World Television Day and Other Odd Observances

Posted on November 19, 2010

Each year, as the Summer Internship draws to a close I try to think of a meaningful gift to give to the group. In 2009 it was a t-shirt (I ironed on the decals myself) and this year it was a wall calendar. Each month features a funny memory or line from the summer. Since I created this calendar, I was at liberty to add any holidays or observances I saw fit. And, today, after receiving an email from Daniel reminding me that it is National Geography Awareness Week (Nov. 14 – 20) and nearly missing the boat (no pun intended) on it, I decided to reflect on a few lesser known holidays that take place right around this time.

Many of us are gearing up for Thanksgiving and even Chanukah which will celebrate its first night in less than 2 weeks. However, I would imagine in all the preparation for these more “major” holidays few, if any of us chose to recognize and remember National Bundt Pan Day which was observed this past Monday, November 15th. Oddly, there is little information about the modern day bundt pan. I did learn however, that it was developed by H. David Dahlquist, founder of Nordic Ware, a manufacturer of kitchenware products in Minneapolis in 1950. Mr. Dahlquist developed this product at the request of Rose Joshua and Fannie Schanfield, members of the Minneapolis chapter of Hadassah. Though Mrs. Joshua and Mrs. Schanfield enjoyed the “light and fluffy American-style cakes” they missed their denser European versions. With the help of Mr. Schanfield (Fannie’s husband) the bundt pan was born. Side note: Bundt comes from the German word bund meaning “community” or “gathering of people. Mr. Dahlquist added the letter “t” in order to trademark the name…got to love always looking at the bottom line! I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but of all days, I ate brownies instead of some form of bundt cake.

Not to be outdone by the invention and evolution of the bundt pan and it’s celebrated and storied history, but if you’re looking for something to celebrate on Sunday, November 21st, look no further than World Television Day. World Television Day is a day sanctioned by the United Nations in which it recognizes the significant role television plays in presenting different issues that affect people. Since I’m a person who loves television (though I prefer “Glee” over the evening news) I can appreciate the importance and significance of this day…even though I’ll probably be watching “The Amazing Race” instead of CNN come Sunday night.

Finally, as if Chanukah couldn’t get any better, National Cookie Day will be observed on the same day we light the 4th Chanukah Candle, December 4th. When Wikipedia is describing a holiday as minor, you might think it could be one that is overlooked. After delving a little deeper I learned how serious the Dutch were about their cookie making. They would test out their oven temperatures on small amounts of cookie dough to ensure that they would not waste too much if the temperature was incorrect. People that take cookie baking to this level deserve to be celebrated. Another side note: The word “cookie” comes from the Dutch “koekje” meaning little cake.

Enjoy Thanksgiving, Chanukah and these “minor” holidays as well.

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