Category: December 09

  • LUTEFISK DAY – December 9


    On December 9th, Lutefisk Day reminds residents in Norway, Finland, and Sweden to begin preparing their lutefisk for Christmas. The day is also referred to as Anna’s Day.

    In case you’re not Scandinavian, lutefisk is basically cod that gets soaked in lye. After the cod is caught, it’s dried to the point of becoming firm and leathery. To tenderize the fish and bring it back to its former condition, it gets soaked in lye. Once it’s nice and tender, the lutefisk is skinned and boned.

    Finally, the fish is boiled until it reaches a gelatinous consistency. Another way to prepare lutefisk is to season it and bake it in the oven.
    Some say that lutefisk tastes mildly fishy with a soapy aftertaste. Many people would say that lutefisk doesn’t smell so good. To make it more edible, some people coat the fish in beer batter and deep fry it. Despite its taste and smell, many die-hard Scandinavians still eat lutefisk. It is a Christmas tradition, after all.

    Along with those in Norway, Finland, and Sweden, lutefisk is consumed in the U.S by Scandinavian Americans. One place in particular that consumes large amounts of lutefisk is Madison, Minnesota. In fact, this town has been dubbed, “the “lutefisk capital of the world.” The dish is especially popular among Lutherans. Sons of Norway organizations host annual lutefisk dinners. Lutefisk is also consumed in many parts of Canada.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #LutefiskDay

    On this day, many people throughout Scandinavia begin preparing their lutefisk so that it’s ready for dinner on Christmas Eve. Even if you’re not Scandinavian you can still participate in this day by:

    • Reading more about the history and folklore that surrounds lutefisk.
    • Looking for lutefisk recipes online and learning how to make it.
    • Learning about the Scandinavian countries.
    • Attending a lutefisk dinner.

    Spread awareness for this food day on social media with #LutefiskDay.


    During the days of the old peasant society in Sweden, it took many days to prepare for Christmas. One of the most popular Christmas dishes was fish. However, due to the icy waters, fresh fish was difficult to catch. Swedes had to make do with dried fish. To make the dried fish edible, they would first bathe it in a solution to soften it. This soaking process usually began on December 9th so that the fish would be the perfect consistency on Christmas Eve. For this reason, December 9th is known as Lutefisk Day. Since Anna is a popular name in Sweden, the day is also referred to as Anna’s Day.


  • WORLD TECHNO DAY – December 9


    On December 9th, World Techno Day celebrates electronic dance music. The day also encourages learning more about techno and listening to this genre of music.

    Techno is a genre of music produced by electronic instruments, such as synthesizers, sequencers, or drum machines. This dance music is characterized by a repetitive four on the floor beat. The tempo usually ranges from 120 to 150 beats per minute. Techno music is usually produced for a continuous set played by a DJ. Dance clubs, and anywhere else that invites people to hit the dance floor, usually play techno music.

    Techno music is an offshoot of house music, which is considered more soulful. House music originated in Chicago in the 1970s. Techno music came about in the 1980s in Detroit. Young African Americans earn the credit for inventing techno. Juan Atkins is considered by many as the “father of techno.” Atkins grew up in a suburb of Detroit. He experimented with a synthesizer and a tape deck to create the techno sound.

    Some of the most famous techno tracks include:

    • “Cosmic Cars” by Juan Atkins
    • “Magnese” by Surgeon
    • “The Tunnel” by Richie Hawtin
    • “Electric Salsa” by Sven Vath
    • “Ghetto Kraviz” by Nina Kraviz
    • “Subzero” by Ben Klock
    • “E Dancer” by Kevin Saunderson
    • “Autobahn” by Kraftwerk
    • “The Bells” by Jeff Mills

    While this music was extremely popular in the 1980s, it is making a comeback. In fact, Electronic Dance Music (EDM) is currently the third most popular music genre in the world. Many countries across the globe hold techno music festivals. Europe hosts some of the most well-attended techno festivals in the world. These events include the Awakenings Festival in the Netherlands, Time Warp in Germany, Exit Festival in Serbia, and Sonus Festival in Croatia.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldTechnoDay

    The best way to observe this day is by listening to techno music. If you’re not familiar with this music genre, look up some of the above-listed songs online and take a listen. Go to a club with your friends and dance to techno music. You can also learn more about techno music history and how it came about. If you really like techno music, plan to attend an upcoming techno music festival. Share your favorite techno music on social media with #WorldTechnoDay.


