October 31 – Nevada Day

Posted on October 31, 2015

More and more, every year, I see the popularity of Halloween and Halloween-related holidays beginning to eclipse other holidays, to absorb harvest traditions, and to spread worldwide. So you probably already know that this is Halloween, also known as All Hallows' Eve. To check out my posts about this holiday, check out the items under “Also on this date.”

So it is surprising to me that Nevada is the state with the biggest statehood celebration – because it falls on Halloween!

On this date in 1864, Nevada became the 36th state of the United States.

For the past 77 years, there has been a Nevada Day Parade in the capital city, Carson City. There is also a Run/Walk, performances and concerts, a treasure hunt, historical tours, a “FamFest (think food booths, live entertainment, and other street-fair fare), a balloon launch, a pancake breakfast, and a chili supper. There are also block parties, special events at museums, and contests. I think I like the sound of the contests best. I mean, where else can you check out a beard contest and a rock-drilling contest?

Celebrate Nevada!

When I think of Nevada, I think of two things: desert, and Las Vegas. And when I think of Las Vegas, I think of casinos and gambling, glitz and lights, entertainment and hotel swimming pools.

To be honest, Vegas just is not my thing.

But Nevada has a lot of amazing stuff to offer aside from Las Vegas:

The Valley of Fire is really amazingly gorgeous!

Red Rock Canyon is less spectacular but still very pretty.

Hoover Dam (on the border between NV and CA) offers an interesting tour and some terrifying sights.

At Eldorado Canyon, you can tour an old gold mine.

Lake Tahoe (also on the border between NV and CA) is magnificent!

In Reno, you can order the Awful Awful Burger at The Nugget. It comes with a mountain of fries.

Also on this date:

Halloween (All Hallows' Eve)

Halloween as a worldwide “plague”

Plan ahead:

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October 30 – Anniversary of the Declaration of the Slovak Nation

Posted on October 30, 2015

When I was growing up, I was asked to memorize names and locations of countries. I am pretty sure the teachers talked as if those countries had existed for centuries and centuries, and would still exist for centuries and centuries more.

At least, I certainly got the impression that the nation list I was memorizing had existed as long as humans had existed, and that it would continue to be accurate so long as humans lived, as well.

Of course, I couldn't have been more wrong!

One of the Eastern European nations I memorized was Czechoslovakia. But that nation only existed within a single century: the 20th Century. To be specific, Czechoslovakia existed from October, 1918 to December, 1992

It was on this date in 1918 that the Slovaks officially joined Czechoslovakia.

Here are some other names that represent what the Slovak people were a part of, through different eras of history: Samo's Empire, the Principality of Nitra, the Kingdom of Hungary and then the Austro-Hungarian Empire...

And of course, Czechoslovakia, and now Slovakia.

Slovakia has as a nation is high-income; it has one of the fastest economic growth rates in the E.U. (European Union).

Cool castles and chateaux and caves!

  • Slovakia has more castles and chateaux, per capita, than any other nation in the world!

So, what does that mean? I presume you know that castles are buildings (or groups of buildings) that are fortified with thick walls, battlements, towers, and often a moat.

Many chateaux are castles, too – chateau is the French word for castle! But some chateaux are manor houses or palaces that do not have fortifications.

And per capita means “per person.”

For a nation of only five million people to have 180 castles and 425 chateaux is pretty surprising!

  • Slovakia also has a shockingly high number of caves: about 6,000!

Also on this date:

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October 29 – Republic Day in Turkey

Posted on October 29, 2015

People have lived continuously in what is now Turkey for a long, long time...from at least 10 thousand years ago!

From Anatolia to the Byzantine Empire, from the Seljuk Dynasty to the Ottoman Empire, people lived and died, laughed and cried, loved and warred in this region that lies in the part of the Eurasian continent that is generally considered just outside of Europe, the westernmost beginnings of Asia.

This region was ruled by a variety of sultans, emperors, and other monarchs until this date in 1923, when Turkey was officially declared a republic.

Even though almost all Turkish people are Muslim, the government is secular (in other words, there is no state religion) and religious liberty is guaranteed. It is considered by some to be the only Muslim democracy. It is far more “Westernized” than most Muslim-majority nations.

Of course there are wondrous historical sites in Turkey, plus great cultural activities and markets and - and - and...!

But the natural beauties to be found in Turkey are even more amazing!

The terraced pools of Pamukkale

The Turquoise Coast

The Kackar Mountains

Lake Van


Also on this date:

Creole Day in Dominica

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