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PostHeaderIcon Fun Birthday Facts and Stats

  Written By: Melainie

birthday fun facts statsAs my baby’s first birthday nears I have been doing a little research online to prepare and found some interesting statistics on birthdays. So I decided to look up more facts and statistics on birthdays and turn it into a fun post since tomorrow is my baby’s first birthday. Happy first birthday sweet baby Anneliese!

Birthday History and Symbols

Historical Birthday Superstition: It is believed by many scholars that birthdays began in the pagan culture of Europe because of the fear that evil spirits are more attracted to a person on their birthday. Friends and family would visit with well-wishes to ward off the evil spirits.

Birthdays were usually only celebrated by nobility (which may be why we like to put a Birthday Crown on the birthday person) until the Germans began the practice of celebrating children’s birthdays called “kinderfeste” and bake a special sweet cake.

Birthday Cake- Another theory about the origin of birthday cake is that it came from the ancient Greeks. They would bake a round cake lit with candles to offer to Artemis, the Moon Goddess.

 

birthday facts and statistics 

The candles helped to send prayers up to the gods, thus came about the custom of making a wish before blowing out your birthday candles. In Germany the candle on a birthday cake was symbolic for the light of life.

Happy Birthday Song- It began as the “Good Morning to You” song with the now familiar “Happy Birthday to You” tune, and was written by Mildred Hill and Dr. Patty Hill as a kindergarten school song. Patty Hill is credited with changing the lyrics to “Happy Birthday” after the song gained popularity (and yes, it is still copyrighted).

Fun Birthday Facts and Stats

August- most common birth month, over 21 million Americans have birthdays in August (and the least common is February).

October 5th- most common birth date ( 9 months after New Year’s Eve).

May 22nd is the least common birth date besides February 29th.

$27.2 Million- Most money spent on a birthday party. This extravagant party was for the Sultan of Brunei’s 50th Birthday in 1996.

2 Billion birthday cards are given each year in the U.S.- that is 58% of all cards given annually.

Golden Birthday- When your age and date of birth are the same. Example: My golden birthday was my 20th because I was born on June 20th.

Jesus Christ has the most popular, well-known birthday in history- Christmas Day!

Birthday Paradox- the probability that, in a group of 23 people, there is a 50/50 chance that two of them will have the same birthday. That probability goes up to 99%^ for a group of 57 people. (source: Wikipedia “Birthday Problem”)

15 Million- average number of people celebrating a birthday today (and every day) around the world.

128,238 lb. 8 oz.- weight of the world’s largest birthday cake. Made in Fort Payne, Alabama (not far from where I live) in 1989 to celebrate the city’s centennial birthday.

Birthday Jokes and Quotes

Q: What did one birthday candle say to another?

A: “Don’t birthdays burn you up?”

When I turned two I was really anxious, because I’d doubled my age in a year.
I thought, if this keeps up, by the time I’m six I’ll be ninety.
-Steven Wright

“I remember when the candle shop burned down. Everyone stood around singing ‘Happy Birthday’.”

Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.
-Reverend Larry Lorenzoni

P.S. If you want to read about birthday celebrations in other countries, KidsParties.com has a great list of information.

{Sources: Wikipedia and Tokenz}

PostHeaderIcon July 4th- Independence Day Facts and Stats

  Written By: Melainie

Independence Day

In my previous post I mentioned some cheap, budget-friendly ways to celebrate the 4th of July, our nation’s birth. Now I have some great facts and a little bit of history about our Independence Day. I hope you enjoy and feel free to comment with your own.

History of Independence Day

July 4th declaration of independenceWhy is July 4th Independence Day? Well, here is the short version of events that lead to America celebrating our independence on the fourth of July. Amidst growing hostility towards British oppression our Continental Congress met on June 7, 1776 and formed a committee to draw up the document that we now know as the Declaration of Independence. Then on July 2 it was complete and Continental Congress voted unanimously in favor of it. So technically July 2 is our nation’s birth, but the Declaration of Independence wasn’t officially adopted until July 4th- and that is why we now celebrate the FOURTH of JULY!

John Adams refused to acknowledge July 4 as the nation’s Independence Day, firmly believing that July 2 was the birth of our nation, and rejected all invitations to celebrate the 4th of July.

Since the nation was still fighting in the Revolutionary War for the first two Independence Days, George Washington gave all of his soldiers double rations of rum to celebrate the 4th of July.

Massachusetts- First state to make the 4th of July an officially holiday.

1870- Congress made July 4th an officially federal holiday.

source: History Channel www.history.com

Independence Day Fun Facts

Did you know that our second, third, and fourth Presidents all died on July 4th? Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on the same day- July 4, 1826, and James Monroe died on July 4, 1831.

2.5 Million- number of people living in America on July 4, 1776.

311.7 Million- number of people living in America this year- July 4, 2011.

China- largest importer of U.S. Flags and fireworks in 2010.

Mexico- lead customer of American Flags exported from the U.S. in 2010.

11- number of places in the U.S. with “Independence” in their names.

5- number of places in the U.S. with “America” in their names.

fourth of july uncle samOrigin of Uncle Sam- Samuel Wilson was a meat packer who provided food for U.S. soldiers in the early 1800′s. He stamped the initials U.S. on his packaged products and some soldiers began to joke that it stood for Uncle Sam, giving way to the symbolic Uncle Sam of the United States government.

July 8, 1776 was the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence and the Liberty Bell rang to draw all of the citizens together to hear it.

