When we think “holidays,” we tend to think of the well-known ones, like Halloween, Christmas, Easter, or even Labor Day. Turns out, the holiday season encompasses a lot more holidays than we thought. There is a holiday for nearly every day of the year—some serious and stolid, and some…much less so. Therefore, starting this month, here are five obscure holidays you’ve probably never heard of and some ways to give them the honor they justly deserve.
August 8th: Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day
Origins: Unknown. Probably from some home gardener desperate for justification to unload the fruits of his greatly prolific zucchini plant onto someone else. But really, can you blame him? If you’ve ever grown zucchini of your own, you’ll understand.
Celebration Suggestions: Gather zucchini. Under cover of night, carrying your overabundance of summer squash, sneak carefully onto your neighbor’s porch (“neighbor” being broadly defined as anyone whose porch has room to put zucchini), dump your haul, and RUN. Run as fast as you can, make it home safely, breathe a sigh of relief, and try not to think about what you’re going to do with next week’s bumper crop (zucchini casserole again??).
Celebrate your successful operation with zucchini bread if you’re feeling traditional, or, if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, with something a little more obscure, like these recipes Squidoo.
22nd: Elephant Appreciation Day
Origins: Created by Mission Media, Inc. in 1996. Founder Wayne Hepburn became enamored with the animals after his daughter gave him a paperweight of elephants on parade. Apparently elephants have a way of throwing their weight around…
Celebration Suggestions: Today would be a lovely day to take a trip down to the local zoo and pay a visit to your gentle giant friends. If you’re feeling particularly appreciative, you can make a donation to elephant conservation efforts through your zoo or online through a site like Elephant Conservation. Return home and eat elephant ears, which are large scones covered in cinnamon and sugar. Mmm mmm. Anything peanut is good too.
October 6th: Mad Hatter Day
Origins: Started by some computer people back in 1986 who noticed the slip of paper in the hat of Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter that reads 10/6 (indicating the price of ten shillings sixpence) also forms a date: October 6th. Leave it to the computer geeks to pick up on those bits of information.
Celebration Suggestions: Have a Mad Hatter’s tea party and make your own party hats out of paper bags. Crazy behavior is mandatory. After all, the historic origin of the term “mad hatter” goes back to when hat makers (“hatters”) used mercury on the hats, and the mercury poisoning tended to make them, well, a little crazy. Mad, if you will.
November 6th: Marooned Without a Compass Day
Origins: Unknown. But for all you people out there with no internal sense of direction, this one is for you. You know who you are, even if you don’t know where you are…
Celebration Suggestions: This is a great holiday to raise awareness for those of us with infamously awful senses of direction. Today, be grateful for your GPS. Remind yourself that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and have a friend point out the North Star once the stars come out. That way you’ve got three of the four compass points covered. Make a cake and decorate it as a map—try not to get lost on your way to the store for cake mix.
December 16th: National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day
Origins: Unknown, but who cares? It’s an excuse to eat chocolate!
Celebration Suggestions: Eat chocolate, obviously. Eat it on raisins, cake, cookies, pretzels, fruit, and even bacon or bugs. And then eat some more. There is so much good chocolate available this time of year… After celebrating National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day, you may have to declare December 17th National Go For a Jog Day.
Some of these holidays, slightly ridiculous as they are, seem like just another excuse to throw a party, and perhaps that’s true. In a bigger sense, though, they are an excuse to celebrate life. Every day is cause for celebration–sometimes we just need an excuse to see it that way.
Emma Rae Curtis is an avid blogger and lover of parties and holidays, particularly Halloween. She runs her own blog called Halloween.