Events and Themes in June 2023
We're approaching the halfway point of 2023. It's rainbow time—LGBTQ+ Pride Month in the Western world. Expect to be bathed in color, parades, and an on-display exuberance of representational symbols at events celebrating everything from lifestyle and asserted sexuality to freedom of expression in most major cities.
Mecca, Saudi Arabia, will welcome pilgrims for Hajj June 25-30, and the Islamic world will celebrate Eid al-Ada on June 28. I covered Hajj in great detail in July 2022's issue.
June is a dueling dairy month, with vegans designating June National Milk Alternative Month and global dairy farmers observing the 86th annual International Dairy Month.
June is also a month to focus on biological men, their health, and their needs, including International Father's Day on June 18. Americans get to learn our fate the last two weeks of the month when the Supreme Court hands down its decisions.
National days abound in June, including Independence Day in:
Democratic Republic of Congo (June 30, 1960)
Djibouti (June 25, 1977)
Iceland (June 17, 1944)
Madagascar (June 26, 1960)
Mozambique (June 25, 1975)
The Philippines (June 12, 1898)
Seychelles (June 29, 1976)
Samoa (June 1, 1962)
Additional national holidays include Madaraka Day in Kenya (June 1, 1963).
National Day is celebrated in:
Luxembourg (June 23, 1921)
Sweden (June 6, 1523, and 1809)
Slovenia (June 25, 1991)
Greenland (June 21, 2009)
National Day of Reconciliation in Congo marking (June 10, 1991). Italy celebrates Republic Day (June 2, 1946), Juneteenth (June 19, 1865) in the United States, and Russia, Russia Day (June 12, 1990).
See the 2022 issue of LEEP Happenings, Hello June, for more events this month. I try not to repeat those already highlighted.
Let's get started with blessing babies.
BABY JUMPING FESTIVAL (El Salto del Colacho)
Date: June 11, 2023
Location: Castrillo de Murcia, Spain
Champion: Junta Administrativa de Castrillo de Murcia
Europe has some fascinating traditions, often originating in ancient pagan traditions or Christianity. The Baby Jumping Festival of Castrillo de Murcia, Spain, is one such amusing event. The festival's main event involves a group of men dressed in red and yellow costumes, known as the Colacho (devils), jumping over mattresses with babies arranged on them.
All the babies born during the past year are gathered on mattresses in the town center on the Sunday after the Christian holiday of Corpus Christi. The Colachos run down the street and jump over the babies in a symbolic gesture to cleanse all newborns of their original sin and ensure their safe passage into adulthood.
Referred to as "El Salto del Colacho" in Spanish, it is a highly anticipated climax to a week of festivities, including a procession through the streets, traditional music and dancing, and other cultural events. It is a unique and fascinating celebration that attracts locals and tourists worldwide. This event began in 1620.
FES MUSIC FESTIVAL
Dates: June 9-12, 2023
Location: Fes, Morroco
Champion: The Spirit of Fes Foundation
The Fes Music Festival in Fes, Morocco, celebrates cultural music traditions worldwide. The festival was founded in 1994 by Mohammed Kabbaj and Faouzi Skali, and attracts over 100,000 visitors annually.
The festival takes place throughout the city, including the historic Bab Makina Palace and the beautiful Jnan Sbil gardens, and brings together all the great traditions of sacred, spiritual, and world music performed by musicians from various cultures and traditions, including Sufi, Gnawa, and Andalusian music, as well as other styles from Africa, the Middle East, and beyond. Sufi Nights are free daily concerts that occur during the festival and are a favorite with attendees. Included in Fes are exhibitions and film screenings.
One of the unique features of the festival is its emphasis on promoting intercultural dialogue and understanding. This diversity, cross-cultural exchange, and learning spaces are a primary draw.
UNESCO participates in this event.
NATIONAL FOOD TRUCK DAY
Date: June 23, 2023
Location: United States
Champion: Roaming Hunger
Created in 2017, National Food Truck Day or "Eat at a Food Truck Day" celebrates the thousands of entrepreneurs that feed America with food trucks featuring gourmet, street food, and ethnic cuisine.
The first food trucks in America were horse carts and date back to New York City (New Amsterdam) in 1691. Over the years, they developed along with technology and social trends. Chuck Wagons became commonplace to feed mobile workforces like cattlemen in the 1860s. Entrepreneurs outfitted covered wagons with everything you'd find at a diner, making diners portable in the 1870s. During WWI, the US Army used them to feed troops in the field. Oscar Mayer's Weiner Mobile is the most iconic food wagon, which debuted in 1936.
