What a difference a day makes: The rise and rise of national awareness days

If you thought Spain held the monopoly on high days and holidays you’d be wrong

LAST UPDATED: 28 Feb, 2017 @ 14:32
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going-nuts-the-greetings-card-industry-is-squirreling-it-away-thanks-to-national-daysSO how’s your Dry January going?

Did it all fall apart on January 17, aka National Ditch Your New Year Resolutions Day?

Or are you staving off a binge until Beer Can Appreciation Day (Jan 24) and National Irish Coffee Day (Jan 25)?

Are you aware how many awareness days, weeks and months of the year there are?

If you thought Spain held the monopoly on high days and holidays you’d be wrong.

In 2017, UN International Year for Sustainable Tourism Development, January is National Bath Safety Month, Blood Donor Month, Braille Literacy Month and Hot Tea Month while National Hugging Day, Squirrel Appreciation Day and Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day are all coming up this weekend.

There are so many theme days, Stateside, they created National Nothing Day on January 16, just to give Americans a break.

Of course, only Nanny State Britain could invent a whole month without alcohol, an act of post-Christmas cold turkey madness IMHO, especially as January is the most popular month to file for divorce, good reason for anyone to hit the bottle.

And do they seriously think the Scots will be observing Dry January on Burns Night, coming up next week?

But if you’re having trouble keeping your resolutions never fear, there’s a theme day to make it a lot easier.

Those struggling with their New Year New You diet may be heartened to hear that coming up over the last fortnight in January, in chronological order, there are ‘national days’ dedicated to popcorn, butter crunch, the granola bar, the blonde brownie (made with white chocolate) peanut brittle, chocolate cake, blueberry pancakes, corn chips and croissants.

Only in America, land of the free, the brave and the clinically obese …

The US calendar champions multiple causes on a daily basis and although none are official holidays, some have gone viral with many workers forfeiting a day of their annual leave to join in the fun.

Groundhog Day, celebrated every February 2 in Pennsylvania since 1841, went viral after the movie and the ‘Pennys’ are still making tourist megabucks out of the buck-tooth, weather-forecasting critters.

The trend has gone global.

Take Your Houseplant for a Walk Day (July 27), is BBC-coverage big. And, ahoy all you scurvy bilge rats out there, don’t miss Talk Like A Pirate Day on September 19 when normally sane folk don eye patches and bandanas and go around with toy parrots on their shoulders squawking ‘Pieces of Eight’.

One man alone appears to be responsible for the crazier ‘national days’. Pennsylvania DJ Thomas Roy invented and copyrighted over 90 in the last 26 years to liven up his radio show, including  Married to a Scorpio Support Day (November 18) and Hoodie-Hoo Day (Feb 20), when everyone is supposed to hit the streets at the stroke of noon to shout ‘hoodie hoo’.

A surprising number of people do.

“I just started doing it as a lark but it’s kind of scary,” says Roy.

“This is how politicians get into office with these nonsensical ideas, and people buy into it.”

It seems anyone can create a theme day and March 23 is Create Your Own Holiday Day, the perfect excuse.

I’m thinking of Pay Newspaper Columnists Double Day. How about it, Ed?

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