Where the World Gathers to Celebrate Every Day

DECEMBER 13, 2018 | NATIONAL COCOA DAY | NATIONAL DAY OF THE HORSE | PICK A PATHOLOGIST DAY | NATIONAL VIOLIN DAY | NATIONAL GUARD BIRTHDAY

NATIONAL COCOA DAY

 A cold December day is the perfect time to make yourself a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy National Cocoa Day.  Each year on December 13, people across the country celebrate their favorite cold weather comfort drink.

Hot cocoa is a warm beverage made with cocoa powder, heated milk or water, and sugar.   The terms hot chocolate and hot cocoa are often used interchangeably by Americans causing a bit of confusion.  To make hot chocolate, we use ground chocolate which contains cocoa butter.  It’s mixed with hot milk and is actually a drinking chocolate.  

Hot chocolate is also known as drinking chocolate.

Hot cocoa is made from cocoa powder. Through the fermentation, drying, roasting and grinding process of cocoa beans a paste called chocolate liquor is produced. Through another method, the cocoa butter is separated leaving cocoa powder. It is this cocoa powder that we use to make hot cocoa. It has very little fat and calories and is mixed with either hot milk or water.

Both are enjoyed in a variety of combinations, topped with whipped cream or marshmallows. Sometimes a sprinkle of cinnamon or a dash of peppermint makes the chocolate extra special.

It is believed that 2000 years ago the first chocolate beverage was created by the Mayas and a cocoa beverage was an essential part of Aztec culture by 1400 AD.  Europe popularized the drink after it was introduced from Mexico in the New World and it has undergone multiple changes since then.  Up until the 19th century, hot chocolate was used medicinally to treat ailments such as stomach diseases. 

In the United States, an instant form of the drink is popular. It is made with hot water or milk and a packet containing mostly cocoa powder, sugar, and dry milk.   People enjoy topping it with marshmallows or whipped cream.

There are health benefits to drinking hot cocoa.  Cocoa contains significant amounts of antioxidants that may help prevent cancer.  It has also been shown that the cocoa beans help with digestion. The flavonoids that are found in the cocoa also have a positive effect on arterial health.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Drink a warm cup of hot cocoa and use #NationalCocoaDay to post on social media.

HISTORY

Our research was unable to find the creator of National Cocoa Day.

NATIONAL DAY OF THE HORSE

National Day of the Horse is observed annually on December 13.

National Day of the Horse encourages people of the United States to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history and character of the United States.

The domesticated horse we know today, also known as Equus caballus was introduced into North America by Spanish explorers. Escaped horses eventually spread across the American Great Plains.

Interestingly, there is a debate about the origin of E. caballus. There have been recent mitochondrial studies of an ancient horse called Equus lamei. E. lamei once populated North America and died out more than 11,000 years ago. The studies suggest it is genetically equivalent to what we know as the modern, domesticated horse.  This could mean that E. caballus is technically a native species and its evolutionary origin is North America.

Aside from the anthropological debate, the horse has contributed greatly to the advancement of civilization in North America. From clearing forests for farmland and a form of travel bringing pioneers to the west to diversifying Native American’s hunting habits and rounding up livestock on ranches, the horse is embedded in American history and legend.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Use #NationalDayoftheHorse to post on social media.

HISTORY

On November 18, 2004, United States Senate Resolution 452 recognized December 13 as the National Day of the Horse.

PICK A PATHOLOGIST DAY

Pick a Pathologist Day is observed annually December 13th.  This day was created to encourage us to make friends with a pathologist or coroner because we never know what tomorrow holds.  

HOW TO OBSERVE

Make friends with a pathologist or a coroner. Use #PickAPathologistPalDay to post on social media.

HISTORY

Pick a Pathologist Day was created by Thomas and Ruth Roy at Wellcat.com

NATIONAL VIOLIN DAY

Observed annually on December 13, National Violin Day honors that bowed string instrument, which is also known as the fiddle. 

