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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 04/25/12

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

MONSTER TRIVIA, 13 FACTS ABOUT VAMPIRES!!




    Almost every culture in the world has its own vampire legend, and some date back thousands of years. Today, we are most familiar with Count Dracula and other folklore from Eastern Europe. Do you want to learn more? Here is a list of 13 juicy trivia facts to get your blood pumping with Halloween just about a day away.

  1. Was the first vampire a woman? The oldest known vampire legends come from Babylonian and Sumerian mythology. Female demons called the Lilu were said to hunt women and children at night, and drink their blood.
  2. Vlad III Tepes, also known as Vlad Dracul, was known for his incredible cruelty, he was alleged to have killed up to 30,000 people at one time! His blood thirsty reputation inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula.
  3. The National Retail Federation listed "Vampire" as the second most popular adult Halloween costume in 2005. Vampires were the sixteenth most popular children's costume for the same year.
  4. While modern pop culture usually portrays vampires as sensual and romantic, other countries don't see them that way, the Ghanan Asasabonsam vampire has iron teeth and hooks for feet-which they use to drop from treetops onto unsuspecting victims.
  5. Some believe that Cain was the first vampire, cursed by God for slaying his brother, Abel. This theory is frequently found in popular films and games.
  6. In 1992, Francis Ford Coppola's "Dracula" movie won seven awards, including three Oscars.
  7. Stakes, fire and sunlight aren't the only ways to kill a vampire. Other cultures recommend beheading a vampire, boiling it in vinegar, pounding a nail through its navel, or scattering birdseed on its tomb.
  8. In Latin American folklore, El Chupacabras is a supernatural creature that drinks the blood of animals-usually chickens and goats.
  9. According to popular tradition, vampires can shape-shift into wolves, bats, or clouds of mist. (sometimes they can even change into a blood orange also!)
  10. In March 2007, self-proclaimed vampire hunters entered the tomb of Siobodan Milosevic and staked his body through the heart.
  11. The medical conditions porphyria, has been blamed for may reports of vampirism, its victims develop pale skin, sensitivity to sunlight, receding gums which make their teeth appear larger, and sever anemia-the cure for which, in ages past, might have included drinking animals' blood.
  12. In the 17th Century, Countess Bathory of Hungary was said to bathe in human blood in order to preserve her beauty. Some even accused her of vampirism.
  13. Vampire bats were named after vampires, not vice-versa.

TOP 10 BIZARRE FOOD FESTIVALS!!




    Food,  food,  food!   We love it so much it features regularly on the List Universe. And the one thing we love more than food? Bizarre lists. Fortunately this one combines both passions. So sit back and enjoy a fun filled list. Of course, if you can think of other exciting bizarre food festivals, be sure to let me know in the comments.






10. Noche de Rábanos (Night of the Radishes)

Where: Oaxaca, Mexico
When: December 23-24 annually

    This is a food festival where eating is discouraged! This festival originated in the 16th century when Spanish monks brought this edible root to the new colonies. To gain attention in the food markets, sellers would carve some radishes into eye-catching sculptures. This tradition continued throughout the centuries and became an official festival in 1987. Radishes as big as two feet long and weighing upwards of ten pounds are carved into intricate religious or cultural scenes. The artisans can compete in three different categories for cash prizes






9. Annual Testicle Festival

Where: Clinton, Montana, USA
When: July 29-August 2nd


    There are several imitators but this is the original ballfest. Usually known by its classier name, the Rocky Mountain Oyster Festival, this whole event is dedicated to serving deep-fried bull testicles. You can have your choice plain deep-fried, beer battered, marinated, as well as some newly concocted delectables. For the indecisive, $5 can provide a sampler plate of testicles. Those on a low-testicle diet can have fun as well! One of the highlights of the festival is Bullshit Bingo, with a grand prize of $100 for the lucky person who can correctly predict where a cow will do its doodie. The motto of this dignified event? “I had a ball at the Testicle Festival.”



