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16 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in September

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Summer is (unofficially) over, but don't despair; there's still plenty to celebrate in September—even after Labor Day's long weekend has wrapped. These holidays are all fairly innocuous, but if you do take issue with something said here, just remember: it's Be Kind To Editors and Writers Month.

1. The many month-long celebrations in September

In addition to being extra sweet to your favorite Mental Flossers, there are a whole host of other groups to be honored this month. All September, take time to celebrate Fall Hat Month, Happy Cat Month, National Honey Month, National Mushroom Month (maybe not together with the honey), National Milkshake Month, Shameless Promotion Month (follow me on twitter @HannahRKeyser), Sea Cadet Month, One-On-One Month and, as hopefully follows from the preceding, Pleasure Your Mate Month.

2. September 4: Newspaper Carrier Day

Celebrated annually on the anniversary of the hiring of Barney Flaherty as the first paperboy back on September 4, 1833 by Benjamin Day, publisher of the New York Sun.

3. September 5: Be Late For Something Day

Well, if you insist.

4. September 7: National Grandparents' Day

Held annually on the first Sunday after Labor Day since 1978. Many other countries have their own version sometime during the year and, unlike the U.S., they don't all make grandmothers and grandfathers share a day.

5. September 10: Swap Ideas Day

This is less of a celebration and more of a reminder to not hoard good ideas—they're much more useful out in the open.

6. September 13: Kids Take Over The Kitchen Day

This feel-good celebration started by Young Chefs Academy is designed to teach the highly important and oft-overlooked life skill: cooking.

7. September 14: National Hug Your Hound Day

Not to be confused with National Dog Day (August 26) or National Puppy Day (March 23), this holiday, in just its second year of existence, hopes to increase awareness of dog-friendly urban spaces by encouraging pet owners to shower their pooch with affection.

8. September 16: Anne Bradstreet Day

Photo courtesy of Sarnold17 via Wikimedia Commons

September 16 was officially proclaimed a holiday by the governor of Massachusetts to honor an under-appreciated figure in the history of American literature. Anne Bradstreet, who emigrated to the colonies along with her family in 1630, is considered to be America's first poet for her 1650 work, The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, published, supposedly, without her knowledge.

9. September 18: Hug A Greeting Card Writer Day

If you can find one—as far as I can tell, they only exist in quirky romantic movies.

10. September 19: International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Perhaps the most widely-known offbeat holiday, because who doesn't relish the chance to call everyone "matey"?

11. September 22: American Business Women's Day

First recognized by Congressional resolution in 1983, this honoring of the female half of the workforce is celebrated annually on the anniversary of the 1949 founding date of the American Business Women's Association.

12. September 22: Hobbit Day

On the birthday of both Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, J.R.R. Tolkien fans celebrate all things Lord of the Rings. It is also the day that determines the larger celebration of Tolkien Week.

13. September 24: National Punctuation Day

Take time, once a year, to appreciate the difference a well-placed comma or semicolon makes in reading comprehension; I know I will.

14. September 26: Hug A Vegan Day

Unless they're also a greeting card writer—then I think you're still covered.

15. September 27: Fish Amnesty Day

The fish probably won't know it, but PETA calls for one day of no fishing to give our finned friends a break.

16. September 29: National Attend Your Grandchild's Birth Day

It's unclear why this is a national event. Or how you're supposed to celebrate if your grandchild isn't born on September 29.

All photos courtesy of iStock unless otherwise noted.

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music
Everything You Need to Know About Record Store Day
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The unlikely resurgence of vinyl as an alternative to digital music formats is made up of more than just a small subculture of purists. Today, more than 1400 independent record stores deal in both vintage and current releases. Those store owners and community supporters created Record Store Day in 2007 as a way of celebrating the grassroots movement that’s allowed a once-dying medium to thrive.

To commemorate this year’s Record Store Day on Saturday, April 21, a number of stores (a searchable list can be found here) will be offering promotional items, live music, signings, and more. While events vary widely by store, a number of artists will be issuing exclusive LPs that will be distributed around the country.

For Grateful Dead fans, a live recording of a February 27, 1969 show at Fillmore West in San Francisco will be released and limited to 6700 copies; Arcade Fire’s 2003 EP album will see a vinyl release for the first time, limited to 3000 copies; "Roxanne," the Police single celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, will see a 7-inch single release with the original jacket art.

The day also promises to be a big one for David Bowie fans. A special white vinyl version of 1977’s Bowie Now will be on shelves, along with Welcome to the Blackout (Live London ’78), a previously-unreleased, three-record set. Jimmy Page, Frank Zappa, Neil Young, and dozens of other artists will also be contributing releases.

No store is likely to carry everything you might want, so before making the stop, it might be best to call ahead and then plan on getting there early. If you’re one of the unlucky vinyl supporters without a brick and mortar store nearby, you can check out Discogs.com, which will be selling the special releases online.

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Big Questions
What Is the Meaning Behind "420"?
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Whether or not you’re a marijuana enthusiast, you’re probably aware that today is an unofficial holiday for those who are. April 20—4/20—is a day when pot smokers around the world come together to, well, smoke pot. Others use the day to push for legalization, holding marches and rallies.

But why the code 420? There are a lot of theories as to why that particular number was chosen, but most of them are wrong. You may have heard that 420 is police code for possession, or maybe it’s the penal code for marijuana use. Both are false. There is a California Senate Bill 420 that refers to the use of medical marijuana, but the bill was named for the code, not the other way around.

As far as anyone can tell, the phrase started with a bunch of high school students. Back in 1971, a group of kids at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, California, got in the habit of meeting at 4:20 to smoke after school. When they’d see each other in the hallways during the day, their shorthand was “420 Louis,” meaning, “Let’s meet at the Louis Pasteur statue at 4:20 to smoke.”

Somehow, the phrase caught on—and when the Grateful Dead eventually picked it up, "420" spread through the greater community like wildfire. What began as a silly code passed between classes is now a worldwide event for smokers and legalization activists everywhere—not a bad accomplishment for a bunch of high school stoners.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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