Natalie, a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, is a freelance writer who is always searching for what lies within the potential.
August Fun: Silly Holidays to Round Out the Summer
It’s August, and the summer is starting to wind down (if you are in the Northern Hemisphere, that is). August is the time for last-minute summer vacations and pool parties and for taking the kids to the amusement park before school starts up again. It’s the month people often celebrate with abandon, since many feel as though the new year begins in September.
Send the summer (or winter, if you live below the equator) off with a bang by celebrating some of these fun and crazy holidays.
August 1st: Homemade Pie Day
Let them eat . . . pie. Okay, so that’s not exactly how the saying goes, but today is Homemade Pie Day (not to be confused with Pi Day, which is on 3/14 or 3.14, or National Pie Day, which falls on January 23).
Celebrate Homemade Pie Day by making any type of pie you like, sweet or savory. Make sure eating it is part of the celebration. Make an extra one to share with family or friends. Don’t worry if you prefer tarts or flans to pies. They’re in the same family and close enough. Besides, today’s your homemade pie celebration, so design it any way you’d like with whatever mouthwatering creation you choose.
If you need some help, try one of the sweet or savory pie recipes included at the bottom of this article.
August 5th: National Underwear Day
Perhaps your mother always warned you to wear clean underwear since you never know when you may be in an accident. There are likely many other better reasons to wear clean underwear and National Underwear Day is one of them. There are all types of underwear, from basic, white, and functional versions to intricate, high-fashion versions that some people will wear out on the town. Madonna is probably the one who should be credited with wearing underwear as if it were regular clothing, but today you can take a page from her book and do the same.
Those who are really brave can post a picture of themselves in their underwear on social media with the appropriate hashtag. If you are shy, celebrate by wearing your underwear around the house and learning to feel comfortable in your own skin.
If you don’t have any underwear you really love, today’s the day to buy something spectacular, cozy, or just plain comfortable. Be sure to enjoy watching the movie Risky Business, which includes the iconic scene of Tom Cruise dancing in his underwear.
National Underwear Day is a great opportunity to appreciate your body and gain a sense of the rightness of your body type. Coming to appreciate all types and shapes of bodies will go a long way to helping with many of the problems poor body image can cause.
August 6th: Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day
How many times have you gone out to buy more aspirin for a headache caused by the inability to open the tin of pain relievers already in your possession? If you have ever found yourself fighting to open a sealed child-proof medicine bottle, triple-coated plastic container of batteries, or shrink-wrapped food container that seems impervious to even the sharpest knife, this day is for you. Today you can protest drinks with perforated caps which don’t budge and shipping boxes which you are still trying to tear open 25 minutes later, along with all forms of impossible packaging that has you throwing the item against a wall while yelling profanities at the top of your lungs.
There are several ways to celebrate Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day. The most obvious, of course, is to simply avoid any item that seems unlikely to yield to your attempts at opening it. If you can’t even determine how to go about opening something you see in the store, put it back on the shelf and pick up one made by a competitor. Put away anything that is labeled "tamper-resistant." Return anything you may have ordered that comes in a box that is clearly ten times the size of the actual object. Anything you can’t open in a single try likewise can be assumed to be item non grata today.
What is welcomed today is anything that has no packaging whatsoever, such as fresh fruit and vegetables. Have you been wanting to buy some new electronic gadget or household item? Buy a floor sample which not only comes package free but also is usually discounted. Look for cheap store brands which often save money by forgoing the excess packaging.
If these strategies don’t make you feel better and you need to blow off some steam, send a message to the manufacturers of whatever you bought that was particularly preposterously packaged. Just make sure you put it in at least seven boxes, each sealed with permaglue and enclosed in three layers of plastic wrap completely covered with the strongest packing tape you can find.
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August 8th: National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day
Anyone who has had a garden and grown zucchini, also called courgette, knows that during this late summer month, the squash tend to grow like crazy. They will reach a gargantuan size if not harvested. It is not unusual for zucchini left on the vine to grow to over three feet in length. They are generally harvested at an immature stage when they are about 6 to 10 inches, so the growth spurt that often occurs in August means that even gardeners with only a plant of two could be picking several courgettes daily. The obvious problem, then, is after eating, freezing, pickling and gifting the harvested squash, what do you do with what’s still left over?
