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Holiday

    Cinco de Mayo is Sunday, and before everyone gets ready for happy hours and parties, it helps to go in with a plan. >> Read more trending stories There are plenty of ways to celebrate the day, which commemorates Mexico’s victory over France in the Battle of Puebla on May 5 1862, during the French-Mexican war. Make sure you do not do any of the following: Dress up in sombreros and fake mustaches There is no need to 'dress up' for this day, but if you do, do not wear a sombrero, mariachi suit, serape, fake mustache or anything of the sort if you are not a member of that culture. Those things have historical and cultural significance, and donning them just for a day caricatures and stereotypes people. That's not fun. Go out and get drunk There is nothing wrong with drinking in moderation and doing it socially, but responsibility is key. What is the use in celebrating a day if you get sick or can't remember it? Make English words Spanish by adding an 'o' on the end Not only does it not make any sense, but by doing this, it makes fun of another language and turns it into a joke. The same goes for plays on the holiday name, so no parties or themes like 'Cinco de Drinko.' You can make a margarita cupcake or a fun cocktail, or have dinner at a family-owned Mexican restaurant. There are plenty of ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo without doing any of the three above.
  • Monday is Earth Day 2019, and more than 1 billion people across the globe are expected to celebrate with environmentally friendly events. But what exactly is Earth Day? Here's what you need to know: >> Read more trending news  1. When did Earth Day start? The first Earth Day celebration took place 49 years ago, in 1970, after a devastating oil spill in America brought environmental issues to the forefront of public consciousness. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 22 million people across the country came out in support of environmental reform. 'That day left a permanent impact on the politics of America,' Gaylord Nelson wrote in the April 1980 edition of the EPA Journal. 'It forcibly thrust the issue of environmental quality and resources conservation into the political dialogue of the nation. 'It showed political and opinion leadership of the country that the people cared, that they were ready for political action, that the politicians had better get ready, too. In short, Earth Day launched the environmental decade with a bang.' Since then, celebrations have only grown. This year, organizers estimate more than 1 billion people in 192 countries will participate in events the world over. The day is celebrated each year on April 22. 2. Is there a theme for Earth Day 2019? This year's Earth Day theme, 'Protect Our Species,' focuses on helping endangered and threatened species. 'The unprecedented global destruction and rapid reduction of plant and wildlife populations are directly linked to causes driven by human activity: climate change, deforestation, habitat loss, trafficking and poaching, unsustainable agriculture, pollution and pesticides to name a few. The impacts are far-reaching,' the Earth Day Network, which partners with tens of thousands of organizations in 192 countries to organize Earth Day events, said on its website. 'If we do not act now, extinction may be humanity’s most enduring legacy.' The organization's goals include educating the public 'about the accelerating rate of extinction of millions of species,' protecting species with 'major policy victories,' creating a 'global movement,' and urging people to take 'individual actions such as adopting [a] plant-based diet and stopping pesticide and herbicide use.' Read more here. 3. How are people celebrating? More than 3,000 community cleanups are scheduled in dozens of cities, including Miami, Seattle, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., the Earth Day Network reported. 'Plastic pollution and waste challenge every community, every day, and these cleanups offer a chance to make a real difference,' the organization's website said. Interested in volunteering? Learn more here. 4. What are businesses doing? Google marked Earth Day 2019 with an interactive doodle featuring facts about six 'awe-inspiring organisms' on our planet, including the wandering albatross, coastal redwood, Paedophryne amauensis (a tiny frog), Amazon water lily, coelacanth (a rare fish) and deep cave springtail. >> On Google.com: Click here to see the doodle and learn more about it. Apple also joined in on the celebrations, announcing on April 18 that it is 'quadrupling the number of locations U.S. customers can send their iPhone to be disassembled by Daisy, its recycling robot.'  “Advanced recycling must become an important part of the electronics supply chain, and Apple is pioneering a new path to help push our industry forward,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, said in a statement. “We work hard to design products that our customers can rely on for a long time. When it comes time to recycle them, we hope that the convenience and benefit of our programs will encourage everyone to bring in their old devices.” Meanwhile, the company unveiled its Earth Day Challenge, which 'encourages Apple Watch wearers to complete any workout of 30 minutes or more to earn a special Earth Day Award and stickers for Messages.' Apple Stores will have 'environmentally themed Today at Apple sessions' Monday, as well. Read more here. 5. How can I get involved? There are multiple ways to get into the Earth Day spirit, from participating in a local event to changing your bills from paper to paperless. Here are some suggestions from the Earth Day Network: Urge your local elected officials or businesses to make a substantial tree planting commitment by starting a letter-writing campaign or online petition. Lead a recycling drive to collect as much plastic, metal and glass as possible. Pick up trash at a local park or beach. Set up a screening of an environmentally themed movie. Consider supplementing the screening with a speaker who can lead a Q&A following the film.
