Weird National Holidays


When I was a kid, I remember sitting crisscross applesauce on my bed with a new planner, full of endless possibilities. I’ve always gotten excited about planning the future, but as I read the upcoming holidays listed on the calendar, I noticed one that puzzled me, made me laugh, and in later years made me question my sanity. It was national “Take Your Houseplant for a Walk Day.” After this weird discovery, I wondered why certain holidays exist, and most importantly, how exactly should one celebrate them? For those of you like me, sitting there scratching your head, I present a two-month guide of far-out holidays complete with suggestions on how to make the most of them and make you neighbors wonder if an intervention is in order. Think of it as a new planner. Whether you decide to celebrate one holiday or all, I hope this list at least makes you laugh while learning the history behind these not-so-well-known holidays!

July 1: International Joke Day

Did you know that young children are estimated to laugh 200 to 400 times a day and adults only laugh 4 to 20 times a day? We need to laugh more! This holiday encourages people to spend the day sharing their funniest, sidesplitting jokes with others. Although this holiday’s origin is unknown, humans have been telling jokes for a large part of their history. According to historians, the oldest recorded joke can be traced back to the ancient Sumerians in 1900 BC. Anthropological studies have shown that laughter evolved as a way for humans to signal friendship and as a way to create and strengthen ties with a group. I wonder what stand-up comedy was like in 1900 BC? I don’t need to tell you how to celebrate this holiday! However, unless you are four years old, I strongly urge you to avoid starting a joke with “Knock, knock….”

July 2: I Forgot Day

Wait ... I feel like I'm forgetting something. Oh, yea! It's national "I Forgot Day." If you are someone who easily forgets anniversaries, birthdays, or important events, this holiday is for you. Gaye Andersen, creator of this holiday, a day in which those that this applies to will probably forget about, says the proper way to celebrate this day is by taking the time to apologize to those affected by your forgetfulness. In fact, she also suggests that while you are at it, you might as well go ahead and apologize for something you will most likely forget in the future. Smart lady! Since I am certain that if you are someone that could claim this as a real holiday, stop what you are doing and start apologizing now before you forget!

July 3: Compliment your Mirror Day | International Plastic Bag Free Day

Compliment your Mirror Day was created to celebrate the person you see in the mirror – you! Celebrate by being extra kind to yourself. It is also International Plastic Bag Free Day, which was created by Bag Free World, in an effort, to reduce the negative environmental impact. Celebrate by bringing a cloth bag into the grocery store on this day.

July 4: Independence Day | Sidewalk Egg Frying Day

This holiday is THE national holiday, so you are probably aware of it and how to celebrate accordingly. However, it is also Sidewalk Egg Frying Day. So before you pull out the hot dogs and fireworks, get to cracking, an egg on the sidewalk that is. Do it early. You will want your little ones to be able to inspect the progress several times. If you wait too late, these Texas temps will fry that egg before it even hits the pavement.

July 5: Workaholics Day

Unfortunately, this day was not created to sit around inside all day binge-watching the show Workaholics. It is dedicated to the work-obsessed people to take some time out of their day and notice other areas of their life that might need attention as well. Like spending time with family and friends. If reading this strikes a chord, then you definitely need to pencil this one in, or at least tell Siri to remind you. Take advantage of a set day to help keep your priorities in check. Reevaluate. Rediscover. Reinvent to enjoy the life you are working so hard for in the first place. 

July 9: Sugar Cookie Day

While the exact origin of this holiday is unknown, it is obvious how to celebrate! Bake up a batch of fresh sugar cookies, of course. Go crazy with the sprinkles (because you are celebrating a holiday after all). If you are not a baker, check out Village Bakery in Tyler where freshly baked treats, including sugar cookies, are baked daily!

July 13: Embrace your Geekness Day

Everyone has a little bit of a geek in them. Maybe you are a geek when it comes to reading, or comic books or computer games. Well, today is the day to embrace your inner geek and celebrate by doing the geeky things you love! Ground Zero Comics and Geek World in Tyler are great options for celebrating this wacky day. 

