30 Offbeat Holidays to Celebrate in June

iStock/CasarsaGuru
iStock/CasarsaGuru

The official start of summer is upon us! Let's celebrate all month long with some unconventional holidays.

1. June 1: Heimlich Maneuver Day

Named after the doctor who invented it, the Heimlich maneuver has seriously curbed the hazards of choking since its introduction in the 1970s.

2. June 1: Say Something Nice Day

Seems simple enough.

3. June 2: National Rocky Road Day

Rocky road ice cream in a waffle bowl
iStock/MSPhotographic

While this iconic ice cream flavor is generally associated with feelings of happiness and pleasure, its inception was the result of some pretty dire times. Recognizing the “rocky road” ahead for Americans after the Stock Market Crash of 1929, ice cream purveyor William Dreyer dreamed up this recipe as a temporary salve to the economic ills in the United States. Though some naysayers contest whether the credit for this cream-marshmallow-almond-chocolate chip recipe belongs 100 percent to Dreyer, few people will contest that Rocky Road ice cream is 100 percent delicious.

4. June 3: National Doughnut Day

No matter how you spell it (we're a doughnut family), today's the official day to celebrate this hole-iest of confections. This holiday, celebrated annually on the first Friday in June, was founded in 1938 to honor the role the sweet treat played in World War I. Members of the Salvation Army, who became known as "Doughnut Dollies," distributed donuts to soldiers to supplement their rations. Years later, during the Great Depression, the Salvation Army created the holiday to remember these earlier services and encourage fundraising by giving symbolic paper "donuts" out in exchange for donations. But these days people celebrate with the real thing.

5. June 3: National Leave the Office Early Day

You don’t have to tell us twice.

6. June 3: Chimborazo Day

An image of Ecuador's Mount Chimborazo
iStock/reisegraf

Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador is the highest mountain on Earth (yep, higher than Mount Everest). Even though it's technically shorter with an elevation of 20,564 feet versus Everest's 29,029 feet, Chimborazo's location gives it a boost: the equatorial bulge means that its peak is farther away from the planet's center than anywhere else.

7. June 3: National Repeat Day

June 3: National Repeat Day.

8. June 4: Hug Your Cat Day

As if you needed an excuse!

9. June 5: Global Running Day

Whether you passionately love it or passionately hate it, few people feel neutral on the subject of running. In light of the positive passions, runners around the world take to the streets on the first Wednesday of every June to express their love of optional physical duress.

10. June 6: National Yo-Yo Day

A blue yo-yo against a red and black background
iStock/RapidEye

Donald F. Duncan had more to celebrate about his life than an amazing name; he helped popularize the yo-yo. Though technically invented by a man named Pedro Flores in the late 1920’s, the yo-yo didn’t hit the mainstream until the entrepreneurial Duncan purchased Flores’s Yo-Yo Toy Company, mass-produced this circular piece of plastic and string, and introduced it to the world. June 6th is believed to be Duncan’s birthday.

11. June 8: World Oceans Day

In 2008, the United Nations officially designated June 8 as a day to honor the part of the planet covered in water. Which is to say, most of it. Even before that it was celebrated by the Ocean Project and the World Ocean Network. These days, it's a growing global event with a focus on education and preservation.

12. June 8: Name Your Poison Day

Although this holiday is widely open to interpretation, we recommend no one take it literally. Instead, muster up the courage to boldly acknowledge the one vice in your life that you simply cannot resist no matter how terrible it may be for you. Unless said “poison” happens to be arsenic.

13. June 10: National Ballpoint Pen Day

Put away your quills, fountains, and felts, for today we honor the gravity-dependent ink dispenser we know as the ballpoint pen. It may not have the panache of a gel writing utensil, or the precision of a roller ball. But when it comes to getting ink onto paper and the bottoms of shirt pockets, ballpoints certainly get the job done.

14. June 12: National Jerky Day

A bowl of beef jerky
iStock/alisafarov

No explanation required: chew and be merry.

15. June 14: World Blood Donor Day

A holiday created to bring awareness to the immense amount of good you can do just by donating blood—find a drive near you today!

16. June 15: World Juggling Day

If you're coordinated and like party tricks but felt left out of National Yo-Yo Day, this offbeat holiday is for you—no clown costume required. It’s celebrated by juggling clubs around the world (presumably by juggling things).

17. June 16: Bloomsday

Each year, on the anniversary of the day that James Joyce's Ulysses takes place, fans of the author celebrate his life and work in cities around the world as part of a holiday named for the protagonist: Leopold Bloom.