The first food truck most people encounter is the ice cream truck. These appeared in the 1950s. Taco trucks emerged in 1974 in Los Angeles as an extension of a bar's kitchen. The 1980s saw the creation of hamburger and sandwich trucks, which gained popularity on college campuses. By the 2000s, food trucks went multi-cultural.
Asian, Middle Eastern, and Juice Bars are currently the most sought-after. Yet, food trucks continue to evolve. At the corner of Spring Garden and Broad in Center City, Philadelphia, you'll find the first Electronic Eats gamers food truck, combining American and Latin comfort food with free Xbox play and wide-screen TVs for a curbside gamers paradise with a bonus—it gets the kids outside and out of the basement!
ANNE & SAMANTHA DAY
Dates: June 21, 2023
& December 21, 2023
Champion: John O'Loughlin
Anne and Samantha Day occurs on the summer and winter solstice to honor the work of two teenage women who died too young. The day aims to create a postage stamp to commemorate their actions, promoting peace and understanding. It also encourages girls and young women to make their voices heard and take action.
Anne is for Anne Frank, the author of The Diary of Anne Frank. Anne died in a Nazi concentration camp less than two months before WWII ended in Europe. She was just sixteen years old. Her diary is one of the most widely read books in the world.
Samantha is for Samantha Smith, who is known as the world's youngest ambassador. Passionate about peace, she wrote a letter to the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Yuri Andropov, in November 1982, congratulating him on his new job and with a desire to promote peace during the Cold War.
After a couple of letters, Smith received an answer from the Soviet leader with an invitation to visit. She wrote the book describing the trip, Journey to the Soviet Union. Samantha died on August 25, 1985, in a domestic plane crash in Maine at age 13.
WORLD CAMERA DAY
Date: June 29 , 2023
Champion: Historical Anniversary
Photography enthusiasts have a lot to celebrate on National Camera Day. Today is the anniversary of the first Kodak camera sold on June 29, 1888.
The camera documents whatever is happening in the world. Before its invention, people relied on paintings, which were very expensive and viewable by a select group of people. Photography changed that. It documents day-to-day living quickly and reproduces readily.
The camera is not a recent invention.
Several cultures claim the invention of the camera. Ibn Yunus of Egypt is often cited in Western cultures as the inventor, sometime near 1000 AD.
However, written documentation of pinhole style, or camera obscura, existed nearly 1400 years earlier, in 391 BC, according to Chinese records. Therein, Mozi writes of the process used in pinhole cameras to project an image.
These early cameras, however, did not allow for the collection of an image, only its projection. That changed early in the nineteenth century.
The first photograph was taken by Nicephore Niepce in 1814, and he recorded the image on silver chloride-coated paper. This prototype, however, was temporary. In 1827, he produced a more permanent photograph using a wooden camera developed by Charles and Vincent Chevalier.
The first modern photograph was developed in 1836 by Louis Daguerre using a copper and silver mix plate coated with iodine vapor. George Eastman of the Kodak Company produced the first film camera.
By the early 2000s, cameras became digitized, resulting in higher resolutions and more detailed photographs that are much more easily reproduced and shared. The addition of cameras to cellular phones has democratized photography for the world.
(Yes, that's me with my Canon EOS, Jessica. It was taken by a friend of mine on a Merry-go-round at Magic Mountain in Southern California a few years ago).
COIN TOSS DAY
Date: June 1, 2023
Champion: Unofficial Event. No Sponsor.
Coin Toss Day is an excellent example of the process I go through trying to find the origin of many events that don't seem to have a reason to exist. There are several theories I try when authenticating an event. On this event, I tried four.
The coin tossing is rumored to have started with Julius Caesar, who, when stumped by a decision, would leave it to the fate of the gods by flipping a coin. Render unto Caesar thy luck? It was his face on the coin! This style of determining a yes or no question, or who wins or loses, continues today, but it isn't the reason for the day.
HISTORIC EVENT THEORY
People don't make important decisions by coin toss, do they? Yes, they do. A coin toss is
a) How Portland, Oregon, got its name.
b) Determined who owned what would become the fastest racehorse in history, Secretariat.
c) Decided whether Wilbur or Orville Wright would take the first flight.
d) Designated who boarded the plane in 1959 that crashed and killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. Richardson, "The Day the Music Died."
e) Revealed the path to the discovery of insulin by Frederick Banting when he used a coin to determine if Clark Noble for Charles Best would become Banting's assistant in 1921. Best won, and the rest is history.
