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Outrageous holidays for every week of the year

  • Smwindham // Wikicommons
    1/ Smwindham // Wikicommons

    Outrageous holidays for every week of the year

    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). 

  • Jonathunder // Wikicommons
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    #1. January 3: Fruitcake Toss Day

    Despite what the name might imply, this holiday doesn’t mean January 3rd 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. 

  • merec0 // Wikicommons
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    #2. January 8: Houseplant Appreciation Day

    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. 

     

  • Chilling by the Beach //Wikicommons
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    #3. January 16: Nothing Day

    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.

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    #4. January 23: National Handwriting Day

    Started by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association in 1977, this holiday celebrates the history of penmanship. The association chose January 23rd, John Hancock’s birthday, as an homage to the first signatory of the Declaration of Independence.

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    #5. February 1: Work Naked Day

    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.

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    7/ Alexa // Wikicommons

    #6. February 4: Stuffed Mushroom Day

    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.

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    #7. February 11: Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk Day

    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.”

     

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    #8. February 23: International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day

    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.

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    10/ Brad Greenlee // Flickr

    #9. February 26: Tell a Fairy Tale Day

    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.

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    #10. March 8: Proofreading Day

    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. 

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    #11. March 11: Oatmeal Nut Waffle Day

    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.

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    #12. March 23: OK Day

    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.

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    #13. March 28: Something on a Stick Day

    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.

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    #14. April 6: Sorry Charlie Day

    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.”

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    #15. April 11: Barbershop Quartet Day

    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.

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    #16. April 17: Haiku Poetry Day

    Aspiring poets

    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.

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    #17. April 26: Richter Scale Day

    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.

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    #18. April 29: Zipper Day

    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.

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    #19. May 9: Lost Sock Memorial Day

    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. 

     

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    #20. May 13: Frog Jumping Day

    Supposedly inspired by Mark Twain’s short story "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog," this holiday is the perfect opportunity to admire these energetic amphibians. The town of Calaveras, California even hosts a Jumping Frog Jubilee every year, though it doesn’t always fall on May 13.

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    #21. May 21: Talk Like Yoda Day

    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.

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    #22. May 29: Put a Pillow on Your Fridge Day

    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.

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    #23. June 5: Sausage Roll Day

    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.

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    #24. June 13: International Axe Throwing Day

    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.

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    #25. June 18: International Panic Day

    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. 

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    #26. June 28: Paul Bunyan Day

    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.

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    #27. July 4: Sidewalk Egg Frying Day

    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. 

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    29/ Virginia State Parks // Flickr

    #28. July 10: Teddy Bear Picnic Day

    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.

     

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    #29. July 17: Yellow Pig Day

    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.

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    #30. July 22: Pi Approximation Day

    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.

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    #31. July 31: Uncommon Musical Instruments Day

    Forget the tuba, bass and flute: July 31 is dedicated to all the bizarre and less-common instruments out there. It’s the perfect day of the year to take up the didgeridoo or bowafridgeaphone.

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    #32. August 6: Fresh Breath 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 pretty rough shape.

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    #33. August 18: Mail Order Catalog Day

    In this era of exploding e-commerce, the idea of placing an order by sending a letter in return to a mail order catalog that arrived in your mailbox is laughable to many shoppers. Apparently enough people—or old-fashioned retailers, more likely—want to celebrate the shopping medium that they’ve dedicated a date in August to catalogs.

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    #34. August 24: Pluto Demotion Day

    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.”  

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    #35. August 28: Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day

    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 the day?

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    #36. September 2: Bison Ten Yell Day

    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.

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    #37. September 14: Cream-Filled Doughnut Day

    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.

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    39/ Jeff Hitchcock // Wikicommons

    #38. September 22: Hobbit Day

    The American Tolkien Society proclaimed September 22 Hobbit Day in 1978 in honor of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictional world from "The Lord of the Rings." In fact, the entire week is known as "Tolkien Week: to fans.

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    #39. September 28: Ask a Stupid Question Day

    You know that saying “there’s no such thing as a stupid question?” There really isn’t on September 28, when you're officially free to ask absolutely anything you want without fear of being judged.

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    #40. October 5: Chic Spy Day

    A fashion website started this holiday dedicated to well-dressed members of the intelligence community in 2015. On October 5, 1962, elegantly attired spy James Bond first made his big-screen debut.

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    #41. October 9: Curious Events Day

    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!

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    #42. October 16: Dictionary Day

    Famed American lexicographer Noah Webster, best-known for his book, "An American Dictionary of the English Language," was born on October 16, 1758. Linguists and writers pay homage to the man and his literary legacy on his birthday every year.

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    #43. October 21: Count Your Buttons Day

    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.

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    #44. November 2: Deviled Egg Day

    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, November 2nd is the best day to whip up a batch.

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    #45. November 8: Tongue Twister Day

    Bust out alliterative phrases like “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers” and “Shelley sells seashells by the seashore” on November 8th, because it’s Tongue Twister Day. Bizarre as the day might be, these devices sure do help improve your diction.

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    47/ JacindaWalker // Flickr

    #46. November 15: Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day

    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.

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    #47. November 19: World Toilet Day

    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.

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    #48. December 1: Eat a Red Apple Day

    That old phrase “an apple a day keeps a doctor away” dates back to the 1860s in Wales, but we’re guessing this unofficial holiday is much younger. While apples are undoubtedly healthy, you have to wonder: What do we have against Granny Smith and Golden Delicious, anyway?

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    #49. December 5: Day of the Ninja

    Stealthy masked warriors get some appreciation on December 5th 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.

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    #50. December 11: Noodle Ring Day

    Bake pasta in a bundt pan or ring mold and you’ve got a noodle ring, a somewhat unusual dish that became popular in the 1930s and 1940s. Noodle rings can be either sweet (like this recipe with cinnamon, brown sugar and pecans) or savory (like this German version with cheese sauce). 

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    #51. December 21: International Dalek Remembrance Day

    "Doctor Who" fans know daleks well: These robotic creatures fought the Time Lords in the popular science-fiction series. December 21st might be an appropriate time for a binge-watching party.

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    #52. December 29: Pepper Pot Day

    Unlike most other food holidays, Pepper Pot Day has a patriotic bent. Supposedly, this stew made from tripe, vegetable scraps, and spices kept George Washington’s troops going through a long, cold winter at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania and ultimately allowed them to win the war. Whether the story is true or not, you could certainly take advantage of this day, and whip up a batch for yourself.

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