December 26: More Than Just the Very Next Day
For Wham!, December 26th is the day you gave away their heart. But December 26th isn't just about the English synth pop duo's heartbreak. For instance, in the Gregorian calendar, December 26 is the 360th day of the year (barring a leap year). It is also my friend Grace's birthday (regardless of a leap year).
On December 26th, there are five days remaining until the end of the year. Wikipedia—which is my only source—says this date is slightly more likely to fall on a Monday, Wednesday or Saturday than on Thursday or Friday, and slightly less likely to occur on a Tuesday or Sunday. This year, as was statistically encouraged, December 26th will be a Monday.
For the people of Austria and France, December 26th is a reminder of the Treaty of Pressburg, where Johan I Josef, Count Ignaz Gyulai, and Charles Maurice de Talleyrand signed a treaty to establish peace and amity after Austria's withdrawal from the Third Coalition. Pressburg isn't even a place anymore—it's called Bratislava, and it's thriving as the capital city of Slovakia with a population of over 450,000 people.
Yikes, it looks like December 26th also has some very racist history. "Mummer's Day" or "Darkie Day" is a day where horrible people paint their faces black, a racist thing known as “blackface” that somehow has not yet been quashed. I don't have a joke to make about this! This made me gasp in horror at my desk! Please, please do not ever celebrate Mummer’s Day on December 26th or any other day on the Gregorian calendar.
December 26th is also the first day of Kwanzaa, which does not seem like a coincidence. Sociologist Stjepan Meštrović cites Kwanzaa—a week-long holiday and celebration of African American heritage created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga—as an example of postmodernism. According to Meštrović’s Postemotional Law, “because 'real' traditions were often racist, sexist and otherwise oppressive, westerners (in the cultural, not geographical sense) revel in 'synthetic traditions' that can be controlled.” He continues, “The postemotional character no longer really trusts in modern institutions (this is why so many people today are driven by fear and anxiety concerning retirement, warning labels on products they consume, being sued for mishaps they cannot control, and many other risks), but is not prepared to be comfortable in a nihilistic world in which nothing is true anymore and everything changes all too rapidly.” Very #2016!
And as everyone knows, December 26th, 1898 will forever be revered as the day Marie and Pierre Curie discovered radium. Although they thought for sure they were getting into some cool shit, it turns out that Radium is super toxic and killed them. Maybe, I didn't read the whole article. Still, the isotope 223Ra was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration in 2013 for use in medicine as a cancer treatment of bone metastasis, and it's still used today as a radiation source to check industrial radiography devices for flawed parts.
December 26th also houses the non-US holiday Boxing Day, a very weird holiday where “servants and tradesmen would traditionally receive gifts known as a ‘Christmas box’ from their masters, employers or customers.” Doesn’t that just totally deflate you? I remember going to my Canadian cousins’ house for Christmas and being really annoyed that everyone was talking about Boxing Day but no one was boxing.
Speaking of birthdays, December 26th produced both Game of Thrones heartthrob Kit Harrington and devil incarnate / twistedddd Joker Jared Leto. As much as I love Kit Harrington, Jared Leto doesn’t seem worth it. He’s just not worth it.
So, there you have it! December 26th is a volatile day, a day with ups and downs, making it the perfect day for Wham! to go through an emotional crisis. Happy birthday, Grace!!!