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18 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in June

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

1. JUNE 2: YELL ‘FUDGE’ AT THE COBRAS IN NORTH AMERICA DAY

If you live north of the Panama Canal, today's the day to yell "fudge" promptly at noon local time. It reportedly scares cobra snakes away, and frankly sounds kind of fun.

2. JUNE 3: CHIMBORAZO DAY

Dabit100 / David Torres Costales, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

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.

3. JUNE 3: NATIONAL DOUGHNUT (DONUT) DAY

No matter how you spell it (we're a doughnut family), today's the official day to celebrate this hole-iest of confections.

4. JUNE 6: NATIONAL THANK GOD IT’S MONDAY DAY!

Apparently there are people in the world who don't feel like the above on Mondays.

5. JUNE 6: NATIONAL YO-YO DAY

A perfect day to Walk the Dog, do the Flying Saucer, Throw Down, and attempt whatever this kid is doing.

6. JUNE 8: UPSY DAISY DAY

If you liked the holiday celebrating Mondays, here's another one for you. It encourages waking up "gloriously, gratefully and gleefully" full of positivity and, if you want, daisies in your hair.

7. JUNE 12: NATIONAL JERKY DAY

No explanation required: chew and be merry.

8. JUNE 18: 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.

9. JUNE 19: WORLD SAUNTERING DAY

A day for slowing down and appreciating the world around you. (Man, everyone is so happy in June.)

10. JUNE 21: GO SKATEBOARDING DAY

If this pup can do it, so can you.

11. JUNE 22: BABY BOOMERS RECOGNITION DAY

Look at them, they're so ready to be recognized! And we can probably all agree that Millennials have had enough attention for now.

12. JUNE 23: LET IT GO DAY

Technically not related to 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.

13. JUNE 23: NATIONAL EAT AT A FOOD TRUCK DAY 

Gourdoughs donut food truck
Gourdoughs

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

14. JUNE 23: RUNNER’S SELFIE DAY

Just be careful out there while you're movin' and groovin' and selfie-in'.

15. JUNE 24: TAKE YOUR DOG TO WORK DAY

But for goodness sake, don't overwork them! This is basically just a memo to the mental_floss staff (hi guys.)

16. JUNE 26: LOG CABIN DAY

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.

17. JUNE 27: DECIDE TO BE MARRIED DAY

If you don't get engaged or married on this day, you missed a golden opportunity.

18. JUNE 30: NATIONAL HANDSHAKE DAY

See you next month for another round of quirky holidays! Let's shake on it.

Holidays found in Chase's Calendar of Events 2017. All photos courtesy of iStock unless otherwise noted.

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Big Questions
Where Should You Place the Apostrophe in President's Day?
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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.

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holidays
10 Things You Might Not Know About Chinese New Year
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iStock

Some celebrants call it the Spring Festival, a stretch of time that signals the progression of the lunisolar Chinese calendar; others know it as the Chinese New Year. For a 15-day period beginning February 16, China will welcome the Year of the Dog, one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac table.

Sound unfamiliar? No need to worry: Check out 10 facts about how one-sixth of the world's total population rings in the new year.

1. THE HOLIDAY WAS ORIGINALLY MEANT TO SCARE OFF A MONSTER.

Nian at Chinese New Year
iStock

As legend would have it, many of the trademarks of the Chinese New Year are rooted in an ancient fear of Nian, a ferocious monster who would wait until the first day of the year to terrorize villagers. Acting on the advice of a wise old sage, the townspeople used loud noises from drums, fireworks, and the color red to scare him off—all remain components of the celebration today.

2. A LOT OF FAMILIES USE IT AS MOTIVATION TO CLEAN THE HOUSE.

woman ready to clean a home
iStock

While the methods of honoring the Chinese New Year have varied over the years, it originally began as an opportunity for households to cleanse their quarters of "huiqi," or the breaths of those that lingered in the area. Families performed meticulous cleaning rituals to honor deities that they believed would pay them visits. The holiday is still used as a time to get cleaning supplies out, although the work is supposed to be done before it officially begins.

3. IT WILL PROMPT BILLIONS OF TRIPS.

Man waiting for a train.
iStock

Because the Chinese New Year places emphasis on family ties, hundreds of millions of people will use the Lunar period to make the trip home. Accounting for cars, trains, planes, and other methods of transport, the holiday is estimated to prompt nearly three billion trips over the 15-day timeframe.

4. IT INVOLVES A LOT OF SUPERSTITIONS.

Colorful pills and medications
iStock

While not all revelers subscribe to embedded beliefs about what not to do during the Chinese New Year, others try their best to observe some very particular prohibitions. Visiting a hospital or taking medicine is believed to invite ill health; lending or borrowing money will promote debt; crying children can bring about bad luck.

5. SOME PEOPLE RENT BOYFRIENDS OR GIRLFRIENDS TO SOOTHE PARENTS.

Young Asian couple smiling
iStock

In China, it's sometimes frowned upon to remain single as you enter your thirties. When singles return home to visit their parents, some will opt to hire a person to pose as their significant other in order to make it appear like they're in a relationship and avoid parental scolding. Rent-a-boyfriends or girlfriends can get an average of $145 a day.

6. RED ENVELOPES ARE EVERYWHERE.

a person accepting a red envelope
iStock

An often-observed tradition during Spring Festival is to give gifts of red envelopes containing money. (The color red symbolizes energy and fortune.) New bills are expected; old, wrinkled cash is a sign of laziness. People sometimes walk around with cash-stuffed envelopes in case they run into someone they need to give a gift to. If someone offers you an envelope, it's best to accept it with both hands and open it in private.

7. IT CAN CREATE RECORD LEVELS OF SMOG.

fireworks over Beijing's Forbidden City
iStock

Fireworks are a staple of Spring Festival in China, but there's more danger associated with the tradition than explosive mishaps. Cities like Beijing can experience a 15-fold increase in particulate pollution. In 2016, Shanghai banned the lighting of fireworks within the metropolitan area.

8. BLACK CLOTHES ARE A BAD OMEN.

toddler dressed up for Chinese New Year
iStock

So are white clothes. In China, both black and white apparel is traditionally associated with mourning and are to be avoided during the Lunar month. The red, colorful clothes favored for the holiday symbolize good fortune.

9. IT LEADS TO PLANES BEING STUFFED FULL OF CHERRIES.

Bowl of cherries
iStock

Cherries are such a popular food during the Festival that suppliers need to go to extremes in order to meet demand—last year Singapore Airlines flew four chartered jets to Southeast and North Asian areas. More than 300 tons were being delivered in time for the festivities.

10. PANDA EXPRESS IS HOPING IT'LL CATCH ON IN THE STATES.

Box of takeout Chinese food from Panda Express
domandtrey, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

Although their Chinese food menu runs more along the lines of Americanized fare, the franchise Panda Express is still hoping the U.S. will get more involved in the festival. The chain is promoting the holiday in its locations by running ad spots and giving away a red envelope containing a gift: a coupon for free food. Aside from a boost in business, Panda Express hopes to raise awareness about the popular holiday in North America.

A version of this story originally ran in 2017.

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