This Day in History (29-Jan-1967) – The “ultimate high” of the hippie era, the Mantra-Rock Dance, takes place in San Francisco

Hippie (or hippy) subculture was originally a youth movement that arose in the United States during the mid-1960s and spread to other countries around the world. The word ‘hippie’ came from hipster, and was initially used to describe beatniks who had moved into New York City’s Greenwich Village and San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district. The Beats adopted the term hip, and early hippies inherited the language and countercultural values of the Beat Generation; children of the road who believed they should make love, not war. Their vocal opposition to the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War (1955-1975) and the increasingly rocky road to shared civil rights among all Americans led to this new, alternative form of activism. Hippies created their own communities, listened to psychedelic music, embraced the sexual revolution, and used drugs such as cannabis,  marijuana, LSD, peyote and psilocybin mushrooms to explore altered states of consciousness.

Donning psychedelic floral clothing and growing beards, all became part of the evolving counter-culture. With this also came a new epoch of fashion, film and literature; one which would grow out of the San Francisco valley and spill into the daily lives of the masses at home and abroad within the span of a couple of years. Hippies often chose brightly colored clothing and wore unusual styles, such as bell-bottom pants, vests, tie-dyed garments, dashikis, peasant blouses, and long, full skirts; non-Western inspired clothing were also popular.

Hippies tended to travel light, and could pick up and go wherever the action was at any time. One travel experience, undertaken by hundreds of thousands of hippies between 1969 and 1971, was the Hippie trail overland route to India. Carrying little or no luggage, and with small amounts of cash, almost all followed the same route, hitch-hiking across Europe to the Indian frontier. Once in India, hippies went to many different destinations, but gathered in large numbers on the beaches of Goa and Kovalam in Trivandrum (Kerala), or crossed the border into Nepal to spend months in Kathmandu. By the mid-1970s, the hippie movement began to slow.

Reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/January_29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippie

http://all-that-is-interesting.com/a-brief-history-of-hippies

This Day in History (29-Jul-1979) – Rain Day – Waynesburg’s Claim to Fame

July 29th may be just another day to the rest of the world, but to the residents of Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, USA, it has a special significance that is passed along from generation to generation. It all started during the late 1800’s at a drugstore located on High Street (the main street in town). A farmer was in the drugstore and mentioned that it would rain the next day, July 29. When asked how he knew, he replied that it was his birthday and that it always rained on his birthday. This comment inspired William Allison, the pharmacist to keep an annual record of the rainfall on that day. William’s brother, Albert, continued recording this mystical event; then, sometime during the 1920’s, the record keeping was taken over by the late Bryon Daily.

Rain Day would have remained a local phenomenon if it hadn’t been for the efforts of the late Waynesburg newsman John O’Hara. He began sending Rain Day stories to other newspapers in the 1930’s. Today, newspapers, TV and radio stations from around the world flood the town of Waynesburg with calls every July 29th to learn if it has indeed rained. For many years, the only observances of Rain Day were the annual “hat bet” between Bryon Daily’s son, John and a national or regional celebrity and a brief ceremony on the Courthouse steps. In 1979, the Waynesburg Borough Special Events Commission was created to hold a special celebration on July 29th each year. That same year, the Waynesburg Area Chamber of Commerce held the first annual Miss Rain Day Pageant.

Harry Anderson, star of TV’s Night Court, was the unsuspecting bettor in 1988; that year it didn’t rain, so the commission sent Harry a hat. The hat appeared on the bookshelves behind his desk on the set for several episodes next to his armadillo. In 2003, the Chamber of Commerce created a new non-profit entity, Rain Day Scholarship, Inc. with the sole purpose to plan and execute the pageant. Each year, one talented local teenage girl wins the coveted crown, hundreds of dollars in scholarship savings bonds and the chance to ‘reign’ over the day’s festivities.

 

Reference:

http://www.heraldstandard.com/gcm/rain_day/the-history-behind-rain-day/article_2208046c-8b0f-527b-8385-42a316336b6c.html

http://www.raindayfestival.com/history.html

This Day in History (3-Mar-78) – Shaliwahan Shaka Hindu Calender started

The two calendars most widely used in India today are the Vikrama calendar followed in Western and Northern India, and the Shalivahana or Saka calendar which is followed in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa.

In the year 56 BCE, Vikrama Samvat era was founded by the emperor Vikramaditya of Ujjain following his victory over the Sakas. Later, in a similar fashion, Satavahana king Gautamiputra Satakarni initiated the Saka era to celebrate his victory against the Sakas in the year 78 CE.

The Vikrama calendar begins with the month of Baiśākha or Vaiśākha (April). The Shalivahana calendar begins with the month of Chaitra (March) and the Ugadi/Gudi Padwa festivals mark the new year. Each month in the Shalivahana calendar begins with the ‘shukla paksha’ and is followed by the ‘krishna paksha’, the opposite obtains in the Vikrama calendar.

Both these calendars are based on the concept of lunar year. The lunar year is divided into 12 months and make up the six seasons. Since the calendar is based on the phases of the moon, the twelve months take 354 days, 8 hours and 34.28 seconds. This creates a difference of 10 days, 21 hours and 35.16 seconds from the actual solar year (365 days, 6 hours, 9.54 seconds). When the accumulated difference exceeds 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.865 seconds, an adjustment is made with an extra month (Adhika Maas), which carries the name of the previous or the next month, depending on the proximity of the month. Normally, seven extra months occur in 19 years. This calendar is mentioned in Anuwalk 6, Sookta 25 and mantra 8 of Rigvedah Sanhita. And thus has been in practice for at least 6000 years before Buddha. The mantra also mentions Adhika Maas.

 

Reference:

http://www.indianage.com/search.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_calendar

http://www.aryavert.com/calendarlunar.html