45 Offbeat Holidays to Celebrate in April

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iStock.com/jhayes44

Spring is in the air—and with these offbeat holidays, there's more than just the weather to celebrate. (Even if you don’t like pranks or chocolate Bunnies.)

  1. April 2: National Ferret Day

    We'll definitely be celebrating these furry little guys.

  1. April 2: National Love Your Produce Manager Day

    Let’s give it up for all produce men and women everywhere.

  1. April 2: International Children's Book Day

    Celebrated since 1967, this holiday takes place on Hans Christian Andersen's birthday. 

  1. April 3: Tweed Day

    Summer is coming, so dust off your favorite tweed clothing item and get in one last wear before it's crop top and linen season.

  1. April 4: National Tell-A-Lie Day

    Honesty is generally the best policy, according to one of our founding fathers. But today, you have carte blanche to fib your heart out.

  1. April 5: National Deep Dish Pizza Day

    Deep fish pizza with candles in it
    iStock.com/liveslow

    A day to appreciate sky-high pies, or argue over the best pizza in all the land.

  1. April 5: Read a Road Map Day

    There was a time not so long ago when we had to consult large, folded pieces of paper to figure out directions from point A to point B. Thanks to GPS and Google Maps, this is now practically a holiday of antiquity. But you can’t use a Sharpie to draw a route on your smartphone, so score one for the road map.

  1. April 6: Tartan Day

    Show off your Scottish heritage, and grab your kilt while you're at it.

  1. April 6: International Pillow Fight Day

    Have a pillow fight

  1. April 6: Sorry Charlie Day

    This holiday was inspired by Charlie the Tuna—the cartoon mascot for StarKist and the subject of an advertising campaign that ran until the 1980s. In the spots, Charlie purports to have good taste, and wants to be recruited by the company, but is perpetually rejected via a sign on a fish hook that reads, "Sorry, Charlie." (As the narrator explains, they're interested in tuna that tastes good, not tuna with good taste.) The ads spawned a national catchphrase, and this holiday seeks to recognize all those who have lived through rejection and still retain their spunk.

  1. April 7: International Beaver Day

    Ferrets aren't the only small mammals we love here at Mental Floss: International Beaver Day will warrant its own party, too.

  1. April 7: National Beer Day

    A group of friends celebrating with beer
    iStock.com/skynesher

    On March 22, 1933, Franklin Roosevelt signed the Cullen–Harrison Act, legalizing the sale of beer (as long as it was 3.2 percent alcohol by weight or less) after many years of Prohibition. The thirsty public had to wait two long weeks before they could legally imbibe again, and on April 7, the law finally went into effect. Beer drinkers around the country rejoiced, and celebrated with a nice cold one, presumably.

  1. April 7: International Snailpapers Day

    You might not know the term snailpapers, but it refers to newspapers (the name works both for the rolled-up shape and the relatively slow news delivery in the internet age)—and this offbeat commemoration is a good excuse to grab a piece of print.

  1. April 9: National Library Workers Day

    A day to honor the hardworking shushers and Dewey Decimal devotees who help us all on our reading journeys.

  1. April 10: National Siblings Day

    Celebrate the brothers and sisters who drive you mad and keep you sane—often all at the same time.

  1. April 11: Barbershop Quartet Day

    Consider a musical ode to these fearsome foursomes on their special day of the year.

  1. April 11: International “Louie Louie” Day

    "Louie Louie" is, by some accounts, the most recorded rock song in history. (The most famous version was recorded by The Kingsmen in 1963.) This year, celebrate this offbeat holiday by finally figuring out the lyrics.

  1. April 12: National Licorice Day

    A pile of black and red licorice
    iStock.com/icelandr

    This offbeat holiday—designed to celebrate black licorice specifically—will surely be a contentious commemoration. For those of you who cringed, please enjoy your Twizzlers.

  1. April 12: Drop Everything and Read Day

    Also known as D.E.A.R. Day, this holiday encourages you to abandon all prior commitments for the comfort of a good book. It also coincides with the birthday of children’s book author Beverly Cleary, who is a spokesperson for the event. Though marketed toward children, the celebration is open to everyone. 

  1. April 12: Walk On Your Wild Side Day

    Whatever “wild” means to you, today's the day to do it.

  1. April 13: National Scrabble Day

    Created by Alfred Mosher Butts in 1938, Scrabble did not become a national phenomenon until the 1950s. It has since inspired less mobility-impaired games like Bananagrams and Words With Friends. But to honor the holiday, use a classic board and show off your robust vocabulary.

