American office workers can look forward to at least 10 federal holidays each year—more if their employer is extra generous. But beyond the big public holidays, there are a wealth of other holidays that receive very little recognition. Sure, the likes of National Siblings Day or National Donut Day might get shoutouts on Instagram, but your employer probably isn’t going to give you the day off.
And those aren’t even the most obscure holidays out there. Stacker searched several calendars of national and international holidays to come up with this list of 52 of the most bizarre occasions you might not be celebrating—one for each week of the year. Some have strange origins or meanings, while others just seem downright unnecessary. Read on—you might just find one you want to celebrate next year (though we doubt World Toilet Day will make the cut).
Despite what the name might imply, this holiday doesn’t mean Jan. 3 is the optimal day for simply throwing out those rock-hard fruitcakes your relatives brought for the holidays. It’s a day meant for a fruitcake-tossing competition, to see who can throw theirs the farthest.
Bizarre as it might seem, plenty of proud houseplant owners take to social media on January 8th every year to show off their flourishing succulents, cacti, and philodendrons.
Why dedicate a holiday to nothing, you ask? That’s a valid question about this un-event. Newspaper columnist Harold Pullman Coffin coined the idea in 1973 to create a day for Americans to relax, and do absolutely anything.
Started by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association in 1977, this holiday celebrates the history of penmanship. The association chose Jan. 23, John Hancock’s birthday, as an homage to the first signatory of the Declaration of Independence.
We’re guessing that your HR department probably wouldn’t recognize this holiday, which focuses on enjoying your "most comfortable" working state. If you plan on participating, it’s probably best to work from home.
Sure, stuffed mushrooms are tasty—but do they really need their own holiday? It seems like an awfully specific dish to spend the entire day celebrating, although these ten recipes are particularly compelling.
The old saying about how there’s no use crying over spilled milk is certainly a useful way to put small mistakes into perspective. It is admittedly an odd choice for a holiday, however. The origin story for this term dates back to English author James Howell’s book of proverbs, which advises again “weeping for shed milk.”
Dogs around the world can be spoiled with as many treats as they want on this international holiday. While we won’t deny our furry friends any extra cookies, you have to wonder how this unusual holiday got started in the first place.
Grab a younger family member and your favorite book of fairy tales to celebrate this holiday. It’s the perfect excuse to reread Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, Humpty Dumpty, or another of your favorite childhood stories.
Though the idea of dedicating an entire day to proofreaders and copy editors might seem oddly specific, they certainly deserve more than their fair share of credit. Without them, we’d be living in a world of unrelenting typos and grammatical errors.
This type of waffle adds chopped nuts and rolled oats to traditional batter for a new spin on the breakfast staple. The question of why this particular food needs its own holiday remains unclear. Perhaps we should fire up the waffle iron and find out for ourselves.
Whether you spell it “okay,” “O.K.,” or “OK,” it’s one of the most popular words in the world. While the exact origin isn’t known, it most likely comes from an abbreviation of “all correct,” with some vocabulary historians placing it as a knock against President Martin Van Buren’s spelling.
Something on a Stick Day celebrates the world of skewered foods. It’s too bad that the Minnesota State Fair isn’t until the late summer, given its famous lineup of Snickers, cheese, and even spaghetti and meatballs on a stick.
This holiday is named after “sorry Charlie,” a phrase popularized in StarKist tuna commercials from the 1960s. The star was a slick-talking tuna who just wanted to be discovered by the “Starkist tuna scout.”
Round up three of your most musically inclined friends to form your own band for Barbershop Quartet Day. If you haven’t rehearsed, simply queue up a recording of the Dapper Dans.
take note of four seventeen
haiku writing day.
It’s the best day of the year for writing this form of Japanese poetry with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third line.
Charles F. Richter of the California Institute of Technology developed this scale of magnitude in 1935 to measure the severity of earthquakes. While no doubt important, the Richter scale doesn’t exactly seem like holiday celebration material.
We wouldn’t be able to easily pull on a pair of jeans or cozy up in a hoodie without the ubiquitous zipper, and yet it’s one of the easiest things to take for granted. Give thanks for all the zippers that keep on zippin’ on April 29 every year.
Pour one out for all the socks—ankle-length, knee-high, and trouser—that have been "eaten by the washing machine" on this holiday. It might be a good opportunity to buy a new pair or two—if you’re not still in mourning, that is.
Yoda first appeared on the big screen on May 21, 1980, when "The Empire Strikes Back" premiered. Since then, May 21 has always been the ideal day to honor the wise Jedi master by adopting his way of speaking. Talk like Yoda, you will.
According to old folklore, placing a pillow on top of the refrigerator is said to bring prosperity and good fortune. Though it’s not a very common tradition, some still celebrate the holiday on May 29.
In the United Kingdom, sausage rolls are a popular handheld snack of a sausage wrapped in pastry (similar to what we would call pigs in a blanket). Cheap, available everywhere, and easy to eat on the run, it certainly deserves its own holiday—just perhaps in its country of origin.
Axe-throwing started in lumberjack competitions in the United States and Canada, and is still gaining traction as a competitive sport. If you intend to participate in any axe-wielding celebrations, just make sure you know how to handle them first.
Need an excuse to scream bloody murder for one day each year? International Panic Day is here to help you. Whether you’re stressed about work, money or relationships, this holiday offers you the opportunity for cathartic release.
