Strange and Unusual Holidays: January Through June
The Odd, the Strange, and the Outright Weird
There are holidays aplenty all throughout the year. Of course, most of us have never heard of any of them. The standard calendar lists only official holidays: you know--those days you don't have to go to work, and you get to sleep in.
However, there are holidays of weird ‘declared celebrations’ dreamt up by who knows whom, and probably heard of by virtually no one. I doubt you would convince your employer to give you the day off for even one of them! What a shame!
Let’s Begin the Year: January
While January boasts no official holiday celebrations past New Year’s Day itself here in the USA, the entire month is, in a way, a celebration in its own right: down time after the frenetic pace of the Fall and Winter holidays.
· January 3rd: Festival of Sleep Day. I guess if you’re still hung over from New Year partying, this makes some sense
· January 6th: Bean Day. I have no clue; you’re supposed to eat beans, perhaps?
· January 8th: Bubble Bath Day. Okay…does that include candles and champagne?
· January 13th: National Rubber Ducky Day! Oh, darn! I’ll have to run out and buy one!
· January 17th: National Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day. I’ll drink to that!
· January 19th: National Popcorn Day. Yummy! Wait right here while I go make some! Oh, wait; I’m not writing this on the 19th! Phooey!
· January 24th: Beer Can Appreciation Day. I guess I’ll run down to the liquor store and stand there admiring the cans in the cooler, and explain why to the owner, in case he wonders why I’m not buying any.
· January 25th: National Opposite Day. Hmm--does that mean wear your clothes inside out? Wait—there may already be a day for that. I suppose it’s a ‘yes means no and no means yes’ day. And therein lies fodder for a thesis on circular conundrums.
And, we wrap up the month with January 28th: Fun at Work Day. Bring on the dominoes and the paperclip slingshots!
Fun at Work Day
Now that's something everyone can appreciate!
· February 2nd: Just about everyone knows about Groundhog Day: the official news media nonsense day. While I realize that much of what passes for news is already nonsense, at least this day, it's admitted and sanctioned! You at least owe it to yourself to watch the eponymous movie!
· February 4th and 5th: are, respectively, Create a Vacuum Day (Uh, how do you do that? Hold the vacuum cleaner wand up to the sky?) and National Weathermen’s Day. (What about weather women?)
· February 8th: Kite Flying Day. Hmmm…isn’t it supposed to be March, because of the ‘in like a lion’ thing? Just wondering…
· February 9th: Toothache Day! WHAAAAT??? Who wants to celebrate such a thing?! Unless you got the toothache because yesterday’s event failed, and the kite hit you in the mouth…
· February 11th: Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day. I guess that’s for parents of toddlers.
· February 14th: Everyone knows this one! It’s Valentine’s Day! Otherwise known as, “You’re in deep doo-doo if you don’t buy your sweetie some chocolates, flowers and champagne day.”
· A lesser-known celebration occurs on the 14th as well: it’s Ferris Wheel Day! By a show of hands, how many have one in their yard? Ah, I thought so! This one must’ve been thought up by the salespeople for amusement parks!
And, we’ll finish off the second month of the year with: National Tooth Fairy Day on the 28th. I wonder if this is connected to the "celebration" occurring on the 9th?
March Comes Marching In
We begin this, the third month of the year with a very odd celebration indeed!
· March 1st: National Pig Day. I guess this is to celebrate those who have pet pigs.
· March 2nd: Old Stuff Day. Now, is this to wear old stuff? Sit on old stuff? Riffle through the attic looking at old stuff? Throw away old stuff? I have not a clue. They need to be more specific.
· March 3rd: I Want You to be Happy Day. Well, now! Thank you, to whomever came up with this one, landing square on my birthday!
· March 6th: National Frozen Foods Day. Let’s just say I smell another advertising and sales ploy in this one.
· March 9th: Panic Day. I suppose people might start to panic here, if they haven’t yet even thought about getting their taxes filed in time.
· March 11th: Johnny Appleseed Day. Now, I’m sure most of us have heard of this fellow, but is this just a generic celebration in his honor? Well, no. He was a real person, by the name of John Chapman. Born on 26 Sept. 1774 in Leominster, MA., and he did travel around planting apple orchards. The 11th is the day of his death, in March of 1845. His ‘day’ is variously celebrated in March or September.
· March 14th: National Potato Chip Day. I see the proprietors of various products have had a field day creating ‘days’ to promote their wares…
· March 15th: Buzzard’s Day. Okay, then. Perhaps we should stay indoors? Is this “The Birds” all over again? Did I just see Alfred Hitchcock walk by?
· March 20th: National Alien Abductions Day. Wow! Have they been issued an invitation? How do we know their calendar matches our own? This one is a real poser!
· March 22nd: International Goof Off Day. Ah, right up my alley! Being retired, I get to goof off a lot; but to have an official excuse? I can get behind that one!
And we wind up the end of the month with: Make up Your Own Holiday Day on the 26th of March!I believe I’ll call mine, “National Pet Your Cat Day.” Not that you don’t pet your fur children daily, mind you. But, hey—we’re doing weird here—okay? And that brings us to month number four.
Yep! Watch out! April 15th is just around the corner!
Known mostly in rhyme for ‘bringing May flowers,’ it would seem there is much more to this plain month, formerly lacking in anything but the one single day for which it is most famous:
· April 1st: April Fool’s Day. The favorite day for pranksters worldwide. Though it’s listed in my research source as a holiday in the UK, it has certainly migrated here to the States, and many years back at that. Yes, I love a good prank, and I've cooked up several over the years. As a child, my mother was not so amused when I emptied the sugar bowl back into the canister, and refilled it with salt. She said something about the taste of her coffee. ;-)
· April 2nd: Tweed Day. Air out your grandpa’s old tweed jacket, and strut it proudly. Inform the ignorant who poke fun, about the significance of the day.
