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The luck of the Irish be with ye on St. Patrick’s day, unless of course you forget to wear something green, in which case you’ll have to endure endless mockery. Yes, St. Patrick’s Day (alternatively known as St. Patty’s Day, Saint Paddy's Day or St. Pat’s Day) is closely associated with the color green. But don’t let that fool you into thinking that it’s environmentally friendly; St. Patrick’s Day has famously been celebrated in Chicago by dumping green dye into their river, not to mention the rampant littering at celebrations across the country. And while St. Patrick’s Day remains best known for its parades and festivals, as well as being the most difficult day to get a reservation at an Irish pub, it’s also an occasion to share some of the merriment with friends and family, one St. Patrick’s day card or cheesy green plastic hat at a time.
St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t always green, initially its official color was blue. But in the 1700s, green became increasingly popular as the public became more aware of the history of St. Patrick, who was said to use the shamrock to demonstrate Christian beliefs to the people of 4th century Ireland. Eventually, many other practices of St. Patrick became incorporated into the March 17 festivities as well, though the tradition of pinching people who don’t wear green remains firmly rooted in American elementary schools. St. Patrick’s day has also become a recognition of Irish pride, with prominent celebrations held in cities with large Irish communities such as Boston, New York, and Chicago. So if you can’t join family or friends celebrating, be sure to send them St. Patrick’s day cards from Card Gnome. Parades, Irish craft festivals, greeting cards, and Celtic music concerts abound, make St. Patrick’s day in America the next best thing to kissing the Blarney Stone.
From the land of 1001 Nights comes one night that can’t be missed. It’s the night of Nowruz, also known as the Persian New Year! Famous in the West for their cuisine and elegant rugs, the Persians use their New Years festival to prove to the world that they also know how to cut a rug. Elaborate celebrations and festivals abound, in Persia and in Persian communities around the world. There are concerts, celebrations, and fine cuisine; thankfully, you don’t have to be a sword swallower to enjoy Persian food. But it’s also fairly common to take this time to stay in touch with friends and family, Nowruz greeting cards are often sent wishing a happy night of celebration. And the best part about a greeting card for Persian New Year is that you don’t have to deal with the time change for family on the other side of the world.
The Persian New Year is calculated to take place during the spring equinox, but since it’s calculated by the Persian calendar, it can take place on between March 20 and March 22. Traditionally the New Year has been a time for cleaning; Persians actually refer to their tenacious tidying as “shaking the house”, though that could also come from the fact that Persia is prone to periodic earthquakes. Tradition also dictates that the time after the New Year should be reserved for a twelve day long visit with family, followed by a picnic. But some of the most rowdy celebrations for Persian New Years are actually held by the Kurds, who celebrate by lighting a large fire and jumping over it – this tradition became a lot more practical after the invention of the fire extinguisher. But no matter how you celebrate it, Persian New Year is a great time to keep in touch with friends and family. By sending a greeting or a card, you can help ensure that the New Year will be good for you and your family. Don’t forget to wish them luck in hopping over the fire!
From the banks of the Red Sea comes a holiday celebration of Biblical – make that
Torahesque - proportions. It’ s Passover, the most important holiday of the Jewish month
of Nisan (that’ s either March or April on modern calendars). The holiday commemorates
the escape of the Hebrews from Egypt, named in honor of the God’ s “ passing over” of
the Hebrew first born immediately before their departure – as opposed to the Egyptian
first born, who God, shall we say, didn’ t pass over. The holiday celebration lasts an
impressive seven days total. And while modern Passover is generally a bit more relaxed
than its Exodus origins, it’ s still a big effort to pull off. But ultimately, the celebration
is rewarding for those in the Jewish community and all who observe it, a time to cherish
family ties and traditions, and definitely not something to pass over.
As is the case with many Jewish holidays, the rituals of Passover are intricate enough
to require a graduate level college course. Chief among the Passover ceremonies is
the baking of the Matzo bread, left flat to honor the lack of cooking time the Hebrews
had before the Exodus, as well as in recognition of the fact that fully cooked bread is
sometimes associated with inflated egos. By tradition, Matzo has to be cooked within
twenty-two minutes, resulting in whirlwind kitchen sessions. But thankfully observers of
Passover are allowed more time to buy the ingredients; perhaps the original observances
of Passover foresaw the disastrous supermarket lines that would exist in modern times.
Other important Passover traditions include the Seder dinner on the first night, the
Counting of the Omer on the second night, the retelling of the Red Sea parting on the
seventh night, and one more Seder on the final night.