Unfortunately, none of these events have June 1 as an anniversary. Next theory.
A coin toss can also refer to tossing a coin in a fountain to make a wish, as is the legend of the Three Coins in the Trevi Fountain. For the wishes to work, you must throw one or three coins into Trevi Fountain.
If you toss just one coin in the fountain from the right hand over the left shoulder, your wish to return to Rome will be granted.
If you toss a second coin, your wish for a new romance will materialize.
Your third toss ensures your wish for a future marriage will come to fruition.
Each year the city of Rome earns over one million Euros from the coins tossed into Trevi, but there is nothing tied to June 1 here, either. On to the final theory.
Perhaps Coin Toss Day commemorates the day Arthur Dempster, Nan Laird, and Donald Rubin published their Expectation-maximization (EM) Algorithm, a mathematical theory with coin tossing at its center, in 1977. Negative. Then I thought maybe June 1 is one of their birthdays or death anniversaries. Nope. All three are still alive and well and were not born on June 1. Geez, June 1, it's not even the 50/50 point of the calendar year!
Coin Toss Day appears to be just that—a day to toss a coin, or in LEEP speak, an Unofficial Event with No Sponsor.
NATIONAL SUNGLASSES DAY
Date: June 27, 2023
Location: United States
Champion: The Vision Council
The Vision Council sponsors National Sunglasses Day. It seeks to educate people about the importance of wearing shades to protect the eyes from the sun’s harsh ultraviolet(UV) rays.
Sunglasses originated in China during the 1100s and in a crude format in Rome around the second century AD. During the 19th century, syphilis sufferers often wore them due to light sensitivity, but sunglasses didn’t catch on until Hollywood stars began wearing them in the 1920s.
Sam Foster was the first to mass produce and sell affordable sunglass in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1929.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE SEAFARER
Date: June 25, 2023
Champion: International Maritime Organization
International Day of the Seafarer emphasizes the economic importance of 1.5 million seafarers worldwide and encourages young people to consider a maritime career. Initiated by the International Maritime Organization, this event began in 2011.
THEATER UNDERSTUDY APPRECIATION WEEK
Date: June 4-10, 2023
Champion: Producer Robin Gorman Newman
Theater Understudy Appreciation Week celebrates the often overlooked role of understudy. A theater understudy is a performer who learns the lines, blocking, and choreography of one or more positions in a stage production, with the primary purpose of being prepared to step in and perform those roles in case the leading actor is unable to complete due to illness, injury, or other unforeseen circumstances. Understudies are essential in ensuring the smooth running of a theatrical production, as they provide a backup in emergencies.
Being an understudy requires immense dedication, adaptability, and professionalism. They seamlessly step into a role at a moment's notice while still delivering a high-quality performance for the audience.
MAJOR JUNE SPORTING EVENTS
The Triple Crown wraps up with the Belmont Stakes, and the NBA and NHL head into their championships. Here are the global sports highlights for June 2023.
24 Hours of Le Mans (Auto Racing): June 6—France
Belmont Stakes (Horse Racing); June 10—United States
Emirates FA Cup Final (Soccer); June 3—United Kingdom
European Games (Multi-sport); June 21 - July 2—Poland
French Open (Tennis); May 28 - June 11—France
Grand Final A-League (Soccer); June 3 —Australia
Grand Prix of Canada (Auto Racing); June 18—Canada
Grand Prix of Spain (Auto Racing); June 4—Spain
International Wife Carrying Championships; June 30 - July 1—Finland
Men's World Lacrosse Championship; June 21 - July 1—United States
NBA Finals (Basketball); June 1-18—United States
Special Olympics World Summer Games (Multi-sport); June 17-25—Germany
Stanley Cup Finals (Ice Hockey); June 3-18 —United States
UEFA Champions League Final (Soccer) June 10—Turkey
US Open (Golf); June 15-18 —United States
Windsurfing Regatta & Music Festival; June 9-11—United States
NATIONAL INSURANCE AWARENESS DAY
Date: June 28, 2023
Location: United States
Champion: Unofficial Event. No Sponsor.
National Insurance Awareness Day begins at the end of the second quarter and a couple of days before the beginning of the third quarter, which is the start of many fiscal years for several corporations and organizations.