  1. April 14: National Reach as High as You Can Day

    National Reach as High as You Can Day is really about grounding yourself in reality. Don’t reach for the stars if you can’t actually touch them—know your limitations. Set attainable goals, and take pleasure in being just good enough.

  1. April 15: National That Sucks Day

    It's Tax Day and the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, so yeah, kind of sucky.

  2. April 16: National Stress Awareness Day

    Stressed out young woman pulling her hair out in front of a yellow background
    iStock.com/SIphotography

    Founded on the very cute notion that you are not aware of your stress.

  3. April 17: National Haiku Poetry Day

    Celebrate with your
    Own haiku that is likely
    Much better than mine.

  1. April 18: National High Five Day

    Make 'em count today, and don't forget to keep an eye on the elbow.

  1. April 18: Amateur Radio Day

    Observed every April 18, this holiday is for radio amateurs and pioneers worldwide. It also celebrates the anniversary of the International Amateur Radio Union, which was formed in Paris in 1925.

  1. April 19: National Hanging Out Day

    Sadly, this is not a day to kick back and relax with some friends. Rather, it's a holiday encouraging people to hang out their laundry—and cut down on energy consumption by doing so.

  1. April 20: Lima Bean Respect Day

    Much like Rodney Dangerfield, the lima bean doesn’t get any respect. Well not today! Did you know lima beans are an excellent source of fiber? They also help balance your blood sugar and lower cholesterol. So give this bean a break and try extolling its more admirable qualities for the day.

  1. April 21: National Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day

    A pair of bulldogs pose for a portrait
    iStock.com/Luka Lajst

    If you didn't already know this, you can see yourself out.

  1. April 22: National Jelly Bean Day

    When you grab a handful to celebrate this year, just make sure you don't get "BeanBoozled."

  1. April 22: Dyngus Day

    According to Buffalo’s official holiday website, “Historically a Polish-American tradition, Dyngus Day celebrates the end of the often restrictive observance of Lent and the joy of Easter.” Some celebratory activities include men chasing around women to drench them with water, and hitting them with pussy willow branches. So basically, Dyngus Day is spring break.

  1. April 23: Talk Like Shakespeare Day

    We have of late, but wherefore we know not, lost all our mirth. What a perfect day to get it back! In honor of the Bard’s birthday, drop some thous and thees, master iambic pentameter, and cast people away by exclaiming “get thee to a nunnery!” Talk Like Shakespeare Day is the one time of year you can express yourself in rhyming couplets; wethinks thou oughtest useth the opportunity.

  1. April 23: World Book Night

    On Shakespeare's birthday passionate volunteers hand out books in the U.S., U.K., Ireland and Germany.

  1. April 23: National English Muffin Day

    It may not be as flashy as a bagel, as versatile as sliced bread, or as controversial as a sliced bagel, but the English muffin deserves some serious accolades—as do its many nooks and crannies.

  2. April 25: World Penguin Day

    Antarctica gentoo penguins fighting
    iStock.com/Grafissimo

    Seriously, all the animal holidays are fine with us.

  3. April 25: International DNA Day

    Unlike many holidays in the Offbeat Family, DNA Day has formal U.S. Congressional recognition. On this day in 1953, scientists first published papers in Nature on the structural makeup of DNA [PDF]. In 2003, the Human Genome Project was declared to be nearly complete; the National Human Genome Research Institute has since developed activities and celebrations to honor the holiday.

  1. April 26: Hug An Australian Day

    It does not say they have to be human. Also: Learn some Australian slang while you’re at it.

  1. April 26: National Pretzel Day

    The beer is optional.

  1. April 26: National Hairball Awareness Day

    Don't become a statistic.

  1. April 27: National Go Birding Day

    Build bird feeders, bring your binoculars for a walk in the woods, or, if you live in the city, take a little extra time to notice all the pigeons.

  1. April 27: Morse Code Day

    Wartime Morse Code Communications
    iStock.com/cjp

    Break out your best dots and dashes, it’s the birthday of Samuel Morse—co-inventor of the eponymous Morse Code. These days any Joe Schmoe can try his hand at transmitting lights, clicks, and tones to send a secret message. But this system of communication used to be a highly specialized field that required a license and a proclivity for spying on communists.

  1. April 27: World Tai Chi And Qigong Day

    A day to calm your mind and discover that the seniors in your local park are in far better shape than you.

