This month, every Aussie out there will be revelling in our coolest national holiday – Australia Day. But around the globe, celebrations aren’t always so of the norm. Here’s a quick look at some weird national days and celebrations that might not seem legit … but really are!
Image: Kennedy Library
If you’re in school in the US, whether as a student or teacher, September 28is the day to ask stupid questions. This day originated sometime in the 80s and was meant to encourage kids to speak up in class and not be embarrassed about things they didn’t understand. We reckon, though, that this day is really just full of jokes and quips.
Uhh … well, okay then! No one really nose (ha!) when, why or how International Nose Picking Day first made its appearance, but it seems to fall each year on April 23. We suppose this is the one day of the year when it’s acceptable to do some picking in public … but for the love of life, make sure you have a tissue with you!
Okay, so it’s a ‘night’ rather than a ‘day,’ but it still counts. In Oaxaca, Mexico, locals and visitors flock to the streets on December 23 every year to partake in some hardcore radish carving and the radish competition. This event has been going on since 1897, and the grand prize winner takes home 15,000 pesos (the equivalent of about AU$1,200).
Image: Lane Hartwell
Yes, it has an official day! Each year on January 15, Wikipedians (those folk who write and edit articles) all around the world pay heed to the birthday of Wikipedia. Generally, they get together and eat cake or something of the sort, and celebrate the 5 million+ English articles on the Wiki database.
Image: Sonja Kübelbeck
We know December 26 as Boxing Day, but in Ireland, it’s St. Stephens Day and also Wren Day. What few celebrations there are around the country involve young Irish lads (wrenboys) hunting a fake wren, fastening it to the top of a pole, and singing and dancing in the streets in their costumes. Why does this all go on? The legends are a little unclear, but it’s generally thought that a wren betrayed the Christian martyr of St. Stephen and hence must face punishment.
Image: Ian Muttoo
You either got it … or you can fake it! In South Africa, National Cleavage Day falls sometime in March or April and is sponsored (unsurprisingly) by Wonderbra, Cosmo and a Johannesburg-based radio station. This day is all for a good cause, with proceeds going to the Sunflower Fund, which helps South Africans affected by blood diseases.
Image: United Soybean Board
Otherwise known as Setsubun, bean throwing day is a popular one in Japan and takes place one day before the start of spring, usually around February 3 and on par with the lunar new year. On this day, and throughout the accompanying Setsubun Festival, the Japanese throw soybeans around their houses and in other places to scare off evil ogres and spirits.
Image: Amber Kennedy
It shares its day with Valentine’s Day – February 14 – and fittingly, it requires you to take a ride on a Ferris wheel to celebrate. February 14is the birthday of the Ferris wheel inventor, George Washington Gale Ferris Jr., who was born in 1859. Not a bad excuse for a romantic Valentine’s activity!
Yes, we give you permission to eat chocolate by the bucketful on this day. In the US, chocolate mint day is a special one for the National Confectioners Association, who have deemed February 19 as Chocolate Mint Day. Of course, it can be celebrated by anyone around the world – even you! But then again, who needs an excuse to eat chocolate?