CLOSE

12 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in June

The days are getting longer—the summer solstice is the 21st of this month—which means there's plenty of time to celebrate each of these quirky holidays.

1. June 3: Chimborazo Day

Not just a day to celebrate the Ecuadorian mountain, this holiday is designed to bring attention to the fact that the Earth is not a perfect sphere, as exemplified by Mount Chimborazo's status as the closest point to space. You might think that because Mount Everest is the tallest mountain, it reaches the highest. But because of the Earth's uneven shape, the distance from the center of the Earth up to sea level at the equator is 13 miles longer than it is at the poles, allowing Chimborazo to stretch an extra 1.5 miles closer to outer space than Everest.

2. June 5: Donut Day

This holiday, annually 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.

3. June 6: National Yo-Yo Day

Celebrated on the birthday of Donald F. Duncan, whose Duncan Toys Company helped popularize the yo-yo. They'd already existed for thousands of years, but Duncan gave them an American resurgence.

4. June 12: National Jerky Day

This is just the fourth annual celebration of dried meat snacks. The holiday is sponsored by the Wisconsin Beef Council.

5. June 13: World Juggling Day

Celebrated by juggling clubs around the world, presumably by juggling things.

6. 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!

7. June 16: Bloomsday

Getty Images

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.

8. June 18: Recess At Work

Yes, please. We've written about how detrimental staying inside all day can be on your creativity, so get out for a little recess—for your work's sake!

9. June 21: Go Skateboarding Day

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

10. June 25: National Handshake Day

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

11. June 26: Take Your Dog To Work Day

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

12. June 28: Log Cabin Day

This is annually celebrated on the last Sunday in June in Michigan with a series of old timey festivities and, presumably, lots of Lincoln Logs.

For an even more exhaustive list of holidays, historical anniversaries and notable birthdays, check out Chase's Calendar of Events.

All images courtesy of iStock unless otherwise noted.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Lists
7 Surprising Uses for Tequila
iStock
iStock

Happy National Margarita Day! While you could celebrate by having a few drinks, you could also skip the hangover by unlocking one of tequila's amazing abilities outside of the glass. Many spirits are useful for activities beyond sipping (vodka, for example, is a great stain and odor remover), but tequila holds some particularly magical powers. Here are just a few of them.

1. SYNTHETIC BAUBLE

In 2008, a team of scientists in Mexico discovered that when the heated vapor from an 80-proof tequila blanco was combined with a silicon or stainless steel substrate, it resulted in the formation of diamond films. These films can be used in commercial applications, such as electrical insulators, or to create one big fake diamond. Who knew that spending $50 on a bottle of Don Julio was such a wise investment?

2. ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCE

Keeping with the science theme: In 2011, researchers at England’s University of Oxford suggested that we may one day be gassing up our cars with tequila. They identified agave, the plant from which tequila is produced, as a potential biofuel source—and a particularly attractive one, as the plant itself is not consumed by humans and can thrive in desert climates.

3. WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENT

Scientists have long promoted the potential benefits of the agave plant for its ability to help dissolve fats and lower cholesterol. The bad news? These properties get a bit diluted when the plant is distilled into alcohol. Even more so when it's whipped into a sugary margarita.

4. SLEEP AID

Take three or more shots of tequila and you’re bound to pass out. A single shot can have the same effect—just not in that drunken stupor kind of way. Relaxation is one of the positive side effects of tequila drinking; a small amount (1 to 1.5 ounces) before bedtime can reportedly help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.

5. COLON CLEANSER

Too much of a good thing may not bring a welcome turn of events for your liver … but your colon will thank you! Researchers at Mexico’s University of Guadalajara have identified the blue agave as a potentially helpful source for delivering drugs to the colon in order to treat colitis, IBS, Crohn’s disease and even cancer.

6. DIABETES PREVENTATIVE

If Ernest Hemingway had known about the healing properties of tequila, his signature drink might have been a margarita instead of a daiquiri. In 2010, experiments conducted at Mexico’s Polytechnic Institute of Guanajuato revealed that the agave plant (which is high in fructans, a fructose polymer) could stimulate the GLP-1 hormone, aiding in increased insulin production.

7. COLD REMEDY

“Plenty of liquids” is a well-known remedy for getting oneself out from under the weather. But expanding that definition to include a kicked-up shot of tequila makes a day laid out on the couch sound much more appealing. In the 1930s, doctors in Mexico recommended the following concoction to fight off a cold.

.5 ounce of tequila blanco
.5 ounce of agave nectar (to eliminate bacteria and soothe sore throats)
.5 ounce of fresh lime juice (for Vitamin C)

Though some people (including tequila companies) swear by its healing powers, others say it's hogwash.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Big Questions
Where Should You Place the Apostrophe in President's Day?
iStock
iStock

Happy Presidents’ Day! Or is it President’s Day? Or Presidents Day? What you call the national holiday depends on where you are, who you’re honoring, and how you think we’re celebrating.

Saying "President’s Day" infers that the day belongs to a singular president, such as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, whose birthdays are the basis for the holiday. On the other hand, referring to it as "Presidents’ Day" means that the day belongs to all of the presidents—that it’s their day collectively. Finally, calling the day "Presidents Day"—plural with no apostrophe—would indicate that we’re honoring all POTUSes past and present (yes, even Andrew Johnson), but that no one president actually owns the day.

You would think that in the nearly 140 years since "Washington’s Birthday" was declared a holiday in 1879, someone would have officially declared a way to spell the day. But in fact, even the White House itself hasn’t chosen a single variation for its style guide. They spelled it “President’s Day” here and “Presidents’ Day” here.


Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Maybe that indecision comes from the fact that Presidents Day isn’t even a federal holiday. The federal holiday is technically still called “Washington’s Birthday,” and states can choose to call it whatever they want. Some states, like Iowa, don’t officially acknowledge the day at all. And the location of the punctuation mark is a moot point when individual states choose to call it something else entirely, like “George Washington’s Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day” in Arkansas, or “Birthdays of George Washington/Thomas Jefferson” in Alabama. (Alabama loves to split birthday celebrations, by the way; the third Monday in January celebrates both Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert E. Lee.)

You can look to official grammar sources to declare the right way, but even they don’t agree. The AP Stylebook prefers “Presidents Day,” while Chicago Style uses “Presidents’ Day.”

The bottom line: There’s no rhyme or reason to any of it. Go with what feels right. And even then, if you’re in one of those states that has chosen to spell it “President’s Day”—Washington, for example—and you use one of the grammar book stylings instead, you’re still technically wrong.

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

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios