Celebrate These Crazy, Silly July Holidays for a Fun-Filled Month
Every month is enriched by numerous holidays and traditions to celebrate. Some of these are more established and commonplace, while others you may find are rather bizarre, unique, or unusual. The beginning of the month holds Canada Day, marking a milestone on the countries path to independence. In England, July includes St. Swithun’s Day, similar to Groundhog Day—if it rains then it predicts 40 days of bad weather. In the U.S. July is the month we celebrate our own independence and it is also often the month of summer vacation. Whether you have regular holidays you observe or whether or not you’ve scheduled time, you can always celebrate some of the following holidays to add a bit of extra fun to your month. There is a special day for everyone to enjoy.
July 1 - Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day
It is full blown summer in the northern hemisphere and the heat is building. There’s no better time for a day that celebrates ice cream creativity. Cool off while coming up with a completely new flavor of ice cream. Baskin Robbins originally had 31 flavors though some have been retired and new ones added over the years. Howard Johnson’s had 28 flavors but that was only the number they kept in stock at one time. They really had a bunch more.
Add your name to the ice cream hall of fame and see if you can create a new, never before seen (or tasted) flavor. If the heat is making it difficult to think, try combining existing flavors and see what you get. If even that is a bit too much, just put a couple of scoops of different flavors in the same bowl, add several toppings and repeat many times as you can stomach. Get social and hold an ice cream party with different flavors, ingredients to mix in and toppings and let everyone go crazy. Take a look below for some of the unusual flavors that have already been invented for inspiration. There is also a recipe that might make the day even more enjoyable.
Unusual Ice Cream Flavors
- Alaska Fire Weed and Honey (a floral flavor)
- Sweet Corn
- Goat Cheese Beet Swirl
- Tea Time (black tea with crumbles of buttery shortbread)
- Catching Fire (inspired by the Hunger Games, vanilla ice cream folded with orange, mango, and strawberry swirls topped and each cone is topped with a real scorpion) .
- Red Hot Lover (light banana ice cream missed with cinnamon red hots)
- Ube (made with purple yams indigenous to the Philippines)
- Champagne and Violette
- Lobster (Yep, that’s right, butter ice cream mixed with real lobster)
- Olive Oil
- Coconut Curry
- Balsamic Fig
- Rose Geranium
- Kimchi and Rice (a rice base with fermented cabbage, taffy and chocolate kimchi truffles)
- Firecracker (fruity ice cream with pop rocks)
- Honeyjack and Coke (a honey-whiskey custard with drizzles of Jack-Daniels–infused honey)
Caramelized Banana Buttermilk Rum Ice Cream
I was trying to make easy homemade ice cream to take to a picnic and had bought the wrong amount of whipping cream. I only had half the required amount and wasn’t sure what I could substitute. Short on time I grabbed some buttermilk I had left over from a pound cake recipe and added it instead of the other cup of cream. Once I had made that substitution, I decided to get creative and see what I could come up with my own ice cream recipe and this is the result. It worked beautifully in terms of consistency and tasted delicious. The buttermilk really brought out the taste of the bananas. This recipe also has no eggs, doesn’t require cooking and can be made with just a standing or hand held mixer.
1 cup heavy whipping cream (cold)
1 cup buttermilk (cold)
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
1 pound of fresh bananas
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon run extract
2 ½ tablespoons butter
2 + ½ bananas, cut in slices, separated
2 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
Melt butter in skillet
Add 2 sliced bananas and brown sugar
Cook until golden and syrupy, about 5 minutes, stirring several times
Mash bananas slightly then sprinkle lightly with cinnamon
Put bananas in the freezer to chill
In the large mixing bowl of stand-mixer or a large bowl if using an electric hand mixer, add heavy whipping cream, buttermilk, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and rum extract
Whip the mixture until stiff peaks form (to prevent splattering, start out at a slower speed and as the mixture thickens increase the speed until it is on high).
Pour the caramelized bananas into the mixture and gently fold in until it is combined.
Pour the banana mixture into a freezer safe container. Top with the remaining slices of bananas for garnish. Cover and freeze. The mixture will resemble soft serve ice cream after about 3-4 hours. For a firmer ice cream freeze for at least 5-6 hours.
Serving Suggestion: Instead of adding the extra bananas to the top, make up another batch of caramelized bananas and spoon over the ice cream.
July 3 - Compliment Your Mirror Day
Today with everything moving so fast we can forget to celebrate ourselves, who we are and everything that makes us unique. Compliment Your Mirror Day is the day that gives us the inspiration to look in the mirror and recognize how special we are. This is the day to improve self-worth by affirming all the things you have to contribute to the world and all the people in your life.
We are all too often taught that focusing on our own best characteristics and congratulating ourselves for what we give to others is arrogance or narcissism. Yet we can bend too far in the opposite direction and become incapable of recognizing our strengths at all. Today celebrate all that makes you special by looking in the mirror and acknowledging it. Buy yourself something you’ve wanted for a long time. Do something to pamper yourself. You are one of a kind and you deserve it.
July 6 - International Kissing Day
Whether it’s a quick peck on the cheek or a deep, heartfelt kiss on the lips, today is the day for kissing, well, anyone you choose. The purpose of this day is to enjoy a kiss or two. Today is a great day to show your partner how much you appreciate them with a great big kiss. Everyone enjoys kissing. It makes us feel good. International Kissing Day celebrates the place it holds in our society. To celebrate give your partner a kiss when you wake up in the morning and greet friends with a kiss on each cheek. If you are more reserved place a quick kiss on the back of a hand or two.