18. June 17: National Eat Your Vegetables Day

You had better be prepared to finish those Brussels sprouts today if you know what’s good for you! Like Brussels sprouts, for example. They’re a great source of dietary fiber and vitamin C.

19. June 18: International Sushi Day

A plate of fresh sushi
iStock/muratkoc

Any food worth its salt, or umami, has its own holiday. But if you're looking for an excuse to eat sushi, June 18th seems as good a day as any other.

20. June 18: International Picnic Day

Since it falls during the workweek this year, International Picnic Day may also have to stand for International Personal Day. But a basketful of goodies, domestic or international, and a nice patch of grass will definitely be worth calling in with a mysterious “summer cold.”

21. June 19: World Sauntering Day

A man named W.T. "Bill" Rabe, a publicist allegedly rampant self-promoter, is said to have conceived this holiday in the 1970s on Mackinac Island, Michigan. According to Merriam-Webster, to saunter one must merely “walk about in an idle or leisurely manner.” So for all of you who balked at a running holiday, thank Rabe for providing a much more casual holiday for getting around.

22. June 21: Go Skateboarding Day

Founded by the International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC) in 2003, this holiday coincides with the summer solstice.

23. June 21: Take Your Dog To Work Day

A Weimaraner at the office
iStock/Image Source Ltd

Created in 1999 by Pet Sitters International, this is a day intended to encourage people to adopt pets from animal shelters—presumably by making all your dog-less coworkers incredibly jealous.

24. June 22: National Onion Rings Day

National Onion Rings Day: for those of you who like your holidays deep-fried.

25. June 23: Let It Go Day

Technically not related to Disney's Frozen (but thematically relevant), this is a day for letting go of baggage and hang-ups, and it's a good opportunity to get that song stuck in your head for the next six months.

26. June 24: International Fairy Day

A relatively young holiday for a relatively old mythical creature, International Fairy Day was created by artist Jessica Galbreth for “believers, collectors, and the young at heart to celebrate all that is Fae and reconnect with their imagination and child-like wonder.”

27. June 26: Log Cabin Day

A log cabin in the woods
iStock/coryz

This holiday is all about reconnecting to a simpler, more quiet time. In lieu of a log cabin, maybe sit under a tree or don't check Twitter for five minutes?

28. June 27: National Handshake Day

Celebrate by reading up on the proper handshake etiquette from around the world.

29. June 28: National Eat At A Food Truck Day

The annual celebration gives you an excuse to support local businesses by chowing down on a gourmet donut or "mustache pretzel."

30. June 28: Insurance Awareness Day

Do you have insurance? If you answered that question, you just observed this holiday.

10,000 People Gathered at Stonehenge to Welcome the Summer Solstice

Finnbarr Webster, Getty Images
Finnbarr Webster, Getty Images

There are plenty of reasons to welcome the start of summer. Today, people visiting Stonehenge took that celebration to a whole new level.

The BBC reported that an estimated 10,000 people made the pilgrimage to the 5000-year-old site to partake in summer solstice festivities. "Stonehenge was built to align with the Sun, and to Neolithic people, the skies were arguably as important as the surrounding landscape," Susan Greaney, a senior historian at English Heritage, said in a statement. "At solstice we remember the changing daylight hours, but the changing seasons, the cycles of the Moon, and movements of the Sun are likely to have underpinned many practical spiritual aspects of Neolithic life."

These spiritual aspects are just one of the many fascinating facts about the summer solstice; the day is an extremely old calendar event recognized by ancient cultures across the globe. They include the Druids and other pagans, whose tradition of observing the solstice at Stonehenge has long been upheld by modern revelers.

Scientifically speaking, Stonehenge is an optimal viewing place for the solstice due to its structure. According to TIME, the site’s architects appeared to have kept both the summer and winter solstices in mind during its construction, as the positions of the stones are specifically tuned to complement the sky on both occasions.

The solstices were sacred to the pagans, whose modern-day followers continue to honor their rituals. Pagans in particular refer to the day as Litha, and mark it with activities such as meditation, fire rites, and outdoor yoga.

“What you’re celebrating on a mystical level is that you’re looking at light at its strongest," Frank Somers, a member of the Amesbury and Stonehenge Druids, said in 2014. "It represents things like the triumph of the king, the power of light over darkness, and just life—life at its fullest."

Those who were unable to make the journey can head over to the Stonehenge Skyscape project's website, where English Heritage’s interactive live feed fully captured the experience.