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8. World Pea shooting Championship


Where: Witcham, Cambridgeshire, UK
When: July 11th

    This is loosely termed a festival since the food isn’t celebrated; rather, it’s like a block party that grew out of a simple target competition. In 1971, local headmaster Mr. Tyson held the first pea shooting competition as a way to fundraise for the upkeep of the village hall. The entrance fee is only £1.00 for adults and £0.50 for children, but be warned! The competitors take this extreme sport seriously and you’ll need hi-tech gear (like the laser-guided pea shooter) to stand a chance on the field with these seasoned pea shooting veterans





7. Roadkill Cook-off of the Autumn Harvest Festival


Where: Marlington, West Virginia, USA
When: September 26th

    Nobody panic! None of the entries in this harvest festival competition have any tire marks as they aren’t actually unfortunate outcomes of “Why did the chicken cross the road?” jokes. This competition utilizes wild game such as raccoon, possum, deer…basically any of Bambi’s friends that could be potential roadkill. Does that make it better? No? oh well… notables among the past wild game entries are “Spicy Venison, Buffalo & Sausage Stew”, “Pulled Bambi”, and Biscuits & Squirrel Gravy.






6. Gilroy Garlic Festival

Where: Gilroy, California, USA
When: July 24-26th

    Gilroy is the unofficial Garlic Capital of the World and proudly shows off in this festival that attracts over 100,000 visitors annually that as a whole consume an estimated two and a half tons of garlic at the event. The official Gilroy Garlic Festival website claims to have used 72 tons of garlic in the twenty-nine years this festival has existed. Cooking demonstrations and lectures discuss traditional uses and health benefits but the innovative can always express their love for this pungent food in the Great Garlic Cook-off, which has had entries like garlic ice cream, garlic soft drinks and last year’s winner “Walnut-Garlic Tart with Garlic-Infused Cream and Chili Syrup”. Anyone need a Tic Tac?








5. Waikiki Spam Jam

Where: Waikiki, Hawaii, USA
When: April 25th

    As an area with a scarce meat supply during WWII, this archipelago embraced the blue-canned pink meat and has now become Spam’s most loyal market. During this street festival, hula dancers perform while judges crown a Mr. and Miss Spam and Hawaii’s top chefs create new recipes celebrating the gelatinous meat product. Pedestrians get to sample everything from Spam Burgers to Spam Musubi (kind of like sushi but with spam instead of fish). This festival also serves a philanthropic purpose that benefits the Hawaii Food Bank, the largest non-profit in Hawaii that feeds the needy.






4. Ivrea Orange Festival

Where: Ivrea, Italy
When: Last date: February 25-28th

    La Tomantina has already been mentioned in a previous lists, but by no means is that the only fruit-throwing festival! The Ivrea Orange Festival originated from the 12th century when during parades and city celebrations, girls would throw oranges from their balconies to gain the attention of the boy they fancied. The boys began to reciprocate (no mention if the secret admiration was reciprocated but the oranges certainly were!) and this evolved into a messy rivalry between the balcony girls and the street boys. It wasn’t until WWII when the intricate citrus battle rules were finally laid out. It is free for anyone to participate by joining one of the nine teams on foot or become a member of the carriage crew.







3. Carnival at Vilanova i La Geltrú (Candy Throwing Fight)



Where: Vilanova i La Geltrú, Spain
When: Fat Tuesday

    Originally a protest of the Franco regime’s Carnivale prohibition, this annual festival is by far the sweetest food fight in the world! Celebrations begin on Fat Tuesday with the Meringue Wars, where bakeries open their stores and pass out free pie ammunition to children. The adults dress in the colors of their respective Carnival Society and attend parties and masquerades before joining the children in the streets in what becomes a sweet tooth free-for-all! Over 200,000 lbs of food has been donated to the food fight, ranging from pies to candy to cereal… It’s a dentist’s nightmare! The festival officially ends with the ceremonial burial of a sardine to mark the beginning of Lent and fasting.