Insurance Awareness Day is an annual reminder urging people and companies to review their insurance coverage and eliminate what is unnecessary or amend deficient policies, including home, life, medical, auto, renters, worker's compensation, credit, extended disability, and other coverages unique to your situation.
MY CAR INSURANCE SHOPPING NIGHTMARE
I paid Bonny Blue Bell off in 2015 and shipped her to the Middle East. Getting Bonnie back stateside once I left took nine months and a lot of help from friends still in Kingdom (Asim and Noaman are my knights in legalese armor, and their wives are absolute saints for putting up with me—shocran!).
Nine months without a car in the US gave me time to search for coverage. My full coverage car insurance in SoCal was $90/month in 2014. With no accidents or tickets in over 20 years and proof of continual coverage, I expected my insurance to be around the same or less as I paid in Los Angeles. After all, the car was paid off, and the East Coast isn't a car society like the freeway bliss of the West Coast. Public transportation here is better than driving in most cases. Why would it be more?
Welcome to Philadelphia, renowned for its creative driving, median boulevard parking, zealous parking authority, and instant sinkholes. The lowest I could find for full coverage was $163/month (through Costco). Quotes went as high as $638/month for a six-year-old car worth about $15,000 driven by a single middle-aged, college-educated woman, working from home, driving less than 10,000 miles a year with a perfect driving record and excellent credit.
I tick all the boxes for the best rate, yet they still wanted me to pay nearly double Los Angeles. It's complicated. Turns out I had some new vocabulary to learn.
The insurance companies push you toward the default "Tort Lite" option. Fail to read the fine print on your policy or quote, and you won't realize you're channeled into Tort Lite.
Essentially, Tort Lite eliminates your ability to sue for extensive medical bills, which the insurance caps. You can't sue for pain and suffering, property loss over the maximum, lost wages, or other exclusions. Fine, unless you've ever been in a severe accident (I was in two in my early twenties). Then you know it can take months or years to recover, affecting every part of your life. With Tort Lite, you surrender your ability to sue beyond the cap, and if you're at fault, open your estate to bankruptcy if an injured party's bills exceed your coverage.
What used to be part of full coverage:
$25,000 property damage
$50,000-$100,000 per accident medical
Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage
Tort Lite Coverage
Property damage is capped at $5,000.
Per-accident medical is at most $15,000-$30,000 and is often limited to two people only—No more picking up the kids and their friends from the game or school!
The death benefits, rentals, towing, and lost wages are gone from the policy.
Focus on an "affordable" rate and "saving $570 per year" or "15% in 15 minutes," as commercials say, and you won't notice that the standard coverage is gone.
If you choose Tort Lite, you must opt-in to each additional benefit in a customized cafeteria plan. You may get uninsured coverage with low limits but not underinsured (anyone with Tort Lite will be underinsured in a serious accident). If you default to Tort Lite, you can't sue for any of this after the fact.
It gets funkier.
Some insurance companies make you buy extra insurance in case you're in a chain reaction accident. They'll only cover the first car that hits you, not damage from a second, third, or more. They'll decide what injuries and damage goes with what car. It is mind-boggling.
Another trick is the voluntary monitoring devices many insurance companies promote for a discount if you agree to use it through your smartphone or their plugin. Avoiding tickets and being accident-free isn't enough. They need to know and log every place you drive, how many miles you drive, at what speed, how often you put on the brakes, plus anything else electronic surveillance makes possible. It requires you to trust the insurance company to keep your privacy and their data collection policies current with technological advances. You trade privacy for 10-30% of your fee. It's spyware, plain and simple. What's the big deal if cell phones track anyway? At least you can turn your cell phone off and place it in a Faraday bag if you don't feel like being tracked. If you opt for this insurance option, you can't.
The newest entry to car insurance is firms that offer a "low monthly base rate." Sounds great, but they charge you for every mile you drive— which also requires you to use their spyware. Tempting—until you do the math. If you commute or drive 1,000 or more miles a month, you've already exceeded the higher-quality insurance costs without spyware.
I still haven't touched on comprehensive and collision, but I won't. You get the idea. Verify what you're getting. You might be surprised—or horrified, like me. Use National Insurance Awareness Day to review all your policy's fine print. You might not be getting what you think you're paying for.
Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's out there. Thank you again for the gift of your time! The next issue will focus on events in July 2023 or Part II of Food. Which will depend on the one I finish first. Please like, and share; if you're not a subscriber, please join us by subscribing!
Enjoy May and June!