I've spent half a century (yikes) writing for radio and print—mostly print. I hope to be still tapping the keys as I take my last breath.
U.S. President Joe Biden signed into law that Juneteenth (June 19) be celebrated as a national holiday to mark the emancipation of slaves.
However, there are thousands of far less significant events that get their own day of acknowledgement. For example, the day on which this article was started, June 18, is variously International Picnic Day, Flip Flop Day, Go Fishing Day, Clean Your Aquarium Day, and Take Back the Lunch Break Day.
Days for Math
This being an area for which the writer has negative expertise let's get may days out of the way first.
For those who dabble in chemistry October 23 from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m., is special. It's Mole Day and it celebrates the work of the 19th century Italian scientist Amedeo Carlo Avogadro.
Here we have to turn to the expertise of Dr. Anne Maria Helmenstine who explains that “A mole is a unit of measurement used when existing measurements are inadequate, and its particle measurement is based on Avogadro's number.” And, we all remember from chemistry classes that the good Signor Avogadro's number is 6.02214076 × 1023—giving us the time of 6.02 from the first digits as the time of day and 1023 as October 23.
Dr. Helmenstine reminds us that chemists are renowned for their senses of humour so, in a ThoughtCo article, she gives us a list of thigh-slapping Mole jokes. Here is an example:
Q: What kind of test do chemistry students like best?
A: Mole-tiple choice.
Enough of the wild hilarity, let's move on to Pi Day. It falls on March 14, because the value of Pi is 3.14. (Coincidentally, March 14 was Albert Einstein's birthday). One dimly recalls that Pi has something to do with the circumference and diameter of a circle and has had absolutely no relevance to my life since passing an important math exam in the summer of 1959.
Pi Day was founded in 1988 by the American physicist Larry Shaw and has gone on to great fame as being acknowledged as a thing by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009. Celebrations usually involve the recitation of the infinite sequence of Pi numbers and pie-eating contests—of course it does.
The square root is another mathematical thingamajig that has troubled the writer only once in 78 years on the planet, and that was during that 1959 math exam. Merriam-Webster notes that a square root is “a factor of a number that when squared gives the number.” That clears things up.
The intriguing thing is that a high school teacher in Redwood City, California, Ron Gordon, thought the arithmetical rascal was worthy of having its own day. But, given the nature of the calculation a Square Root Day only turns up once every nine years or so. According to Michael D. Lemonick (Scientific American) the last one was was April 14, 2016: “Four times four, or 42, is 16, and since today’s date is 4/4/16, this is—wait for it—square root day!” The next one is May 5, 2025, or 5/5/25.
A fun activity for the big day is eating such things as radishes and rutabagas that have been cut into squares—root vegetables you see, get it. Sounds awesome.
Days for Food
National Sticky Bun Day falls on February 21. German settlers took their beloved schnecken to Pennsylvania in the 18th century. Similar confections go by names such as monkey bread, cinnamon rolls, or caramel rolls.
Marketing people can't let a sales opportunity slip by so they've created artificial celebrations to shill their products. So, we have:
- National Nutella Day—February 2
- National Egg McMuffin Day—March 2
- National M&M Day—October 13
There's a National Avocado Day (July 31), a National Guacamole Day (September 16), and a National Spicy Guacamole Day (November 14) . It seems a little bit greedy to have three days for basically the same thing.
Then, there are days for items you've never heard of:
- Fluffernutter Day is October 8 and it celebrates a sandwich in which peanut butter and marshmallows are squished between two slices of bread.
- Pupusa Day occurs on the second Sunday in November and asks us to pay homage to a flatbread stuffed with meat, beans, bell peppers, carrots, and anything else, it seems, that is hanging about in the kitchen.
- Coquito is a Puerto Rico concoction of milk, coconut milk, and rum. Its special day is December 21, which allows folk a chance to limber up for the heavy drinking to come.
National Buffet Day is scheduled for January 2, the day after people make New Year's resolutions to lose weight. The Swedish get the credit (if that's the right word) for taken the buffet to America, when they featured what they call a smörgåsbord in their pavilion at the World's Fair in New York in 1939. Attendees could gorge themselves on such delicacies as pickled or fermented herring. Yum.
COVID-19 makes buffet dining a bit risky but comedian John Pinette might have been willing to take a chance, but sadly, he's no longer with us.
Strange Celebratory Days
January 3 is National Drinking Straw Day. A fellow called Marvin Stone patented the drinking straw on January 3, 1888. His version was made of paper, but then the product went plastic and has now fallen into disgrace. Ecocycle.org says that 500,000 plastic straws are used and thrown away in America every day. And, there's another downside. By sucking liquids through a tube, people take in a lot of air, which goes to the stomach and onwards.
And, that leads us inexorably to National Farting Day. Food writer Mairlyn Smith says tooting should be celebrated on March 1. Other authorities put the date at February 5, or July 31. Of course, it's a daily occurrence of between 10 and 20 gas releases every 24 hours for most people.
There are several special occasions that involve nakedness. Cavorting au naturel is on July 14, when Nude Day is celebrated around the globe. It was started in New Zealand, where July is the middle of winter. Tough folk those Kiwis.