For those in the family who might not be able to make the festivities, it’ s a good time to
send a Passover greeting card. It’ s always been traditional to send wishes for a warm and
joyous Seder with a card, and your family will love that you wish them Chag Sameach
even as you’ re rushing to get the Matzo done on time.
Springtime is here, and what better way to recognize the changing of the season than to combine solemn religious ceremony with delicious chocolate bunnies? We’re talking Easter! The holiday commemorates what is arguably the most important event in Christian tradition, even if it is overshadowed a bit by a certain other Christian holiday. But even outside the circles of the faithful, Easter is the perfect time to send a greeting to friends and family, and to celebrate that you won’t have to shovel your sidewalk for another six months.
As the history goes, Easter traces back to the year 33, which Christian scholars generally agree to be the year in which Jesus died and came back to life. After Christianity became a widely recognized religion in Rome, Christian leaders decided that the date of Easter each year would be determined by a complex calculation involving the vernal equinox and the lunar cycle, thus making any hope for an Easter equivalent of advent calendars next to impossible. While religious ceremonies reflect as much as possible the Christian teachings surrounding the holiday, popular Easter traditions also include key elements of Pagan springtime celebrations. The use of rabbits and lilies as symbols of Easter stem from their use as fertility symbols in Norse mythology; thankfully, the other Norse springtime tradition of slaughtering oxen did not endure. Comparatively little is known about the history of Easter egg hunts, though some have speculated that the tradition of hiding chocolate eggs for children to find is a way for them to let out their repressed rage after not getting an advent calendar.
After religious services, many families traditionally hold a large meal on Easter day. It’s also common to send greetings to distant family members, ranging from bible verse cards for the more faithful to playful or funny cards for others. For Easters which fall earlier in the year, it may even be cool enough to observe the slightly goofy tradition of one member of the family dressing in a giant rabbit suit, though this of course requires the wearer to be free of rabbit allergies and to have a high tolerance for humiliation.
While most holidays are geared toward amateur celebrations, there’s one that’s clearly much more professional: Administrative Professionals’ Day! The holiday celebrates everyone in the workplace who contributes to the general administration of office tasks, and conducts themself professionally. It is scheduled every year to fall on the Wednesday of the last full week of April, a formula whose calculation is complicated enough to occasionally require the help of an administrative professional. This scheduling exists to allow each Administrative Professionals’ Day to happen during the work week, though scheduling it two days earlier would have also helped to alleviate various cases of “the Mondays”. With a long and rich tradition of office merriment and thoroughly justified recognition of hard working staff members, Administrative Professionals’ Day is a holiday for every professional to administer some good times.
Administrative Professionals’ Day traces back to 1952; it was originally founded as “Secretaries’ Day”, which also included an entire Secretaries’ Week happening simultaneously. Initially it was held in June but three years later the date was moved up to April and the surrounding Secretaries’ Week was dropped. In 2000, the decision was made to change the title to “Administrative Professionals’ Day to encompass a broader range of job descriptions, and because “Secretaries’ Day” was a little too evocative of the Mad Men era. Today the holiday is observed around the world and is administered, as it were, by the aptly named International Association of Administrative Professionals. The day is typically celebrated with light-hearted or funny cards and small gifts; among the most popular are coffee mugs inscribed with cheesy sayings like “World’s Greatest Administrative Professional.”
Break out your stethoscopes and EKGs, it’s time to celebrate National Doctors’ Day!
Doctors’ Day is a time to show appreciation for MDs of all stripes: general practitioners,
surgeons, dermatologists, optometrists, even dentists – though it’s best not to thank
dentists while they’re cleaning your teeth. Naturally, the epicenter for Doctors’ Day
celebrations is at hospitals, some of which throw themed parties in honor of their scrub-
wearing servants to society. Free band-aids and reflex testers abound, but it’s still just
as hard to get an appointment. Nevertheless, Doctors’ Day is the perfect time for people
around the country to send their doctors a healthy “Thank you” and “Hope to see you
In the United States, Doctor’s Day was first observed in 1933. The choice of March 30
originated in recognition of the first use of anesthesia in surgery; for a day celebrating
doctors, it’s an appropriate milestone. The idea of making Doctor’s Day a national
holiday began in 1958, when a bill officially recognizing it passed through the House of
Representatives. However, the bill flatlined in the Senate for the next thirty-two years,
until finally passing into law in 1990. Doctor’s Day has come to be symbolized by red
carnations, which are seen as an emblem of charity, courage, and bravery, in addition
to helping lower your heart rate. Recommended dosage for Doctor’s day is to take one
of each: doctor’ s thank you cards, surgeon’ s thank you cards, and a thank you card for
any medical specialist you feel is special. Side effects of Doctor’s Day include a better
relationship with your health care professional and maybe a sticker as you leave the
April Fools’ Day: a day of gags and gotchas, a day when the most reputable news sources run fake stories and even the most stiff-lipped, Ben-Stein-in-Ferris-Bueller boring among us show a bit of humor. It’s a day for pranksters far and wide to exercise their funny bones and a day for the more credulous among us to believe phony headlines saying that their local municipality has been attacked by Godzilla. A day when everyone has their eye out for stink bombs and soda cans stuffed with spring snakes. April Fools’ Day: the perfect time to send a joke message to old friends – or at least leave a flaming bag of something unpleasant on their doorstep.