2. Olney Pancake Race

Where: Olney, England, UK
When: Pancake Day or Fat Tuesday

    At 11:55 am on Shrove Tuesday (aka Pancake Day, aka Fat Tuesday), the local ladies assemble dressed in traditional housewife attire (including skirt, apron and scarf) and run 415 yards through the streets of Olney carrying a frying pan. The pancakes are tossed at the start of the race and the winner is must toss her pancake again at the finish. The race has been an Olney tradition since 1445 and in 1950, the competition expanded to include a friendly flapjack rivalry with the housewives and young women of Liberal, Kansas in the US. The ladies of Liberal won this past year’s race with a new record of 57.5 seconds





1. Annual Yuma Lettuce Days

Where: Yuma, Arizona, USA
When: Last date: January 23-25th

    Yuma is known as ‘The Winter Lettuce Capital of the World". Sounds silly, yes, but considering Yuma produces $1.5 billion of Arizona’s agriculture revenue and provides 90% of North America’s winter vegetables, it’s appropriate to respect the lettuce. Among the highlights of this Veggie Fair are the Lettuce sculptures, Cabbage Bowling, Homegrown Cooking Contest and the "World’s Largest Salad".

ANZAC DAY FROM AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND!



    Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, and is commemorated by both countries on April 25th every year to honor members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I. It is now more broadly commemorates all those who died and served in military operations for their countries. Anzac Day is also observed in the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tonga.





History

    Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. The acronym ANZAC, stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, whose soldiers were known as Anzacs. Anzac Day remains one of the most important national occasions of both Australia and New Zealand. This is a rare instance of two sovereign countries not only sharing the same remembrance day, but making reference to both countries in its name.






Foundations of Anzac Day

    On April 30th, 1915, when the first news of the landing reached New Zealand, a half day holiday was declared and impromptu services were held. The following year a public holiday was officially declared on April 5th and services to commemorate were organized by the returned servicemen.
    April 25th, was officially named Anzac Day in 1916; in that year it was marked by a wide variety of ceremonies and services in Australia and New Zealand, a march through London, and a sports day for the Australian and New Zealand soldiers in Egypt. The small New Zealand community of Tinui,near Materton in the Wairarapa was apparently the first place in New Zealand to have an Anzac Day service, when the then vicar led an expedition to place a large wooden cross on the Tinui Taipos (high large hill behind the village) in April of 1916 to commemorate the dead. A service was held on April 25th of that yer. In 2006 the 90th anniversary of the event was commemorated with a full 21 gun salute fired at the service by soldiers from the Waiouru Army Camp.







    In London, over 2,000 Australian and New Zealand troops marched through the streets of the city. A London newspaper headline dubbed them "The Knights of Gallipoli". Marches were held all over Australia in 1916; wounded soldiers from Gallipoli attended the Sydney march in convoys of cars, accompanied by nurses. Over 2,000 people attended the service in Rotorua. For the remaining years of the war, Anzac Day was used as an occasion for patriotic rallies and recruiting campaigns, and parades of serving members of the AIF were held in most cities. From 1916 onwards, in both Australia and New Zealand, Anzac memorials were held on or about April 25th, mainly organized by returned servicemen and school children in cooperation with local authorities. Anzac Day became a public holiday in New Zealand in 1920, through the Anzac Day Act, after lobbying by the New Zealand Returned Soldiers' Association's, the RSA. During the 1920's, it became established as a National Day of Commemoration for the 60,000 Australians and 18,000 New Zealanders who died during the war.




Anzac Day since World War II

    With the coming of the Second World War, Anzac Day became a day on which to commemorate the lives of Australians and New Zealanders lost in that war as well and in subsequent years. The meaning of the day has been further broadened to include those killed in all military operations in which the countries have been involved.
From the 1960's, but especially in the 70's and 80's, Anzac Day became increasingly controversial in both Australia and New Zealand. The day was used by anti-Vietnam War protesters to agitate against that war and war in general, and ceremonies were later targeted by feminists, anti-nuclear campaigners, Maori activists and others.








Commemoration
       In Australia and Ne Zealand, Anzac Day commemoration features solemn "Dawn Services", a tradition started in Albany, Western Australia on April 25th, 1923, and now held at war memorials around both countries, accompanied by thought of those lost at war to the ceremonial sounds of The Last Post on the bugle. The fourth stanza of Laurence Binyon's poem "For the Fallen" (know as the "ode of Remembrance") is often recited.