· April 10th: National Siblings Day. Okay, this seems fair; after all, we have mothers’ and fathers’ and grandparents’ days, so why not one for brothers and sisters to get together and squabble, just like old times?
· April 15th: National That Sucks Day. Need I explain why? This is a day which lives in infamy in the minds of taxpayers, coming back to haunt on an annual basis.
· April 22nd: As well as the more widely known Earth Day celebration and eco-action events, the snack promoters have piggybacked onto this one, declaring it, National Jelly Bean Day.
· April 23rd. Talk Like Shakespeare Day. Would that I could, but I’ve not studied much of the English of that era. I perform better with ‘Speak Like a Pirate Day’ later in the year.
April comes to a close on the 30th, with National Honesty Day. I try to be honest every day, so I’m not sure what to do with this one! I guess it’s more for those whose pants are on fire. So, moving on, let us greet May, and see what oddball holidays it offers.
May is For Maypoles and Much More
May 1st: As well as being May Day, with it’s dancing around the Maypole tradition--no, not pole dancing; though that might add an interesting twist to the garlands strung about the Maypole! The first also claims to be both Mother Goose Day and Save the Rhino Day. Take your pick! Three-in-one!
· May 3rd: Lumpy Rug Day. What the heck? Did someone scatter plastic building blocks under the rug? Or jacks? Or maybe it's the cat hiding from the boogey man.
· May 4th: A busy day, indeed! It lays claim to being at once, Bird Day, National Candied Orange Peel Day, (aha! Another promo sneak!), and Star Wars Day. I guess you can re-watch the movies while munching on candied orange peel.
· May5th: Another “biggie” everyone knows, and many tend to celebrate, regardless of their national origin, is Cinco de Mayo. (any excuse to party.) But, did you know it’s also International Tuba Day? Time to go take lessons!
· May 8th: Along with the somber V-E day war memorial, it is also No Socks Day, to be followed up the next day with:
· May 9th: Lost Socks Memorial Day. How silly can we possibly get? But this is fun, you must admit. The saying goes, “Into your life some rain must fall;” but there must also be some comic relief. You know a frustrated mother had to have come up with this one!
· May 11th: Eat What You Want Day. Whoopee! Diet, begone! I shall have cake for breakfast, ice cream for lunch, and pancakes for dinner!
· May 13th: Frog Jumping Day. Off to Calaveras County, California with you! And don’t forget to bring your copy of Mark Twain’s book that made the County famous!
· May 15th: Ah, right up my alley: National Chocolate Chip Day! And I don’t even care if it’s another promo sneak. I’ll do almost anything for chocolate. (Note the two-word disclaimer).
· May 20th: We can be serious for a moment, as we reflect on the services given by our men and women in uniform, as we honor them on Armed Forces Day.
· May 25th: Tap Dance Day. Well, how about that! I rather always wanted to take tap dance lessons; perhaps this is my cue.
· May 27th: Sun Screen Day. A good reminder as summer approaches along with more outdoor activities. (I wonder if there is a national sunburn day, for those who failed to celebrate this one?)
· May 29th, 30th, or 31st; whichever date fits for you; Memorial Day. Though it was traditionally May 30th, with the new Monday-holiday edict in effect, everyone gets a 3-day weekend, (and too often forgets what this major national holiday is supposed to be about).
May comes to a close on the 31st, with National Macaroon Day. Oh, dear—another advertising promo day. Doggone it all! Oh, well; I love macaroons, especially chocolate-dipped, so the two goodies combine in this month, and I’m good with that.
Moving right along, we consider what the month of June has up its sleeve.
Iced Tea Day? I'll Drink to That!
We open with:
· June 2nd: National Go Barefoot Day. I don’t know about that one. I’m not a barefoot kind of gal. Not even inside my own home. It seems if there is any small, sharp speck to be stepped upon, anywhere within a five county radius, it’s going to find my feet!
· June 9th: Donald Duck Day. Hmmm. I’m just not sure where to go with this one!
· June 10th: Iced Tea Day. Oh, boy! I can get behind this one, without caring if it is a sneaky advertisement. I drink the stuff by the quart all summer and fall! And sometimes in the winter and spring. (Gee—that phrasing reminds me of the old “Pink Pajamas” song the kids used to sing at Scout Camp!)
· June 18th: National Splurge Day. I suppose someone had to make up this one to assuage a guilty conscience.
· June 19th: World Sauntering Day. Okay, I can go for a walk and saunter along. Why not? Perhaps there will be photo opportunities along the way.
June ends up with the 21st being: Go Skating/Skateboarding Day. Well, I do plan to get back on my roller blades, and have meant to for some time. This gives me a goal date! And it’s also the Summer Solstice, so double good timing for me! I can do my Solstice ritual, and then go skating.
Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, CA USA
Wrapping up the First Half of the Year
Well, folks, as the famous cartoon piggy used to say, “That’s all, folks.” I’ll be back after having corralled the oddball days to celebrate for the rest of the year.
After all, I figured it was time for something different, instead of the same old holidays everyone already knows. And off I went in search of 'different.'
I'll let good old Half Dome stand as a metaphor for half the year. If you're ready to jump right into the latter part of the year, here it is!
Ta-ta for now!
© 2017 Liz Elias