    This day has been around since 2003. The observance is also a nod to Juan Atkins, one of the genre’s founders. He was born on December 9, 1962.


  • CHRISTMAS CARD DAY – December 9


    Each year around this time, friends and families begin mailing their holiday cards. Christmas Card Day on December 9th serves as a reminder to get your stamps, envelopes, and cards together so you can share your holiday cheer.


    Sending a card during the holidays hasn’t always been a tradition. In Victorian England, sending Penny Post was inexpensive and frequent. It was also considered rude to ignore a written message. One particularly popular Victorian invented the holiday card out of necessity. Sir Henry Cole received frequent letters, and it left him little time for other responsibilities. In 1843, he asked his friend J.C. Horsley to illustrate a design he had in mind. Soon, Cole was off to the printer, and he mailed the first Christmas card in the Penny Post to friends, family, and many acquaintances. 

    Today, we mail a variety of cards at Christmastime. The tradition of Christmas cards continues in a broader sense. Social and electronic media keep us connected in this modern world more than ever before. However, the Christmas card continues to be a part of our annual tradition, even if it takes on a different style or pattern.

    • Photo cards – Many families take an annual holiday photo specifically for mailing to friends and family. These photos may be snapshots or professional photos. Most families save them from social media, so they remain a surprise when they arrive in the mail, too.
    • Christmas letter – These letters often highlight the events for each family member for the year. Not everyone has social media, so it’s a nice way to catch up with friends and family. The letters usually run a page in length, but some letter writers have a lot more to say.
    • Postcards – These simple cards generally send the same holiday message a regular Christmas card does, but without a fold or an envelope. With a photo on one side and a simple message on the other, they are quick and easy to send, too.
    • Business card – Christmas cards also come from businesses who want to remind us they still want our business. As a marketing tool, businesses know their best customers like to be remembered during the holidays, too.
    • New Year’s cards – The holidays do get busy, and some of us put off sending any holiday cards until New Year. They still want to keep in touch with family and friends, so they send their good wishes in the form of a Happy New Year card. So, don’t mark anyone off your Christmas card list until after the first of the year.

    These holiday cards may be the only communication we receive all year long from a friend or family member. Even if we spent an abundance of time with them once, these once-a-year notes touch us with a bit of meaning this time of year. We take the time to connect once again and say, “We’re thinking of you.”


    Update your mailing list. Gather the stamps and pick out your favorite card. Will you be writing personal notes on each card? Or will you send a mass letter? Dress up the pets or family members for a last-minute photo, too. Get ready to be glitter bombed as the holiday cards begin pouring in your mail studded with Ho Ho Hos! and holiday greetings of all kinds. Share your favorite Christmas card style by using #ChristmasCardDay on social media.


    While the origins of Christmas Card Day continue to be researched, Sir Henry Cole does receive credit for creating the first Christmas Card in 1843. However, the idea took several years to find its way to the United States. In 1850, Louis Prang immigrated from Prussia and opened a print shop in Boston. He mastered many methods of lithography from around the world, and after encouragement from his wife, he began producing floral Christmas cards in 1875. 

    Christmas Card FAQ

    Q. When was the first Christmas stamp issued?
    A. The United States Post Office issued its first Christmas Stamp on November 1, 1962. Jim Crawford designed the 4¢ stamp that featured a green wreath and two candles. “Christmas 1962” was written across the bottom on a red banner.