John Hancock- only person to actually sign the Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July.

Bristol Fourth of July Parade- oldest continuing Independence Day celebration in the U.S. has been held every year since 1785.

500,000- number of people who attend the Washington D.C. Fourth of July celebration each year.

150 Million hotdogs will be eaten this Fourth of July (approximately) and that will be from the 74 Million Americans who will be barbecuing on July 4th.

26% of Americans don’t know what country we won our independence from- it’s Great Britain people!

22 Tons- amount of fireworks on display in New York City for the Fourth of July celebration.

$600 Million were spent on fireworks in one year in the U.S.

Deadliest holiday- on the 4th of July there are more alcohol related fatalities than New Year’s Day- the Fourth of July is the Number 1 Beer drinking holiday.

I hope you have a safe and fun Independence Day!

4th of july America

P.S. I will not be posting anything on the 4th of July because I will be too busy spending time with my family and enjoying this great nation that I am so proud to be a part of.

 

sources: Wikipedia.org and U.S. Census Bureau

PostHeaderIcon February 14 – Happy Valentine’s Day!

  Written By: Melainie

Valentine’s Day is almost here! Shop Amazon – Valentine’s Day Top Gift Ideas

Valentine’s Day:

For those who don’t know or can’t remember the story about Valentine’s Day I have gathered some information on how it began and why. I also found some interesting valentine facts, the significance behind valentine traditions, and some good quotes for your sweetheart.

St. Valentine Legends

Saint ValentineSaint Valentine’s Day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 500 AD. Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. Legends about Valentine vary and no one is sure of the true story.

1. Some say he was killed for illegally marrying Roman soldiers. Emperor Claudius II deciding that single men made better soldiers than those with wives outlawed marriage for potential soldiers. Valentine continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret and Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

2. Another legend claims he was martyred for helping Christians escape punishment at the hands of the pagan emperor.

3. The most romanticized  legend though is when Valentine was in prison, he fell in love with a young girl (she might have been his jailor’s daughter) who visited him during his confinement. Before his death he wrote her a letter, which he signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today.

With all of these legends there is another twist, it is also believed that Valentine’s Day is associated with the roman holiday lupercalia and was brought into the church to discourage celebrating the vulgar fertility holiday. In Ancient Rome, Lupercalia, observed February 13 through 15, was an archaic rite connected to fertility. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius changed Lupercalia on February 15 to St. Valentine’s Day on February 14 in honor of the patron saint of lovers. Early Christians were happier with the idea of a holiday honoring the saint of romantic causes than with one recognizing a pagan festival.

Valentine Traditions

The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages (written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400), and the oldest known Valentine card is on display at the British Museum. Modern Valentine’s Day symbols include the heart-shaped outline, cupid, doves, red roses, and greeting cards.

valentine heartThere are many theories about how the modern heart-shape came to be. Some believe it simply came from botched attempts to draw an actual human heart, the organ which the ancients, including Aristotle, believed contained all human passions. Another explanation is the silphium plant seedpod, which looks like the heart shape we know today and was reputedly used as a form of birth control. According to the theory, the heart shape first became associated with sex and then love.The Catholic Church claims that the modern heart shape did not come along until Saint Margaret Mary Alocoque had a vision of it surrounded by thorns. This symbol became known as the Sacred Heart of Jesus and was associated with love and devotion.

In Roman mythology, Cupid (Latin cupido, meaning “desire”) is the god of desire, affection and erotic love. This probably became associated with Valentine’s Day due to the Roman origin of the holiday.

Handmade paper Valentines were being exchanged in various parts of Europe in the early to mid-15th century. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.

Red roses were said to be the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. Red is also a color that signifies strong feelings.

Doves are symbols of loyalty and love because they mate for life and share the care of their babies.

Valentine’s Day Fun Facts

valentine letterOne Billion- the estimated number of valentine cards sent each year, according to the Greeting Card Association, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.)

85%- Approximately how many of the valentines are purchased by women.

In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia.

The first commercial Valentine’s Day greeting cards produced in the U.S. were created in the 1840s by Esther A. Howland. Howland, known as the Mother of the Valentine, made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.”

Anti-Valentine Cards have been popular almost as long as Valentine cards have been. They are typically cynical or sarcastic toward romance or the commercialism associated with Valentine’s Day.

Vinegar valentines are greeting cards, or, rather, insult cards, that come in the form of an insult, decorated with a caricature and, below that, an insulting poem.

sailors’ valentine is a type of antique souvenir, or sentimental gift, originally brought home from a sailor’s voyage at sea for his loved one between 1830 and 1890.

Men spend almost twice as much on Valentine’s Day as women do. More than one-third of men would prefer not receiving a gift. Less than 20 percent of women feel the same way.

15% of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day.

Hallmark produced its first valentine in 1913.

The Catholic Church struck St. Valentine’s Day from its official calendar in 1969.

3%- approximate number of pet owners who will give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets.

1,000- how many letters addressed to Juliet that the Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare’s lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives every Valentine’s Day.

2- number of towns in the U.S. named Valentine. One is Texas, the other is in Nebraska.

Famous Quotations on Love

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.
- Aristotle

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
- Lao Tzu

Love is the greatest refreshment in life.
- Pablo Picasso

At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet.
- Plato

If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden.
- Claudia Ghandi

One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life. That word is love.
- Sophocles

1 Corinthians 13:

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.

3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing.

4 Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

If you need some last minute valentine ideas read Preparing for Valentine’s Day.

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