NATIONAL COCOA DAY
Warm-up with a hot cup of chocolate on National Cocoa Day. December 13th ushers in a celebration worthy of the winter holidays.
We make hot cocoa with cocoa powder, heated milk or water, and sugar. However, 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 containing cocoa butter. It’s mixed with hot milk and is drinking chocolate.
Hot chocolate is also known as drinking chocolate.
We make hot cocoa from cocoa powder. Through the fermentation, drying, roasting, and grinding process of cocoa beans, we produce a paste called chocolate liquor. Through another method, they separate cocoa butter, leaving cocoa powder. We use this cocoa powder to make hot cocoa. It has very few fat and calories.
The Mayans are credited with creating the first chocolate beverage around 2000 years ago. Culturally, cocoa became an essential part of the Aztec civilization by 1400 AD. After the drink found its way from Mexico through the New World, Europeans popularized the chocolate drink. However, it has undergone multiple changes since then. Until the 19th century, drinkers used hot chocolate medicinally to treat ailments such as stomach diseases.
In the United States, an instant form of the drink is popular. Mixed with hot water or milk, the packet contains mostly cocoa powder, sugar, and dry milk. Often, cocoa drinkers add marshmallows or whipped cream.
The health benefits of drinking hot cocoa abound. Cocoa contains significant amounts of antioxidants that may help prevent cancer. They have also shown that the cocoa bean helps with digestion. The flavonoids found in cocoa also have a positive effect on arterial health.
Chocolate lovers enjoy both drinking cocoa and hot cocoa in a variety of combinations. Some top the hot drink with whipped cream or marshmallows. Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon or peppermint to make the chocolate extra special.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalCocoaDay
Host a cocoa bar after a day outdoors in the snow. A cup of hot cocoa after sledding or building a snowman warms us right up. When we gather around the table and sip our steaming cup, let the conversation begin.
Try some of these delicious toppings:
- Whipped cream
- Cinnamon and sugar
- candy canes
- toffee bits
- Peppermint Patties
- butterscotch candies, crushed
- candy sprinkles
- cinnamon cereal
- mini chocolate chips
- chopped nuts
Share your celebration using #NationalCocoaDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL COCOA DAY HISTORY
Undeterred by our research, National Day Calendar® continues seeking the origins of this toasty holiday.
NATIONAL SALESPERSON DAY
In the middle of holiday shopping season, National Salesperson Day recognizes the personnel who make sure the products keep flying off the shelves. On the second Friday in December, the day honors the value and dedication of the professional salesperson and the hard work that they perform.
A good salesperson is knowledgeable about the product. They answer customers’ questions and provide additional information when necessary. A salesperson may work locally in a shop or travel several hundred miles a day to see customers and vendors. When a new product becomes available, sales personnel study up on the product to stay knowledgeable and informed.
Many customers have favorite sales people. They know the salesperson provides the best customer care. A salesperson’s responsibilities go beyond sales, too. For example, they may be required to track inventory and complete purchase orders. Some even handle delivery depending on the product they provide.
This time of the year, sales personnel are especially busy. Holiday shopping is in full swing. But other retail businesses are reviewing their inventories, looking forward to the new year. A salesperson is the frontline of any business. Often, they are the first person a customer sees. They’re definitely the first one they think of asking to speak to when they have a question. Businesses rely on their sales personnel to be ready for anything and provide them with the tools to make the sale as efficient as possible.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalSalespersonDay
While out shopping, recognize a salesperson who served you well. Give them a shout out and their business, too! Be sure to use #NationalSalespersonDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL SALESPERSON DAY HISTORY
Maura Schreier-Fleming, president of Best@Selling, founded National Salesperson Day in March of 2000. In 2010, the observance moved to December. Schreier-Fleming is an author, consultant and speaker for salesperson training.
NATIONAL DAY OF THE HORSE
National Day of the Horse on December 13th 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. Recent mitochondrial studies of an ancient horse called Equus lamei suggest that it is equivalent to the modern, domesticated horse. E. lamei once populated North America and died out more than 11,000 years ago. This could mean that E. caballus is technically a native species, and its evolutionary origin is North America.
The North American Horse
Aside from the anthropological debate, the horse has contributed significantly to the advancement of civilization in North America. Not only did the horse serve as vital transportation, but they cleared forests for farmland. They led the way westward and into battle, too. Horses diversified Native American hunting habits and defined the western cowboy.
In North America, the legendary horse is embedded in our culture and runs deep into the roots of our history. As the country grew, our indebtedness to the horse grew, too. While few people see the horse as much more than a recreational animal today, they still serve on working ranches. As a therapy animal, horses relieve the symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and other disorders. Long past their age as a plow horse or part of the cavalry, they continue connecting to humans, and we continue to rely on them.
HOW TO OBSERVE #DayofTheHorse
Celebrate the horse and its contributions to North America. Explore their history and learn more about how the horse continues to play a vital role in North America today. Use #NationalDayoftheHorse to post on social media.
NATIONAL DAY OF THE HORSE HISTORY
On November 18, 2004, United States Senate Resolution 452 recognized December 13th as the National Day of the Horse.