An interesting fact: The worlds record for the longest kiss is held by Ekkachai and Laksana Tiranarat who kissed continuously for 58 hours, 35 minutes and 58 seconds, during the "kissing marathon" held at Ripley's Museum in Pattaya, Thailand.
July 10 - Teddy Bear Picnic Day
In the early 1900’s, President Teddy Roosevelt went hunting and refused to shoot a small bear he came across. The papers got hold of the story and cartoons were created of the event. Toy store owners saw the cartoons and asked permission to call their stuffed bear a “Teddy bear,” in honor of the president. Teddy bears went on to become probably the most popular children’s toy in the world.
The teddy bear is commemorated in "The Teddy Bears' Picnic," a song written by composer John Walter Bratton and songwriter Jimmy Kennedy in 1932. It continues to be a popular children’s song and has been recorded many times over the years.
To celebrate today, take your teddy bear (come on, admit it, you still have yours), out under the sun for a midday picnic. If that doesn’t sound exciting there are other ways to celebrate. Buy a few teddy bears and go visit some sick children at a nearby hospital. Most hospitals have visiting programs and if you explain your mission at the nurses' station they are bound to point you in the direction of a child who would benefit from a teddy bear.
Are you an artist? Draw or paint a picture of a teddy bear or create your own comic about the bears. If you are a writer try your hand at a story or poem that somehow incorporates a teddy bear in the plot. Create a game about these beloved toys. Or if you are crafty maybe create your own version of the teddy bear. Who knows? One of these ideas might catapult you to fame much like the original creator of the teddy bear.
If you think the song "Teddy Bear's Picnic" is just for kids listen to this amazing rendition by the National Taiwan University Chorus.
July 13 - Fool’s Paradise Day
The term Fool’s Paradise is defined as a state of delusive contentment, and who doesn’t need a bit of delusive contentment every now and again? Use of the term dates back to the 1400’s and Shakespeare included it in Romeo and Juliet, when the nurse is telling Romeo not to lead Juliet on.
Use today to dream of all the possibilities you might pursue, no matter how unrealistic. Let yourself believe yourself able to become anything you choose, be with anyone you want, go any place in the world, do whatever job you’ve always fantasized about. For one day, let go of all the reasons things can’t happen and open yourself up to everything that might be. Maybe none of the things you imagine today can truly occur (a thought for tomorrow, not today), but the act of dreaming will help you get out of doing things the same way every day and help you see there are numerous options in life to pursue.
first let me tell ye, if ye should lead her into
a fool's paradise, as they say, it were a very gross
kind of behavior, as they say: for the gentlewoman
is young; and, therefore, if you should deal double
with her, truly it were an ill thing to be offered
to any gentlewoman, and very weak dealing— Nurse to Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare)
July 19 - National Flitch Day
This tradition began in Great Dunmow, Essex in 1104. A local when a local couple so Prior of Little Dunmow became so impressed by a couple's marital fidelity, that he gave them a flitch of bacon, roughly the equivalent of a side. Thus began the custom of the flitch, whereby monks would award a flitch of bacon to any couple who could convince a jury of bachelor and maidens that they had lived together in harmony for the previous year.
The Flitch custom became so famous that it was included in “The Canterbury Tales,” by Chaucer. Mock flitch trials are still held every four years in Great Dunmow, England, and married couples who succeed still receive a side of bacon for their efforts.
Before a couple can claim their pork, however, they are required to take the ancient oath of the flitch as follows:
"We do swear by custom of confession
That we ne're made nuptial transgression
Nor since we were married man and wife
By household brawl or contentious strife,
Or otherwise at bed or board,
Offended each other in deed or word;
Or since the parish clerk said amen,
Wished ourselves unmarried again;
Or in a twelvemonth and a day
Repented in thought in any way,
But continue true and in desire
As when we joined in holy quire.”
The officer administering the oath would then reply:
“Since to these conditions, without any fear,
Of your own accord you do freely swear,
A whole flitch of bacon you shall receive,
And bear it hence with love and good leave;
For this is our custom at Dunmow well known
Though the pleasure be ours, the bacon’s your own.”
Perhaps this is where the saying, "Bring home the bacon," originated.
July 27 - Take Your Plants for a Walk Day
Today is the day for you to bond with your plants while getting some exercise and some fresh air. As a good houseplant owner, you undoubtedly want to be the best caregiver possible and make your plants the happiest they can be. So grab a couple and take to the outdoors. Walk them around the block, down a pier, or head for a scenic view and take in the sites together. If you have too many to take at the same time, put them in a wagon and pull them around or take a couple out then switch to others until you have walked all of them. Don’t forget to talk or sing to them as they love hearing your voice. If you have a particularly large one consider taking it out in a stroller. It will love the ride.
Celebrate your plants and proudly show them off to neighbors. Let them get acquainted with the neighborhood. Owners can admire each other's plants and share tips on care.
If this idea is a bit odd to you maybe just work on repotting your plants to pots that give it more space will let it continue to grow without being hampered. Maybe just walk your plant around your house and chose a different location for it. Find a sunnier spot or if it is a plant that needs shade take it out of the sun. If you don’t have any plants to walk, then today is a great day to get one.
© 2018 Natalie Frank