A native Pennsylvanian came up with an answer which turned into a holiday celebrated on August 8 and designated as National Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day. If you have had your fill of zucchini bread, quiche, and cake, and your friends and relatives turn off the lights and hide when seeing you come up their walk with a bag of newly picked squash, this is the day to do something about it.
To celebrate this holiday, all you have to do is wait until late at night, when everyone should be asleep, and quietly sneak up to your neighbor’s door, then leave plenty of zucchini for them right outside. Of course, if your neighbor is a gardener as well, you just might find they have returned the favor, and you are no better off.
You can also plan ahead to rid yourself of the huge pile of squash that you amass this time of year. Call local soup kitchens or food pantries to see if these might be possible outlets for your excess courgette. A single day’s harvest from a plant or two can easily feed dozens of people. If you have a particularly large bumper crop, you might even find local-area farmer's markets where you can sell your excess squash and turn a profit. Sometimes you can team up with other gardeners who might have other fruits or vegetables to sell and split the fee for a table. This will decrease the cost and increase your profit with a larger variety of produce to sell.
Some Fun Facts About Zucchini
- Not all zucchini are uniformly green. For example, Gourmet Gold and Clarimore Yellow are bright gold, Romanesco is beige with bright green stripes, Zephyr is two-toned and colored green on the bottom and yellow on the top, Caserta or Heirloom are light greenish grey, and Magda is a green so pale as to appear white.
- Zucchini is plural. A single one is called a zucchina.
- Not all zucchini are long and cylindrical shaped. For example, ‘Ronde de Nice is shaped like a small globe, Golden Egg Squash is shaped like an elongated egg, and Pattypan Squash looks like a flattened flying saucer with scalloped sides.
- Zucchini plants produce yellow flowers which are edible. Small ones can be used in salads to provide a unique taste and to add color. Unopened flowers can be stuffed with a variety of other vegetables, fruits and cheeses to create a wonderful appetizer. Try filling them with a puree of brie cheese, peeled dates and walnuts or feta cheese, shredded cucumber and fresh, minced mint leaves.
- Zucchinis are rich in a number of nutrients. These squash are full of Vitamin A, Thiamin, Niacin, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese. They have more Potassium than bananas and are a great source of dietary fiber and protein.
- Zucchinis have lots of health benefits. They are good for heart health, can help with weight loss, lower cholesterol, aid in maintaining eye health, decrease the likelihood of developing diabetes and asthma, keep the immune system healthy, helps fight respiratory problems, can act as an anti-inflammatory, improve nervous system functioning, strengthen teeth and bones and improve the appearance of the skin.
- The largest zucchini ever grown was almost 70 inches long and weighed over 65 pounds. It was grown by Bernard Lavery of Plymouth, Devon, UK.
August 11th: National Presidential Joke Day
One of the great American past times is making fun of the President. Today is a day to recognize the humor found in the oval office. Make sure to take note of and appreciate the major gaffes and hysterical mistakes the president makes. Think back to all the Presidents and call up your memories of them. You can add in any Presidential candidates you choose. If the current President triggers your funny bone, have at him.
National Presidential Joke Day started in 1984. In the middle of a soundcheck for a radio broadcast, President Ronald Reagan joked, “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” Although the networks had come to an agreement that any comment made during a soundcheck were off the record, it was leaked to the public and CBS broadcast the recording. Critics attacked the President for being unprofessional.
August 18th: Bad Poetry Day
Bad Poetry Day encourages you to try writing poetry even if you don’t believe that you can. Many of us are intimidated by the thought of writing poetry because we don’t think we know how. Yet, we all have a natural ability to put thoughts and feelings into informal verse by putting pen to paper and letting yourself write some terrible poetry. Don’t judge what you write, just enjoy it. Don’t think too hard, just go with whatever comes to mind. If you’re feeling especially mean today, you could read your awful poetry to friends, family and colleagues. If nothing more, it will help them appreciate good poetry more in the future.