July 16: National Ice Cream Day

This holiday was created by an official proclamation by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. At the time, the holiday was supposed to be only celebrated once - on July 15, 1984. However, the ice cream industry decided to continue the tradition. Thirty-three years later, the third Sunday in July is still recognized as National Ice Cream Day. Celebrate by going to your favorite ice cream parlor or swing by your local DQ; you can never go wrong with a Brownie Batter or Strawberry Cheesecake Blizzard!

July 20: Space Exploration Day

This annual holiday commemorates the anniversary of the first manned mission to the Moon. On July 20, 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to step foot on the surface of the Moon. The holiday is also sometimes called Moon Day. Celebrate by going to one of the planetarium shows put on by Tyler Junior College’s Center for Earth and Space Science Education.

July 27: Take your Houseplant

for a Walk Day. Ah, so it does exist! The idea behind Take your Houseplant for a Walk Day is to celebrate plants and acquaint them with their natural habitat. Plant owners can admire other people’s plants and exchange plant care tips. It would be hilarious to see people walking around the neighborhood with their houseplant! However, if you don't want your insanity to be the topic of Chatty Cathy's weekly neighborhood tea time, celebrate by checking on your houseplants and repotting those that seem to have gotten a bit big for their current pot.

July 29: Lasagna Day

The modern day versions of lasagna - a one-pot dish made with layers of pasta, sauce, and cheese and then baked in an oven - originated in Naples, Italy. Celebrate this holiday by baking lasagna of course! Making homemade lasagna not your thing? No problem, Bruno’s Pizza and Pasta in Tyler has some of the best I have ever eaten and the convenience of two locations!

August 3: Watermelon Day

Watermelon is probably the unofficial fruit of summer, and what better way to celebrate Watermelon Day than by diving head first into this juicy, delicious fruit! Have a cookout with friends and host a watermelon-eating contest, or find new ways to prepare the fruit, like incorporating it into a fresh salad. Pick up your ingredients at the local farmer’s market to support small farmers. There’s one in almost every East Texas city! 

August 4: International Beer Day

International Beer Day was created in 2007 by four guys in San Francisco as a way to bring friends and strangers together over pints of beer. Between 2007 and 2012, the holiday was celebrated on August 5, but due to popularity and demand for the day be held on a Friday, the originators changed the date, deeming it the first Friday of August every year. To celebrate, check out True Vine Brewing Company in Tyler. Every Friday evening from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., they host a backyard event at the brewery where you can try classic, seasonal and exclusive taproom-only beers. 

August 9: National Book Lovers Day

This holiday is your new excuse to take some time for yourself and curl up with a good book! Maybe you’d like to re-read a classic or try something new. Either way, you can’t go wrong shopping for the perfect book at Pea Picker Books in Tyler. 

August 13: Left-Handers Day 

This holiday was created to bring awareness to the 10 percent of the population who are left handed. It is meant to encourage business to be more left-handed friendly and adapt everyday objects for left-handers. Celebrate this holiday by going the entire day as a leftie! Try brushing your teeth, eating and writing with your left hand. It might surprise you how difficult it is, and it’s a great way to train your brain to get used to a different way of doing things.

August 15: Relaxation Day

As if you need an excuse to relax; but if you really do, then here it is. This holiday’s origin is unknown, but it is thought to have begun as National Slacker Day in Britain. Maybe they decided it was politically incorrect to call it that and renamed it, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a day to slack off and relax! Celebrate by enjoying one of the many parks in our corner of the state, or doing something that relaxes you, whether that is fishing, napping, or daydreaming! Another great way to celebrate is by doing a digital detox. Unplug for the day and see if your stress levels go down.

August 17: Thrift Shop Day

Not only are second-hand goods cheaper than their brand-new counterparts, they are environmentally friendly too! Celebrate thrift shop day by checking out Hangers of Hope in Tyler. Proceeds from this shop benefit the charitable mission of Bethesda Health Clinic, which provides healthcare for hardworking, uninsured and underinsured adults.

August 26: National Dog Appreciation

Founded in 2004 by pet and family lifestyle expert and animal behaviorist Colleen Paige, the day honors dogs for all that they do to enrich our lives and communities. The holiday also aims to raise awareness about dog adoption and the importance of providing rescue dogs with a safe and loving environment. Celebrate this day by spending time with your dog, or volunteering at the Humane Society.



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