The tall tale of Paul Bunyan holds that the enormous strong man created the Great Lakes when he dug a drinking hole for his blue ox, Babe, among other gargantuan accomplishments. Storytellers, lumberjacks, and other fans around the world celebrate his fictional legacy every year on June 28.
When temperatures climb above 100 degrees, it might be possible to fry on egg on the sun-heated pavement. Not everyone gets behind this fun experiment, though: The park rangers at Death Valley National Park in California often remind visitors that it’s no fun for them to clean up the leftover egg shells and mess afterwards.
Kids all over the world can get behind this cute holiday, which encourages you to grab your favorite stuffed animal and go for a picnic. The date itself appears to have no tie to teddy bears or picnics, however.
Despite what the name might imply, this holiday is actually a celebration of the number 17. Princeton mathematics students David Kelly and Michael Spivak created the day to celebrate the prime and random number properties of 17. For some inexplicable reason, a yellow pig with 17 eyelashes, 17 teeth and 17 toes became the holiday’s mascot.
While Pi Day is often celebrated on March 14 (or 3.14, which corresponds to the first three digits of pi), Pi Approximation Day represents the fractional version of pi, or 22/7. Depending on the way you write the date and month, you might celebrate this mathematical constant on either day.
This bizarre holiday should really be celebrated every day of the year. If you need a particular day to remember to floss, brush, and generally practice good dental hygiene, your breath is probably already in rough shape.
Love high speeds and screaming your head off? Then you'll want to celebrate National Roller Coaster Day. Some amusement parks even get in on the act, offering promo deals to guests who make it through multiple loops and drops.
Pluto aficionados might not want to celebrate the day in 2006 when the International Astronomical Union voted to reclassify the celestial body as a dwarf planet. The move was highly controversial, some even going so far as to call it an “awful decision.”
We’ve all been there: Waiting for the computer to load a program or unfreeze and just can’t resist moving your cursor around the icons. That said, why do we need a holiday dedicated to this?
Yell “bison ten yell” as fast as you can and you’ll find it sounds like another word: bicentennial. This unofficial holiday isn’t about the 200th anniversary of the United States, though, but an imaginary character of your choosing. You can’t make this stuff up.
Unsurprisingly, Dunkin’ Donuts is one of the few to recognize this unofficial holiday honoring Boston creme donuts, Bavarian creme donuts, and vanilla creme donuts. Still, donut-lovers probably won’t fight it too hard to celebrate.
Open to mateys and landlubbers alike, International Talk Like a Pirate Day dates back to 1995, when John Baur (aka Ol' Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (aka Cap'n Slappy) invented the spoof holiday. Now, it's a widely observed phenomenon that's spread to restaurants. Krispy Kreme and Long John Silver's have both offered free food in the past to customers who order like Blackbeard.
You know that saying, "There’s no such thing as a stupid question?” There really isn’t on Sept. 28, when you're officially free to ask absolutely anything you want without fear of being judged.
A fashion website started this holiday dedicated to well-dressed members of the intelligence community in 2015. On Oct. 5, 1962, elegantly attired spy James Bond first made his big-screen debut.
Conspiracy theorists everywhere should be extra pleased by this day dedicated to inexplicable mysteries and events. Time to start researching Area 51, Bigfoot, and the Bermuda Triangle.
Famed American lexicographer Noah Webster, best-known for his book,"An American Dictionary of the English Language," was born on Oct. 16, 1758. Linguists and writers pay homage to the man and his literary legacy on his birthday every year.
The origin and meaning of this unofficial holiday are both unknown. For some reason, someone wanted people to spend October 21 counting shirt buttons, or perhaps starting a collection of vintage buttons? Either way, buttons should be involved.
Deviled eggs have been a popular hors d’oeuvre since World War II, but the dish’s origin actually traces back to ancient Rome. Whether you make them all the time or you’ve never tasted them, Nov. 2 is the best day to whip up a batch.
Bust out alliterative phrases like “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers” and “Shelley sells seashells by the seashore” on Nov. 8, because it’s Tongue Twister Day. Bizarre as the day might be, these devices sure do help improve your diction.
Like with Fresh Breath Day, hopefully this habit doesn’t require a holiday. Still, it’s never a bad idea to give the fridge a good deep cleaning every now and then.
Not that we aren’t thankful for indoor plumbing, but dedicating an entire day to it seems a little excessive—not to mention, icky. We’ll utter a quick “thank you” to indoor plumbing every now and then, and skip the holiday instead.
Normally, people stay home from work when they're coughing, sneezing, and generally feeling lousy. But what if you just spent the day in your PJs for fun? Stay Home Because You're Well Day encourages busy workers to take a day to rest, relax, and recharge before they're actually sick—though you might want to call it something else to your boss.
Stealthy masked warriors get some appreciation on Dec. 5 every year. Parody site Ninja Burger created this holiday in 2003, inspiring themed celebrations like ninjas posing in front of the Eiffel Tower and the release of an "Ask a Ninja" DVD.
"Doctor Who" fans know daleks well: These robotic creatures fought the Time Lords in the popular science-fiction series. Dec. 21 might be an appropriate time for a binge-watching party.
If you got a candy cane in your Christmas stocking, now is the time to eat it. This faux holiday is a sugar rush waiting to happen, so make sure to schedule a nap for the eventual crash.