How many of you have heard of Sibling’s Day or National Weatherman’s Day? Maybe you’ve celebrated National Doughnut Day or May the 4th be With You (Star Wars Day). All these days have one thing in common – they are entirely made-up. These are just a few of the thousands of made-up holidays (often called national days) that exist.
Now, these made-up holidays celebrate things that don’t seem to be important or interesting enough to have actual, official holidays declared in their name, but somewhere along the line it was decided they should be acknowledged anyway. From what I’ve gathered, this reason was generally to promote a personal cause or discovery. However, some of these days seem to exist for the sole purpose of celebrating something mundane.
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Public Sleeping Day
Celebrated on February 28th each year, Public Sleeping Day is one of the made-up holidays I simply don’t understand. The day’s intent is to encourage people to get in touch with nature, which is apparently done by sleeping outdoors in public places. For those of you who live in areas that are cold during this time of the year – fear not, you’re allowed to sleep in indoor public places as well.
I have a couple of issues with this holiday. First and foremost, why in the world would anyone choose to sleep in public if they don’t have to? Think of anytime you’ve slept during a long layover or commute. Sure, you caught a few winks, but you were probably groggy and sore from sleeping in uncomfortable positions.
Now, I’m not sure if this started out as a nature-oriented holiday, or if this aspect was added later to give more legitimacy to the day. It seems like an afterthought to me. Either way, though, throwing nature into the mix doesn’t necessarily make sleeping in public any more enjoyable.
Sure, napping at the beach or a park can be pleasant, but at the back of your mind is the constant thought of all the people (and bugs) around you. If you’re fortunate enough to have a safe, comfortable place to sleep, maybe you should show it some appreciation. I’m sure you can find some other way to get in touch with nature.
I Forgot Day
Celebrated on July 2nd each year, I Forgot Day is dedicated to those who have a hard time remembering dates. While I support the sentiment of this day – remembering important dates is a very real struggle for some people – I have a fundamental issue with the core concept.
Basically, this day allows you to make up for the important dates you forgot over the past year. That seems harmless enough, but after a while, you end up not even trying to remember the actual dates. It’s much easier to remember one day than it is to remember dozens of birthdays, anniversaries, etc. I understand that people forget, but I don’t think we should encourage them to be lazy about it.
It’s also a struggle for me to appreciate having a specific day where we celebrate forgetting. I mean, if I can’t remember to wish my sister a happy birthday on her actual birthday, what are the odds I’ll remember to do it on July 2nd? Spoiler alert: they’re not great. Yes, I should be able to remember one day out of the year, but I doubt I’ll remember all the things I forgot throughout the year.
World Sauntering Day
Celebrated on June 19th each year, World Sauntering Day is one of those made-up holidays that I think should be celebrated every day. Sauntering is both a word that isn’t used nearly often enough and an activity that we don’t partake of nearly often enough. The whole point of World Sauntering Day is to take some time to go on a leisurely stroll or do something relaxing, which could greatly benefit all of us.
We spend massive amounts of time rushing from one thing to the next, which can be exhausting and unfulfilling. When we slow down, even briefly, we’re reminded of the finer things in life. We’re able to notice more details and discover aspects of the world that were previously hidden from us by the fast pace of daily life. Celebrating World Sauntering Day is a good place to start.
Common Sense Day
As far as made-up holidays go, Common Sense Day is one that really shouldn’t need to exist. It’s celebrated on October 25th each year. It’s a day where people are encouraged to use their common sense because apparently, most people don’t do this on a regular basis. Seriously, where do I even start?
There is a long-running joke that common sense is not so common anymore, and this fictional holiday really sends that message home. The fact that someone felt the need to dedicate a day to something that’s supposed to be common kind of makes that thing seem incredibly uncommon. Why would anyone need a reminder to use something they should be using on a regular basis? Drawing attention to the uncommonness of common sense doesn’t really make sense, other than to insult much of the population.
Although I’m all for common sense being a celebrated part of society, I don’t think it needs a specific day where this is the case. Seeing how it’s supposed to be common, we shouldn’t need to celebrate it at all. It doesn’t appear to be making a comeback anytime soon, though, so for now, perhaps it would be better to focus on why there seems to be such a lack of it.
Good Ol’ Fashioned Made-up Holidays
These few made-up holidays barely even begin to scratch the surface. Each day of the year hosts at least one fictional holiday, though many days host multiple. A quick internet search will give you access to the thousands of special days that vie for our attention, but here’s one for each month.
- January – Houseplant Appreciation Day
- February – Wave All Your Fingers at Your Neighbor Day
- March – If Pets Had Thumbs Day
- April – Draw a Picture of a Bird Day
- May – Lumpy Rug Day
- June – National Holler’ Contest Day
- July – Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day
- August – Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day
- September – Defy Superstition Day
- October – Bald and Free Day
- November – Marooned Without a Compass Day
- December – National Ding-a-Ling Day
Whether or not you choose to celebrate these or any other made-up holidays is entirely up to you. Some do bring awareness to important causes that might not get much attention otherwise, while others are more frivolous. Whatever they may celebrate, it’s clear these unofficial holidays aren’t going to disappear anytime soon. We may as well make the best of them.