Thursday, June 21, 2018

June 21, a unique triumvirate - Giraffe Day, Yoga Day and Solstice

I don't know if all animals have days earmarked for them. But today is World Giraffe Day. It's an initiative by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation to not only celebrate the world's longest-necked animal, but also to create awareness about the need to protect it.

According to Live Science, a giraffe's neck alone is 6 feet (1.8 meters) long and the animal weighs about 600 lbs. (272 kilograms). The animal's legs are 6 feet long. Its tongue is 21 inches (53 centimeters) long, and feet 12 inches (30.5 cm) across. Lungs can hold 12 gallons (55 liters) of air. In comparison, the average total lung capacity for a human is 1.59 gallons (6 liters).

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, giraffes are a common sight in grasslands and open woodlands in East Africa, where they can be seen in reserves such as Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and Kenya’s Amboseli National Park.

There are giraffes in the Mysore Zoo (one of the famous biological parks in India). The two photos alongside were taken during a trip to the zoo in 2013.

Their numbers are dwindling, and they have been add to the vulnerable list, with their population going down from 155,000 in 1985 to 97,000 in 2015, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, says BBC.

The Giraffe Conservation Foundation website gives you more details about World Giraffe Day and how you can contribute to the
protection of the animal.

INTERNATIONAL YOGA DAY

Japanese lawmakers practising yoga
Photo credit: The Hindu
Though yoga, a form of physical exercises that involve stretching of the body along with deep breathing, originated in ancient India, over the past few decades it has gained global recognition and is now practised world wide.

In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to celebrate globally International Yoga Day on June 21.

Read more about yoga on Wikipedia.

Today, across India, various institutions are organising events to mark the day and highlight the benefits of yoga. Live Updates

Incidentally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is 67 years old, is a great fitness enthusiast. On June 13, his office put out this video of his morning exercises and yoga, at his official residence on 7, Lok Kalyan Marg, New Delhi.

LONGEST DAY AND NIGHT

Thousands gather at Stonehenge for longest day
Photo credit: BBC
Today, the day is the longest in the northern hemisphere, and the shortest in the southern hemisphere. This happens because of the Earth's tilt of 23.5 degrees on its axis and the revolution around the sun.

Today is the day when the sun is the farthest to the north. It's directly over the Tropic of Cancer. That is the reason why people in the northern hemisphere experience the longest day, and in the southern hemisphere, the shortest day.

Also, during this time, in the north pole, there is sun light through out the day, and in the South Pole, it's dark through the day.

There is a good explainer on what summer solstice is all about in this NBC News website.

In some countries, solstices are associated with traditional beliefs concerning matrimony and fertility, as this CNN report says. According to a Swedish ethnologist Jan-Ă–jvind Swahn, a lot of children are born nine months after Midsummer in Sweden.

A UNIQUE DAY

Though one might be aware of many anniversaries, it might not be on top of our mind always. Though I have been hearing about Yoga Day preparations for some days, only yesterday I remembered that the day also coincides with World Giraffe Day and Summer Solstice. While I read a few articles about these "days", I got to know a lot of interesting details about giraffes, yoga and summer solstice.

Do you practise yoga? I incorporate a few yoga postures during my morning workout. But I can't claim that I practise the entire set of exercises.

20 comments:

  1. Thank you especially for writing about Giraffe day. I would not have known so much but for this post.

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  2. Hi Pradeep - giraffe are beautiful loping creatures ... each one has different markers, I've been lucky to see them in southern Africa. Yoga I've never done ... but used to exercise regularly and now must get back to do it! Summer Solstice - sad ... now the days wind down to cold snowy weather here - better get out and make the most of lovely days while they're here. Great photos - cheers Hilary

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    1. Some form of physical activities and exercises are good enough, Hilary. Thanks for dropping by.

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  3. I knew about the summer solstice, but not giraffe day or yoga day. I've been meaning to learn some yoga and take that up. Maybe someday.

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    1. Just ensure that you learn the correct yoga postures, Liz. Because there far too are instruction manuals out there, and one may not know if they are all saying the right things or not.

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  4. Interesting events on June 21. Please all 2 more to this day. June 21 is World Music Day. It is also Benazir Bhutto's Birthday.

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    1. Yes, I didn't think of Fete de la Music; and Benazir's birthday! Thanks, Rajan.

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  5. typo. It should have been Please add

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  6. Wasn't aware it was Giraffe day or that they were endangered. I learn a lot here. Do Giraffes do yoga?

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    1. I won't be surprised if giraffes did yoga, Kanika.

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  7. Have you heard of the Giraffe Manor resort in Kenya? Yoga is sometimes modified as per people's whims and fancies .... chair yoga ...power yoga ...why even beer yoga ! Sigh ! But if learnt properly and practised diligently it's amazing

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    1. No I haven't heard of Giraffe Manor, Jaish.
      Beer yoga? That's stretching things a bit too far!
      Yes, yoga has become one big industry in itself.

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  8. I don't really follow that many event days, there are just too many. I don't do yoga but it doesn't seem like a bad way to get your body in shape.

    have a lovely day.

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    1. O, yes, Lissa, there are far too many "days" to keep track of it. I don't think you miss out anything much if you don't do yoga, as long as you do some other physical activities.

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  9. Giraffe's are such beautiful animals. Surprisingly so graceful for such a big animal.

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer, for dropping by. We all as children were so fascinated by giraffes.

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  10. Indeed, giraffes are very graceful, Jennifer.

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