  1. April 30: National Honesty Day

    Remember when you celebrated National Tell-A-Lie Day a few weeks ago? Today, do the opposite.

  1. April 30: International Jazz Day

    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is responsible for this holiday. Schools, communities, and even government organizations around the world will host programs to highlight the diplomatic role of jazz in bringing people together.

15 Parenting Tips From History’s Greatest Fathers

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istock

From William Shakespeare to Benjamin Franklin, these famous fathers may span generations and nationalities, but they seem to agree on a few basic parenting principles: educate your children, love them, be a role model, and continue to expand your thinking as your children do the same. In honor of Father’s Day, here are 15 parenting tips from the ages.

1. Lock Up Your Liquor Cabinet // Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) 

In Montaigne’s 1575 Essays, the French Renaissance philosopher expresses his opinions regarding child rearing (and a multitude of other subjects). Among them was that parents should live modestly so they can give their children the majority of their resources, that a father should be honest with his children about his feelings, and that he shouldn’t try to be a frightening figure. Montaigne also wrote, “I think it more decent and wholesome for children to drink no wine till after 16 or 18 years of age.” Of course, modern parents will want to keep their children away from the liquor cabinet for even longer, since the legal drinking age today is 21. 

2. It Gets Better // Miguel de Cervantes (c. 1547-1616) 

When Cervantes wrote “time ripens all things; no man is born wise,” in part two of Don Quixote, he wasn’t talking specifically about fatherhood, but it certainly applies. You don’t know what it’s like to be a parent until you’re thrown into that situation, and from there, you spend the rest of your life learning. 

3.  Be Able to Pick Your Child Out of a Lineup // William Shakespeare (1564-1616) 

During Act Two, Scene Two of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, Launcelot says to his blind father, Gobbo, “It is a wise father that knows his own child,” before revealing himself as said son. Shakespeare himself had three children with his wife Anne Hathaway. 

4. Encourage Intellectual and Physical Growth // Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

Franklin was self-taught after the age of 10 and eventually earned honorary degrees from Harvard, Yale, Oxford, and St. Andrews in Scotland. But Franklin wasn’t just book smart: Sometime during the course of his learning, he picked up a darn good parenting philosophy. Franklin, who had three children with his wife Deborah Read, once said,  “A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.”

5. Give Them Liberty // John Adams (1735-1826)

The second president of the United States and father of six children believed his brood should uphold the same patriotic values he fought for. “Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom,” he once said.

6.  Parent for the Kids You Want // Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832)

Goethe’s professional philosophizing wound its way into his personal life as well. The German playwright, poet, and father of seven children said on the topic, “If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.”

7. A Symbolic Father Can Be Just as Loving // Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805) 

Father of four and influential German playwright and philosopher Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller said, “It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.” 

8. Instill a Love of Reading // Horace Mann (1796-1859)

Since he was an education reformer, proponent of public schools, and the “father of the common school,” it’s no surprise that Mann urged fathers to instill a love of knowledge in their children from an early age. He said, “A house without books is like a room without windows. No man has a right to bring up his children without surrounding them with books, if he has the means to buy them.”

9. Don’t Ignore Your Friends Just Because You Have Kids Now // Victor Hugo (1802-1885) 

While Victor Hugo’s works (most notably Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame) favor themes of despair and alienation, the author and father of five was generous and inclusive when it came to love. Hugo said, “Son, brother, father, lover, friend. There is room in the heart for all the affections, as there is room in heaven for all the stars.” 

10. Be the Fun Dad and the Serious Dad // Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

As the leader of the Transcendentalist movement, Emerson advocated self-reliance, individuality, and the goodness of people and nature. When it came to parenting his four children, he advised, “Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.”

11.  Set a Good Example // John S.C. Abbott (1805-1877) 

American historian and minister John Stevens Cabot Abbott’s books (The Child at Home, Or, The Principles Of Filial Duty and The Mother at Home, Or the Principles of Maternal Duty) are full of moral and religious teachings. He wrote, “We must be what we wish our children to be. They will form their characters from ours.”

12.  Provide for Your Kids // John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) 

John Stuart Mill was a British moral and political theorist, philosopher, economist, and politician. In On Liberty, he wrote ,“It still remains unrecognized, that to bring a child into existence without a fair prospect of being able, not only to provide food for its body, but instruction and training for its mind, is a moral crime, both against the unfortunate offspring and against society.” Mill also argued that if the government enables self-sustainability and personal freedom, individuals as well as the society as a whole will be better off. 

