Spreading the holiday spirit

Many of our holidays make sense on some level. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus, Remembrance Day exists for us to acknowledge the sacrifices made by those defending us, and Halloween allows us to connect with our inner pagan.

But others? Why does St. Patrick get a day and a colour all to himself? What exactly does Labour Day represent? Why do we talk like a pirate every September 19?

In reality, holidays are an arbitrary designation. Given enough publicity, any day could be a holiday, any event could be worth remembering. So here are a few suggestions for holidays you can celebrate between now and the end of the year.

If you’re reading this issue of The Sputnik on the day it was released, you might be interested to know that it was on November 18, 1963 that the first touch-tone telephone was introduced. All you have to do to celebrate International Touch-Tone Day is make a phone call, so why not join in?

November 19 is both International Men’s Day and International Toilet Day – so kill two birds with one stone by walking into a mens’ washroom stall.

It’s unfortunate that November 21 falls on a Saturday this year, because World Hello Day – where your goal is to say hi to ten people – would be a lot easier if you were in class. At least this day being a Saturday makes it easier to celebrate World Television Day.

You might be tired after celebrating five holidays in four days, but you’d better get rested up by December 4 for Barborka – a Polish holiday meant to celebrate miners, not to be confused with Michael Jackson’s birthday, August 29, which allegedly celebrates minors.

The next day, December 5, is both International Day of the Ninja and Krampus, an Austrian festival that involves young men dressing up as a mythical beast and frightening children with rusty chains.

Anna’s Day is celebrated in Sweden and Finland on December 9 – a holiday recognizing anybody named Anna. Two days later in Argentina, Tango Day celebrates a popular dance. Monkey Day is observed on December 14, primarily with costume parties.

Seinfeld taught us that December 23 is a Festivus for the rest of us, but did you know that it’s also the Night of the Radishes in Oaxaca, Mexico? Oaxacans grow giant radishes – some up to three kilograms in weight – in preparation for this event, and then make radish sculptures.

So this December, while you’re eating Christmas dinner, remember that holidays go beyond the obvious ones where you don’t have to go to school or work – with enough research, you can make any day a holiday!

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