Today is Melbourne Cup Day in the land Down Under. A day when one single horse race stops an entire nation – at least, that’s how it’s billed. This day is considered to be a semi-public holiday by many Australians and in this, the month of Movember, I’ve been thinking about the many special dates of national and international celebration that have been established throughout the World.
Naturally, we have the big and important ones. Days, weeks and months of religious, humanitarian, political and medical significance that hopefully rouse within us a greater sense of humanity. Ignoring the argument that some of these days have been over commercialised, it’s heartening to see that movements are endeavouring to make the World a better place.
We all know the big ones. While they’re definitely deserving of attention, I’m here right now to help out the little guys. I’m an underdog supporter you know, and some of these internationally observed dates are not receiving their share of the limelight. International Talk Like a Pirate Day has led the charge for off-beat celebrations, but there a re a few more that could use a bit of horn-blowing. Without any further ado, here are some dates that could do with a little more love from everyone around the World:
Pi Day (March 14, 1:59:26 AM or PM) – This day celebrates Pi (of course) and whoever says that mathematicians don’t have a sense of humor are in for a treat. In addition to the “official” Pi Day, Pi Approximation Days are also celebrated on dates that mathematically calculate to approximately Pi. If maths doesn’t float your boat, there’s been a consideration added. Pi Day is also celebrated with pies. Win-Win.
Star Wars Day (May 4) – The unofficial religion of Jedi has instigated this day as their first potential holiday. It’s celebrated by Star Wars enthusiasts everywhere and has been chosen for it’s humorous pun reference to the famous quote “May the Force be with you”. Indeed.
International No Diet Day (May 6) – With the strain that society is putting on people to be thin and “perfect”, it’s good to have a day when we just enjoy our meals. Go on – sit around with your family and/or friends and spend some time having a good meal and a great time. Have seconds if you feel like it; but leave room for dessert!
World Turtle Day (May 23) – Because these guys need help! They’re just innocent turtles and tortoises!
Towel Day (May 25) – A day of tribute to the late author Douglas Adams. You may remember him from such creations as “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” and “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency”. Following is a quote from the man himself concerning the greatness of towels which has been the inspiration of Towel day. Be prepared for the possibility of space travel. On May 25th, carry a towel everywhere with you.
A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough. More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
World Rubber Day (September 12) – No, it’s not part of Contraception Awareness Week. As the name suggests, this day celebrates the registration of the patent for manufacturing artificial rubber. I know you are all very excited about this; I too cannot fathom how it has escaped the public eye for as long as it has!
Are there any other little-known celebrations or awareness days that should be added to this list? I thought about adding World Rabies Day because when I initially read it I thought “Wow, a day where we celebrate rabies? What do we do, run around biting each other?” But then I realized that was in bad taste. Rabies prevention is serious business.