13. Get it Right the First Time // Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) 

Douglass spent his early years as a slave in Maryland before escaping at the age of 20, going on to become an active abolitionist and human rights advocate. The cruelty of his childhood no doubt influenced his views toward parenting. (He had five children.) “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men,” he wrote.

14.  Go Outside // John Muir (1838-1914) 

Muir was a naturalist, conservationist, and a father of two. In Muir’s book A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf, he wrote, “Let children walk with nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life, and that the grave has no victory, for it never fights.” 

15. Keep Them Smiling // Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) 

Wilde said, “The best way to make children good is to make them happy.” During the early years of his marriage to Constance Lloyd, the couple collaborated on publishing children’s books and had two sons of their own.

The 10 Most Dog-Friendly Workplaces in America

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iStock/Lisa5201

Bringing your dog to work might seem like it could be yet another job to handle, but the benefits of having your pupper by your side while you get through the daily grind—for both you and your co-workers—are numerous. Which helps explain why Take Your Dog to Work Day, which will be celebrated on June 21, has been a beloved holiday for office workers for more than 20 years.

According to a survey conducted by the dog lovers at Wellness Natural Pet Food, 65 percent of pet parents believe that having a dog in the workplace is a great way to boost company morale, while a whopping 75 percent of respondents said that pets can help to defuse stressful situations at work. In fact, nearly half of all dog moms and dads surveyed take their four-legged friends' wellbeing so seriously that "pet perks" are one of the factors they deem important when considering a new job offer.

So, in honor of Take Your Dog to Work Day, Wellness crunched the numbers in order to determine the 10 most pet-friendly companies in America. Did your employer make the cut?

1. Amazon // Seattle

On a daily basis, there could be as many as 6000 pups working out of Amazon's Seattle headquarters. Fortunately, the company makes them all feel at home with several on-campus dog parks, a doggie deck, and treats at the reception desk in every building. Because they're all good boys.

2. Harpoon Brewery // Boston

Boston's Harpoon Brewery loves welcoming four-legged friends into the fold. In addition to allowing dogs in the office throughout the week (which is located close enough to the Boston Seaport for a leisurely stroll), they host an annual "Dogtoberfest," where dogs and their humans tour the brewery for a beer-tasting (for the humans only, of course).

3. Trupanion // Seattle

Pet medical insurance company Trupanion takes pet perks to a whole different level with its in-house team of dog walkers and an onsite emergency team who are always standing by to ensure your dog’s health and safety throughout the workday. In addition, they allow a three-day paid bereavement period for employees dealing with the loss of a pet.

4. Ben & Jerry’s // Burlington, Vermont

Two of the world's greatest things—dogs and ice cream—come together in one magical place at Ben & Jerry's, where the 35 to 40 pups who hang out in the office on a daily basis are treated to yummy snacks and playtime. The company also regularly brings in veterinarians to help educate pet parents on everything from normal dog behaviors to training tips.

5. Contently // New York city

Dogs are content at Contently, a content marketing firm where good boys and girls are regularly found roaming the halls or taking naps in conference rooms. Contently employees even have access to a Slack channel for all pet-loving employees to share advice, tips, and adorable pics.

6. Procore // Carpinteria, California

Parties? More like “Pawties” with Procore’s dog-friendly happy hour. Dogs are able to play around outside while chowing down on treats and water when needed. In addition, pet insurance is one unique employee benefit you won't find in many other places.

7. Ticketmaster // Los Angeles

Dogs get a ticket to join their parents at Ticketmaster's Los Angeles office—another company where pet insurance is a great perk.

8. PetSafe // Knoxville, Tennessee

Celebrated pet brand PetSafe makes having dogs in the office a win-win for both employees and employers. As the company makes high-quality toys, treats, and more, they've got a never-ending supply of product testers right there to make sure they're headed in the right direction.

9. TripAdvisor // Needham, Massachusetts

Why leave Fluffy or Fido at home with only a pet cam to keep them company when they can just spend their day dozing off right next to your desk. TripAdvisor's extremely dog-friendly atmosphere means that you'll regularly see dozens of pooches frolicking around the office together.

10. Purely Elizabeth // Boulder, Colorado

It would make sense that natural pet food brand Purely Elizabeth would encourage their dog-loving employees to spend more time with their pets by bringing their tail-waggers to work. You probably won't hear Rover complain, as testing out new treats is regularly part of the deal.

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