Counting Down to the Holidays

November 4, 2010
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The Wolfram|Alpha Team
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Last weekend, we celebrated Halloween in the U.S., and by Sunday evening, retailers had popped up display after display of Christmas trees, snow globes, inflatable snowmen, and other symbols of festive December holidays. And chances are, when the holiday-themed toy commercials hit the television this past week, you asked yourself, “Where did the time go?”

Here at Wolfram|Alpha, the holiday countdown is always on! Wolfram|Alpha knows the dates of many holidays and observations from around the world, from Children’s Day in India to the anniversary of the day the Berlin Wall was opened. Couple that data with Wolfram|Alpha’s ability to calculate dates, and you have a swift tool for counting down to a special day or answering queries such as “number of days between Thanksgiving and Christmas”.  And because some similarly named holidays are celebrated on different days in different countries, Wolfram|Alpha will return the appropriate date based on the location of your IP address. So for example, if you’re located in the U.S., Wolfram|Alpha knows that this year, Labor Day was on September 6, and if you’re in the U.K., Labor Day was on May 1.

And if you’re really in the spirit, you can grab one of these simple holiday countdown widgets for your website or blog. This simple widget includes a countdown to Thanksgiving, Chanukkah, Al-Hijra, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve in the U.S.

And since Wolfram|Alpha Widgets are customizable, you can create personal widgets that include your favorite popular holidays or private events, such as Fido’s birthday.

Wolfram|Alpha Widgets are just one more way you can share some holiday cheer on your blog and with your social networks. What holiday or special day are you counting down to?

4 Comments

When I hovered over the lefthand icon at the bottom of the above widgets it invited me to ‘Build His Own Widget’ However it did not work initially. I got the message at the top of my page saying pop-ups were blocked which is easy to miss. . I had to click that message to allow po-ups and then reclick the ‘Build your own Widget’ line. I suggest you ferewarn of this.

Having done so I was invited to sign in which will annoy those who are not registered already so they should be forewarned.
Brian Gilbert, Volunteer Curator.

Posted by Brian Gilbert November 5, 2010 at 2:44 am Reply

    Hi Brian,

    The pop-up blocker message comes from your internet browser. There should be an option to allow pop-ups from select sites.

    Thank you for the feedback on the sign in form.

    Thank you.

    Posted by The Wolfram|Alpha Team November 5, 2010 at 7:34 am Reply

This is a really great idea. Is there any way that I could keep track of holidays in multiple countries; I’ve got family spread out over 3 continents and my mother gets quite upset if I forget Mother’s Day since where I live it is celebrated on a different day.

Posted by Horst Baelz November 5, 2010 at 9:27 am Reply

This is great, i have a lot of friends all over the world, like this i can customize all their holidays together in one widget!
Thanks a lot.
Simona

Posted by Arraial Dajuda November 10, 2010 at 2:05 pm Reply
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