Holiday Highlights for This Week

(UNDATED) – Who comes to mind when you think of the guitar? Hendrix? Segovia? Clapton? No doubt those titans belong on any list of the greatest six-slingers to ever tune-up and jam.

Thursday is National Guitar Day.

But there’s more to a guitar than just the players; there’s a fascinating history of the instrument.

Scholars generally agree that ‘guitars’ were mentioned in literature as far back as the 13th century.

By the end of the Middle Ages, people living in Europe were playing guitar-like instruments such as the ‘vihuela de mano’ and the ‘guitarra morisca.’

vihuela de mano

In the late 1800s the five-string Baroque guitar made way for the modern six-string classical guitar, perfected by the Spaniard Antonio de Torres Jurado.

In 1894, Gibson’s more durable mandolin-style guitar with breakthrough designs played louder than competitors’ guitars, revolutionizing music-making.

Gibson guitars

In 1931, The electric guitar was invented and became the go-to instrument for jazz and blues players.

Thursday is also International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

Over the past two decades, women have been more likely to receive an undergraduate degree than their male counterparts. Despite this overall accomplishment, women earn degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) at half the rate of men. This variance caught the attention of the United Nations and, in 2015, they proclaimed February 11 of each year to be observed as International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

Women’s ability to enter STEM fields offers them a wider variety of employment opportunities with higher pay than what is found in many other fields. The demand for STEM skills around the world continues to grow and it is up to us to ensure women and girls do not miss out.

On Friday, we celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year, is a 15-day festival that is celebrated annually depending on the sighting of the new moon. The occasion is also known as the Spring Festival, and an animal is associated with each New Year. This year is the year of the ox, which brings with it a promise of hard work, positivity, and honesty.

You’ll find 20 percent of the Earth’s population celebrating — using more fireworks than any other day of the year. It’s a celebration marked by good food, red envelopes, and blessings for everyone.

Friday is also Galentine’s Day. 

We’re quick to shower our significant others with gifts and treats on February 14, but the day prior was designed to celebrate other equally important relationships in our lives: our girlfriends! Galentine’s Day is a time to bring together the ladies in your life you love most.

Galentine’s Day was the creation of the beloved fictional deputy director of Parks and Recreation in Pawnee, Indiana, Leslie Knope. The show’s writers centered the 16th episode of the second season of Parks and Recreation around Leslie’s favorite February tradition, Galentine’s Day. Over a brunch of waffles and excessive gift-giving, Leslie celebrates the joy of female friendship with close friends and co-workers.

What was previously an unknown and unofficial holiday immediately skyrocketed in popularity, so much so that businesses have created Galentine’s Day promotions in honor of the celebration.

Finally on Sunday, it’s time to get romantic it’s Valentine’s Day.

If that’s not your thing then you can always spread a different kind of love. February 14 is also National Donor Day and we say thank you to those who have saved someone’s life by being an organ donor. With more than 120,000 people awaiting treatment, everyone who contributes is making an impact.

By donating organs such as corneas, tissue, marrow, platelets and blood; you create a living legacy of your generosity with the ultimate gift of love.