Watch the video below of the Bad Poetry Contest for some amazingly terrible verse to help encourage your own.
August 24th: Pluto Demoted Day
Many of us remember when there were nine planets in our solar system, which were Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. But then in 2005, an icy object about the same size as Pluto was discovered just beyond its orbit was discovered which was named Eris.
There was debate as to whether Eris should be included as the 10th planet and whether two of Pluto’s moons should be counted as the 11th and 12th planets. However, it was determined that adding three planets would be too cumbersome and that the best idea would be to cut Pluto from the lineup.
New criteria for planets were created which included that the planet had to be the only major body in its orbit. Since there were a number of other objects in Pluto’s orbit it was determined that Pluto was no longer a planet and it was downgraded to a dwarf planet, leaving us with only eight planets in our solar system.
Pluto Demoted Day is a great chance to learn about space and our solar system along with Pluto itself. Go to a nearby planetarium and take in an exhibit or a show. Once the sun goes down get out a telescope, spread a blanket on the grass and stargaze. Discover the various bodies in space nearby to our own home planet.
August 27th: Just Because Day
One of my favorite holidays, Just Because Day is when you get to celebrate any way you choose—just because. We all have busy, sometimes stressful lives filled with obligations and responsibilities. Today you have the opportunity to do something without rhyme or reason.
Have you always wanted a garage door opener? Buy it... just because. Maybe you want to take a vacation day to read that new novel you haven’t had time for. Do it... just because. Maybe you feel like buying a rose for an older woman dining alone, just to make her smile. Go ahead and make her day... just because. Sing at the top of your voice with your windows down, act like a street mime, do cartwheels in the front yard. Today is your day and you can do all these things... just because.
A Few Pie Recipes to Inspire You
No-Bake Frozen Peanut Butter Amaretto Pie
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 heaping teaspoons confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons amaretto extract
- 1 package (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 1 chocolate crumb crust (8 inches)
- Chocolate syrup
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, granulated sugar, confectioners sugar, amaretto, and vanilla until smooth.
- Fold in the whipped topping carefully, until combined.
- Spoon pie filling into the crust. Drizzle with chocolate syrup.
- Cover and freeze for 4 hours or until set.
- Remove from the freezer 30 minutes before serving.
Easy Maple Pecan Bourbon Pie
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon maple extract (or two tablespoons real maple syrup)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups pecan halves
- 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
- 9-inch prepared pie crust, unbaked
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla extract, maple extract (or syrup), bourbon, and salt.
- Mix in pecans and butterscotch chips.
- Pour mixture into the pie crust and bake until the center is set but not firm, about 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool before serving. This pie is great served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
Tuna Pot Pie
- 1 large can tuna (12 oz) light or white, drained
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- ½ cup milk
- 1 medium onion, chopped (you can also use ½ cup frozen, chopped onion, thawed)
- 12 oz frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic minced (you can also use 1 teaspoon of fresh store-bought minced garlic in a jar)
- 1 cup chopped cooked potato (you can also use frozen chopped potato)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 can (7 ½ ounces) refrigerated biscuits, quartered
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Heat soup and milk in a saucepan on medium heat until smooth.
- Stir in mixed vegetables, mushrooms, onion, tuna, potato, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Continue cooking until mixture comes to a low boil.
- Transfer to a 1 ½ or 2-quart glass casserole dish and top with biscuits.
- Bake about 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.
Chicken Gumbo Pot Pie
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped (or 1 ½ cups frozen, chopped onion, thawed)
- 1 clove garlic, minced (or ½ teaspoon store-bought minced garlic from a jar)
- 1 (1 lb) package sliced carrots
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 ½ tablespoons Cajun or creole seasoning
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon flour, cornstarch, or another thickening agent
- 1 ready-made pie crust
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Heat the oil in an ovenproof 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until just tender, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the Cajun or creole seasoning and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in the stewed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until only a small amount of juice remains, about 4–5 minutes.
- Add chicken, chicken broth and flour or corn starch, mashing out any lumps that may form, stirring until combined.
- Cook until the chicken just loses its pink color, about 3 minutes.
