July 31: Harry Potter’s Birthday, Mutt’s Day, Uncommon Instrument Awareness Day, Shredded Wheat Day

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Harry Potter's Birthday

If you're a Potterhead, then you already know that July 31 is Harry Potter's birthday! (Not surprisingly, it is also the birthday of J.K. Rowling, Harry's literary creator.) If you haven't already planned your festivities for the day, it's not too late. Perhaps you can celebrate by settling in with your closest friends and enjoying a Harry Potter movie marathon.

You can be the envy of all your other Potterhead friends by serving up some delicious Harry Potter treats like acid pops, licorice wands or jelly slugs. You can find these and more Harry Potter recipes here, from Yahoo! Shine:

Cook Up These 10 Harry Potter Recipes

Mutt's Day

Even if you're not a dog lover you're likely to recognize the names of Lassie, Rin Tin Tin and Spuds MacKenzie. They are famous celebrity dogs that had more than their share of the spotlight. But what about common, everyday mutts? Don't they deserve a little attention and appreciation as well?

July 31 is "Mutts Day" -- a day when we can pull out all the canine stops and show our precious mixed breed pups that they are special, too. Celebrate by taking your furry friend to the doggie spa for a massage, or how about one of these luxury treatments found on Yahoo! Shine?

Dog Pedicures: Nail Art Isn't Just for Humans

A Luxury Pet Hotel that Takes Dog Boarding to New Heights

Uncommon Instrument Awareness Day

Have you ever heard of a wakrapuku, a Javanese bonang or a kaval? These are all types of musical instruments used around the world that, although rare here in America, are still widely used today. Many play an important role in the history and culture of their region.

Today is "Uncommon Instrument Awareness Day," and in America we are lucky enough to be able to celebrate the mountain dulcimer. The mountain dulcimer is a type of stringed instrument that saw its beginnings during the 1700s in the mountainous southern United States.

Check out some of these mountain dulcimer tunes found on Yahoo! Music:

Allegheny Mountain Dulcimer Players

Shredded Wheat Day

July 31 is "Shredded Wheat Day," a breakfast cereal item that we more or less take for granted. Regardless of your personal preferences toward shredded wheat, its historical origins are curiously interesting.

According to Tasteful Inventions, on Aug. 1, 1893, Henry Perky and William Ford received a patent for a machine that made cereal biscuits. Their original intention was to sell the machines, but the biscuits turned out to be far more popular. Later that year, Perky started a company in Denver to make the cereal biscuits, a restaurant to serve them from and a fleet of horse-drawn wagons from which to sell them door to door.

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