Cheryl Hughes: Let's Celebrate
It is Sunday, June 2nd, and the newscaster informed me that today is National Rotisserie Chicken Day. I’ve always thought it a bit odd that our country marks every day and every week with some sort of special recognition. There is a National Wine Day, Margarita Day, Lasagna Day and Cookie Day just to name a few. If you need a complete list, you can visit nationaldaycalendar.com, the brain child of Marlo Anderson.
When Mr. Anderson created National Day Calendar in 2013, he cataloged 1,100 days the first year. The website receives about 18,000 suggestions per year. The suggestions are reviewed by a four-person team in a room in North Dakota. (There’s not a lot to do in North Dakota in the wintertime.) That means four people decided that August 5th is National Underwear Day—yes it’s a real day, created by the company Freshpair. To get a national day added to the calendar, you have to pay between $2,300 and $4,ooo, but the founder is quick to point out the day has to make it through the committee. You can’t just pay to create a new national day—National Sneak Some Zucchini On To Your Neighbor’s Porch Day was rejected by the committee. If your suggestion makes it through the vetting process, and you pay your thousands, you will receive a certificate saying your national day is official.
The US recognizes ten national holidays—Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.—and a few government sanctioned observances like Mother’s Day and National School Lunch Day, but by and large, our government stays out of creating and naming national days. President Ronald Reagan did however leave his mark on the calendar by creating National Ice Cream Day in 1984. It is still celebrated on the third Sunday in July.
Some national days go back to local traditions or history. National Donut Day—one of my personal favorites—owes its origin to the Salvation Army. During WWI, their members served donuts to the troops on the front lines, sometimes frying up the delectable treats in the soldiers’ helmets. National Donut Day is celebrated on the first Friday in June, when many shops give out free donuts. (I’ve got my tent and coffee ready for Thursday night.)
It isn’t just the US that marks celebration days. May 7th is World Cake Day and July 7th is World Chocolate Day. Luxembourg celebrates Pretzel Sunday (Bretzelsonndeg, for you linguists) on the fourth Sunday during Lent. Netherlands has National Pancake Day on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, and Turkmenistan has Melon Day on the second Sunday in August.
On Saturday, June 1st, Garey and I were in our garden setting out sweet potatoes. It wasn’t National Sweet Potato Day, that’s February 22nd, but the first week in June is National Gardening Week. The calendar suggests ways to observe the week by visiting your local library and county extension service for information or checking local listings for events near you or visiting gardenclub.org for more information on how to get involved.
I can give you information on how to get involved, but I’m not sure you’d like it. It involves three-and-a half hours of digging, setting, watering, covering and staking a net over about two hundred plants in the blazing sun. If I were you, I’d go with visiting your local air conditioned library.
Don’t forget to remember National Donut Day. It’s this Friday, June 7th.