Strange Days

We’re all aware of celebrations such as Easter, Eid and Thanksgiving, but how many other special days do you know? We select our favorites from the international calendar, some serious, some silly, all genuine.

 

International Day of Pink, 10 April

April isn’t just the month of showers and practical jokes. April 10th marks the International Day of Pink, when ‘communities across the country, and across the world, can unite in celebrating diversity and raising awareness to stop homophobic, transphobic & all forms of bullying.’ Pink Day began in Canada when two high school students intervened to prevent a gay student from being bullied. The student was wearing a pink shirt and his two supporters persuaded those against bullying to wear pink clothing in solidarity, resulting in the entire high school population dressing in the colour. Each year on the second Wednesday of April, millions of people wear pink to remember that positive actions make a difference. What better excuse do you need?  

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Illustration from a portfolio of watercolours of shoes , German School, (20th century) / Private Collection
Illustration from a portfolio of watercolours of shoes , German School, (20th century) / Private Collection

 

 

Wee Treat, 1991 (linocut), Willie Rodger (Contemporary Artist)
Wee Treat, 1991 (linocut), Willie Rodger (Contemporary Artist)

 


International No Diet Day, May 6

A time to delve into the biscuit barrel in ‘an annual celebration of body acceptance and diversity.’  The official symbol of No Diet Day is a blue ribbon; the unofficial symbol is a rice cake being bashed to pieces with a family-size bar of Dairy Milk. Tuck in.

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Doughnut Day, 7 June (USA)

Following close on the belt-busting No Diet Day, the Americas have National Doughnut Day on June 7, succeeding the Doughnut Day event created by The Salvation Army in 1938 to help the needy during the Great Depression which thanked the women who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I. This yearly observance takes place on the first Friday of June each year and celebrates the deep-fried glory that is the doughnut.

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Boys Chow Down on a Table in a Donut Eating Contest 1922 (photo) / Universal History Archive/UIG
Boys Chow Down on a Table in a Donut Eating Contest 1922 (photo) / Universal History Archive/UIG

 

The Betrayal of Christ, detail of the kiss, c.1305 (fresco), Giotto di Bondone (c.1266-1337) / Scrovegni (Arena) Chapel, Padua, Italy / Alinari

 

World Kiss Day, July 6

The idea behind the International Kissing Day is to celebrate the act as ‘an expression and experience of intimacy.’

Cultural connotations of kissing vary widely. A kiss may be used to express sentiments of love, passion, affection, respect, greeting, friendship, and good luck. The word comes from the Old English cyssan, "to kiss", which is derived from the earlier coss, "a kiss". The act of kissing has become a common expression of affection among many cultures worldwide. However, the act has dual meaning for Christian communities; the New Testament portrays Judas as betraying Jesus with a kiss.

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Talk Like a Pirate Day, September 19

The International Talk Like a Pirate Day (ITLAPD) is a parodic holiday which is held on September 19, 2013. It was created in 1995 by two American teenagers who proclaimed September 19th each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate. The holiday, and its observance, springs from a romanticized view of the Golden Age of Piracy.  Arrrrrr.

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Blackbeard the pirate (coloured engraving), English School, (19th century) / Private Collection / Peter Newark Historical Pictures
Blackbeard the pirate (coloured engraving), English School, (19th century) / Private Collection / Peter Newark Historical Pictures

 

 

A kind husband, illustration from 'Cole's Funny Picture Book', English School, (19th century) © Look and Learn
A kind husband, illustration from 'Cole's Funny Picture Book', English School, (19th century) © Look and Learn

 


World Kindness Day, November 13

This is a day that encourages individuals to overlook boundaries, race and religion. According to modern psychology, altruistic acts increase our own happiness in a profound way. The World Kindness Day was introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement. It is observed in many countries, including Canada, Japan, Australia, Nigeria and United Arab Emirates.

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