January 25 is Opposite Day! Oh no, wait… I meant it’s NOT Opposite Day … it is … oh well, it’s Opposite Day everyone. You now have official permission to act like a six year old, telling everyone the opposite of what you mean and laughing hysterically when they get confused.
“Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God.”
But all I said was “You are the ugliest woman I ever saw and I don’t want to go out with you.” Doesn’t she know it’s opposite day?
*update: I originally posted this as a January 24th holiday, but most people celebrate Opposite Day on January 25. Although a few celebrate on the 24th, I’ve updated the post to reflect the more popular date.. I didn’t realize a holiday this confusing could get even more confusing!
Since 1998, January 24 has been celebrated as Compliment Day. Your goal for today is simple: compliment (sincerely!) as many people as you can. (Telling people “thank you” for very specific things can get you bonus points too.)
Pleasant words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
In the Roman Catholic Church, January 23 is the feast day of Blessed Marianne Cope (it’s April 15 in the Episcopal Church).
Mother Marianne was born in Germany in 1838, but grew up in New York. As a young woman, she became a Franciscan nun and a teacher in a school for German immigrants. Later she helped establish a public hospital in Syracuse, NY and worked as its Superior General for several years.
In 1883, Marianne and six Sisters enthusiastically moved to Hawaii to serve a leper colony there. Over her years in Hawaii, she established a new hospital, a home for the daughters of lepers, and a girls’ school. After 35 years nursing those with leprosy and caring for their children, she never contracted the disease herself, but died of natural causes at the age of 80.
The Catholic church plans to canonize Mother Marianne as a saint in October 2012.
Mother Marianne with some nuns and patients a few days before she died
‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
January 22 is National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day!
Dedicated to cats and cat lovers worldwide, today is the day to tell your cat where you hid the catnip, how to open the door, and why she cannot catch the laser beam.
from Psalm 104:24
“How many are your works, O LORD!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.”
Since 1986, January 21 (the midpoint between Christmas and Valentine’s Day) has been known as National Hugging Day. The holiday began in the U.S., was copyrighted by Kevin Zaborney, but has spread to many countries including Canada, England,
Germany, Russia, and Australia. Zaborney wished to encourage people to show affection.
Even if you aren’t much of a “hugger,” you can still find ways to show affection today – spend time with your loved ones, smile at those you pass in office or grocery store, or even stop by a nursing home and hold a resident’s hand for a few minutes while you talk. A nursing home resident is often starved for human touch.
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!
In the Roman Catholic church, January 20 is the day to celebrate Pope Fabian, who was martyred in 250 A.D., and Saint Sebastian, who was martyred about 40 years later.
St. Sebastian, patron of saint of archers - you can see why.
Here’s your trivia for the day: St. Sebastian is the patron saint of athletes, archers, and . . . protection from the bubonic plague!
Verse for the day:
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
People gather to celebrate Timket in Gondor, Ethiopia. Photo by Jialiang Gao
Eastern, Oriental, and Ethiopian Orthodox churches celebrate Theophany, Epiphany, or Timkat on January 19. In this tradition, Theophany (the appearance of God) marks the baptism of Jesus.
In the Ethiopian Orthodox tradition, this festival is known as Timkat, which means baptism. During Timkat, a model of the Ark of the Covenant, called a Tabot, is wrapped in cloth and taken to river or pool. The service is celebrated by the river in the early morning, and the day is spent in celebrating with songs, dancing, and feasting.
An Ethiopian Orthodox priest holds a Tabot during a Timket ceremony. Photo by Jialiang Gao
At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
This January 19 celebration should not be confused with the Epiphany (when the Magi found the child Jesus) celebrated on January 6 by Catholics, Anglicans, and many Protestant traditions.