Through a variety of techniques, a violinist produces music from the violin.  By drawing the bow across the strings, the violinist manipulates the sound in several ways providing a broad range of music. Violinists have demonstrated over the generations the versatility of the violin by the extensive use in many genres such as baroque music, classical, jazz, folk music, rock and roll and soft rock.

“Violin” comes from the Medieval Latin work “vitula” which means stringed instrument.

Although having ancient origins, the violin got most of its modern characteristics in Italy during the 16th century with further modifications in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The person who makes or repairs violins is called a luthier.

It is believed that Turkic and Mongolian horseman from Inner Asia were the world’s earliest fiddlers.  Their two-stringed upright fiddles were strung with horsehair strings.  They played them with horsehair bows and often featured a carved horse’s head at the end of the neck.  The violins that we play today, (also the violas and cellos) and whose bows are still strung with horsehair, are a legacy of the nomads.

  • It is supposed that the oldest documented four string violin, like the modern violins, was constructed by Andrea Amati in 1555.
  • The record dollar amount paid for a Stradivari violin, when the “Lady Blunt” was sold on an online auction on June 20, 2011, was $15.9 million.
  • Violins made by Stradivari are one of the most sought-after instruments by both collectors and musicians alike.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Listen to some violin music and use #NationalViolinDay to post on social media.

National Guard Birthday - December 13
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NATIONAL GUARD BIRTHDAY

December 13 recognizes the birth of the National Guard.

A component of the United States Army, the National Guard is primarily composed of citizen soldiers who hold down full-time, civilian jobs, attend school or as is often the case, both.  At the same time, they are available to provide support and protection for the states’ civilians or to be called for military operations for the country.

Each U.S. state, District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the territories of Guam and U.S. Virgin Islands maintain both an Army National Guard and an Air National Guard.

National Guard Mission
National Guard Soldiers serve both community and country. Our versatility enables us to respond to domestic emergencies, overseas combat missions, counter-drug efforts, reconstruction missions and more. The Guard always responds with speed, strength and efficiency, helping to defend American freedom and ideals.

From before the start of the American Revolution to Hurricane Katrina and beyond, the National Guard has provided support and protection for its citizens.

HOW TO OBSERVE

While not recognized as a Federal Holiday, National Guard members across the country celebrate the birth of the oldest military organization in the United States with galas, balls and birthday parties.

Use #NationalGuardBirthday to post on social media.

HISTORY

On December 13 of 1636, a direct declaration by the Massachusetts General Court established for the first time in the American Colonies an official militia. The resolution required that all able-bodied men from age 16 to 60 were expected to join. While less-organized militia existed at the time, this legal document brought them together under a formal establishment. This organization today is known as the National Guard.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony established three regiments designated East, South, and North. Older than the United States itself, the National Guard maintains roots in Massachusetts with the 101st Engineer Battalion (formerly East Regiment), the 101st Field Artillery (South Regiment), and the 181st Infantry and the 182nd Infantry Regiments (North Regiment).

After the United States was formed and the country grew, each state established its own militia. The term National Guard was not the official name until 1933. While National Guard was used by some states before this time, individual state militia had various titles ranging from Mississippi’s State Guard to Indiana Legion.

After World War II, the Air National Guard was created as a component of the newly established United States Airforce.

Today, approximately 350,000 men and women serve in the National Guard and the Air National Guard, 39% of the Army’s operational force.


On Deck for December 14, 2018

About National Day Calendar

National Day Calendar™ is the authoritative source for fun, unusual and unique National Days! Since our humble beginnings on National Popcorn Day in 2013, we now track nearly 1,500 National Days, National Weeks and National Months.  In addition, our research team continues to uncover the origins of existing National Days as well as discover new, exciting days for everyone to celebrate.
 
Whether you want to celebrate your favorite mail carrier and flip flops, share your joy for bacon and chocolate cake or enjoy popcorn (our office favorite) on National Popcorn Day, stay in-the-know by signing-up for our e-mail updates, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t find yourself unprepared on Talk Like a Pirate Day or Answer the Phone Like Buddy the Elf Day – join us as we #CelebrateEveryDay!

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