11 Patriotic Products to Celebrate the Fourth of July

Amazon
Amazon

Whether you’ll be lounging by the beach or grilling in your backyard this Independence Day, don’t forget to show off your all-American spirit with a little swag. Here are 11 products to help you celebrate Fourth of July—all of which would pair nicely with your collection of presidential bobbleheads.

1. Declaration Of Independence Signatures Mug; $15

Mug decorated with the signatures from the Declaration of Independence.
CafePress, Amazon

The names of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence are on display on this ceramic coffee mug. Studying the signatures each morning might inspire you to perfect your own John Hancock.

Find it: Amazon

2. Stars And Stripes Cufflinks; $55

Cufflinks with images of stars and stripes on them

Cufflinks Inc., Nordstrom

Brighten up your wardrobe with a splash of American pride. One half of this cufflinks set is striped red and white and the other is blue and spangled with stars. Together they make a patriotic accent piece.

Find it: Nordstrom

3. Fireworks Light Show Projector; $41

Portable fireworks light projector.
Uncle Milton, Amazon

If you want a low-hazard Fourth of July that still delivers thrills, consider getting a light show projector. When it’s pointed at a wall, the device displays vibrant fireworks animations accompanied by realistic sound effects. And it works indoors, so you can count on your Independence Day party ending with a light show no matter the weather forecast. (There's also a Disney version available for just $20.)

Find it: Amazon

4. Inflatable Cooler; $14

Inflatable American flag cooler filled with ice and drinks.
Fun Express, Amazon

When preparing for a picnic or barbecue this Fourth of July, don’t bother breaking out your tiny roll-away cooler. This 54-by-28-inch inflatable trough holds enough bottles and cans to keep your party going well past sunset. Once the cooler has been drained and deflated, it folds neatly for easy storage.

Find it: Amazon

5. American Trivia Cards; $15

Even players who paid attention in American history class might find this game challenging. Each box comes with 150 cards of United States trivia. Some questions—like what was the first state to grant women the right to vote—highlight important moments in our nation’s history. Others—like how many columns the Lincoln Memorial features—are a little more random.

Find it: UncommonGoods

6. U.S. Navy Blanket; $200

The U.S. military has been going to Faribault Woolen Mill Co. for its blankets for over 100 years. This one is crafted from 100 percent wool and weighs 3.5 pounds. The design is inspired by the blankets supplied on Navy ships—and if it’s tough enough for the Navy, you can bet it will withstand a Fourth of July picnic. We like the gray version, but it comes in several different styles and colors.

Find it: Faribault Woolen Mill Co.

7. American Flag Cornhole; $90

Two American flag cornhole boards with bean bags.
GoSports, Amazon

Baseball faces some stiff competition from cornhole for the title of No. 1 American pastime. This lawn set includes four blue bean bags, four red bean bags, and two boards decorated to resemble the American flag.

Find it: Amazon

8. U.S. Map Cutting Board; $20

Wooden cutting board in the shape of the U.S. map.
Totally Bamboo, Amazon

This 100 percent bamboo board eschews the traditional rectangle shape in favor of the outline of the American mainland. You can either keep it in the kitchen and use it as a cutting board or bring it out to the party as a serving platter for fruits, cheeses, and other hors d'oeuvres.

Find it: Amazon

9. Boston Tea Party Tea Sampler; $15

Six piles of loose-leaf tea.
Solstice Tea Traders, Amazon

A sip of one of the teas in this sampler will put you in touch with your inner revolutionary. Each of the six loose-leaf varieties—bohea black tea, oolong, congou black tea, souchong, singlo, and hyson—was among those tossed over the sides of British ships during the Boston Party. Whether you drink the tea or chuck it into the nearest harbor is up to you. (If you're looking for something to put on display, UncommonGoods also sells a slightly pricier, more elegant option with five teas.)

Find it: Amazon

10. State Map Prints; $27 and Up

A poster featuring a colorful map of Wisconsin
Bri Buckley, Society6

These unique prints by Bri Buckley highlight the beauty of each U.S. state in vibrant color. Each state map is available in both a modern and a vintage style, and like most Society6 art, the design is also available on tapestries, shirts, pillows, tote bags, and more.

Find it: Society6

11. Bald Eagle Pool Float; $15

A man and a woman ride a bald eagle pool float
Swimline, Amazon

Cool down the patriotic way this Fourth of July. This massive 8-foot-by-6-foot bald eagle pool float can fit up to two people comfortably, and will look great floating around your pool during your backyard barbecue.

Find it: Amazon

A version of this article first ran in 2017. It has been updated for 2019.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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