    Q. How much does it cost to mail a Christmas card?
    A. First-class stamps for a 1-ounce letter cost 58¢.



    Each year on December 9th, the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime seeks to raise awareness of the Genocide Convention. It’s also a day to commemorate and honor the victims of genocide.

    Unfortunately, our history is tainted by people or organizations that have attempted to wipe out large groups of people. These groups of people have included entire races and nations. This is known as genocide. One of the most infamous occurrences of genocide happened when Nazi Germany killed 6 million Jews during the Holocaust. But along with Jews, the Nazis attempted to wipe out other groups of people as well. These included disabled people, homosexuals, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Altogether, 11 million people were killed.

    Some of the most recent genocides in history include:

    • 2017 – The Burmese Military killed up to 43,000 Rohingya people in Myanmar (also known as Burma)
    • 2014 – The Islamic State of Iraq killed 10,000 Yazidis in northern Iraq and Syria
    • 2003 – Three Sudanese tribes in Darfur killed 500,000 people
    • 1994 – A mass slaughter of over one million Tutsi people occurred in Rwanda

    The UN states that understanding the root causes behind genocide is essential to prevent it from happening. Genocide usually results based on identity. It typically occurs where there are diverse racial, ethnic, or religious groups that are engaged in identity-based conflicts. There are usually differences between the groups in conflict. These differences include access to power and wealth, development opportunities, and employment. Because no country is perfectly homogenous, genocide remains a global challenge.


    Each year on this day, the UN hosts a special commemoration event. Presentations and testimonies by genocide survivors are given. Special recognition is given to those who have developed initiatives contributing to the prevention of genocide and related crimes.

    To participate:

    • Never condone hate crimes or hate speech against other groups of people
    • Teach your children and other youth to always show kindness instead of hate
    • Learn about genocides in history and think about what could have been done to prevent them
    • Watch movies about genocide including Hotel Rwanda, Schindler’s List, and The Killing Fields

    Use #PreventGenocide while posting about this day on social media.


    In September 2015, the UN General Assembly established December 9th as the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime. December 9th recognizes the anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This is also known as The Genocide Convention, which occurred on this date in 1948. The Genocide Convention is an international law instrument that, for the first time in history, codified genocide as a crime.


  • NATIONAL PASTRY DAY – December 9


    National Pastry Day celebrates one of the world’s most favored baked goods. On December 9th, visit your local bakery and pick up one or two of your favorite kinds.


    The pastry is a name given to a large variety of baked goods which are made with ingredients such as flour, sugar, milk, butter, shortening, baking powder, and eggs. Pastry dough is rolled out thinly and then used as a base for different baked products.  A few of the more common bakery items include pies, tarts, quiches, and pasties. Bakers create both savory and sweet dishes from the doughs they create. Additionally, they continue to develop new and delicious creations all the time!

    • Pastries can be traced as far back as the ancient Mediterranean where they had almost paper-thin, multilayered baklava and Phyllo dough.
    • Pastry-making began in Northern Europe after the Crusaders brought it back from the Mediterranean.
    • French and Italian Renaissance chefs eventually perfected the puff and choux pastries while 17th and 18th-century chefs brought new recipes to the table.  Included in the innovative recipes were Napoleons, cream puffs, and eclairs.

    Culinary historians often consider French pastry chef Antonin Careme (1784 – 1833) to have been the original great master of pastry making in modern times.

    Many different types of pastry deliver baked goods that make our mouths water. Most of them fall into one of the following categories:

    • Shortcrust pastry – simplest and most common.
    • Sweetcrust pastry – similar to the shortcrust but sweeter.
    • Flaky pastry – simple pastry that expands when cooked.
    • Puff pastry – has many layers that cause it to puff when baked.
    • Choux pastry – very light pastry that is often filled with cream or other fillings.
    • Phyllo pastry – paper-thin pastry dough that is used in many layers.


    Get baking! Choose your favorite recipes, or try one of the delicious ones below. While you’re baking, be sure to invite someone over to help you enjoy the delicious results. Another way to celebrate is by visiting your local bakery and giving them a shout-out. It’s one of the best ways to #CelebrateEveryDay! Be sure to use #NationalPastryDay and share it on social media when you do.