- Unroll the crust and place over the chicken-vegetable mixture in the skillet; cut 3 slits in the dough.
- Transfer skillet to the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 25–30 minutes.
Vegetable Pot Pie
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large potato, cubed (or 1 1/2 cups frozen cubed potatoes)
- 1⁄2 head broccoli, cut into small florets
- ¼ head cauliflower cut into small florets
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped (or 1 cup frozen, chopped onion, thawed)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 2 teaspoons store-bought minced garlic from jar)
- 1 carton mushroom, sliced, or 1 large can sliced mushrooms, drained
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 ½ cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
- 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1⁄2 cups milk, half and half, or cream
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup grated Swiss cheese
- 2 egg yolks
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- 1 egg, beaten
- Preheat oven to 415˚F.
- Microwave the potato, carrot, cauliflower, and broccoli until just tender about 1–2 minutes.
- Heat vegetable oil in a 10-inch oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and the bell pepper, and saute until just softened. Place in the bowl with the microwaved vegetables. Add the thawed peas.
- Heat the butter or margarine in the skillet over medium heat until melted, stir in the flour until absorbed to make a roux.
- Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer until thick.
- Add cheese, egg yolks garlic, salt, and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
- Pour the vegetables into the sauce and stir in the mushrooms.
- Take one of the puff pastry sheets that has thawed and place over the top of the skillet. Cut the excess dough from around the edge so it just overlaps about half an inch. Cut several slits in the top of the pastry to vent the steam.
- Brush the tops of the pastry with the beaten egg and some extra melted butter or margarine if desired.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until the pastry is shiny and golden brown.
© 2018 Natalie Frank
Natalie Frank (author) from Chicago, IL on June 23, 2018:
I know what you mean, Draco. You'll have to let me know how Artemis. I had mixed feelings about his other one. Put the day on your calendar and when it gets here put an auto reply on your phone and email saying "I'm out of reach for the next 10 - 24 hours as I'm observing, 'Just Because Day.' I will get back to you as soon as I resurface." Thanks for the comment.
Draco from United Kingdom on June 22, 2018:
Great article Natalie, I am definitely going for the 'Just because day'. I always wanted to sit down for 7-10hrs in a room with a book. Might finally give Artemis by Andy Weir a read. With some coffee and biscuits of course. No disturbances from anyone. Thank you for the article
Natalie Frank (author) from Chicago, IL on June 06, 2018:
Yep, do whatever you want with it. . . Just Because! Thanks for stopping by.
Natalie Frank (author) from Chicago, IL on June 06, 2018:
You can involve anything you choose. Run with it! Make it yours! Happy early birthday. I'm in July and I always felt other than July 4th there wasn't much going on. When I ran into all of these silly holidays and started looking into them I saw that every month can be filled with fun! Thanks for the comment.
Natalie Frank (author) from Chicago, IL on June 04, 2018:
Thanks Linda - glad you find the articles and recipes enjoyable and useful. Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon!
Natalie Frank (author) from Chicago, IL on June 04, 2018:
Yes, Doris, and if there isn't already a holiday on a specific date, these articles show we can just create our own! I agree with you about Pie over Pi - though maybe Bill Nye would enjoy pie while calculating Pi! Thanks for making me laugh! Be sure to check out my other holiday articles for other months.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on May 29, 2018:
August 27 - Just Because Day, didn't know there is such a day, really unique !
FlourishAnyway from USA on May 22, 2018:
My birthday is in August and I always felt like it was a holiday desert because there's nothing between Independence Day and Labor Day. But oh, was I wrong. National Presidential Joke Day?!? Oh, that's just too easy. I hope there are video montages, costumes, and memes involved.
That bourbon pie sounds a-mazing!
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on May 22, 2018:
You always share some lovely recipes, Natalie. The holidays are always fun, too!
Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on May 22, 2018:
It seems that every day is a special day...for someone or some thing. Of the special days you mentioned, who wouldn't prefer pie day over pi day? Except maybe Bill Nye. Wonderful hub that brings to light days most of us didn't know existed. (I'm still for Pluto being a planet!)