There are many differing histories of April Fools’ Day, most of which are hoaxes themselves. One story holds that the holiday goes back to Noah’s ark; when Noah sent out one of the doves too early, the story goes, he was effectively playing the first April Fools’ prank in history. Luckily for Noah, he knew better than to play any pranks against God. Another story claims that the holiday goes back to ancient Druid festivals in Scotland, while one of the more accepted theories maintains that the tradition began after the shifting of the New Year’s celebration from Spring to Winter in 16th Century France. During this time, villagers who had received news of the new date would send others who didn’t know about it to do phony New Year’s tasks, or “fool’s errands.” Today, fool’s errands are performed throughout the year.
Whether you’re a goofball or the sullen serious type, take a moment on April Fools’ day to revel in the jokes, pranks, and merriment. But be sure to remember that the photo in your local paper of a three-headed sea monster attack is probably just some clever Photoshop work.
Planet Earth: where would we be without it? Most likely floating around in space, constantly being bumped by asteroids and space monsters, light years away from the nearest internet connection. That won’t do! In recognition of our beautiful blue and green planet’s noble task, why not take some time out to celebrate Earth Day? And while you’re at it, spend just a little time making sure it stays green: Earth Day’s April 22 celebration includes events and gatherings dedicated to preserving the planet and helping to organize for the environment. Because without a good environment, Earth is just a big asteroid with more earthquakes.
Relatively new on the national and international holiday scene, Earth Day traces its roots back to US Sen. Gaylord Nelson, who first got the idea in 1962, but was spurred to take action in 1969 after witnessing a terrible oil spill in Santa Barbara, CA. The first earth day focused on college demonstrations; April 22 was chosen so as not to coincide with students’ breaks or finals, and to give them adequate time to calm down from two days earlier. Earth Day was first observed in 1970, but originally intended only to be a one-time event. The day was then picked up again in 1990, and by 1995 had been organized into a yearly holiday that extended to countries covering all parts of, well, the Earth. Today, every Earth Day is a chance to join up with environmentally friendly folk, and perhaps send a greeting to any tree-hugging friends or relatives you might have. If you send a card, you can be sure they’ll keep it, or at least recycle the paper.
All of Card Gnome's cards are created using wind power, and we only print with organic ink and recycled paper. Feel good about sending someone one of our cards on Earth Day!
Saint David is the patron saint of Wales, and, as a fiercely patriotic nation, the Welsh celebrate St David’s Day on March 1st. Saint David’s Day greeting cards are sent, not just within Wales, but in Welsh communities all over the world.
The Welsh national symbols, Red Dragons and Daffodils, make for colorful greeting cards but the leek is also a Welsh symbol, originating, apparently, from a battle that took place in a field of leeks, the Welsh warriors stuffing leeks in their hatbands to distinguish themselves from the enemy.
Leeks also feature in Saint David's Day meals, along with Welsh Cakes and Bara Brith and maybe even Laverbread.
Even in the very Anglicized part of South East Wales, near the border with England, young children wear the picturesque Welsh costume to school on Saint David’s Day and mini-eisteddfods (a kind of music and drama festival) are held in school. You can see examples of the Welsh national costume, which often features on greeting cards.
Elsewhere Saint David’s Day parades still take place.
Mardi Gras is the largest annual celebration in New Orleans and a continuous season of carnivals, parades and celebrations held there during the month of February. The schedule consists of wonderful parades filled with handmade floats, special competitions and awards, all taking place during the second and third week of February.
The celebration culminates in the final event of the Mardi Gras– which takes place on February 21st on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans. hotels, restaurants and the entire town stops to participate in this historic celebration. Visitors travel miles to be part of this grandest party of the south – reminiscent of ancient French costume holidays and carnivals of the past. Exhibits and live entertainment highlight this rich tradition with Gulf coast Cajun cuisine, laughter, celebration and nightlife, nightlife, nightlife!
A day to celebrate Paralegal's.