NATIONAL VIOLIN DAY
Honoring an instrument also known as the fiddle, National Violin Day on December 13th celebrates the bow stringed instrument loved around the world.
By drawing the bow across the strings, the violinist manipulates the sound in several ways. A violinist uses numerous bowing techniques to master the violin. The strokes dictate not only notes, but the quality of the note played.
While we associate the violin with classical music, it easily crosses genres. For instance, the violinist demonstrates the versatility of the violin by extensive use in baroque music, 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, violin-makers developed most of the violin’s modern characteristics in Italy during the 16th century. Further modifications formed 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. They played two-stringed upright fiddles strung with horsehair strings. Likewise, they played using horsehair bows and often featured a carved horse’s head at the end of the neck. The violins we play today (as well as the violas and cellos) with bows still strung with horsehair are a legacy of the nomads.
- 1555 – Andrea Amati receives credit for the oldest documented four-string violin, like the modern violins.
- The “Lady Blunt” brought a record dollar amount when it was auctioned on June 20, 2011. The Stradivari violin sold for $15.9 million.
- Musicians and collectors alike seek instruments made by Stradivari almost more than any other maker.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalViolinDay
The holiday season offers an excellent time to listen to the violin in concert. Whether you attend a holiday presentation or give tickets to the local chamber orchestra, the violin will certainly be a part of the performance. Other ways to enjoy this holiday include:
- Listen to concerts on-line.
- Attend a school performance.
- Re-discover your violin skills and take a lesson or two.
- Offer a violin concert to a classroom.
- Add violin music to your playlist.
- Give the gift of music for the holidays. Buy season tickets or lessons for someone longing to learn to play.
While celebrating the day, be sure to invite someone to enjoy it with you, too! Share your experience and use #NationalViolinDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL VIOLIN DAY HISTORY
Undeterred by our research, National Day Calendar® continues seeking the origins of this musical holiday.
PICK A PATHOLOGIST DAY
Pick a Pathologist Day on December 13th encourages us to make friends with a pathologist or coroner because we never know what tomorrow holds.
While life is short, making friends with a pathologist or coroner may improve our outlook on life. Despite life’s challenges, most of us overcome them. A pathologist and coroner see some of the worst of the ills that can befall us. If they can be jovial, then rest assured, living life to our fullest while we can may be the key.
Sometimes, being positive is all in our attitude. However, positive attitude may take more practice for some than others. While we can’t control external forces, we can control how we respond to them. Sometimes our response makes the difference – or no difference at all.
Another key to being positive is looking for positive things around you. Sometimes we take for granted the positive influences in our lives. Bring those closer to you. While you’re at it, eliminate or lessen the negative influences in your life to bring more balance.
Keep practicing the positive vibe while checking in with that pathologist pal or coroner, too. Their humor keeps things interesting, and we wouldn’t want to eliminate anything funny from our lives.
When you find the perfect pathologist or coroner who brings joy to your life, share them. Others need all the positive influences in their lives they can possibly get.
HOW TO OBSERVE #PickAPathologistPalDay
Make friends with a pathologist or a coroner. Then tell us more about how you keep life interesting, fun and delightfully humorous. Use #PickAPathologistPalDay to post on social media.
PICK A PATHOLOGIST PAL DAY HISTORY
Thomas and Ruth Roy at Wellcat.com created Pick A Pathologist Day.
NATIONAL GUARD BIRTHDAY
December 13th commemorates 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 #NationalGuardBirthday
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.
NATIONAL GUARD BIRTHDAY HISTORY
On December 13 of 1636, a direct declaration by the Massachusetts General Court established an official militia for the first time in the American Colonies. The resolution required all able-bodied men from age 16 to 60 to join. While less-organized militia existed, this legal document brought them together under a formal establishment. We know this organization today 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 these roots in Massachusetts. The regiments include the 101st Engineer Battalion (formerly East Regiment), the 101st Field Artillery (South Regiment), and the 181st Infantry and the 182nd Infantry Regiment (North Regiment).
After the United States was formed, and the country grew, each state established its own militia. However, the term National Guard was not the official name until 1933. While some states used the term National Guard before this time, individual state militia had various titles. Two examples include the Mississippi State Guard and the Indiana Legion.
After World War II, the newly established United States Airforce established the Air National Guard.
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, 2019
Recipe of the Day
Peanut Butter BBQ Chicken Pizza
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 10-12 minutes
Total Prep: About 40 minutes
Serves 4 (with 2 slices each)
1 package pizza crust
1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
2 green onions, chopped
8 oz. mozzarella cheese
Prepare packaged crust according to package directions.
Combine peanut butter with 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce and mix thoroughly.
Spread over the prepared and partially-baked crust.
Add chopped rotisserie chicken, green onions, and mozzarella cheese.
Bake 10-12 minutes until cheese begins to turn golden.
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.
There’s a celebration for everyone. While National Road Trip Day satisfies the itch to wander, many pet days let us share our love of animals. National 3-D Day and National Astronaut Day honor the advancement of technology, too. Every food day you can imagine (National Avocado Day, for example), will keep you celebrating, also!
Our Ambassador Program is another way #CelebrateEveryDay®! Whether you become an ambassador or follow one of the savvy ambassadors, their fun videos and posts will keep you prepared for every holiday.