Every day seems to commemorate something. There is Father's day, Mother's day, Valentine's day, Friendship day, etc. Most of these are marketing gimmicks to enable shops to sell more cards and gifts. But there are some less well-known and more interesting commemorative days. Did you know that today is French Toast Day? Here are some more such days:
- World Pangolin Day is the 16th of February. The pangolin, also known as a scaly ant-eater, is a rare, scale-covered mammal about the size of a house cat. It is insectivorous and mainly nocturnal. It is a shy animal that rolls up in a ball to protect itself. It can fend off lions in this manner, but not poachers who just pluck these critters out of the jungle and toss them into sacks. Pangolin meat and scales are quite valuable on the black market (the meat is considered a delicacy in China and Vietnam and the scales are used in traditional Chinese medicine) . The pangolin is thought to be the most trafficked mammal in the world. So one can't grudge it having a day to itself.
- Pi (Greek letter ) Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world. It also happens to be Albert Einstien's birthday. In 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution designating March 14 as "National Pi Day" to encourage “schools and educators to observe the day with appropriate activities that teach students about Pi and engage them about the study of mathematics.” This is the day for you to bone up on some facts and impress everyone at parties.
- Towel Day (25th of May) is celebrated as a tribute to the late author Douglas Adams (1952-2001). On that day, fans around the universe carry a towel in his honour, a way for them to say 'Thanks for all the fish'. The importance of the towel was explained in his book The Hitch hiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you — daft as a brush, but very very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost." What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
- World Beard Day is celebrated the first Saturday of September. Whether you prefer a goatee, Van Dyke, mutton chops, or chin curtain this is the day dedicated to your facial glory. It is all about promoting and elevating the global status of the the beard. Shaving on World Beard Day is universally considered to be highly disrespectful. Things can get quite weird on this day. For eg., in the Swedish village of Dönskborg, anyone without a beard is banished from the town and forced to spend twenty-four hours in a nearby forest. Back in the town, the hirsute burn effigies of their clean-chinned loved ones. The "Official World Beard Day All-Bearded Human Pyramid" pits countries against each other in a battle for national pride.
- Ada Lovelace Day is an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). It is celebrated on 13 October. It is aimed at highlighting role models to inspire the next generation in the hope that increasing their visibility will inspire future generations. Ada Lovelace Day was founded in 2009 because of a worry that women in tech were invisible. Lovelace was Lord Byron’s daughter, though she didn’t know her father very well. She was schooled in maths and science, unlike the majority of girls at the time she was growing up. Her social circle included Charles Babbage, and her grasp of the potential for his Analytical Engine has led her to be hailed as the first computer programmer.
- International mud day is celebrated on June 29th. It is the day where children, adults, and organizations across the globe get muddy to raise awareness about the importance of nature for children. After all, as American botanist Luther Burbank said, “Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers,water bugs, tadpoles, frogs, mud turtles, wild strawberries, acorns, chestnuts, trees to climb. Brooks to wade…bees, butterflies, various animals to pet, hayfields, pine-cones, rocks to toll, sand, snakes and hornets; any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of…education.”