Did you know that today is ‘Doctor’s Day’, yesterday was ‘Smoke and Mirrors Day’ and tomorrow is ‘Eiffel Tower Day’?! Last week my Facebook feed was filled with cute photos of our furry friends as it was ‘National Puppy Day’. It seems like nowadays there is literally a day to celebrate anything and everything here in the UK, and so this got me thinking about what weird and wonderful days our friends overseas celebrate, and after a little research online and speaking to friends and colleagues, it seems they are just as inventive as the Brits!
There are a number of more commonly known national holidays and celebrations throughout Europe and the rest of the world which you may already have heard of, such as Oktoberfest in Germany or Bastille Day in France. Spain also certainly has its fair share of celebrations, mainly in the form of fiestas, such as ‘La Festa Major de Gracia’ in Barcelona and ‘La Tomatina’ (a tomato throwing festival) in Valencia.
There are, however, also some more quirky celebrations, similar to those we have in the UK, which you may not be so familiar with. These include: ‘Waffle Day’ which is celebrated in Sweden on March 25th, ‘International Sloth Day’ in Colombia on 20th October and ‘Fat Thursday’ in Poland which precedes Ash Wednesday, and is all about eating as much unhealthy food as you can before Lent.
Of course many of the whacky days we now celebrate in the UK originate from the States. Some of the celebrations which may not yet have reached our shores include: ‘Stuffed Mushroom Day’ (4th February), which encourages people to make and consume lots of stuffed mushrooms; ‘International Goof Off Day’ (22nd March), which encourages people to take the day off to relax and do unproductive and useless things; and even ‘Working Naked Day’ (3rd February), which I’m sure needs no explaining, although we’d advise working from home if you’re planning to celebrate that one!
The variety of these national holidays highlights just how diverse and different cultures can be – what makes sense or is widely celebrated in one country could be completely alien to another. On an international stage, speaking someone’s language – literally and figuratively – could not be of higher importance.