    Apple Turnovers
    Minute Peach Tart
    Cream Cheese Kolacky


    National Day Calendar® continues researching the origins of this flaky day.

    Pastry FAQ

    Q. Why do recipes call for cold butter when making pastries?
    A. Cold butter helps ensure the final product is light and flaky. When kneading dough for pie crust, croissants, and puff pastry, for example, the butter helps create those layers called laminating. Those bits of butter melt when baked creating pockets of air and separate layers. If warm butter is used, there’s nothing left to melt when the pastry goes into the oven, resulting in a denser product.

    Q. What is a shortcrust pastry?
    A. Shortcrust recipes are made using a 3:2:1 flour, fat, water ratio. As the name suggests, this pastry is used to make crusts for pies, tarts, quiche, and hand pies.

    Q. Are pastries savory or sweet?
    A. Pastries are both savory and sweet. Examples of savory pastry recipes include pot pies, hand pies, pizza crust, biscuits, and tarts. The same pastries we use for savory dishes can also be used to make sweet desserts filled with fruit, chocolate, and cream.

  • WEARY WILLIE DAY – December 9


    Weary Willie Day on December 9th recognizes the art of clowning and the impact it has on our lives. This holiday was named for the character made famous by Emmett Kelly, who was born on this day in 1898. 


    Weary Willie was a unique character in the art of clowning. Kelly had developed Weary Willy at a time when the white-faced, goofy clown was the norm, and selling the idea for a sad, down-on-his-luck clown did not fit the formula most circuses were seeking. For the time being, Kelly put back on the white face and the brightly colored costume.  

    Times and attitudes changed when the country was in the depths of the Great Depression. Downtrodden and world-weary was the face of the nation.  People could identify with Weary Willie like never before. Weary Willie, his frowning, whisker-shadowed face, and his dirty, torn and worn costume, went on to become an American icon. 

    His son, Emmett Kelly, Jr. carried on Weary Willie’s persona well into the modern era until his death in 2003, at the age of 83.


    Wear some big shoes, pantomime or grab a bunch of people and pile into a tiny car.  Clown college could be just around the corner! While clowning around, stock up on a Pair of our Crazy Socks to entertain folks! Learn more about Weary Willy. Read Clown: My Life in Tatters and Smiles by Emmett Kelly or Emmett Kelly: The Greatest Clown on Earth by Donald McManus. Watch The Clown starring Henry Fonda as Emmett Kelly. Another film about clowns is Grease Paint. The documentary follows a family of clowns for a year. You can find it on Amazon. 

    Use #WearyWillieDay to post on social media.


    National Day Calendar® continues researching this clowning around day.  

    Clown FAQ

    Q. Who were some famous clowns?
    A. Through the generations many clowns gained notoriety. Some names include:

    • Bozo the Clown – Created by Alan W. Livingston, Bozo was first portrayed by Pinto Colvig in 1946 for audio recordings. He would later perform as Bozo on television. Since that time, over a hundred people have portrayed Bozo.
    • Ronald McDonald – The long-time mascot for the hamburger franchise appeared on television in 1963. Willard Scott (later the weatherman on the Today Show) portrayed the red-haired burger-loving character in the ads.
    • Mr. Noodle – Performed by Bill Irwin, the clown appears on episodes of Sesame Street. Bill Irwin has created a variety of clowns during his career.

    Q. Is a mime a clown?
    A. While a clown wears face paint and sometimes elicits laughter, their art form is not considered a comic style. However, clowning is comedic in more ways than one. From their colorful and oversized costumes to slapstick style, clowning is its own style of performance.

    Q. What is a rodeo clown called?
    A. There are three types of rodeo clowns. Each has an important role to play during the rodeo.

    • Bullfighter – The bullfighter’s main job is to protect the riders.
    • Barrelman – This clown jumps in and out of the barrel to distract the bull.
    • Comedy clown – The comedy clown’s primary role is to entertain the crowd.

