By Brahmjot Kaur
The following article appeared in the November 2019 edition of The Campus.
Okay what are these random holidays that your Aunt Kathy or Cousin Joe are posting about on Facebook? Every month, we see a new post on Instagram or a different social media app with a caption like “Happy National Garlic Day!!” or “Happy National Give Your Daughter Money Day!” and I think many of us, myself included, find it is getting a little ridiculous. I mean we have “National Drinking Straw Day” and “National Pi Day,” not to be confused with “National Pie Day” though which is actually in January.
How do these random holidays even become a thing?
After doing a little digging, a book known as Chase’s Calendar of Events is found repeatedly in other online articles. It is a reference book with over 12,500 events, holidays, and anniversaries. The book has been circulating since 1957 with a new edition every year. The senior editor at Chase’s, Holly McGuire, told The New York Times that at first, it was the government who compiled the holidays. Then, they got tired of it and Chase’s was given the honorary baton of holiday-ing up the country. In reality, anyone can make up a holiday. A lot of people will try to establish a day as a holiday the old-fashioned way, which is by asking an elected official to make it a day.
I tried looking for a PDF or an affordably priced version of Chase’s book and to be honest, for a book of national holidays, it sure it difficult to find without selling your arms on the black market. So, I opted for the next best thing. Some websites vary in their lists of November holidays, probably since there’s so many. I’d like to share some of my favorite from this month.
Here are a few holidays that made me raise an eyebrow this November:
11/2: National Plan Your Epitaph Day (Morbid but seems fun, I guess)
11/3: National Sandwich Day
11/6: National Marooned without a Compass Day (???)
11/7: Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day (a bit long for a title but okay, they taste pretty good)
11/13: World Kindness Day (Kinda corny, but I think with the current climate we’re in, maybe it would be a nice reminder)
11/14: Spicy Guacamole Day (I think mild guacamole and medium guacamole are due an apology)
11/17: Homemade Bread Day (sponsored by the Homemade Bread Day Committee of Montague, MI which is wild because I didn’t think anyone was this passionate about bread)
11/29: Square Dance Day (Apparently a lot of people learned square dancing in gym class and I just have one question: why is square dancing so significant that high schools are teaching this nationally? I don’t remember learning this, but I also have two left feet.)
I understand that these random holidays are probably just ploys from different groups and companies to attract business or make a point, but it can be nice to change your daily routine and add a piece of bittersweet chocolate with almonds here and a touch of spicy guacamole there. I agree some of these seem like a reach but sometimes we need to appreciate the small things in life, too. I really enjoy homemade bread. Homemade bread tastes significantly better than store-bought factory bread that you would find in the bread aisle at the grocery store. However, it doesn’t cross my mind normally. Maybe we should consider adding a little razzle dazzle in what is normally an average November, or any other month for that matter. National Plan Your Epitaph Day may be a little morbid, but it really gets the creative juices flowing. Will I want a quote? Maybe I’ll add something creative like a tried and true recipe for a good cupcake since I love cupcakes, or maybe I’ll be sassy with something like “Wow, it’s really dark down here,” or maybe I’ll just get cremated. Whichever way the cookie really crumbles, planning your epitaph seems fun and would be a real laugh with your friends.
Let’s be clear, some of these holidays really are whack. I’m just saying how it is. But you know what? It’s fun. So, stay whack, y’all.