  • Rabbits make amazing pets and can bring joy to a family, but especially around Easter, some people adopt a bunny for the holiday without fully understanding the commitment and responsibility that come along with being a pet owner. >> Easter 2019: 5 creative ways to decorate your Easter eggs Did you know that rabbits typically live from eight to 10 years and require the same long-term care as other pets, such as cats or dogs? Despite what people may think, rabbits are not low-maintenance pets and they have specific dietary needs and must be handled with care, according to a news release from the Humane Society of Greater Dayton in Ohio. For those considering a bunny or rabbit, the Humane Society recommends not rushing into it for Easter. >> Read more trending news  Start by giving a stuffed toy bunny to your child, and if after the holiday the child is adamant about getting a pet rabbit, buy a book on rabbit care. The Humane Society recommends the “House Rabbit Handbook” by Marinell Harriman. Never thought about adopting a rabbit before? Here are the reasons why they make fantastic pets: 1. They don’t require a lot of space. When housed indoors, they can be kept in a suitable sized cage or exercise pen. They need a cage large enough for them to move around comfortably, hold a litter pan, contain their food and water and allow a spot for resting or hiding. Some rabbits can even be kept like cats and have free range of the home with litter box training and bunny proofing. Give them plenty of time each day outside their cage to stretch their legs and hop around and play. 2. Rabbits are quiet pets. They make little to no noise and will keep you and your neighbors happy. 3. They are social companions and form strong bonds. Rabbits are curious, playful and social creatures that enjoy spending time with their owners. They also enjoy other family members, children and pets with adult supervision. 4. Rabbits can have big personalities. Just like cats or dogs, each rabbit has its own distinct personality, from being very affectionate and playful to shy or reserved. Spend time with the bunny to make sure you are a good match.  5. You can train your rabbit. Rabbits are very smart and with proper positive reinforcement can be trained like other pets. They instinctively will use a litter box if they’ve been spayed or neutered and it’s readily available to them. 6. There is a rabbit for everyone. Just as with dogs, cats or other animals, there are dozens of sizes, colors and temperaments in rabbits. 7. Rabbits can live a long life. When kept indoors and cared for with proper diet and grooming, a rabbit can live eight to 10 years.
