Today is Cravat Day
By order of the Croatian Parliament, no less, today is Cravat Day, a chance to celebrate the humble tie in all its forms and practice Croatian pride.
For, unless you believe the Iranians, both the word "cravat" and the neck tie that it denotes comes from Croatia, and their mercenary soldiers who exported it to the rest of Europe, by way of the famously dapper King Louis XIV of France. And, as the only contribution Croatia is known to have made to world culture, the cravat is a big thing in those parts. It was Croats who tied the largest tie in the world around an arena - the knot alone was an impressive 15 meters wide. It was also Croats who equipped a medieval bell tower with a red tie.
Today, statues across Zagreb will be dressed up in red ties, and souvenir vendors will be at their most fervent. In lieu of wearing a red tie, we are drinking a Black Tie cocktail: do join us.
Today is a holiday in Alaska, which will be nice for those in the north of the state, who are already facing subzero temperatures at the beginning of their long, dark winter.
Not for Columbus Day, no sirree - though plenty of other states will be marking that today. But for their very own Alaska Day, which commemorates the date when the territory that is now Alaska passed from Russia to the United States, back in 1867.
It took almost a hundred years, and a Gold Rush or two, before the other states would accept that Alaska and Alaskans had the maturity to be included as America's forty-ninth state. And Alaskans are still unkindly stereotyped by their fellow Americans. We are marking the occasion with an Alaska cocktail, served (of course) icy cold and comprised of two of our favourite ingredients: London Dry gin and Yellow Chartreuse from The Savoy Cocktail Book.