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16 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in May

From May Day to Memorial Day and everything in between, the month of May is full of delightful, offbeat holidays.

1. MAY 1: MOTHER GOOSE DAY

A day to appreciate old nursery rhymes and ponder how that worked out for the dish and the spoon.

2. MAY 3: NATIONAL TWO DIFFERENT COLORED SHOES DAY

For people who want to practice a safe level of nonconformity.

3. MAY 4: INTERNATIONAL RESPECT FOR CHICKENS DAY

You might appreciate them for the sustenance they provide, or you might appreciate them so much that you don’t use them for sustenance. Either way, celebrate the chicken today.

4. MAY 6: HUG YOUR CAT DAY

Even if he or she doesn't want it.

5. MAY 7: MARTIN Z. MOLLUSK DAY

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Every year in Ocean City, New Jersey, Martin Z. Mollusk (a hermit crab) forecasts the coming summer. Sound familiar? The routine is the same too: if he sees his shadow, summer comes a week early.

6. MAY 7: NATIONAL COSMOPOLITAN DAY

We love a holiday with a built-in way to celebrate.

7. MAY 8: NO SOCKS DAY

An antidote to the mismatched shoes holiday.

8. MAY 12: LIMERICK DAY

A good day for penning classics like this:

There once was a man from Nantucket
Who kept all his cash in a bucket.
His holidays were offbeat,
They were such a treat,
And as for the bucket, Nantucket.

9. MAY 13: NATIONAL HUMMUS DAY

Give us all the food holidays.

10. MAY 15: NATIONAL SLIDER DAY

Yep, keep 'em comin'.

11. MAY 20: ELIZA DOOLITTLE DAY

Screenshot // Glogster

A good day to channel your inner Eliza (either before or after the etiquette lessons).

12. MAY 20: NATIONAL PIZZA PARTY DAY

Party is a relative term, by the way. You and a pizza is definitely a party.

13. MAY 22: NEIGHBOR DAY

Wikimedia Commons // Fair Use

This Rhode Island holiday just so happens to fall on the anniversary of the premiere of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood in 1967.

14. MAY 22: WORLD GOTH DAY

They'll act like they don't want/need/care about having a day in the calendar, but come on, everyone wants to be celebrated.

15. MAY 24: INTERNATIONAL TIARA DAY

Who's a pretty princess? This pup definitely is.

16. MAY 25: TOWEL DAY

To honor author Douglas Adams, fans carry around a towel all day. The tradition is a nod to a passage in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy about the importance of towels: "A towel, [The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have." Good enough for us.

Holidays found in Chase's Calendar of Events 2016. All photos courtesy of iStock unless otherwise noted.

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Bleat Along to Classic Holiday Tunes With This Goat Christmas Album
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Feeling a little Grinchy this month? The Sweden branch of ActionAid, an international charity dedicated to fighting global poverty, wants to goat—errr ... goad—you into the Christmas spirit with their animal-focused holiday album: All I Want for Christmas is a Goat.

Fittingly, it features the shriek-filled vocal stylings of a group of festive farm animals bleating out classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” The recording may sound like a silly novelty release, but there's a serious cause behind it: It’s intended to remind listeners how the animals benefit impoverished communities. Goats can live in arid nations that are too dry for farming, and they provide their owners with milk and wool. In fact, the only thing they can't seem to do is, well, sing. 

You can purchase All I Want for Christmas is a Goat on iTunes and Spotify, or listen to a few songs from its eight-track selection below.

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What Are the 12 Days of Christmas?
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Everyone knows to expect a partridge in a pear tree from your true love on the first day of Christmas ... But when is the first day of Christmas?

You'd think that the 12 days of Christmas would lead up to the big day—that's how countdowns work, as any year-end list would illustrate—but in Western Christianity, "Christmas" actually begins on December 25th and ends on January 5th. According to liturgy, the 12 days signify the time in between the birth of Christ and the night before Epiphany, which is the day the Magi visited bearing gifts. This is also called "Twelfth Night." (Epiphany is marked in most Western Christian traditions as happening on January 6th, and in some countries, the 12 days begin on December 26th.)

As for the ubiquitous song, it is said to be French in origin and was first printed in England in 1780. Rumors spread that it was a coded guide for Catholics who had to study their faith in secret in 16th-century England when Catholicism was against the law. According to the Christian Resource Institute, the legend is that "The 'true love' mentioned in the song is not an earthly suitor, but refers to God Himself. The 'me' who receives the presents refers to every baptized person who is part of the Christian Faith. Each of the 'days' represents some aspect of the Christian Faith that was important for children to learn."

In debunking that story, Snopes excerpted a 1998 email that lists what each object in the song supposedly symbolizes:

2 Turtle Doves = the Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = the first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

There is pretty much no historical evidence pointing to the song's secret history, although the arguments for the legend are compelling. In all likelihood, the song's "code" was invented retroactively.

Hidden meaning or not, one thing is definitely certain: You have "The Twelve Days of Christmas" stuck in your head right now.

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