O Blessed Day (solution)

by Seth Schoen and Vera Yin

The text at the top of this puzzle says that, if the world doesn’t end this year, there will be a lot of holidays to celebrate! This puzzle is about some of those holidays, from the well-known to the somewhat obscure.

Each of the days in the calendar contains a Latin clue describing a (usually secular and sometimes humorous) holiday, from the point of view of residents of the United States. If you translate these clues and identify the holidays to which they refer, you can find a particular date in 2012 on which that holiday will be celebrated or anniversary will be observed.

Each of the saints clued by the biography has a feast day observed on one of the holiday’s dates. By identifying the saints and matching their feast days to the holiday dates, you can associate each day in the calendar with one saint.

The clues about the saints are needed because multiple saints can have a feast day on the same day, and some of the saints we’ve referred to are rather obscure.

The descriptions are mapped this way:

ClueTranslationHolidayDateSaint [Clue]
hac die celebrantur dies natales duorum ducum qui hac die non nati sunt On this day are celebrated the birthdays of two leaders who were not born on this day. Presidents’ Day February 20 Eleutherius [Arians beat me up]
hac die simiae honorantur et ab aliquibus in hortibus zoologicis visitantur On this day monkeys are honored and are visited in zoos by some people. Monkey Day December 14 Nicasius [vandalism]
hac die opificibus honoratis vestimenta alba geri desinunt On this day, when workers have been honored, white clothing ceases to be worn. Labor Day September 3 Gregory the Great [music]
hac die propter lusciniae diem natalem nosocomae ubique honorantur On this day, because of the birthday of a nightingale, nurses everywhere are honored. International Nurses’ Day
[Florence Nightingale’s birthday]
May 12 Nereus [Old Man of the Sea]
haec dies saepe non exstat This day often does not exist. Leap Day February 29, in leap years Oswald [presidential assassin name]
hac die potentissimus hominum aliquid fortissime sed laete, non irate, iacit On this day the most powerful of men throws something very strongly but happily, not angrily. Opening Day (Major League Baseball) April 5 Vincent Ferrer [schisms; compromise]
die post hanc diem vir solus ac inermis stetit, agmen vehiculorum militarium obstruens On the day following this day a man stood alone and unarmed, blocking a column of military vehicles. Six/Four June 4 Ninnoc [Brittany, where Ninnoc is also called Candide]
hac die personati mittuntur liberi ut dulcia in viis petant On this day children are sent forth masked to request sweets in the streets. Halloween October 31 Foillan [Cnobheresburg]
hac die focalia permulta donis dantur On this day extremely many neckties are given as gifts. Father’s Day June 17 Rainerius of Pisa [bad weather]
hac die magistri donula a discipulis suis accipiunt On this day teachers receive little gifts from their students. National Teachers’ Day May 8 Odger [hierodeacon]
hac die crustis dulcibus rotundis consumptis mensuratio commemoratur On this day mensuration is commemorated when sweet round pastries have been eaten. Pi Day March 14 Matilda of Ringelheim [charity]
hac die omina hiemalia umbra accipiuntur On this day wintry omens are taken from a shadow. Groundhog Day February 2 Theodoric of Ninden [German bishop]
hac die illa res in qua etiam nunc, dilectissimi lectores lectricesque dilectissimæ, occupati estis incipit On this day the thing that you, dearest readers, are even now busy with begins. MIT Mystery Hunt Kickoff January 13 Hilary of Poitiers [Hammer of the Arians / can’t touch the doctrine of the Trinity]
hac die spoponderunt aliqui vitas, fortunas, honoremque sacrum suos On this day some pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor. Independence Day July 4 Elizabeth of Portugal [wife of the Farmer King]
hac die interfectus est vir præclarus inter eos quorum lingua hæc sententia scripta est On this day a man famous among those in whose language this sentence is written was assassinated. Ides of March March 15 Louise de Marillac [social workers]
hac die filiolæ ad officinas parentium suorum adducuntur On this day little girls are taken to their parents’ workplaces. Take Our Daughters To Work Day April 26 Anacletus [“called back” third pope]
hac die loquuntur homines inter se miro modo, arrte haud historiæ fideli, tamquam prædones On this day people talk amongst themselves in a remarkable way, with an arrt hardly faithful to history, like pirates. International Talk Like A Pirate Day September 19 Theodore of Canterbury [Constantiople, Canterbury]
hac die nihil ab aliquibus, qui societatem suam nimis avidam pecuniæ esse opinant, emitur On this day nothing is purchased by some people who consider that their society is too covetous of money. Buy Nothing Day November 23 Felicitas of Rome [seven sons]
hac die Judæi pluviam et rorem, non tantum benedictionem, precibus suis cotidianis orare incipiunt On this day Jews begin to pray for rain and dew, not just a blessing, in their daily prayers. 60 days past the autumnal equinox December 4 Osmund [gamut → gemot]
hac die constitutio sive suprema lex huius nationis subscripta est On this day the consitution, or supreme law, of this nation was signed. Constitution Day September 17 Robert Bellarmine [Galileo]
hac die iuxta asserem robur post cenam monstratur On this day strength is shown beside a pole after dinner. Festivus December 23 Frithebert [bones; Acca]
hac die laganum (id est species pastae in laminis cum caseo) celebratur, scilicet coquendo On this day lasagna (a kind of pasta in sheets with cheese) is celebrated, by cooking, of course. Lasagna Day July 29 Olaf of Norway [still the King]
hac die computatur ac disputatur quid sit numerus hominum in mundo viventium On this day it is calculated and debated what the number of people living in the world is. World Population Day July 11 Olga [incendiary doves]
hac die ipsissima alma terra commemoratur On this day the nourishing Earth itself is commemorated. Earth Day April 22 Theodore of Sykeon [Maurice/Phocas’s nephew]
hac die flumen apud urbem magnam viridi tingitur On this day a river amidst a great city is dyed green. Saint Patrick’s Day March 17 Patrick [safe for Indiana Jones]
hac die audierunt novissimi servi huius patriæ se iam liberatos esse On this day the last slaves in this country heard that they had been freed. Juneteenth June 19 Romuald [Doge]
hac die vagantur cives Hiberniæ more personæ ex libro quodam dilectissimo On this day Irish citizens wander about in the manner of a character from a certain well-beloved book. Bloomsday June 16 Ismael [some years ago]
hac die de illis qui choream patiuntur et de morbo eorum cogitandum est On this day one ought to think about those who are suffering from chorea, and about their illness. National Huntington’s Disease Awareness Day June 6 Norbert [Prague]
hac die inventio quædam huius continentis, aut illi populi qui iam aderant, commemoratur On this day a certain discovery of this continent, or those peoples who were already here, is commemorated. Columbus Day / Indigenous People’s Day October 8 Triduana [self-blinding]

The first letters of the saints’ names then read as follows:

      E N G N

The English noun from the Latin for footprint is VESTIGE, from the Latin vestigium.