NATIONAL HUGGING DAY
National Hug Day or National Hugging Day occurs on January 21st and is officially recognized by the United States Copyright Office, but is not a public holiday.
The purpose of the day is to help everyone show more emotion in public. The only way to celebrate the day is by offering a hug to anyone and everyone you want. While National Hug Day and the Free Hugs Campaign share many similarities, there is not an association between the two.
Whether you hug a family member or a stranger, the mental and physical health benefits are the same. From the day we are born, hugs or touch improve our sleep. Hugging, like cuddling, releases oxytocin. On its own, this hormone provides tremendous health benefits. Not only does it gives us feel-good hormones, but it reduces pain. Receiving a hug helps reduce stress, lowers blood pressure and lowers the risk of heart disease. It also eases anxiety.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalHuggingDay
Give someone a big hug. Or, if you need one, ask for a hug and reap the benefits. Use #NationalHuggingDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL HUGGING DAY HISTORY
The holiday was founded by Rev. Kevin Zaborney on March 29, 1986, in Caro, Michigan.
SQUIRREL APPRECIATION DAY
On January 21st, Squirrel Appreciation Day recognizes a critter some consider a pest and others see as just fascinating. The creator, Christy Hargrove, is a wildlife rehabilitator in North Carolina and is affiliated with the Western North Carolina Nature Center. According to Christy, “Celebration of the event itself is up to the individual or group — anything from putting out extra food for the squirrels to learning something new about the species.”
According to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System of North America (ITIS), there are over 200 species of squirrels. Some of the oldest squirrels categorized on the list are the nocturnal arrow flying squirrel (validated in 1766) and the Black Giant (validated in 1778). Of all these species, they fall into three types.
Three Types of Squirrels
Ground squirrels, such as the thirteen-lined ground squirrel, the rock squirrel, California ground squirrel, and many others blanket the prairies and deserts of North America. Often causing damage, they often earn the name of pest, and they are labeled rodents. Predators enjoy them as a tasty morsel, too. As a result, they work together to protect themselves. Their only protection is to flee!
Tree squirrels make their homes in the trees. However, they also find their nesting materials and food on the ground and above. Making their homes in cities and the countryside in nations all around the globe, these familiar backyard and park residents help themselves to your birdfeeders or snag your snack right from your hands if they have become practiced enough!
The third type of squirrel leaps farther than the others with flaps of skin between the legs. Flying squirrels glide greater distances giving the impression they can fly. When they jump from tree to tree or building to building, they spread their legs wide and float on the breeze escaping predators or perhaps other snarky tree squirrels with a nut to pick with them.
HOW TO OBSERVE #SquirrelAppreciaitonDay
Learn more about these fascinating creatures. Tell us your favorite squirrel story or share a picture of your squirrel visitors.
- Set up a squirrel feeder and watch them as they feed. Can you identify what kind they are?
- Go to a park and watch the squirrels as they travel from tree to tree. How many are there?
- Squirrel watching is similar to bird watching and nearly as fascinating. Study their behavior and note their differences.
- Watch a squirrel documentary to learn more.
Use #SquirrelAppreciationDay to post on social media.
SQUIRREL APPRECIATION DAY HISTORY
Christy Hargrove from Asheville, North Carolina, created Squirrel Appreciation Day on January 21, 2001.
NATIONAL GRANOLA BAR DAY
Each year on January 21st, National Granola Bar Day recognizes the considerable nutrition and energy found in one wholesome granola bar.
A basic granola bar includes whole grain (usually oats, though quinoa and barley can be used as well), fruit or nuts and honey, molasses, agave nectar or syrup. The bar can also include butter or nut butter. There are a variety of combinations adding flavor and nutrition.
The ingredients are mixed then pressed into a pan and cut into bars. For a crispy bar, the mixture is baked. Softer, more chewy versions are left raw or only partially cooked. Additionally, they can be stored in sealed containers and frozen for long-term use.
Granola bars are packed with energy and their convenience is undeniable. Easily stored in a pocket while on a hiking or biking trail, the wrapper goes out with you. While considered a health food by some, the bars are high in calories. Hikers, bicyclists, and fitness enthusiasts add granola bars to their diet as a way to give a boost of energy. Despite their high calories, they offer a more healthful alternative to a candy bar for those of us who don’t hit the trails very often.
Outside of the United States, granola bars are called by various names; flapjack, muesli bar, and a cereal bar.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalGranolaBarDay
While mixing up a pan of granola bars, try some variety. Mix up the nuts, grains, and fruit. Don’t hesitate to try agave in place of honey. Try quinoa, millet, and buckwheat. They will add another level of texture and nuttiness to your granola. Dried cranberries, coconut, dates, apricots offer a variety of natural sweetness without adding sugar. Share your favorite combinations.
Following are a few recipes for you to enjoy:
Use #NationalGranolaBarDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL GRANOLA BAR DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this healthy nut and fruit bar celebration.
Recipe of the Day
Name: Blue Berry Pie
Prep: 15 minutes
Total Prep:15 minutes
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold water
5 cups fresh blueberries, divided
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 refrigerated pie crust (9 inches), baked
Combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, and water in a saucepan over medium heat until smooth. Add 3 cups of blueberries and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes until thick and bubbly stirring frequently.
Remove from the heat and add butter. Stir until butter is melted. Add lemon juice and remaining blueberries. Let cool, then pour into prepared pie crust.
Recommended Side Dishes:
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.