  • Many crafty DIYers are flexing their creative muscle for Easter egg decorating. Since the tie-dye egg has become a bit trite, it may be time to begin searching for inventive ways to create your Easter egg masterpieces with the little ones. Below, you’ll find a variety of colorful, clever decorating options that you’ll be proud to share on any of your social media platforms. 1. Take the color out of your decorating. Pinterest account Homelovr shared this simple Easter egg project, which only requires a Sharpie and some calligraphy. If you’re looking to send sweet messages via your eggs, this is the option for you. 2. Add glitter for the glam.  There’s also the option to kick the fabulous up a notch from the mundane dipping eggs process with a lot of glitter and a little glue. Take any egg —marble or boiled —and roll your egg into glitter grandeur. This creative egg adorning idea comes from YouTube user Jack in the Box. It’s also allows for a little fun with the kids. >> On AJC.com: When is Easter 2019 and why does the date change each year? 3. Give your tie-dye a twist. We’ve kept our Easter egg decorating in a shell long enough. Try this new take on adding a color pop to your hard-boiled eggs. You’ll need shaving cream or whipped cream, food color gel and, of course, your hard-boiled eggs. Domesticsuperhero.com offers the full details on this messy but egg-cellent option. 4. Set the mood. Pinterest user Dream a Little Bigger shared its Mood Eggs decorating project for those East egg DIYers with a love for science. This creative alternative will require black paint and liquid crystal mood paint to give the temperature-affected, mood-changing effect.  >> On AJC.com: What is Easter Monday and how is it celebrated?   5. Sprinkle it with love. There’s nothing like a little sprinkles to mix up your decorating. To create the sprinkle look, just take your paint brush and create small lines that reflect the colors in your sprinkle bottle. >> Read more trending news 
  • The city of Elmira, New York, took the wearing of the green to a whole new level this St. Patrick's Day. >> Watch the video here >> Photos of Savannah square trashed during St. Patrick's Day events spark outrage According to the Democrat and Chronicle, 1,200 people there donned green ponchos and formed a massive human shamrock Sunday morning. The crowd easily broke the previous Guinness World Record, besting an 851-person human shamrock in Ireland.  >> See the photos here Here's how it worked: Participants gathered in Eldridge Park near an outline of a large shamrock. Organizers then gave each participant a numbered wristband and a poncho. After participants took their places inside the outline, they stood for five minutes.  >> See the outline here In a Facebook post Sunday afternoon, Elmira Downtown Development thanked and congratulated everyone involved. >> PHOTOS: 2019 St. Patrick’s Day parades 'For this attempt being the first of its kind in Elmira, this world record attempt is an amazing accomplishment,' the post read. >> Read the post here Read more here.
  • Photos showing the aftermath of one of the country's most popular St. Patrick's Day celebrations are drawing ire on social media. >> St. Patrick's Day 2019: 7 places to get green food, drinks and deals In the Saturday Facebook post, the Savannah, Georgia, government shared snapshots of cups, wrappers and other garbage strewn across the ground in the wake of the city's St. Patrick's Day festival and parade. >> PHOTOS: 2019 St. Patrick’s Day parades 'Revelers may have trashed a portion of Wright Square, but thanks to city staff and civic-minded volunteers, the clean-up is well underway!' read the post, which has been shared more than 1,000 times. >> See the photos here Angry commenters quickly weighed in, calling the scene 'disgraceful.' 'Why is it so difficult for grown people to put their trash in a trash bin?' one commenter wrote. 'Thank you to those that helped clean up this mess and others that are sure to follow.' >> Read more trending news  'What is wrong with these people?' added another. 'Who raised such trash??'  According to Savannah.com, more than 300,000 people attend the city’s St. Patty's Day events.
  • Hungry for some Irish fare, green food or cheap eats this St. Patrick's Day? You're in luck: Plenty of restaurants and stores are offering specials to celebrate the holiday. >> St. Patrick's Day 2019: How did it get started; why corned beef and cabbage; who is Patrick? Here are seven offers you won't want to miss: >> Read more trending news  Please note that some locations may not be participating in the following promotions. Please call ahead to ensure your nearest store is offering the deal. 1. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Satisfy your sweet tooth with green treats and get a chance to score some free food. Through March 17, the chain is selling Green O'riginal Glazed Doughnuts. Any purchase at a participating store also will enter you in a contest to win a Golden Dozen Pass. The prize? A dozen free Original Glazed Doughnuts every month for one year. Click here to find a participating store. 2. McCormick & Schmick's  On March 17, participating locations of the steak and seafood chain are serving up traditional Irish dishes for $5 each. Offerings on the St. Patrick's Day bar menu include corned beef and cabbage, Guinness fish and chips, Guinness mussels and corned beef sliders. Customers also can celebrate with Guinness blends and Irish-themed mixed drinks. Click here to learn more and find a restaurant near you. 3. Tim Hortons The fast-food coffee and breakfast chain is marking the holiday with a sweet menu item – the Clover Donut. Through March 17, you can get a four-pack of the green, heart-shaped confections for $4.49 at participating locations, according to Dayton.com. Click here to find a store near you. 4. O'Charley's Want to add a festive touch to your favorite brew on St. Patty's Day weekend? You can make any beer green at participating O'Charley's locations through March 17. Click here to find a restaurant near you. 5. McDonald's  If you're looking for a green drink without the booze, participating McDonald's restaurants are selling mint-vanilla Shamrock Shakes through March 24. Click here to find a location near you. 6. California Pizza Kitchen On March 17, participating restaurants are offering Irish mules for $5 each. Click here to find a location near you. 7. Aldi The discount grocery chain is selling two types of green cheese in honor of St. Patrick's Day (but don't worry, they're supposed to look that way). According to USA Today, customers can buy Pesto Gouda and English Sage Derby cheeses for $3.99 each at participating stores. For the same price, you also can buy a block of Aged Irish Cheddar, Irish Cheddar With Whiskey and Irish Cheddar With Beer. Click here to find a store near you.
