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.