Most of us think of holidays as one of those few days our employer actually pays us to stay home. We all know the big ones: New Year's, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas. And yes, some employers are a little more generous but most likely you'll have no more than 7 days a year that you consider a holiday. Depending on your religious beliefs you may add a few more to that annual list, and find that you're up to a dozen or so.
For a day to be considered a "National Holiday" it needs to be declared so by Congress. And then of course we have the "commercial holidays" that we all love, which in effect are simply days that have become popular over the years. We all love them, but for some of us that just isn't enough. Organizations, corporation, and even loosely connected groups of people can "declare" a day for any reason they choose. Some of these days catch on and become popular with the general population, some remain only recognized by their creator, and some fizzle out and become a mere memory after only a year or two.
The point is - Every day, somewhere someone is celebrating something.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December 22 ~ Haiku Poetry Day

Haiku is a form of traditional Japanese poetry that adheres to strict rules. The entire poem is short containing only 17 syllables in 3 lines. The first line must be 5 syllables, the second lines is 7, and the last line is 5 again, giving the poem a graceful meter. Traditionally the poetry will make reference to the season, and most often it pertained to winter which is why this holiday is on the Winter Solstice.
Obviously well known traditional Japanese Haiku when translated to English will not necessarily have 17 syllables, but by reading some of them, you will get the idea of the imagery associated with this form of poetry.

* Night; and once again,
* the while I wait for you, cold wind
* turns into rain.
Masaoka Shiki

* The crow has flown away:
* swaying in the evening sun,
* a leafless tree.
Soseki Natsume

* The moment two bubbles
* are united, they both vanish.
* A lotus blooms.
Kijo Murakami

To learn more about Haiku, or to learn to write some of your own, try some of these books available at Amazon.