  • St. Patrick, celebrated Sunday with oceans of green beer and a mountain of lively shamrock attire, is Ireland’s patron saint. He used the three-leafed shamrock to illustrate the Holy Trinity and is said to have driven the snakes from the land. >> Read more trending news  The business about snakes is folklore; snakes were never there to begin with. But there’s another fact about St. Patrick that may take you by surprise. He wasn’t actually Irish. Not originally, anyway. According to a confession he is said to have written, he was born in the English county of Northamptonshire and brought to Ireland in bondage. “I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least of all believers. I am looked down upon by many,” begins the confession, translated from the original Latin and available here via the Royal Irish Academy. “I was taken into captivity in Ireland, along with thousands of others. We deserved this, because we had gone away from God, and did not keep his commandments.” His faith blossomed during his time in captivity. “After I arrived in Ireland, I tended sheep every day, and I prayed frequently during the day,” he wrote. “More and more the love of God increased and my sense of awe before God. Faith grew, and my spirit was moved, so that in one day I would pray up to one hundred times, and at night perhaps the same. I even remained in the woods and on the mountain, and I would rise to pray before dawn in snow and ice and rain. I never felt the worse for it, and I never felt lazy – as I realize now, the spirit was burning in me at that time.” He did make it back to England, but he returned to the Emerald Isle of his own volition. He is said to have introduced Christianity to Ireland, starting about A.D. 450.
  • Looking for something a little more dramatic than naming your ex after a cockroach to get revenge this Valentine's Day? The 1,000-pound brown bears at Oregon's Wildlife Images animal rehabilitation center have you covered. >> Zoo will let you name a cockroach after your ex for Valentine's Day According to KTVL, under the 'Catch & Release' promotion, the center will name a salmon after your ex and feed it to the bears, Kodi and Yak, for a $20 donation. 'Did you fall hook, line, and sinker for someone who broke your heart?' the facility wrote on its website. 'Kodi & Yak would love to help you get your revenge!' >> Another zoo will name cockroach after your ex, feed it to meerkats for Valentine's Day Donors will receive a certificate, as well as photos of the bears 'destroying your ex,' the center said. If you'd rather pay tribute to a special someone, the nonprofit also is offering its 'A Great Catch' promotion. >> Read more trending news  'Have you found a keeper?!' the facility's website asks. 'Send them some extra love and support a healthy diet for our brown bears by providing a salmon in your sweetheart’s honor! In exchange for a $20 donation, we’ll provide you with a special certificate, and photos of Kodi and Yak enjoying your salmon!' Read more here or here.
  • A zoo in England may have the perfect Valentine's gift for that ex who won't stop bugging you. >> Zoo offers roaches, scorpions as Valentine's Day gifts for exes For a £1.50 (about $2 U.S.) donation, the Hemsley Conservation Centre in Fairseat will name a cockroach after 'your, or your friend's, worthless ex-'someone' on this special holiday of love,' the attraction said in a Facebook post. >> Tired of flowers? Bronx Zoo offers unique – if somewhat icky – way to say 'I love you' 'We are highlighting these creatures through our 'name a cockroach programme' (we think adopt is a little too strong, after all – you probably don't want to adopt your ex) to raise money for our projects at the zoo,' the post continued. >> Read the Facebook post here >> Read more trending news  Interested? Click here to read more about the program or make a contribution.