    December 9th Celebrated (And Not So Celebrated) History


    Noah Webster establishes New York City’s first daily newspaper, the American Minerva.


    Upon being sworn in as the governor of Louisiana, P.B.S. Pinchback became the first African American to serve as a governor of a U.S. state. He had previously served the state as its lieutenant governor, duties he had assumed when Lieutenant Governor Oscar Dunn died while in office. Then, Pinchback replaced Governor Henry C. Warmoth when his term ended due to impeachment charges.


    The U.S. Patent Office issued patent No. 308,990 to Levant M. Richardson of the Richardson Skate Company in Chicago, IL, for his ball-bearing roller skates.


    Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago becomes the first recipient of the Downtown Athletic Club Trophy. In 1936, the trophy was renamed the Heisman Trophy after coach John W. Heisman.


    A Charlie Brown Christmas special premieres on CBS.

    December 9th Celebrated (And Not So Celebrated) Birthdays

    Clarence Birdseye – 1886

    In 1924, the businessman and innovator helped found General Seafoods Company. He later developed a quick-freezing method for preserving foods that revolutionized the frozen food industry.

    Margaret Brundage – 1900

    The Chicago artist is best known for her cover art on the pulp magazine Weird Tales.

    Grace Hopper – 1906

    The United States Navy rear admiral was a pioneer in computer programming and one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer.

    Roy DeCarava – 1919

    The critically acclaimed photographer earned a Guggenheim fellowship in 1952.

    Redd Foxx – 1922

    Born John Elroy Sanford, the comedian and actor starred in the NBC sitcom Sanford and Son in the 1970s.

    John Malkovich – 1953

    The award-winning actor is best known for his roles on stage and screen in Dangerous Liaisons, Red, and The Killing Fields.



    Every year on December 9th, International Anti-corruption Day raises public awareness for anti-corruption. It also encourages the public to work on innovative solutions aimed at winning the battle against corruption.

    Corruption is defined as dishonest or fraudulent conduct. Others define corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. Usually, those in power use corruption to achieve their goals. Corruption comes in many forms. Bribery, price-fixing, and embezzlement are just a few of the crimes associated with corruption. According to the United Nations, $1 trillion is paid in bribes every year. These crimes steal about $2.6 trillion on an annual basis through corruption. These numbers add up to more than 5 percent of the global GDP.

    Corruption affects the social, political, and economic development of entire nations. The crime brings down governments and destroys businesses. However, the poorest and most vulnerable comprise the most common victims.

    Both developed and undeveloped countries host corruption of various kinds. It is much worse, however, in underdeveloped countries. Funds lost to corruption in these countries are ten times the amount of assistance they receive for development. That’s because corruption flourishes where democratic foundations are weak.

    The most corrupt countries include:

    • Libya
    • Afghanistan
    • Guinea-Bissau
    • Sudan
    • North Korea
    • Yemen
    • Syria
    • Somalia

    To make progress against corruption, officials encourage countries to strengthen the institutions responsible for maintaining checks and balances over political power. It’s also critical for these institutions to operate without intimidation. Additionally, the support of a free and independent media helps to curb corruption. The UN encourages the government, the private sector, and citizens around the world to join forces in fighting this crime.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #AntiCorruptionDay

    For the past several years, the UN has used the theme “United Against Corruption.” It’s not enough to simply know about corruption. Citizens around the world need to take action, including holding leaders accountable. In recent years, the UN encouraged the youth to fight for a corrupt-free world.

    Here are some ways you can participate:

    • Raise awareness about the costs of corruption for crucial services like health and education
    • Teach the youth about ethical behavior
    • Always report incidents of corruption
    • Refuse to participate in activities that are dishonest and illegal

    To spread the word, use #AntiCorruptionDay or #UnitedAgainstCorruption on social media.


    The UN General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption on October 31, 2003. During the Convention, the Assembly designated December 9th International Anti-Corruption day.