Today is the Yuan Xiao festival, also called Lantern Festival. The Lantern Festival is the first full moon night of the new Lunar year calendar.
This is the 15th day of the Lunar Festival; it marks the end of the New Year celebrations, marking the return of spring and symbolizing the reunion of family.
There is a story about the Lantern Festival. A beautiful heavenly bird flew down a village and was killed. The God of Heaven was very angry and wanted to burn down the entire village on the 15th lunar day. One wise villager advised every family hang candle lanterns around the house, carry lanterns on the street, and light fireworks outside on the 15th lunar night. The soldiers of the God of Heaven saw the village was on fire from the heaven, and returned back to the heaven. The village survived and people keep the lantern activity on this day every year.
Lantern owners write riddles on paper notes and pasted them upon the colorful lanterns. People crowd round to guess the riddles. If someone thinks they have the right answer, they can pull the riddle off and go to the lantern owner to check their answer. If the answer is right, there is usually a small gift as a prize. To close out the holiday, please enjoy this lantern riddle from ACME: For me, I slap you. Because of you, I slap me. Hitting your skin, My blood flows.
February 26, 1908 -
Let's make some funny pictures.
Frederick Bean (Tex) Avery, animator, cartoonist, and another member of the legendary Termite Terrace was born on this date.
February 26, 1916 -
If you have it and you know you have it, then you have it. If you have it and don't know you have it, you don't have it. If you don't have it but you think you have it, then you have it.
John Herbert Gleason, (The Great One) comedian, actor and musician was born on this day.
February 26, 1966 -
While Nancy Sinatra was on the same record label (Reprise) as her famous father, her record label was going to drop her because her first few singles flopped. Things changed when they teamed her with producer Lee Hazlewood. These Boots Are Made for Walkin' topped the charts on this date.
It was her first hit. In 1996, Nancy Sinatra gave a pair of white go-go boots she wore to promote this song to the Hard Rock Cafe in Beverly Hills.
February 26, 1967 –
Gene Kelly starred in Jack and the Beanstalk on NBC (produced by Hanna-Barbara) on this date. It was the first TV special to combine live action and animation.
Dick Beals, who was 39 years old provided the singing voice for 8-year-old Bobby Riha's character, Jack.
February 26, 1988 -
John Water's great, albeit more mainstream feature (Water's first PG-rated film), Hairspray, opened on this date.
Pia Zadora was offered the role of Amber von Tussle but she was unable to commit due to scheduling conflicts. Writer-director John Waters was adamant that she appear in the film, so she cleared two days to shoot a cameo as the Beatnick Chick.
February 26, 1988 -
The science fiction film Alien from L.A., directed by Albert Pyun and starring Kathy Ireland was released in US theaters, on this date.
And the only reason to note it is because the MST3K guys spoofed it.
February 26, 1994 -
Bill Hicks, writer and comedian, died of pancreatic cancer on this date.
In the years after his death, Hicks' work has achieved significant admiration and acclaim.
Another unimportant event in history
Today in History:
February 26, 1076 -
Godfrey III (the hunchback) was assassinated on this date. He was murdered while going to the latrine with a spear through his behind. This apparently happens more frequently than I thought.
Godfrey was the duke of Lower Lorraine. (His wife, Matilda of Canossa, countess of Tuscany , known as Os Vulvae by her friends - look it up - was probably having an affair with Pope Gregory VII.)
But what the hell do you care?
February 26, 1815 -
One of the Top 10 prison breaks of all time
Napoleon managed to sneak past his guards and somehow escape from Elba, slip past interception by a British ship, and start on his return to France.
February 26, 1829 -
Levi Strauss, inventor and manufacturer of blue jeans was born, on this date.
He originally planned to make canvas tents for miners in the California gold rush, but soon found that durable pants sold better.
February 26, 1870 -
The Beach Pneumatic Transit, the first pneumatic-powered subway line in New York City was opened to the public on this date.
Propulsion was provided by a giant fan, nicknamed The Western Tornado, operated by a steam engine, drawing air in through a valve, and blowing it forcefully into the tunnel.
The tunnel was only a block long, and the line had only one car. Rush hour must have been a bitch.
February 26, 1918 -
The Grandstands at the Hong Kong Jockey Club collapsed and burnt, killing 604 spectators on this date. It was the worst disaster in sports history.
Even though mad dogs and Englishmen may go out in the midday sun - they apparently will not leave a burning stadium.
February 26, 1919 -
In early January 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt declared the Grand Canyon a national monument, protecting its 800,000 acres from private development.
Congress did not officially outlaw private development in the Grand Canyon until this date in 1919, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Grand Canyon National Park Act, establishing most of the Grand Canyon as a United States National Park.
February 26, 1932 -
Country star Johnny Cash was born on this date in 1932 in Kingsland, Arkansas, one of seven children born to Ray Cash and Carrie Cloveree (née Rivers).
He was originally born J.R. Cash. The J.R. didn’t stand for anything because his parents couldn't think of a name. He took on the first name John when he joined the Air Force because the military wouldn't accept a name with just initials.
The good people at Volkswagen seem to overlook this anniversary every year.
On this date in 1936, Some junior officers in the Japanese Army mistook Japan for a foreign country and tried to conquered it.
This disrupted the Japanese automotive industry, giving Adolf Hitler the opportunity to preside over the official opening of the first Volkswagen factory on this date. (More about Hitler and cars in a moment.)
February 26, 1970 -
National Public Radio (NPR) was created by Congressional mandate, along with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting on this date.
Its programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered rank among the most popular radio programs in America.
February 26, 1974 -
A U.S. Senate report reveals Ford Motor's involvement in Nazi Germany's war efforts, for which CEO Henry Ford was awarded the Grand Cross of the German Eagle from Adolf Hitler himself.
After the war, the car company was paid nearly $1M reparation by the U.S. government to compensate for one of its plants that was bombed within the Reich.
And some people worry about buying a BMW.
February 26, 1993 -
28 years ago on this date, a bomb explodes on level B2 of the World Trade Center, creating a five story crater and leaving six dead and over 1,042 injured.
Mohammed A. Salameh was later arrested in connection with the bombing as he tries to claim a refund on a rented van believed to have carried the explosion.
Genius, sheer genius.
February 26, 2012 –
Trayvon Martin, a teen walking home from a trip to a convenience store, was fatally shot in an altercation with George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer patrolling the townhouse community of the Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Florida.
On August 13, 2013, George Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder charges. Trayvon Martin would have been 26 years old on February 5.
And so it goes.