Holidays

  1. Which Turkey Came First: The Bird Or The Nation?

    The republic of Turkey (look north of Egypt, east of Greece) isn’t exactly a breeding ground for the bird that Americans associate with Thanksgiving. In fact, the turkey is native to North America … so, why do they share the same name? What is a?turkey? The word Turkey has been used to refer to “land occupied by the Turks” since the 1300s and was even …

  2. What Are “Season’s Greetings”?

    First, is it season’s greetings or seasons greetings? There’s nothing like sitting down to fill out the holiday cards and realizing you’re not quite sure what to do with your apostrophe. Do you wish your friends and family “season’s greetings”? Or, should it be “seasons’ greetings”? Maybe you can just bypass that pesky punctuation altogether? Hey, if you’re sloppy enough, the smudged ink might just …

  3. “Stuffing” vs. “Dressing”: Do You Know The Difference?

    Traditionally, turkey is served on Thanksgiving. It’s the star of the meal. However, some people are even more enthusiastic about its reliable sidekick—stuffing … or is it called dressing? What is stuffing? Americans are hardly the first people to stuff their roast birds. Evidence suggests in Ancient Rome and throughout the Middle East that people put bread, spices, and all kinds of other goodies into …

  4. Why Veterans Day And The Number 11 Are Tied Together

    November 11th is the 315th day of the year (except on leap years). It’s also Veterans Day, a federal holiday honoring all military veterans. Why is Veterans Day 11/11? The holiday marks the anniversary of the 1918 signing of the Armistice, which took place in a railway carriage, between the Allies and Germany. This event marked the end of fighting on the Western Front in?the …

  5. silhouette of branches against a full moon in the background

    7 Spooky Words For Halloween

  6. “Hallowmas” vs. “All Saints’ Day”: What’s The Day After Halloween Actually Called?

    Halloween is actually just the beginning of a string of otherworldly holidays. The tricks, treats, and customs?of Halloween, now mostly secular, are based in part on ancient Celtic and Christian festivals. But did you know that the Halloween customs extend past October 31? In fact, the day after Halloween is a celebrated day in many parts of the world. What is All Saints’ Day? November …

  7. What Does The Word “Halloween” Mean?

    Halloween is primarily marked by putting on a disguise and asking for candy, but Halloween draws on two historic celebrations: the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holiday All Saints’ Day. The spooky festival’s name, however, comes from only one. Why is it called Halloween? Samhain is a?Celtic word that some scholars think means “summer’s end,” and it marks the beginning of winter …

  8. Text that says "Indigenous" and lists Native American tribes on a dark blue background

    “Columbus Day” vs. “Indigenous Peoples’ Day”: What Should This Holiday Be Called?

    The death of George Floyd in May 2020 has sparked a cultural reckoning with systemic racism and violence in the US against Black, Brown, and Indigenous people, present and past—including the very story many of us are taught about the “discovery” of America. Statues of Christopher Columbus, whose landing in America is commemorated on October 12 each year, have been in some instances officially taken …

  9. The Meaning Of “Rosh Hashanah”

    What is Rosh Hashanah? Rosh Hashanah, usually commemorated in September, marks the beginning of the?Jewish?New Year. At sunset, families and friends gather to pray and then eat the traditional honey and apples, which symbolize the hope for a sweet new year. Rosh Hashanah, also spelled Hashana or?Ha-shanah, comes from Hebrew and, most simply put, means “beginning of the year.” According to the Hebrew Bible, Rosh …

  10. What Is The Meaning Of Labor Day?

    For many of us, Labor Day means the end of summer vacation, a guilt trip for anyone wearing white, and an excuse for department stores to have sales. But, it’s important to keep in mind the true history behind this holiday: Labor Day is a celebration of laborers, of workers. And, it was introduced at a time when labor meant something far more grueling than …

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