More festivities in the buff get underway on the first Saturday in May with World Naked Gardening Day. The cognoscenti of this event warn male, naked gardeners to be especially careful when using shears and string trimmers.
Early June marks World Naked Bike Ride in cities everywhere, although it does occasionally cause ructions. During the 2021 event in New Orleans, someone dressed as a dominatrix started whipping cyclists with a riding crop. Otherwise, the event went off without a stitch—er—hitch.
On July 10, 1875, Edmund Clerihew Bentley was born in England. He gave the world a rhyming couplet form that is biographical and that takes his middle name. So, on July 10 every year aficionados pay homage to poems such as this:
Sir Humphry Davy
He lived in the odium
Of having discovered sodium.
If there's a National Clerihew Day then there ought to be a National Limerick Day, and there is; it's May 12. The day marks the birth of Edward Lear. He didn't invent the limerick, in fact nobody seems to know who did, but he perfected the nonsense version of the form. The obscene variant followed almost immediately.
There once was a maid from Madras
Who had a magnificent ass.
Not rounded and pink,
as you'd possibly think;
It was gray, had long ears, and ate grass.
Shockingly, there's a glaring omission in the calendar, there is no Iambic Pentameter Day. That does not stop us from declaiming in the shower from Twelfth Night:
If music be the food of love, play on.
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken and so die.
That strain again! It had a dying fall.
- Amusingly, there is an American Beer Day, which occurs on October 27. It's a mystery why it doesn't fall on World Water Day (March 22) considering both water and American beer are identical.
- If you think there's something over-the-top goofy about National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day (March 11), National Take a Wild Guess Day (April 15), and National Lumpy Rug Day May 3), there's a day for you; National Absurdity Day falls on November 20.
- “Mole Day Jokes and Humor.” Dr. Anne Maria Helmenstine, ThoughtCo, January 14, 2020.
- “On Pi Day, One Number 'Reeks of Mystery.' ” Elizabeth Landau, CNN, March 12, 2010.
- “It's Square Root Day! Prepare to Be Somewhat Underwhelmed.” Michael D. Lemonick, Scientific American, April 4, 2016.
- “Food & Beverage Holidays.” nationaltoday.com, undated.
- “The Last Plastic Straw.” plasticstrawcoalition.org, undated.
- “National Farting Day.” Mairlyn Smith, mairlynsmith.com, February 26, 2019.
- “At World Naked Bike Ride, French Quarter Cyclists Whipped by 'Dominatrix' with Riding Crop.” Doug MacCash, Times-Picayune, June 19, 2021.
- “Is the Limerick a Limerick Invention? Matthew Potter, Irish Times, August 25, 2017.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Rupert Taylor
Joanne Hayle from Wiltshire, U.K. on June 25, 2021:
A great fun piece...thanks for letting me know about days I had no idea existed!
Rupert Taylor (author) from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada on June 25, 2021:
What with National Gumdrop Day (February 15) and National Fig Newton Day (January 16), there's a rich vein of nonsense ready to be mined.
Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on June 25, 2021:
This is hilarious, Rupert. I love your sense of humor!
BTW, Fluffernutter is one of my favorite things to eat when I get a hankering for something sweet. And it's got to be on soft white bread. Totally unhealthy, but satisfies my sweet tooth when it kicks in. Oh - it's peanut butter and marshmellow fluff, which are whipped marshmellows.
Today, June 25th is Log Cabin Day, National Catfish Day, National Food Truck Day (4th Friday in June), and National Take Your Dog to Work Day (Friday after Father's Day).
Yep, there's a day for everything!
This was fun, Rupert. Thanks for brightening the day with your humor.
Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on June 23, 2021:
I'm laughing out loud!
Rupert Taylor (author) from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada on June 23, 2021:
Brenda - I didn't forget National Pet Day. Neither did I forget National Fudge Day or National French Fry Day. I had to be selective otherwise the article would have ended up in the 10,000-word level. And, if you have a pet, everyday is Pet Day; just ask Her Majesty Cleo the cat in our household.
BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on June 22, 2021:
It seems like everyday I get in my car & turn on the radio...it's a day for something I've never known exist.
Oh but...didnt you forget national pet day.
Eat ice cream day is my favorite.
John Hansen from Queensland Australia on June 22, 2021:
Oh certainly, we cannot forget National Wombat Day, or the Bundy and Coke.
Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on June 22, 2021:
The avogadro number (or constant) was very memorable to me in my chemistry lessons besides the others. But I greatly welcome June 18 as an official holiday for the remembrance for the freedom of slaves. Thanks to Abraham Licolm. And glory to God.
Rupert Taylor (author) from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada on June 22, 2021:
In addition John, you'll need to set aside October 22 and have a glass or two of Bundy Rum handy to celebrate National Wombat Day.
John Hansen from Queensland Australia on June 22, 2021:
Rupert, thank you for have drawing my attention to all of these important days. I will do my best to celebrate each and every one of them. An interesting and informative article.a.